Category: Resources

The Charity Commission has spent three years investigating the Islamic Education and Research Academy, including its financial mismanagement and extremist speakers and partnerships, which were highlighted in the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s report “Evangelising Hate“.

The recently published Charity Commission inquiry report confirms CEMB’s report by finding that the iERA has indeed been promoting extremist views, including during the period it was under investigation.

Despite this, the Charity Commission has proposed procedural changes and the managing of risk pertaining to “guest speakers” who have all somehow seemingly incited hatred mainly within their “personal capacities”.

The Charity Commission has ignored the fact that the iERA invites hate-filled preachers linked to the Islamist movement because they represent its own position regarding everything from the death penalty for apostates to hatred against Jewish and LGBT people.

As mentioned in our report,  the practical effects of iERA’s “soft Islamism” is a cumulative one in which hatred and dehumanisation are normalised. Their “missionary” activity is not about spirituality, but a wider effort to legitimise theocratic norms.

iERA “guest” preachers have said:

  • Gays deserve to be killed
  • Wife beating and domestic violence are allowed and have divine mandate
  • Women guilty of adultery and other sexual crimes can be stoned to death with crimes against women having divine mandate
  • Ex-Muslims deserve to be killed
  • Jews are “filth”
  • Non-Muslims are inferior
  • Liberal Muslims who oppose iERA’s views are not Muslims
  • Female Genital Mutilation is permissible
  • Democracy and secularism are inferior to rule by Sharia and that multiculturalism is a means to evangelise and impose Islam
  • Jihad is a responsibility of Muslims…

Despite the mountain of evidence, the Charity Commission’s solution is to have them comply with their own (counter) extremism policy and do more risk management! The absurdity of having an extremist organisation comply with its own counter extremism policy seems to have evaded the Charity Commission.

The Charity  Commission should at the very least revoke the iERA’s charitable status. Its work is not for the public benefit, it has a clear political purpose, is against public policy and serves a non-charitable purpose.

For more information, see Leading Islamic charity told by watchdog to distance itself from those who condone ‘violent extremism and acts of terrorism’, The Telegraph, 13 November 2016

For more information, contact:
Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

Blaming the Victims: Islam’s Non Believers

By Marieme Helie Lucas (Algerian sociologist)

Reposted from SIAWI

Also available in French.

For the past three decades, we have been witnessing the implementation in politics of the concept of perversity in psychology. Case study, truly.

I first realized that during the ‘dark decade’ in Algeria, which made about 200,000 victims, most of them at the hands of armed fundamentalist groups – with women constituting a large proportion of the victims.

Following an inexorable process, these are the steps being taken by fundamentalists:

targeted assassinations at the beginning of the 9Os of individuals branded miscreants ( kofr), who were just democrats like you and me, i.e. those standing for a democratic system as opposed to a theocratic one. May I remind us all that in 1991, i.e. before the electoral process was even started and therefore before elections were cancelled by the government, Ali Belhadj, the then vice-president of FIS (Islamic Salvation Front) stated in front of the international press that: ‘ If we have the law of God, why should we need the law of the people: one should kill all these unbelievers’.

assassinations of broad categories of people in the mid 90s: journalists, intellectuals, artists, foreigners, women, etc.. ; the targeting of each category of people was announced in advance in the fundamentalists’ printed media in the UK and crimes were later claimed in the same media through ‘communiqués’ signed by GIA ( Islamic Armed Group).

extermination of entire villages branded miscreant, towards the end of the decade: that meant the simultaneous eradication of up to twenty members of the same family in one go.

Now guess what happened? It was their victims, i.e. the Algerian democrats, the antifascist, antifundamentalist Algerians, who never took arms against their executioners but only their pen, that the Left and human rights organisations vilified and branded ‘eradicators’!

I cannot even start telling you how one experiences a sense of madness when responsibilities are turned upside down in such a way; one feels like the raped girl, the battered woman, the child being caned who have been told by judges, police, families and media alike, over such a long period of time in history, that they were the ones truly responsible for sexual attacks, domestic violence and physical punishment in ‘education’; and that it was their own behaviour (how libertarian indeed ! just being able to exist in the public space, to express an opinion, in short just enjoying one’s fundamental human rights!) which ‘induced’ these ‘responses’ – which were thus seen as legitimate.

Yes, we do have an already quite long experience of perversity, which magically turns the victim into the abuser and blames her for the crimes that are committed against her.

