Author: CEMB

Egypt Let Ahmed Harkan Travel Now

Ahmad Harken is an Egyptian 36-year-old Ex-Muslim/atheist, youtuber and free thinker who practices his right of expression.

Since 2016 the Egyptian National Security has imposed a travel ban on Harken for no reason.

Harkan has not violated any law of the state nor caused harm to any individual. There is no court order against him nor any order from the Attorney general. Although he is free to roam the country, he is imprisoned within the compounds of his country for no apparent reason.

Harkan attempted to travel outside Egypt and was banned three times since 2016. The last time Ahmed wanted to travel was on October 21st when he got a Tunisian visa in order to marry his Tunisian fiancée.

On 21st October 2019, Harkan tried to leave Egypt to meet up with his fiancé in her country, Tunisia, where their wedding ceremony was supposed to take place, yet the National Security banned him from traveling, even though the reason for his travel were clear. At the airport, he was told to go back home with no explanation.

Harkan has now been on Hunger Strike for over 20 days, resulting in his hospitalisation. At the hospital, he was threatened that if he keeps going on the hunger strike, they will put him in prison. Harkan says, “I either get my right to travel like anyone else, or die”.

Article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states, “No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile,”

Harkan has committed no crime, he has the right to travel wherever he pleases.

We at the Council of Ex Muslims of Britain urge the Egyptian authorities to permit Ahmed Harkan to travel with immediate effect!

 

Harkan’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/904859109535632/posts/2898155153539341/

Harkan’s Webpage: https://ahmedharqan.com/

ex-muslims council of britain, atheist, secular, atheism, humanism, Patreon, Patron, refuge, refugee, asylum, laws, apostate, blasphemer, accommodation, emergency accommodation, emergency, Islam, human rights, equality, freedom, freedom of speech, honour based violence, corrective rape, forced marriage, domestic abuse, mental health, suicide, hope, Patreon

Become a Council of Ex Muslims of Britain Patron

You can now become a Council of Ex Muslims of Britain Patron which allows you to see behind the scenes during our campaigns along with other benefits depending on your chosen tier.

We are s fundraising for safe emergency accommodation for our clients.

CEMB is a support service for individuals who have left Islam (otherwise known as apostates and ex-Muslims). We also campaign against blasphemy and apostasy laws, rather we campaign for secularism and universal human rights.

A 2017 report by U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) found that Blasphemy laws were found in 71 countries from all regions of the world. However, even today the only countries in the world to punish blasphemy with a death sentence are Islamic countries. Furthermore, their report found that a majority of laws in countries that have blasphemy laws do not fully respect international standards of freedom of opinion and expression.

In 2018, World Alas reported that 23 Muslim majority countries still have apostasy laws, furthermore, 13 of those 13 countries have a death penalty for leaving Islam.

Leaving, criticising or even questioning Islam is a dangerous business indeed. We at CEMB support those brave individuals that dare to do as such.

In the last two years, CEMB’s caseload has doubled from supporting 300 ex-Muslims a month to 600 a month. CEMB supports individuals from over 70 countries around the world.

Becoming an ex Muslim can have the following consequences:
– Death
– Imprisonment (this could be in a state prison, but could also be families imprisoning Ex Muslims within their homes).
– Mob Lynching
– Forced Marriage
– Honour based abuse/domestic abuse
– Emotional abuse
– Psychological abuse
– Financial abuse
– Physical abuse
– Sexual abuse
– Honour killings
– Corrective rapes
– Coercive control
– Mental health issues
– Self-harm
– Suicidal thoughts/feelings/attempts, in some cases successful suicides
– Disownment/ostracization

In order to escape the risk of the above list, many ex Muslims leave home, some fleeing oppressive countries, others fleeing others fleeing oppressive families.

Leaving Islam for many results in the loss of everything and everyone that is familiar. In some cases, the families are the very ones to forcefully remove their loved ones from their homes and lives, leaving them with nothing.

This is where CEMB steps in to offer them to help and support them. In many cases that has also meant providing emergency accommodation in hotels for those that have been forced out of their families and communities, however this is not a sustainable long term solution, so we have decided to start fundraising for a dedicated refuge that would not only provide emergency housing, but would provide hands on support for the Ex Muslims we house.

We need to raise £300,000 in order to secure a property for this project, please help us with this goal.

