October 25, 2007
Imagine a woman – let’s call her Beth – who has been an unthinking atheist all her life, just because her family and her friends are, too. One day, she decides to convert to Islam. As soon as she dons the hijab, her neighbours start to swear and spit at her in the street. A brick is thrown through her window; while she is sleeping, her car is torched. When she speaks out publicly, the death threats come. She is a “whore” who will be “raped to death”. All the other converts to Islam are receiving the same threats. Some...
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October 20, 2007
Iranian Dissident Wins Secularist of The Year Prize A woman who has spent her life opposing the mistreatment of women by the Iranian clerical regime has been awarded the £5,000 prize for Secularist of the Year by the National Secular Society. Mina Ahadi, an Iranian exile now living in Germany, was presented with the prize in London on Saturday (20 October). In his statement honouring Mina Ahadi, Professor Richard Dawkins said: “I have long felt that the key to solving the worldwide menace of Islamic terrorism and oppression would eventually be the awakening of women, and Mina Ahadi is a...
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September 20, 2007
A New Brand of Nonbelievers In a Divided Europe, Ex-Muslims Want to Be Heard By CHRISTINE BROUWER, LONDON, Sept. 17, 2007 As the debate in Western Europe about radical Islam heats up, a new and unlikely group of people are adding their voice to the discussion They call themselves “ex-Muslims.” Raised as Muslims but having renounced their religion, this new brand of nonbelievers say they aim to make the rejection of Islam an acceptable topic for public debate and to confront threats of violence they say are associated with leaving the faith. “We want to support people who want to...
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September 15, 2007
In Europe and U.S., Nonbelievers Are Increasingly Vocal By Mary Jordan Washington Post Foreign Service Saturday, September 15, 2007; Page A01 BURGESS HILL, England — Every morning on his walk to work, high school teacher Graham Wright recited a favorite Anglican prayer and asked God for strength in the day ahead. Then two years ago, he just stopped. Wright, 59, said he was overwhelmed by a feeling that religion had become a negative influence in his life and the world. Although he once considered becoming an Anglican vicar, he suddenly found that religion represented nothing he believed in, from Muslim...
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September 12, 2007
Ex-Muslims Demand Right to Renounce Islamic Faith Controversially, 9/11 was chosen as the date to sign the “European Declaration for Tolerance.” It aims to draw attention to what the former Muslims see as the lack of freedom of religion within Islam.   Former Muslims from several European countries signed the declaration in the Hague on the sixth anniversary of the terror attacks in the United States Tuesday. Other signatories included many well-known Dutch politicians, authors and journalists. The date of the declaration, Sept.11, was symbolically chosen in order to condemn the terror and intolerance perpetuated by radical Islamic militants, though...
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September 12, 2007
`Freethinkers’ strive to help ex-Muslims AP, AMSTERDAM Wednesday, Sep 12, 2007, Page 6 Ehsan Jami knew he was making himself a target for radical Islamists when he decided to launch a Dutch organization for Muslims who renounce their religion. Five months and three physical assaults later, his “Committee for Ex-Muslims” was to be launched yesterday, joining similar groups that have sprung up around Europe. These groups hope to add a new voice to the debate about — and within — Europe’s Muslim communities, presenting themselves as diametrically different to the disenchanted and sometimes violent youth who grab headlines, or to...
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September 11, 2007
European “ex-Muslims” demand right to leave Islam By Alexandra Hudson THE HAGUE (Reuters) – A Dutch-Iranian launched a campaign on Tuesday for Muslims to have the right to renounce their faith, a view which has triggered three physical attacks on the 22-year-old. Ehsan Jami’s group has stirred intense interest in the Netherlands, which has one million Muslims, and has reignited a highly emotive debate about Islam. “There are five sharia schools in Islam which say if you leave Islam you must be killed,” Jami, 22, told Reuters in an interview while bodyguards stood watch at the door. Apostasy is punishable...
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September 11, 2007
Muslims who renounce their faith band together in European countries The Associated Press Monday, September 10, 2007 AMSTERDAM, Netherlands: Leaders of “ex-Muslim” groups from several European countries signed a declaration of “Principles of Tolerance” Tuesday, hoping to counter Islamic radicalism and support Muslims too afraid to openly renounce their religion. Groups of secular Muslims have sprung up in the past year in Germany, Britain and the Scandinavian countries; there are plans to launch a group in the United States as well. Tuesday marked the formal launch of the Dutch group. Though membership is limited to several hundred people, they hope...
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September 11, 2007
By Toby Sterling, Associated Press AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Ehsan Jami knew he was making himself a target for radical Islamists when he decided to launch a Dutch organization for Muslims who renounce their religion. Five months and three physical assaults later, his “Committee for Ex-Muslims” is being launched Tuesday, joining similar groups that have sprung up around Europe. These groups hope to add a new voice to the debate about — and within — Europe’s Muslim communities, presenting themselves as diametrically different to the disenchanted and sometimes violent youth who grab headlines, or to immigrants who live cloistered among their...
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September 11, 2007
September 11, 2007 (RFE/RL) — Some call them apostates, but they prefer the term ex-Muslims. Today marked the official launch of the Dutch Ex-Muslim Committee, the latest such group to emerge in Europe. The groups say they want to make it easier for people to renounce Islam — and draw attention to places where leaving the faith is punishable by death. The new group is headed by Ehsan Jami, a 22-year-old Dutch politician of Iranian origin. The group’s creation follows the launch this spring of a German council for former Muslims. Other groups soon followed suit in Scandinavia, and in...
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