Some days ago, a film by Deeyah Khan, ‘Islam’s Non-Believers’, which showed the fate of atheists in Muslim-majority countries, pointed at the growing number of young people who, at risk of their lives, declare themselves atheists – one of the most important phenomenon in this decade, although the European media failed to give it the importance it deserves – and the organisations who help them. The film gave the floor to young atheists and underlined the work done by the Council of Ex-Muslims that has popped up in many places in Muslim-majority countries and in the diaspora. It especially showed the work done by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain with its formidable organizer Maryam Namazie.

It does not come as a surprise that this film sparked protest from Muslim fundamentalists and that their views were propagated and circulated all around, on the web and in the papers. One could expect such a backlash. They argued as usual that denouncing those who call for the murder of atheists in public statements that are available on the web is an attempt to malign them by ‘mis-interpreting what they say’; it is equated with attacking Islam itself, i.e. being a miscreant, a kofr who therefore deserves death penalty! Quite clear… These are truly threats addressed to anyone involved in the film, from the director to the youth being interviewed in the film and up to their support organisations.

What do these young people say, in fact? That when they stopped believing in the faith they were born and raised into, an often long and painful process that generally starts at teenage years, they were drowning into a horrendous moral and emotional solitude; and that long before having to cope with a very grounded fear of being slaughtered for their opinion, they endured years of agony while facing the prospect of family rejection and being ostracised socially.

In Algiers where I grew up and where there were after independence (1962) scores of really a-religious youth – if not declared atheists – how many have I seen who were truly terrorized at the idea that their mother could find out that they did not observe the fast during Ramadan! Who, amongst high ranked civil servants, dared open the canteens during the fasting period in state-owned plants? (The response is: only one in the whole of Algeria, in the national steel sector.) How then to be surprised when 50 years later, whilst reaction, the extreme-right and fundamentalism flourish worldwide, bloggers are assassinated in Bangladesh or libertarian writers in Egypt or India or elsewhere?

Director Deeyah Khan reviews the recent cases of atheists’ murders in Bangladesh so that one can better understand the fear that is gripping young atheists, even those who took refuge in the UK, as several of them hid their faces while testifying in the film, for fear of reprisal.

Yes, fear, today, in the UK, in London – fear of being physically attacked, of being assassinated. Is this fear so unfounded? I am afraid it is not unfounded: there are several journalists of Algerian origin, experts on Muslim fundamentalism, who have been living for years under police protection in Paris, or a director and actress of Algerian origin whose attackers attempted to burn her alive in broad daylight, in the street adjacent to the theatre where she was about to act in her play: ‘ I am 30 and I still hide when I smoke’… It never stopped since the Rushdie affair…

Muslim fundamentalists who presently raise their voices against the film ‘Islam’s Non-Believers’ are preparing the ground so that the eventual brutal ‘responses’ they threaten young atheists with will be already considered as legitimate by those who should be our allies, namely organisations of the Left and human rights: after all, if they ‘insult’ Islam, and if ‘Muslims’ feel offended…

One remembers Charlie…

Just imagine for one second that Christian fundamentalists call for the murder of atheists in Europe on a regular basis, for the reason that Christianity is being insulted by their absence of faith… One would be back to the times of Chevalier de la Barre, who himself was so young a man when he was tortured and executed for exactly the same reasons of ex-Muslims today. Would this be tolerated by the Left and human rights organisations, if it were Christian fundamentalists doing that? I doubt it. Then why this special treatment, this tolerance which only covers up for an unconscious racism, in the wake of such violations of the right to freedom of conscience and freedom of expression, including in the heart of Europe, – when it comes to Islam?

We know why and there is no reason to come back to it – but we do not consider these reasons acceptable. No, it is not an insult to Islam, or to Christianity, nor to any other religion, if an individual states in public that s/he does not believe any longer in their god. It is exercising a fundamental right, a right that is upheld under international human rights laws. Those who impede, or forcibly prevent exercising this right, or inflict ‘punishment’ on whoever is exercising it, those are the ones who commit a crime. Not those exercising their right. In this day and age, reaffirming it is not totally useless.

Omer El-Hamdoon and Discrimination against Ex-Muslims

In Deeyah Khan’s film, Islam’s Non Believers, Omer El-Hamdoon, President of the Muslim Association of Britain (MAB), justifies the discrimination and ostracisation against ex-Muslims in Britain and portrays Islam’s nonbelievers are ‘outside the human norms’:

Here is a quote from the film:

Omer El-Hamdoon: The Muslim community is a community that is based on religion. So if a person chooses to stop being a Muslim they can’t really expect that the Muslim community is still gonna say to them you are part of our community

Deeyah: Why not?

