The declaration on blasphemy and apostasy
We are alarmed at the increasing persecution of freethinkers accused of blasphemy and apostasy. In the past month alone:
- Ex-Muslim atheist H Farook, a father of two, was hacked to death in India.
- In Iran, the death sentence of 21 year old Sina Dehghan has been confirmed by the supreme court on charges of “insulting the prophet”. Deghan’s co-defendants, Sahar Eliasi and Mohammad Nouri, have also been convicted of posting “anti-Islamic” content on social media. Nouri was issued the death sentence whilst Eliasi was initially issued a seven-year prison sentence; her sentence was reduced to three years upon appeal.
- In Pakistan, Ayaz Nizami and Rana Noman were arrested by the government on 22 March on accusations of blasphemy. After the arrest, #HangAyazNizami trended on Twitter. This followed the Pakistani government’s request that Facebook and Twitter help identify those suspected of blasphemy so it can prosecute them or pursue their extradition.
Needless to say, it is not an “insult” to Islam or any religion, if one becomes a freethinker or an atheist – either in public or private. It is exercising a fundamental right to freedom of conscience.
Moreover, criticism of religion, including Islam, prophet and god, is not “Islamophobia” but exercising a fundamental right to freedom of expression.
Those who “punish”, imprison, incite violence against or forcibly prevent freedom of conscience and expression are the ones who commit a crime – not those exercising their basic human right.
We call for an end to blasphemy and apostasy laws – whether de facto or de jure. Those more concerned with “offence” than murder help legitimise the persecution of atheists and freethinkers across the globe. It is high time victims of blasphemy and apostasy rules are defended not blamed for their persecution.
In the 21 century, human beings and human rights must trump religion.
Warsaw, April 2, 2017
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is outraged that Islamist Yasir Qadhi spoke in Harrogate, Yorkshire on the 22nd of April, and in London on the 23rd of April in events organised by Muslim Engagement and Development (Mend), a front group for extremists.
American-born Yasir Qadhi has been recorded saying: “…definitely this is a part of our religion to stone the adulterer and to chop the head off of the sorcerer and so many other things, and to kill, by the way, the homosexual – this is also our religion. The fiqh rulings say that the homosexual is be killed, OK?”
On homosexuality he adds: “Look at how this own society and culture has evolved in the way it looks at homosexuals. In our own time, I remember as a kid in the 80s, which gives you an idea how old I was, growing up in the 80s, I remember how homosexuals were looked down upon and the names that were given to these people. And how disgusted the average masses were with that segment of society. Now look at how we have regressed not progressed where it is impossible – forget a Muslim, even a Christian or Jew – cannot stand up in public in front of a non-Muslim audience and speak against homosexuality. ‘He’s a homophobe, he’s an evil person, how dare he preaches ‘hatred’ against this group of people’ – a group of people by the way who were punished the likes of which no other nation has been punished from the time of Adam until the day of judgment. No community, no group of people have been punished like the people of Lut have been punished…”
On apostasy, he says: “If you become murtad in a land that is not ruled by the Sharia, this is your freedom; we cannot do anything. So the whole question – and I am saying this now because our religion is being attacked: ‘You guys have a blasphemy law, if somebody leaves your religion, you have to cut his head off’ – that’s what we are told. The response is very simple: no. Our Sharia tells us that in lands that are not ruled by Islam… it’s not the land where Sharia is going to be implemented. So in lands other than the land of Islam, there’s no question, the Sharia would say, we don’t implement that and of course whether we implement it or not, even in Islamic lands, there is a whole long conditions for that.”
On blasphemy, he says: “To make fun of Allah and his Messenger, the punishment is death. If you ridicule, you curse Allah and his Messenger, the punishment for that is death. And the scholars said he who curses Allah’s Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), it doesn’t matter, obviously when we are in an Islamic state, we’re not talking about America or England, when we are in an Islamic state it doesn’t matter what he does after that. Even if he repents he is going to be killed. The correct opinion is that a person who curses Allah’s Messenger, and makes fun of Allah’s Messenger, and denigrates the status of Allah’s Messenger, his punishment is death as soon as he utters that statement. It doesn’t matter if he repents after that or not. His repentance is with Allah. We don’t care. Our punishment, we are not allowed to forgive that man. We have to kill him as soon as the Islamic state takes hold of him. And this is not the case in a kafir country, we don’t do this in a non-Muslim country, it’s not our right to do it.”
Like all good Islamists using double-speak to dupe the public, Qadhi says punishments against homosexuals, apostates or blasphemers are not applicable in countries that are not ruled by Sharia, whilst legitimising discrimination and violence in “Islamic lands”.
In a climate where Islamists demand the elimination of gay people from Chechnya or the hanging of apostates/blasphemers from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh to Iran, Qadhi’s hate preaching for an “Islamic charity” in the UK is nothing short of an abomination.
For more information on Qadhi, see here.
A group of individuals, who chose to leave the religion they were born to – Islam, owing to different reasons, joined as a group to form ‘Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka’ (EMSL), two days prior to bidding farewell to the year 2016. Coming out to the public for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history as the very first organization for those who left and wish to leave the religion of Islam was formed on 30th of December, 2016 at an undisclosed location closer to the country’s commercial capital, Colombo.
Meeting for the first time as a group, almost all its members from a handful of unidentified individuals, made use of the gathering to hold the inaugural General Meeting of the EMSL. The members belonged to almost all age categories from both genders, made it a point to share their individual experiences and why they chose not to follow the religion they were born to and becoming faithless in the religion. The members were screened and selected after their responses through the social media campaign which took months.
“It’s very disheartening to see how human values are gradually being brought to a dishonourable state by those who follow Islam with great devotion. Most of our members were serious followers while some even preached the religion, but with what’s taking place around lately, in the name of a superior power, we had to make this choice. For many of us, the decision was hard, to leave the religion we were born to, while some have always followed a middle path, which we believe is the best way of life,” one of the pioneer members, who wished to remain anonymous due to safety reasons, stated.
Formed for reasons that are genuinely human, the EMSL members point out that their individual struggles as followers or servants of an unseen divine power and strong, tradition beliefs and practices, are over. The EMSL structuring as a group is based on few vital reasons, to help and counsel those who chose to come out from the belief, make them aware that they do not have to face lashes or pay the price by being beheaded and help create a better environment for those who still follow the faith sans extremism.
“Extremism is a cancer for any religion. Islam has reached an intolerable level, globally and locally. We, as a group do not intend to fight against any of those elements or go against those who counter us, in the same form. We wish to move on, live peacefully and let others of all ethnicity enjoy the same privileges of a free and fair life”.
The EMSL is planning to come out with resolutions, which it feels are important in the name of humanity and broad-mindedness. The group comes out in Sri Lanka at a juncture where racial issues have been gradually escalating between Muslims and other religious groups after the end of the three-decade old ethnic war in 2009. Most countries in the world have come out with groups of former Muslims and in Sri Lanka it is considered the very first time that such a group has come out in public. The EMSL has adopted eleven (11) resolutions and it hopes to forward them to the Government of Sri Lanka and the general public for the further understanding, knowledge, consideration and action. (The resolutions would be shared to the media in due course).