Why the ‘Ex’ in Ex-Muslims »« Islam hasn’t been tarnished; humanity has

CEMB is an organisation that must be defended

Dear friend

You may have heard that Indonesian atheist Alex Aan has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison for saying ‘There is no god’ on Facebook. The Council of Ex-Muslims condemns the sentence and demands that Alex be immediately and unconditionally released. He has done nothing wrong. Help us oppose his prison sentence and call for his release by writing letters of protest to the Indonesian authorities.

Alex is one of many.

Just recently, Maldivian blogger Ismail ‘Hilath’ Rasheed was brutally attacked because of his writings and Iranian-German rapper Shahin Najafi was given a death fatwa for rapping about Islam.

For the past 5 years, the Council of Ex-Muslims has played an important role in defending the right to free expression, including the right to criticise religion, whilst supporting ex-Muslims and challenging Islamism and apostasy laws. We’ve also defended the rights of Muslims and others to equality and citizenship rights via the One Law for All campaign we kick started in 2008.

A report by the Islamic regime of Iran confirms our significance by ‘exposing’ founder Maryam Namazie as being ‘noticeable’ for her ‘widespread activities against Islam and the Islamic Republic and in areas such as the defence of women’s rights and refugee rights’, and for being ‘in charge’ of those ‘who are effectively apostates’.

Clearly, the CEMB is an organisation that must be defended.

You can help support us by celebrating our fifth anniversary. Send messages to mark our fifth birthday to exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com. See other messages, including from Taslima Nasrin, Richard Dawkins and Mina Ahadi, here. Donate to help further our work and/or attend our luncheon at an Italian restaurant in London next Saturday 23 June 2012 from 13.00-16.00 hours. Book a place now and join renowned philosopher AC Grayling, writer Gita Sahgal, comedian Kate Smurthwaite, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, DV8 Physical Theatre Director Lloyd Newson, CEMB founder Maryam Namazie, magician Neil Edwards, singer and songwriter Shelley Segal and others. Once you’ve booked a place, you’ll receive further details.

To donate or purchase tickets, send a cheque made payable to CEMB to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX or pay via Paypal or Worldpay. Donations will help ensure the attendance of CEMB volunteers at the 23 June luncheon and help us continue our important work.

Thanks again for your support.

For more information, please contact: Maryam Namazie Spokesperson Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain BM Box 2387 London WC1N 3XX, UK Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731 exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com www.ex-muslim.org.uk

Comments

  1. Rafiq Mahmood says

    It is not actually true that Alex was convicted for saying, “There is no god,” on facebook. I have seen the court papers. The English language media in Indonesia seem keen to promote that line for some reason.

    The reason for his conviction was a link he posted to the Prophet Muhammad Illustrated website in which scenes from the life of the “noble exemplar of mankind” are shown, derived from the text of the Quran and Hadith. Of course, if the real reason for Alex’s conviction actually broke in the West people would want to see what all the fuss was about and Islam would be laughed off the planet.

    See for yourself. This is the English version.

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      In Indonesia the maximum sentence for “blasphemy” is five years:

      A person shall be liable to a maximum term of imprisonment of five years who deliberately and publicly expresses feelings or commits acts: a. which are principally in the nature of being at enmity with, abusive of or desecrating a religion adhered to in Indonesia; b. with the intention to make a person not adopt a religion based on the belief in an almighty god.

      The blasphemy charges were dropped in favour of the more “modern” offence under the Information and Electronic Transactions Act:

      Any person who intentionally and without just cause disseminates information aimed at causing feelings of hatred or hostility either individually or towards groups of people based on ethnicity, religion, race, or between groups.

      Where the penalties are greater:

      Any person who commits the offences referred to in Article 28 paragraph (1) or subsection (2) shall be liable to imprisonment not exceeding six years and/or a fine of not exceeding one billion rupiah (£70,000; $110,000; €87,000).

      Alex was fined 100 million rupiah and put away for two and a half years. Three months will be added to his sentence if he doesn’t pay the fine. The prosecution have appealed the “leniency” of his sentence.

      There are, of course, demands for his execution by the nut-jobs but that would be outside the law as it stands. If someone did try to kill him they would probably only get three to six months in prison (on the basis of the Cikeusik murders of Ahmadis) and Alex, if he survived, would get more time in jail for again stirring up hatred against himself. An Ahmadi victim of the attack in Cikeusik was given more time in prison than any of the attackers on the basis that he provoked the attack by filming what the attackers were doing.

  2. Mike Lee says

    “God is not Great – Religion poisons everything” I love that quote from the late, great Christopher Hitchens who in his many debates showed just how deluding it really is.