Omer El-Hamdoon: Because you left Islam, you’ve left the religion. Families do need to try to resolve their issues by sitting together, talking together about matters, but I do understand that you know, if a family holds religion very deep to their heart, that when they see one of their family members has left religion, they feel a sense of betrayal. And obviously a lot of people will just say, look I can’t deal with this, so I just shun that member out, because he’s betrayed me.

Islam does put a big emphasis on faith, sometimes somebody might have to reject something or a certain person because of their attitude towards faith, that can happen.

Deeyah: Would you do that? Do you have children?

Omer El-Hamdoon: Yes, I have children.

Deeyah: Would you reject your children?

Omer El-Hamdoon: I wouldn’t reject my child, my approach would be to sit with them and discuss with them, no I wouldn’t shun them off but I suppose they would expect that things aren’t the same, if a child goes against your say general plan, expectation. If they go against you, you might feel, ok you are still my son, daughter, but I wasn’t expecting that off you.

El Hamdoon: That’s normal perspective, in the eyes of religion you have done something wrong, because religion expects you to stay religious and you’re saying I don’t want to be religious, so of course they are going to say to you, you are no longer favourable in our eyes. Doesn’t mean we discriminate against you, doesn’t mean we treat you badly or incite hatred or violence or whatever, or abduct you or force marry you or whatever,

Deeyah: People do that.

El Hamdoon: They do that and that’s wrong, we have to reject that. How we treat people is the same, we don’t discriminate but our love cannot be the same, it’s just human behaviour. Islam is a pragmatic religion, it doesn’t expect people to behave outside the human norms.’

Whilst clearly defending discrimination against ex-Muslims, El Hamdoon says no-one is compelled to be a Muslim and that people can leave of their own free will and shouldn’t be punished.

When asked on Twitter whether he supported the death penalty for apostasy in an ideal Islamic state, he refused to give a straight answer (see below).

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My Ordeal with the Quran, By Abbas Abdul Noor

Brief abstract: This is the first English translation (by Hassan Radwan) of the book, “My Ordeal with the Quran Complete Full Version.” By Abbas Abdul Noor. The book has been in available Arabic on the internet for about ten years in PDF form. The first page identifies the text as a draft copy, indicating that it was not finalised for printing and it appears the book was refused publication in Egypt and other Arab countries, which is not unexpected given the difficulty of publishing critical commentary on the Qurʾān in such regions.  Beneath the words “Draft Copy,” it says: “Damanhur, Arab Republic of Egypt, 2004.” Apart from the biographical details given by the book itself, little is known about its author. The text identifies the author by the name “Abbas Abdul Noor.”  However it seems likely that this name is an alias used to conceal the author’s identity due to fear of repercussions from publishing such a forthright analysis.

Apostasy and Blasphemy are basic Human Rights

In 2016, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain will continue to highlight the cases of those languishing in prisons or on death row for apostasy or blasphemy, including:

Abdulaziz Dauda, also known as Abdul  Inyass, an Islamic scholar sentenced to death in Nigeria for blasphemy for a lecture which was deemed to be blasphemous against Islam’s prophet. He was also jailed for 3 years for inciting public disturbance.

Ashraf Fayadh, a Palestinian poet and artist who lives in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to death for ‘apostasy’ for his poetry which the regime claims has questioned religion and spread atheism.

Hesameddin Farzizadeh, 23 year old writer and student who has been sentenced to 7 years in prison, 74 lashes and the death penalty for apostasy in Iran for his book examining the history and questioning facets of Shi’a Islam.

Islam Behery, Egyptian TV host was sentenced to prison for “contempt of religion.”

Mohamed Cheikh Ould, Mauritanian activist and blogger sentenced to death for apostasy for an article he wrote, which the court found was critical of Islam and Islam’s prophet.

Raif Badawi, Saudi secular blogger and founder of a liberal website sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1000 lashes for apostasy for raising questions about religion and politics.

27 Sudanese Muslims from the Qurani sect, charged with apostasy and disturbing the public peace according to article 126, section 2 of the Sudanese criminal law for considering the Quran holy but believing that the Hadith, sayings and actions of Mohammad, Islam’s prophet, are not authentic.

Waleed Abu Al Khair, Saudi human rights lawyer (including for his brother-in-law Raif Badawi) was found guilty by a special counter-terrorism court of, among other charges, insulting the judiciary, disobeying the ruler, and harming the reputation of the Kingdom. He was offered a reduced sentence of 10 years if he apologized for his “offences”, but when he refused an appeal judge ordered him to serve the full term…

CEMB reiterates its call for the release of apostates and blasphemers across the globe. Apostasy and blasphemy are not crimes but basic human rights as are interpreting, mocking, criticising, and renouncing Islam openly and freely.

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