• Home
  • Press Releases

Category: Press Releases

In memory of Farooq

Today is the anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of atheist M Farooq, a 31 year old scrap merchant in Tamil Nadu India because of his atheism and Facebook posts pronounced “anti-Islamic.”

He was killed 15 days after he posted a photo of one of his children holding a placard with the handwritten slogan “Kadavul illai, Kadavul illai, Kadavul illai (No God, No God, No God)” in 2017.

He was a member of an atheist organisation, Dravidar Vidudhalai kazhagam, that fights religious/caste bigotry.

He was killed by a group that included friends who disagreed with his views.

Today we remember him and all those who have been killed because of bigotry and intolerance towards those who think differently.

#Farooq

Outrage at #ChristchurchMosqueAttack

We are outraged at the far-Right terrorist attacks on mosques in New Zealand. Those killed could have been our beloved; our hearts go out to the victims and survivors of these heinous attacks.

We recognise the xenophobic, anti-migrant and anti-Muslim, white nationalists in the Islamists. Both are far-Right movements that rely on religion, violence, hate, misogyny, homophobia, anti-Semitism… and both use terrorism to sow fear and division. We will continue to fight both and defend universal values, the right to live and think as one chooses, and our common humanity.

Whatever our differences, we are one race: Human.

We stand with Muslims everywhere who face discrimination, violence and terror.

#OneRace_HumanRace

#ChristchurchMosqueAttack

SIGNATORIES

SIGNATORIES
Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan
Atheist Refugee Relief
Atheist Republic
Black Ducks Channel
Bread and Roses TV
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB)
Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka
Dutch Freethinkers Association De Vrije Gedachte
Ex-Muslims of Jordan
Ex-Muslims of North America
Ex-Muslims of Norway
Ex Muslims Of Scandinavia
Faithless Hijabi
One Law for All
Mouvement Alternatif pour les Libertés Individuelles – Maroc
Tunisian Freethinkers

Solidarity with Parkfield School Birmingham – No to Religious Homophobia

In 2016 Parkfield community school in Saltley, Birmingham was awarded Outstanding by Ofsted in every single area of inspection, Effectiveness of leadership and management, Quality of teaching, learning and assessment, Personal development, behaviour and welfare, Outcomes for pupils and Early years provision. Furthermore, the Ofsted report stated that the school fully delivers on its aim that ‘Together we can make a huge difference’.

Many parents would be grateful for their children to be sent to a high performing school, that ensures, as the report states, their students and staff, “are made to feel valued”.

Parkfield delivers a program called no the No Outsiders program, which teaches some of the basic characteristic of the Equalities Act 2010:
• age
• disability
• gender reassignment
• marriage and civil partnership
• pregnancy or maternity
• race
• religion or belief
• sex
• sexual orientation.
The program is intended to explain to children that diversity exists and that regardless of such diversity, everyone has the right to be treated and respected equally. That regardless of differences, you have the capacity to be friends.

Recently the school became the target of the religious fundamentalist parents. Muslim Parents of some of the pupils protested outside the school with signs reading, “say no to promoting of homosexuality and LGBT ways of life to our children”, “stop exploiting children’s innocence”, and “education not indoctrination”. One could argue that they were making the case against themselves, that they should not be indoctrinating their own children.

The parents are right in one sense alone, education is not about indoctrination, it is about preparing children for their futures, and opening their minds to the diversity within society.

Let’s call this what it is, it is religiously charged, homophobia. When the issue of religious homophobia cropped up, some of the mothers leading the charge, stated that it was nothing to do with their homophobia or religion, that they simply feel that their children are too young and that the contents of the lessons are inappropriate and leading their children to feeling confused.
This is a convenient excuse for parents to cover up their religiously charged homophobia. Unfortunately, due to the space allowed to these Muslim fundamentalist parents, Christian and far right homophobic fundamentalists have also crawled out of the woodworks to join in solidarity with these bigoted parents.

Regrettably, the actions of these parents worst effect those young Muslims that are LGBT in the community, instilling within them self-loathing, shame and embarrassment, which is further encouraged by the likes of Labour MP, Shabana Mahmood, who fully supports and condones the homophobia of their parents.

If the No Outsiders program is scrapped and parents are permitted to have their way, how long before other elements of the Equalities Act are attacked and undermined? Tomorrow, far right groups might start campaigning outside schools, shouting that they don’t want their children being exposed to Islamic or Jewish ideas, as it “confuses their children”. This is a very slippery road that we are on, if we bend the law for one group, others will demand the same. That was exactly what the Equalities Act was created to prevent.

Sadia Hameed

#InternationalWomensDayProtest #PeriodsAreNatural

#InternationalWomensDayProtest
#PeriodsAreNatural
#WeAreUnashamed

Orthodox Judaism forbids women and men from even touching or passing things to each other during a woman’s period.
In certain branches of Japanese Buddhism, menstruating women are banned from attending temples.