  3. Alan Davis says

    I fully support that all should have freedom of expression.

    I strongly oppose the sentence on on Alex Aan by the Indonesian authorities and call for his immediate release.

    Could someone can tell me which authorities I should best send my protest to have maximum effect on behalf of Alex Aan for his immediate release.

    Defending one’s religion needs the courage to listen to things that do you do not agree with.

    Threats on those that do make comments is no way to behave – where is the understanding and tolerance in that.

    What are such religious bodies frighten of – if their followers are faithful and secure – they should not be worried because someone does not agree with their particular religion otherwise it threatens the freedom on their followers to may genuinely want to express any doubts they may harbour.

    Bully boy army tactics can keep people in line against their freedom of Will – But for religious groups to allow themselves to use such tactics demeans any religion.

    Kind regards

    Alan

    making such an ano one and certainly Alex Ann

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      This is a list suggested by Asia Human Rights Commission in their appeal about the case.:

      1. Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudoyono
      President of the Republic of Indonesia
      Jl. Veteran No. 16
      Jakarta Pusat
      INDONESIA
      Tel: +62 21 386 3777, 350 3088
      Fax: +62 21 344 2223

      2. Prof. Harkristuti Harkrisnowo
      Human Rights General Director
      Ministry of Law and Human Rights
      Jl. HR Rasuna Said Kav. C-1 Kuningan
      Jakarta Selatan 12920
      INDONESIA
      Tel: +62 21 252 1344
      Fax: +62 21 45555 5676
      E-mail: info@ham.go.id

      3. Mr. Suryadharma Ali
      Minister of Religion Affairs
      Jl. Lapangan Benteng Barat No. 3-4
      Jakarta 10710
      Fax: +62 21 381 2306
      E-mail: pinmas@kemenag.go.id, dumas@kemenag.go.id

      4. Mr. Ifdhal Kasim
      Chairperson
      KOMNAS HAM (National Human Rights Commission)
      Jl. Latuharhary No. 4B Menteng
      Jakarta Pusat 10310
      INDONESIA
      Tel:+62 21 3925 230
      Fax: +62 21 3151042/3925227
      E-mail: info@komnasham.or.id

      5. Mr. Basrief Arief
      Attorney General
      Jl. Sultan Hassanudin No. 1, Jakarta Selatan 12160
      INDONESIA
      Tel: +62 21 722 1388, 720 3062
      Fax: +62 21 725 1277

    • Rafiq Mahmood says

      Maryam – sorry. I posted a comment with a list of addresses for people to write to. I think there were too many links in it and it is “awaiting moderation”.

      In the meantime a list of addresses is included in the Asian Human Rights Commission’s appeal here.

  4. Bridgit says

    I would just like to mention a little about the enormous sectarian violence that occurs in Islam. The religion was born in violence, as within hours of Mohammeds death murders had taken place. (Btw Mohammed himself was handy with a sword FREQUENTLY). The 2 sects originated amongst family members and clerics vying for power, a normal human behaviour. This grudge has continued in the mother of all family feuds for millenia.They murder each other mercilessly and hate each other more than non muslims and jews. We all know how many people from this part of the world can continue feuds for decades or more and it is a point of high honour for them to take continual revenge.With their ‘first family’ as it were in Mohammeds family held up as an example of maintaining the rage they think its quite acceptable. Every day we hear of new sectarian violence SOMEWHERE. This will continue until the honour of one side or another appears to have been restored. Appalling stupidity and they try to fool non muslims they are a religion of ‘peace’. They are NO such thing and consider violence in causes like this totally necessary.With a sword wielding prophet at the helm we can see the cause. It was something that Jesus would never have considered, in fact he was the exact opposite to give the man his due.In the early years of christianity violence was not a feature at all except for people killing them.They were passive as a major feature of this mans teaching but later on after a few hundred years when the dreaded clerics took over his teachings were greatly distorted. We all know the result. Early christianity also treated women as total equals which was dismantled later as well. The males couldnt have THAT going on now could they? But Jesus considered women totally equal. I dont know why he bothered though, surely he knew man’s true nature?

    • Jim Gregory says

      Well, centuries at least. Christianity and all other organized religions have their share of guilt in promoting death and suffering but Islam is indeed the most foul, evil belief system as you point out. The challenge to Islam is simple- what other religion mass-produces suicide bombers, on the conveyor belt of child indoctrination in the madrassas? And why are the so-called ‘moderate majority’ silent on this and other issues in their abominable ‘Faith’?

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