Become a Patron Here: https://www.patreon.com/CEMB

 

Atheist Ireland

Free lesson plans about atheism for children aged 8 and up from Atheist Ireland

Atheist Ireland has today published a set of free lesson plans about atheism for children aged 8 and up.

Schools and teachers can use the lesson plans during the school year, at whatever class level they feel is best.

Parents can also use the lesson plans directly. They can discuss them one-to-one with their child, or let their child use them at school if they have opted them out of religion class.

We do not want children to believe anything in these lessons, or in the book, simply because we say so. Like anybody else, we might be mistaken about some things.

Instead, we want children to use the lessons and the book to start off their own personal investigations into the topics we cover.

Full lesson plans can be downloaded via this link: https://www.teachdontpreach.ie/lesson-plans/

No Entry sign

Refusal Letters Wanted

Dear friend

As you know, in Many Muslim-majority countries around the world it is illegal for people to leave Islam; blasphemy carries a capital punishment, not to mention “mob justice” and lynching. Ex-Muslims from such countries seek asylum to gain protection and freedom to live without Islam with no danger to their lives. According to Asylum rules and regulations, anyone who has a well-founded fear of persecution should be granted protection. Given the persecution and threats of violence or worse that ex-Muslims face in Muslim-majority countries, it is Home Office’s moral and legal responsibility to provide protection to ex-Muslims by granting them asylum.

But in reality, many ex-Muslims are denied asylum leaving them no choice but to go for judicial review against the Home Office decision in the hopes of overturning an unjust refusal by a first tribunal judge. Why are so many ex-Muslim asylum cases being refused by the Home Office? It is a question worth asking.

We, at CEMB, are campaigning to raise awareness and change the way ex-Muslim cases are processed by the Home Office. We aim to gather and highlight the “reasons” Home Office uses to deny ex-Muslims asylum in the UK.

If you are an ex-Muslim and have been refused by the Home Office, please send us a copy of your rejection letter so we can gather evidence to show systematic disregard for ex-Muslim cases. We aim to compile a list of reasons the Home Office uses to deny ex-Muslims protection and publish a rebuttal to the rejections in order to get the Home Office to review its inadequacies when it comes to apostasy and blasphemy cases. Your rejection letters and names will remain confidential. Anonymity requests will be respected.

Please send your letters to Ali Malik at ali.malik@ex-muslim.org.uk. Please note that all of CEMB’s support is free of charge.

Warm wishes,

Ali Malik

Open Letter to Home Secretary Sajid Javid: APPG Islamophobia Definition Threatens Civil Liberties

Addressed to the Home Secretary Sajid Javid

The APPG on British Muslims’ definition of Islamophobia has now been adopted by the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats Federal board, Plaid Cymru and the Mayor of London, as well as several local councils. All of this is occurring before the Home Affairs Select Committee has been able to assess
the evidence for and against the adoption of the definition nationally.

Meanwhile the Conservatives are having their own debate about rooting out Islamophobia from the party.

According to the APPG definition, “Islamophobia is rooted in racism and is a type of racism that targets expressions of Muslimness or perceived Muslimness”.

With this definition in hand, it is perhaps no surprise that following the horrific attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, some place responsibility for the atrocity on the pens of journalists and academics who have criticised Islamic beliefs and practices, commented on or investigated Islamist extremism.

The undersigned unequivocally, unreservedly and emphatically condemn acts of violence against Muslims, and recognise the urgent need to deal with anti-Muslim hatred. However, we are extremely concerned about the uncritical and hasty adoption of the APPG’s definition of Islamophobia.

This vague and expansive definition is being taken on without an adequate scrutiny or proper consideration of its negative consequences for freedom of expression, and academic and journalistic freedom. The definition will also undermine social cohesion – fuelling the very bigotry against Muslims which it is designed to prevent.

We are concerned that allegations of Islamophobia will be, indeed already are being, used to effectively shield Islamic beliefs and even extremists from criticism, and that formalising this definition will result in it being employed effectively as something of a backdoor blasphemy law.

The accusation of Islamophobia has already been used against those opposing religious and gender segregation in education, the hijab, halal slaughter on the grounds of animal welfare, LGBT rights campaigners opposing Muslim views on homosexuality, ex-Muslims and feminists opposing Islamic views and practices relating to women, as well as those concerned about the issue of grooming gangs. It has been used against journalists who investigate Islamism, Muslims working in counter-extremism, schools and Ofsted for resisting conservative religious pressure and enforcing gender equality.