In Hinduism, a woman is forbidden from entering not only Hindu temples but also her own kitchen. She must not sleep in the daytime, bathe, have sex, touch others, or speak loudly.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, women are forbidden from receiving communion whilst the Russian Orthodox Church forces women to live in menstrual huts while on their period.

In Islam, women are barred from praying, fasting, touching a Quran, entering a mosque or circumambulation of the Kaaba (not that we mind) and even divorce and sex.

The idea that women are too emotional to be judges, must be secluded or that women are inferior to men stems from “dirty” menstruation and women being seen as inherently sinful. Which is why in many religions, women must ritually purify themselves before they can be deemed “clean.”

This is absurd. We are living in the 21st century.

#PeriodsAreNatural
#WeAreUnashamed
#WomenAgainstAllah
#NoGodsNoProphets
#Period


اعتراض روز جهانی زن
پریود_طبیعی_است#
در میان گروه ارتدوکس‌های یهودی، در دوران عادت ماهانه زن، مرد و زن حق دست زدن یا رد و بدل کردن هیچ گونه اشیا را به هم ندارند
در بخشی از بودایی‌های ژاپنی زنان که عادت ماهانه دارند اجازه ورود به معبد را ندارند
در هندویسم زنان در دوارن ماهانه خود حق وارد شدن به معبد و حتی آشپزخانه خانه خود را ندارند. زنان حق ندارند در طول روز بخوابند یا حمام بگیرند، رابطه جنسی داشته باشند، به دیگران دست بزنند و یا با صدای بلند صحبت کنند
در کلیسای ارتدوکس شرق، زنان اجازه شرکت در مراسم عمومی عشای ربانی را ندارند
در اسلام، در دوران عادت ماهانه، زنان حق نیایش، روزه، دست زدن به قرآن، وارد شدن به مسجد یا چرخیدن دور کعبه را ندارند (البته بدمان هم نمى آيد). آنها حتی اجازه طلاق و داشتن رابطه جنسی را ندارند
این ایده که زنان به خاطر احساسی بودن نمی توانند قاضی شوند، باید جداسازى جنسى شوند یا زنان از مردان در جایگاه پایینی و پست تری هستند، ریشه در همین عادت ماهانه “نجس” دارد که زنان را ذاتا گناهکار می پندارد. به همین خاطر است که در بسیاری از مذاهب زنان باید از گونه ای تشریفات بگذرند تا بعد از پرويودشان “پاک” شوند۔.
این پوج و مضحکه است. ما در قرن ۲۱ زندگی می‌کنیم
پریود_طبیعی_است#

پریود#
زنان_علیه_خدا#
نه_خدا_نه_پیامبر#
شرم_نه#

Ex-Muslim Women Speak Out on 1st International Atheist Day

23 March 2019, 18:00 for 18:30 start until 21:30 to celebrate the first ever International Atheist Day
Holborn, Central London

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain will celebrate the first ever International Atheist Day with a panel discussion of ex-Muslim women speaking out, namely Poet Halima Salat, Activist Ibtissame Betty Lachgar, CEMB Spokespersons Maryam Namazie and Sadia Hameed, Ex-Muslim YouTuber Mimzy Vidz and Faithless Hijabi Founder Zara Kay. Singer/Songwriter Shelley Segal will perform her new songs and there will be an art exhibition by Samint and CEMB’s 2019 Awards as well Coming Out Ceremonies. Nahla Mahmoud will MC the event.

Tickets for the event at a spectacular venue in central London are only £10 waged and £5 unwaged and includes access to the full event with drinks and appetisers.

SPEAKER BIOS

Halima Salat is an ex-Muslim Kenyan Somali. She defines herself as a free thinker, a rebel and an atheist. She was born Muslim but no longer believes in Islam. She was a closet non-believer for a while until when she came to live in the Netherlands 3 years ago. Halima just recently had her “coming out” declaration in Amsterdam. She has many problems with Islam but the core problem is that she truly believes Islam is against a woman’s individual right to steer her own path. Halima is also a spoken word artist and reads her poetry in the few English spoken word scenes in Amsterdam.

Ibtissame Betty Lachgar is a clinical psychologist specialised in criminology and victimology, particularly violence against women and sexual violence. She is co-founder and Leader of MALI (Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties), which is universalist, feminist and secularist. The civil disobedience movement fights for individual liberties, against discrimination and breaks taboos. Their first action in 2009 was a picnic during the day in Ramadan to protest against the law which condemns those “known as Muslim” who do not fast to 6 months in prison. In 2012, she invited the NGO Women on Waves from the Netherlands (Abortion Boat) to fight for the right to abortion and for the decriminalisation of abortion. She also organised a Kiss-in in 2013 and coloured Rabat’s fountains in red in 2017 in the fight against violence against women. She initiated the first LGBT movement in Morocco in 2012, the IDAHOT. Her work is censored by the majority of organisations in Morocco, even progressive and feminist ones. Ibtissame has been the victim of sexual assault by the police whilst in custody for her protests in Sept 2016. There is a trial in progress against her and she has faced numerous threats as a result of her work.

