We hope you are well and looking forward to the holidays and New Year.
We’ve had a brilliant year, thanks to your support. In 2015, we aim to continue supporting ex-Muslims and challenging apostasy laws whilst exposing hate speech like “kafir” and “murtad” and raising awareness on the special plight of ex-Muslim women.
7 February 2015 London conference on Apostasy, Sharia Law and Secularism
We will discuss the situation of ex-Muslims in Britain and internationally, apostasy and blasphemy laws, Islamism and the religious-Right, the veil and burqa as well as the successful campaigns against the Law Society and Universities UK for their legitimisation of Sharia law at a day-conference near Kings Cross on 7 February 2015.
Speakers at the conference will include Aliyah Saleem, Amal Farah, Chris Moos, Gita Sahgal, Imad Iddine Habib, Maryam Namazie, Nahla Mahmoud, Pragna Patel, Ramin Forghani, Rumana Hashem, and Yasmin Rehman amongst others. You can find out more on how to register here. Please register as soon as possible as space is limited.
Ex-Muslim Women’s Project
In the coming year, the CEMB will focus on the plight of ex-Muslim women, including by publishing a report, producing video testimonials and by providing additional support and assistance. Ex-Muslim women interested in taking part in video testimonials and working with the project, please get in touch as soon as possible.
Anti-Hate Speech Campaign and Poster Competition
If you have been called “kafir”, “murtad”, “munafiq”, “zindiq” or any similar derogatory term aimed at intimidation and incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence against ex-Muslims please contact us with the details. We are gathering evidence in order to push for changes in practice by police, institutions and government with regards to hate speech against ex-Muslims (and of course others including dissenting Muslims).
In lieu of our campaign, we are also organising an anti-hate speech poster competition; the winning poster will be used in our campaign against Islamist hate speech. Send in your submissions no later than 1 May 2015.
Past Year Highlights
Highlights in 2014 have included co-sponsoring a hugely successful “International Conference on the Religious-Right, Secularism and Civil Rights” and other events such as a Kafir comedy night, an ex-Muslim picnic and evening drinks; assisting nearly 400 ex-Muslims in Britain and internationally; increasing the profile of ex-Muslims in the media; publishing a report on iERA (an Islamist hate group, which is now being investigated by the Charities Commission); organising international days of action in support of blasphemers and apostates; supporting successful campaigns against Universities UK’s gender-segregation guidance and the Law Society’s note on Sharia-compliant wills; and making courts more open to apostate asylum cases. CEMB letters of support are highly regarded and influential in securing the right to asylum for ex-Muslims. Moreover, our web-forum continues to act as one of our most important vehicles with 4,000 plus users. The forum publishes articles and creates a safe space for ex-Muslims to help each other, and gain emotional and practical support. The CEMB forum Twitter account continues to grow and has been active in promoting issues surrounding apostasy, secularism and the religious-Right.
Internationally, a number of groups were formed and affiliated with the CEMB, including Ex-Muslims of North America, Ex-Muslims of Austria and Ex-Muslims of Scotland; they joined the Councils of Ex-Muslims in France, USA, Morocco (the first country with Islam as a state religion), and New Zealand. Recently, we have new affiliates from Pakistan and Turkey. During this year, Somali-born Amal Farah joined Sudanese-born Nahla Mahmoud and Iranian-born Maryam Namazie as spokesperson for the organisation and we set up an office in central London.
None of our work in 2014 could have been possible without your support so thank you! We are also grateful to Trust for London, The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK, the David Bleines Memorial Trust, Muriel Seltman and many others for their donations. We are particularly grateful to those who donate on a monthly basis via standing order.
As you well know, we rely on individual donations to do our work. We don’t get government funding or the huge amounts of support that Islamists do so we need your continued support to carry on doing the work we do. For the New Year, please join our small but important group of monthly donors or give us a one off donation if you can. Any amount helps and will be much appreciated! Here’s information on how you can donate.
We look forward to continuing, together, our fight for equality, secularism and rights and countering the religious-Right, racism and cultural relativism in the months and years to come.