September 30, 2019
A quarter of the world’s countries and territories (26%) have anti-blasphemy laws or policies, and more than one-in-ten (13%) countries have laws or policies penalizing apostasy. According to Pew research, laws restricting apostasy and blasphemy are most common in the Middle East and North Africa, where 18 of the region’s 20 countries (90%) criminalize blasphemy and 14 (70%) criminalize apostasy. While apostasy laws exist in two other regions of the world – Asia-Pacific and sub-Saharan Africa – blasphemy laws can be found in all regions, including Europe (in 16% of countries) and the Americas (29%). The 14 countries that have...
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September 16, 2019
The epic ‘Celebrating Dissent’ Festival took place between 30 August -1 September in Amsterdam, a collaboration between the prestigious art and debate institute De Balie and Maryam Namazie. Consisting of a mixture of intense, probing conversations, comedy, art, poetry and dance performances, films, lectures and protest, the weekend was an education in the issues facing dissenters fighting religious constraints and the religious-Right. The work of ex-Muslims and women campaigners was particularly evident. More than 50 speakers from 30 countries worldwide discussed Women’s Dissent; Touching the Holy Subject; Comedy, the Sacred and Islamophobia; Separation of Religion from the State; Women against...
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September 16, 2019
Mohamed Rusthum Mujuthaba was arrested by police in the Maldives earlier this week on charges of “insulting Islam” on social media. @RusthumRussso Tweeted police raising the alarm on multiple death threats against him; instead he was arrested and taken into custody. No further information has been given by the police and his place of detention is unknown. No lawyers have agreed to represent him so far and according to local sources, lawyers are reluctant to do so especially in light of several murders by Islamists, including of journalists and bloggers. We, the undersigned, condemn his arrest and demand his immediate...
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September 15, 2019
The latest story about a brutal honour killing in Palestine feels poignant not just because of how harrowing the murder was, but because Israa Ghrayeb, the victim, could have been any one of us.  By Hana Chelache and Momin Taha  Israa Ghrayeb (also referred to as Israa Ghareeb or Esraa Ghareeb) was a 21 year old Palestinian woman from Bethlehem who had a lot going for her. She was a talented makeup artist with a large following on social media and was also engaged to be married. People who knew her have described her as hardworking, sweet and beautiful. Sadly,...
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September 12, 2019 Atheist Ireland
Atheist Ireland has today published a set of free lesson plans about atheism for children aged 8 and up. Schools and teachers can use the lesson plans during the school year, at whatever class level they feel is best. Parents can also use the lesson plans directly. They can discuss them one-to-one with their child, or let their child use them at school if they have opted them out of religion class. We do not want children to believe anything in these lessons, or in the book, simply because we say so. Like anybody else, we might be mistaken about...
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September 12, 2019
Media Coverage of #CelebratingDissent Festival at De Balie, Amsterdam during 30 August -1 September 2019 Celebrating Dissent festival, Humanistisch Verbond, 11 September 2019 Stand with the witches, heretics and blasphemers, Interview with Maryam Namazie, sister-hood, 10 September 2019 No Longer Without You Review, sister-hood, 10 September 2019 Celebrating Dissent – reflections after the festival, Humanisterna, 7 September 2019 Rishvin Ismath on the ISIS-attack on his life, turning away from religion and the great personal cost of his activism, Art 19, 6 September 2019 Women at the front, sister-hood, 4 September 2019 Celebrating Dissent Event Coverage, Amber Journals, 3 September 2019...
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September 12, 2019
Photos of Celebrating Dissent Festival at De Balie in Amsterdam during 30 August – 1 September by Jan Boeve / De Balie, Jenny Wenhammar and personal photos from social media.                                                   
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September 10, 2019
 Stand with the witches, heretics and blasphemers, Interview with Maryam Namazie, sister-hood, 10 September 2019 Maryam Namazie is an Iranian-born writer and activist. She is the Spokesperson for Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She hosts a weekly television programme in Persian and English called Bread and Roses. sister-hood interviewed her after the ‘Celebrating Dissent’ event she co-organised with the DeBalie venue in Amsterdam. PART 1 and PART 2 What does the Council of Ex-Muslims do, and why is it necessary? CEMB defends the rights of those who leave...
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August 6, 2019
Celebrating Dissent Festival during August 31 – September 1 in Amsterdam at De Balie will be a huge and historic event with nearly 50 contributors from 30 countries worldwide coming together to celebrate freedom through theatre, talks, poetry, film and stand-up comedy. The festival Celebrating Dissent honours freedom: freedom to think differently, freedom not to believe and freedom to be yourself. 31 AUGUST 2019 11:00: A Conversation on Women’s Dissent with Inna Shevchenko, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasrin and Zineb El Razoui. Music by Shelley Segal. Protest Art by Victoria Guggenheim. 14:00: Touching the Holy Subject with Nadia El Fani, Rishvin...
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July 28, 2019
On 15 July, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) wrote to the newspaper Het Parool to ask for a right to reply to a piece by Dino Suhonic, director of Maruf platform for queer Muslims in the Netherlands where a number of intentionally false statements were made about the CEMB and our fight for LGBT rights of Muslims and ex-Muslims as well as the rights to apostasy and blasphemy at Pride in London. CEMB urged the publication to rectify the falsities. Suhonic clearly has a right to criticise our organisation and work but the use of false statements to ‘prove’...
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