Maryam Namazie is Co-Spokesperson for One Law for All, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and Fitnah. She hosts a weekly television programme called Bread and Roses. She is on the International Advisory Board of the Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom; National Secular Society Honorary Associate; a Patron of London Black Atheists and Pink Triangle Trust; International Advisory Board Member of Feminist Dissent and a columnist for The Freethinker. The Islamic regime of Iran’s media outlets has called Namazie immoral and corrupt and did an ‘exposé’ on her entitled “Meet this anti-religion woman.” Maryam was a character in DV8 Physical Theatre’s Can We Talk About This?, which deals with freedom of speech, censorship and Islam. She was awarded the 2017 Henry H. Zumach Freedom From Religious Fundamentalism award; 2016 International Secularism (Laicite) Prize from the Comité Laïcité République and was honoured by the National Secular Society for her campaigning work defending free speech at universities (2016) despite attempts at barring her by Student Unions or Islamic Society efforts to intimidate her and cancel her talks. She was also awarded Atheist of the Year by Kazimierz Lyszczynski (2014); Journalist of the Year at the Dods Women in Public Life Awards (2013); selected one of the top 45 women of the year by Elle magazine Quebec (2007); one of 2006′s most intriguing people by DNA, awarded the National Secular Society’s Secularist of the Year Award (2005), amongst others.

Mimzy Vidz (Marwa) is an ex-Muslim Youtuber who discusses issues that Muslims and non Muslims face. She is part of the movement to normalise ex Muslims and put an end to blamsphemy and apostate scrutiny in Muslim communities and raise awareness of these problems. Marwa went to a Muslim school most of her life in London. She was a very religious Muslim and involved in various Muslim organisations and communities before becoming an Atheist 2 years ago.

Nahla Mahmoud is an environment and human rights activist originally from Sudan. She works with a number of campaigns in the UK, including One Law for All and Secular Middle East and North Africa. She leads the Sudanese Humanists Group and is former Spokesperson for the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

Sadia Hameed is a Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and has been featured in a 2016 film, “Islam’s Non Believers”, by award-winning filmmaker Deeyah Khan. She is also a human rights activist and Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage and FGM Consultant, based in Gloucestershire, working in the sexual violence field, with a focus on Black Minority Ethnic women. Sadia organised a hugely successful event titled ‘Let’s Talk Honour’ in October 2016, which was held at Gloucester University. She also launched Critical Sisters. She is Winner of IKWRO Special Recognition: Activist of the Year 2017.

Samint is a painter and a universalist secularist feminist who uses her art as a weapon against patriarchy. Her goal is to highlight and expose the violence due to male domination, and to condemn the numerous religious precepts imposed on girls and women. Her recent collection, entitled ‘the basics of patriarchy’, denounces the oppression of the islamic veil through works entitled “my hair is mine” and “modest men,” the extremism of islamist group Boko Haram through hashtag #BringBackOurGirls, and against female circumcision and the commodification of women’s bodies.

Shelley Segal is a singer-songwriter involved in secular activism. Her first record, “An Atheist Album” is a passionate response to dogmatic belief, inequality, religious oppression and the idea that only the devout can be grateful and good. The record gives a voice to the often underrepresented views of non-religious people, the fastest growing minority in many countries. It also creates opportunities to discuss issues of secularism with the mainstream media. Her voice has taken her around the world including England, Australia and ten tours of the United States. She has released seven recording projects of her own and runs independent record label True Music where she works with other artists. An award winning songwriter, powerful performer and explicit story-teller, Shelley uses her music not only to express the way she sees the world but to create the world she wants to see.

Zara Kay is a Tanzanian ex-Muslim Atheist Activist, based in Australia. Zara spent most of her childhood in Tanzania and was brought up as a Shia Muslim in the Khoja Shia Ithnasheri Jamaat society. Zara is the founder of Faithless Hijabi, a platform to enable ExMuslim women to share their stories, about their journey from religion to reason. Over time FH expanded to being an advocate for women’s rights, from organising funding to collaborating with teams internationally to ensure women who had left Islam are getting the support they need.

For more information, email m.namazie@ex-muslim.org.uk or visit www.ex-muslim.org.uk.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

CEMB Logo© 2017 - All rights reserved.
UK Atheist Top 5 Blogs
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is a limited by guarantee Company registered in England & Wales.
Registration number 8059509.
Designed with in London

X