Category: Press Releases

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Germany held a successful 10th anniversary celebration in collaboration with and Giordano Bruno Society on 17 November 2017 in Cologne, Germany. A video commemorating ten years can be seen below as can photos of the event. Speakers included German Council founders Mina Ahadi and Arzu Toker, Michael Schmidt-Salomon of Giordano Bruno Stiftung, CEMB spokesperson Maryam Namazie, Saudi ex-Muslim Rana Ahmed, contemporary dancer Atoosa Farahmand and Iranian musician Shahin Najafi.

The Future belongs to blasphemers

International Blasphemy Day has just past. Watch this inspiring video made by ex-Muslims in various countries: The Future Belongs to Blasphemers.

Also see the world’s first group bodypaint captured by both ground and drone in solidarity with ex-Muslims.

Some will ask why we must celebrate blasphemy when it is “hurtful” and “offends”.

The answer is simple:

Because people can be killed for blaspheming and human life is more important than hurt sensibilities and offence.

As the Jordanian atheist, Mohammed Al Khadra said at the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history, “Where are your priorities? While we die, you are all thinking about Islamophobia?

Islamophobia is a political term used to scaremonger people into silence; it imposes de facto blasphemy and apostasy laws where none exist. Where such laws exist, there are no accusations of “Islamophobia” but rather imprisonment, persecution and execution.

Another speaker at the July conference, Zineb El Rhazoui, who survived the attack on Charlie Hebdo because she was back in Morocco says “the right to blasphemy [marks] the boundary between barbarism and civilisation.”

As the new edition of CEMB’s publication: “The Political and Legal Status of Apostates in Islam” shows, it is especially dangerous for ex-Muslims living under Sharia.

CEMB is organising a protest at the Pakistani and Iranian embassies in London on 10 November to highlight a number of cases facing the death penalty such as that of Sina Dehghan, Soheil Arabi and Ayaz Nizami.

We are also campaigning for activists like Iraqi atheist Karrar Al Afsoor who has fled to Greece where he is being detained in awful conditions.

Despite the targeted persecution and slaughter of freethinkers, though, it is we who are still being blamed for the threats we receive and even when we are murdered – like the woman whose rape is blamed on the length of her skirt.

We are outrageously even compared to Nazis for marching for LGBT and ex-Muslim rights at Pride in London by “progressives” who prefer to side with Islam and Islamism than with dissenters. [As an aside, Pride in London is still deciding whether to allow CEMB back at Pride next year given complaints(!) by the homophobic East London Mosque. CEMB has called on Pride to do the right thing.]

Spokesperson Maryam Namazie exposed the hypocrisy, double standards and racism of lower expectations at the 40th convention of the Freedom from Religion Foundation when she accepted the Freedom from Religious Fundamentalism award.

Thankfully, there are many who continue to support our work and the right to freedom of conscience and expression. This support has meant a great deal to us and enabled us to continue the important work we do.

Please continue to support us via donations (no matter how small), volunteering your skills (we especially need help with film editing and graphic design), as well as attending our protests and events. Sadia Hameed and Maryam are speaking at a number of events in Belgrade, Cambridge, Koln, Massachusetts, Melbourne, Nottingham, Pennsylvania and Rome.

In London, at our monthly meet-ups, we have everything from an ex-Muslim art workshop to “coming out parties” for ex-Muslims who decide to go public.

We hope you can join us at some of our events, including our 10 December End-Year event with food, drinks, speeches, music and dancing. Get your tickets to join us as soon as you can.

By the way, Deeyah Khan’s film, Islam’s Nonbelievers, which was about the work of CEMB and the situation of ex-Muslims in Britain and internationally has been shortlisted for the Asian Media Awards in Investigative Journalism.

Thanks again for your support.

Looking forward to hearing from you or seeing you at some of our events.

Warmest wishes

Maryam Namazie
Sadia Hameed
BM Box 1919
London, WC1N 3XX
United Kingdom
[email protected]


Good news! Karrar has been released from detention. Thanks to everyone who advocated on his behalf. Here is a message from Karrar himself:

Karrar Al Asfoor (Karrar Hamza, number 550) is an atheist from Najaf, Iraq who has been  active with Arab Atheists and the Forum for Humanitarian Dialogue , a Facebook discussion group of 44,000 members that promotes the right to freedom of belief and expression in the Middle East and North Africa.

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and other ex-Muslim organisations have worked with Karrar for several years, including around Facebook’s censorship of Arab atheist pages.

Karrar was an invited speaker to the July 2017 International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in London, the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history, but his visa was denied.

He was forced to flee Iraq soon after due to threats to his life. He is currently being detained in abysmal conditions at Hotspot, Kos Island, Greece where he has applied for asylum.

Karrar is a known ex-Muslim activist who has a well-founded fear of persecution. In Iraq, atheists face threats and intimidation. Islamic parties have increased rhetoric against atheists.

Ex-Muslim organisations and activists call on the Greek government to release Karrar and grant him protection and asylum immediately.

We ask also that the public contact the authorities and advocate on his behalf.

You may write to:

Greek Ministry of Migration Policy: [email protected]

Greek Asylum Unit Kos: [email protected]

UNHCR, Greece: [email protected]

Greek Ministry of Foreign affairs: @GreeceMFA and Contact form

Amnesty International Greece: [email protected]

Greek Council for Refugees: [email protected] or [email protected]

Please also contact Greek embassies in your country of residence.


Created as a finale to the groundbreaking International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression, the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history, this is the world’s first group bodypaint captured by both ground and drone. Conceived by award-winning bodypainter Victoria Gugenheim in support of and solidarity with ex-Muslims and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB).

A message from ex-Muslims to mark International Blasphemy Day

Some people believe that disagreeing with deeply held beliefs is hate. It is not.

I want to remind you that many of the most powerful ideas, ideas that changed our world were once heretical.

I want to remind you that many of the most radical thinkers and reformists in past eras were blasphemers against the established order of their day.

Galileo who rewrote our place in the universe, Darwin who rewrote our place amongst our animal family. Even a religious figure such as Mohammed caused offence when he blasphemed against the pagan gods of Arabia.

It was not too long ago that those in the west, were right where ex-Muslims are now.
When losing your life because of a perceived insult to religion was commonplace. Every inch of progress made, every freedom won , every right enshrined, that are now assumed as a birth-right were never simply handed over – they were fought for, tooth and nail.

Like those of us fighting today, these rights were fought for by freethinkers and dissenters, those who fought for the right to blaspheme by blaspheming themselves – and not accidentally. By blaspheming with purpose and determination, out of a belief that it is a matter of individual liberty to contest every idea, no matter how sacred it may be to some – and that only by granting every individual the freedom to explore and uphold their own opinion and belief do WE as a society progress.

I know it is frightening to stand up in the face of the rage of countless believers and dozens of countries but there is light ahead. We are much stronger than they think. While they succeeded in silencing us for over a thousand years we will be silent no more. While they sought to silence us by isolating us, we now know better. We know there are millions of us standing defiantly with our ranks swelling.

Even though we miss those that were taken from us, those that are imprisoned today and those that will face a difficult road tomorrow we will never lose hope. We will make a better world where all of humanity is free to follow their conscience.

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