August 3, 2017
Open Letter to Pride: Defend the Council of Ex-Muslims East London mosque has history of hosting homophobic hate preachers Dear Pride in London and Community Advisory Board, I write as one of the co-organisers of the UK’s first LGBT Pride in 1972, as a Patron of Pride in London and as a human rights campaigner for the last 50 years: I understand that complaints have been made against the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) by the East London mosque and others. The claim is that the CEMB’s placards at this year’s Pride parade on 8 July were “Islamophobic”. They...
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July 28, 2017
28 July 2017 Michael Salter-Church Alison Camps Co-Chairs – Pride in London Dear Michael Salter-Church and Alison Camps Thank you for your letter dated 21 July addressed to CEMB’s Pride Organiser. The crux of the issue, which you have failed to recognise, is this: Pride in London has taken complaints against the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) by the likes of the East London Mosque – a centre of homophobia – seriously because of a cultural relativism and tone policing that is only applicable to critics of Islam and never critics of Christianity. Moreover, complaints have been given credence...
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July 28, 2017
Response to East London Mosque Statement dated 20th July 2017 and Muslim Council of Britain Statement, dated 26 July 2017 The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) represents former Muslims who are from Muslim-majority countries or diaspora communities. Frequently, these are refugees seeking asylum as they are being persecuted for leaving Islam or for being LGBT. We are committed to calling out oppressive narratives, racism and anti-Muslim hate and homophobia – all of which directly impact our members. Ironically, CEMB’s presence at Pride in London has been labelled ‘Islamophobic’ by the East London Mosque (ELM), a word we reject as...
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July 25, 2017
The International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression, the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history, was held during 22-24 July 2017 in London. Over 70 notable speakers from 30 countries or the Diaspora gathered in what was dubbed “The Glastonbury of Freethinkers” and “a Conference of Heroes” to honour dissenters and defend apostasy, blasphemy, and secularism. The sold-out conference highlighted the voices of those on the frontlines of resistance – many of them persecuted and exiled – and included the first London film screening of Deeyah Khan’s film, Islam’s Non Believers, a public art protest of 99 balloons representing...
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July 14, 2017
By Maryam Namazie, CEMB Spokesperson East London mosque has filed a formal complaint regarding the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s presence in Pride in London and stated that our placards, including “East London mosque incites murder of LGBT” were “inciting hatred against Muslims” and that the mosque had a “track record for challenging homophobia in East London”. In fact, though, the very reason CEMB was at Pride was to combat hate and to highlight the 14 states under Islamic rule that kill gay men (15 if we include Daesh-held territories). We included placards on the East London mosque to bring attention...
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July 12, 2017
Dear Mr Wrack, FBU General Secretary, It has been drawn to our attention that Ms Lucy Masoud, treasurer of the Fire Brigades Union in London, has written a blog on The FBU website stating that the presence of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) at Pride was “hate on display” and that the group is “islamophobic”.  CEMB has responded to the post and would like to know whether this is the FBU’s official position. As we have mentioned in our response to Ms Masoud, there is a clear distinction between criticism of religion and the religious-Right versus bigotry against people....
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July 12, 2017
Lucy Masoud, treasurer of the Fire Brigades Union in London, has written a blog on The FBU website saying the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB)‘s presence at Pride was “hate on display” and that the group is “Islamophobic” and “carried offensive signs such as ‘F**K Islam’ and ‘East London Mosque Incites Murder of Homosexuals’”. She added that members were “offended” by CEMB, that CEMB was “sinister” and that when she confronted our group, “they admitted they had never been Muslim”. Masoud added: “Pride is meant to be about acceptance and love, not hate. Most LGBT people have experienced hate...
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July 10, 2017
Read this letter online. Dear friend EX-MUSLIMS OUT AND PROUD IN PRIDE LONDON CEMB was at Pride London in full force on 8 July highlighting the plight of LGBT in countries under Islamic rule where it is punishable with the death penalty, with topless activists body-painted by the award-winning Victoria Gugenheim. The march went ahead as planned, though police initially tried to remove placards with the slogan “Allah is Gay” because of complaints of “offence”. Whilst a few were not pleased to see apostates there, we were met with overwhelming and heart-warming support and solidarity. For all of those who...
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July 10, 2017
On 8 July, CEMB was at Pride in London in full force highlighting the plight of LGBT in countries under Islamic rule with bodypainting by the award-winning Victoria Gugenheim. The march went ahead as planned, though police initially tried to remove placards with the slogan “Allah is Gay” because of complaints of “offence”. Whilst a few were not pleased to see apostates in Pride, we were met with overwhelming and heart-warming support and solidarity. For all of those who participated, it was an unforgettable moment in the struggle for freedom of conscience, expression and the fight for LGBT rights in...
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July 5, 2017
In Toronto LGBT Iranians were branded as ‘Islamophobes’, The Freethinker, 5 July 2017 At Toronto Pride on June 25 some ‘anti-fascists’ surrounded Iranian refugees and LGBTQ activists and absurdly chanted ‘No Hate at Pride’ – as if defending LGBTQ people in Iran or countries under Islamic rule is ‘hateful’. Police intervention ensured that they weren’t able to stop the Iranians from joining Pride as the video below shows. The irony of “anti-fascist” activists accusing an Iranian holding a sign saying “I am Muslim and condemn the persecution of LGBTQ+ in Islamic countries” of “Islamophobia” was clearly lost on them. It’s...
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