Evidently abuse, harmful practices, or the activities of groups and individuals which promote ideas contrary to British values are far more likely to go unreported as a result of fear of being called Islamophobic. This will only increase if the APPG definition is formally adopted in law.

We are concerned that the definition will be used to shut down legitimate criticism and investigation. While the APPG authors have assured that it does not wish to infringe free speech, the entire content of the report, the definition itself, and early signs of how it would be used, suggest that it certainly would. Civil liberties should not be treated as an afterthought in the effort to tackle antiMuslim prejudice.

The conflation of race and religion employed under the confused concept of ‘cultural racism’ expands the definition beyond anti-Muslim hatred to include ‘illegitimate’ criticism of the Islamic religion. The concept of Muslimness can effectively be transferred to Muslim practices and beliefs, allowing the report to claim that criticism of Islam is instrumentalised to hurt Muslims.

No religion should be given special protection against criticism. Like anti-Sikh, anti-Christian, or anti-Hindu hatred, we believe the term anti-Muslim hatred is more appropriate and less likely to infringe on free speech. A proliferation of ‘phobias’ is not desirable, as already stated by Sikh and Christian
organisations who recognise the importance of free discussion about their beliefs.

Current legislative provisions are sufficient, as the law already protects individuals against attacks and unlawful discrimination on the basis of their religion. Rather than helping, this definition is likely to create a climate of self-censorship whereby people are fearful of criticising Islam and Islamic beliefs. It will therefore effectively shut down open discussions about matters of public interest. It will only aggravate community tensions further and is therefore no long term solution.

If this definition is adopted the government will likely turn to self-appointed ‘representatives of the community’ to define ‘Muslimness’. This is clearly open to abuse. The APPG already entirely overlooked Muslims who are often considered to be “insufficiently Muslim” by other Muslims,
moderates, liberals, reformers and the Ahmadiyyah, who often suffer persecution and violence at the hands of other Muslims.

For all these reasons, the APPG definition of Islamophobia is deeply problematic and unfit for purpose. Acceptance of this definition will only serve to aggravate community tensions and to inhibit free speech about matters of fundamental importance. We urge the government, political parties, local councils and other organisations to reject this flawed proposed definition.

Emma Webb, Civitas
Hardeep Singh, Network of Sikh Organisations (NSOUK)
Lord Singh of Wimbledon
Tim Dieppe, Christian Concern
Stephen Evans, National Secular Society (NSS)
Sadia Hameed, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB)
Prof. Paul Cliteur, candidate for the Dutch Senate, Professor of Law, University of Leiden
Brendan O’Neill, Editor of Spiked
Maajid Nawaz, Founder, Quilliam International
Rt. Rev’d Dr Gavin Ashenden
Pragna Patel, director of Southall Black Sisters
Professor Richard Dawkins
Rahila Gupta, author and Journalist
Peter Whittle, founder and director of New Culture Forum
Trupti Patel, President of Hindu Forum of Britain
Dr Lakshmi Vyas, President Hindu Forum of Europe
Harsha Shukla MBE, President Hindu Council of North UK
Tarang Shelat, President Hindu Council of Birmingham
Ashvin Patel, Chairman, Hindu Forum (Walsall)
Ana Gonzalez, partner at Wilson Solicitors LLP
Baron Desai of Clement Danes
Baroness Cox of Queensbury
Lord Alton of Liverpool
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali
Ade Omooba MBE, Co-Chair National Church Leaders Forum (NCLF)
Wilson Chowdhry, British Pakistani Christian Association
Ashish Joshi, Sikh Media Monitoring Group
Satish K Sharma, National Council of Hindu Temples
Rumy Hasan, Academic and author
Amina Lone, Co-Director, Social Action and Research Foundation
Peter Tatchell, Peter Tatchell Foundation
Seyran Ates, Imam
Gina Khan, One Law for All
Mohammed Amin MBE
Baroness D’Souza
Michael Mosbacher, Acting Editor, Standpoint Magazine
Lisa-Marie Taylor, CEO FiLiA
Julie Bindel, journalist and feminist campaigner
Dr Adrian Hilton, Academic
Neil Anderson, Academic
Tom Holland, Historian
Toby Keynes
Prof. Dr. Bassam Tibi, Professor Emeritus for International Relations, University of Goettingen
Dr Stephen Law, philosopher and author

See letter in pdf here: islamophobiaopenletter

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