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Sep 13 2012

Urgent Action: Islam: The Untold Story must not be cancelled

Dear friend

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain would like to make public its support for Tom Holland’s Channel 4 documentary ‘Islam: The Untold Story’. We are indignant to learn that due to threats made on Holland, Channel 4 has cancelled a repeat screening of the historical inquiry into the origins of Islam similar to the kind of inquiry that has been applied to other religions and histories in Britain for many years.

The threats and concerted attempt to stigmatise the documentary and its producers by attacking its credibility and even legitimacy as a field of inquiry is nothing less than an attempt to impose a blasphemy taboo by stealth and coercion against programming that scrutinises Islam.

Caving in to the coercive pressure of Islamists will have catastrophic effects on free inquiry and expression where it pertains to Islam. It would not only further silence academic, historical and theological scrutiny of Islam but would also have the chilling effect of exerting added pressure on Muslims and ex-Muslims who wish to dissent from and question Islam.

CEMB spokesperson Maryam Namazie says:

“Here’s my question to Channel 4: what about the threats on our lives for being apostates, ex-Muslims, atheists, freethinkers, secularists, 21st century human beings?

“What part of our thoughts, lives, and bodies do you recommend we cancel to appease the Islamists?

“If only there was such an ‘easy’ ‘solution’ for those who are languishing under Islam’s rules.

“You may accept censorship and cowardly silence in the face of Islamist threats and intimidation but we cannot afford to do so. And we never will.”

The CEMB urges you to view the documentary (also available on Youtube and on liveleak) and write to Channel 4 and Ofcom (contact information below) calling for a repeat screening.

We look forward to your support.

NOTES:

1.  If you’d like to donate to our work, please send a cheque made payable to CEMB to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK or give via Worldpay or Paypal.

2. If you’d like to join a new coffee morning for ex-Muslim women, please email the CEMB at [email protected].

3. See Maryam Namazie’s speech at the 5th anniversary celebration of the CEMB.

4. Join the active CEMB forum.

5. Addresses for Channel 4 and Ofcom:

Lord Burns, Channel 4 Chairperson
Channel 4 Television Corporation
124 Horseferry Road
London SW1P 2TX

Avi Grewal, Programme Coordinator, Arts & Religion
[email protected]

Mark Raphael, Emma Cooper, Lina Prestwood, Anna Miralis, Commissioning Editors, Documentaries
[email protected]

Ed Richards, Chief Executive of Ofcom
Riverside House
2a Southwark Bridge Road
London SE1 9HA
[email protected]

6. For further information contact:

Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919
London WC1N 3XX
telephone: +44(0)7719166731
e-mail: [email protected]
website: www.ex-muslim.org.uk

17 comments

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  1. 1
    Sudsie

    This documentary should not be cancelled. This is suppression of Free Speech and Inquiry. Can the people running Channel 4 not stand up to the threat living in a country like England? How about showing some solidarity with the apostates who are fighting tooth and nail against freedom of expression and speech. What a bunch of cowards!!

  2. 2
    rafiqmahmood

    It is a pity that neither the Channel 4 nor YouTube versions are available to view outside the UK. This is understandable for rights reasons but regrettable nonetheless. Is there any way, legitimately, to purchase it so that I can view it here in Indonesia?

    I do know that there has been sound scholarly work done on the origins of Islam which concur with the statements on the Channel 4 website. It is a terrible thing indeed that academic discourse should be allowed to be stifled. There is a weird time bubble on this planet with a substantial part of the population living somewhere between three hundred and a thousand years behind the rest of us. This instability cannot persist for long and when he bubble finally bursts it will be cataclysmic.

    1. 2.1
      Gabriel Rosa

      Try this link: http://youtu.be/MZuNNkojDYg

      1. rafiqmahmood

        No, that is Rageh Omar’s Islamic History of Europe on BBC Four, even though the YouTube is billed as Islam the Untold Story by Tom Holland. YouTube seems to be full of clips against the Tom Holland film and this is just another diversion posted up.

        Pity.

        1. Gabriel Rosa

          I’m sorry about the wrong link. Since I haven’t seen the Tom Holland film yet, I was misled by the wrong YT title.

    2. 2.2
      chlorine

      its pretty easy, you can find it from indonesia at vimeo or mrctv.org

      it barely touch the subject, but it raised important question yet to be answered by muslim scholar.

  3. 3
    ...

    I’m on it.

  4. 4
    Mehran Mahbobi

    Lets make this a public movement. That is only needed act against this Islamic barbarism! The
    start for such a solution would be focused on Iran. Just when “Islamic world” was burning yesterday about the mkvie made in californja Iranjan youth were reducluding jafar sadegh ceremony in Iran yesterday! Tbe regime had few in a square gathered for this ceremony people gathered around them andaght and mame joke of them and many discuss about hiw stupid they can be!
    So, focus on Iran in trying to make campaign like this public!

  5. 5
    No Light

    It’s listed on the EPG of my PVR for tonight or tomorrow night.

    I recorded the first airing, but I’ve added the repeat to the schedule to see what happens.

    It wasn’t listed on Monday, prior to the switchover, but retuning to the new frequencies revealed it.

    1. 5.1
      rafiqmahmood

      Que?

  6. 6
    Steve Caldwell

    Maryam,

    For folks outside the UK, the YouTube option will not work for Channel 4 shows.

    A US organization called Media Research Center (a conservative content analysis organization based in Alexandria, Virginia, founded in 1987 by conservative activist L. Brent Bozell III) has the show on their web site:

    http://mrctv.org/videos/islam-untold-story

  7. 7
    No Light

    We are indignant to learn that due to threats made on Holland, Channel 4 has cancelled a repeat screening of the historical inquiry into the origins of Islam

    It aired tonight. I sat and watched it. It wasn’t cancelled.

    1. 7.1
      Maryam Namazie

      That’s great. Channel 4 itself said it was cancelling. I can’t see anywhere in the news that it was aired despite their initial decision. If you find a link can you post it please?

      1. No Light

        Here are the C4 listings. Scroll down to 01:05. -

        http://www.channel4.com/tv-listings/daily/2012/09/13

        Here’s the Grauniad version -

        http://tvlistings.guardian.co.uk/text-only/?c=channel-4

        (their listings start at midnight, rather than including very early morning stuff in the previous night’s programming)

        Like I mentioned in my original comment, it just appeared back on my digibox electronic programme guide after I rescanned the channels, ready for the switchover.

        I haven’t seen any announcements or news about it, so they must have just sneaked it out and, I dunno, assumed fundamental Muslims would have been asleep!

  8. 8
    rafiqmahmood

    Many thanks, Steve. That is great.

    I am please the repeat was not cancelled. The folks in charge at Channel 4 have some balls after all (I bet they are women).

  9. 9
    Zme

    I watched “Islam: The Untold Story” last night. The best I can say is that it was, hmmmm, OK. Too much time was spent oohing and ahing at mosquesand other religious wonders, too much deference was paid to the Islamic scholar and the desert nomads.

    The information imparted could have packed into a 30 minute programme.

    What I’d like to see is a BBC (not channel 4) production of an updated “Bible Unearthed” (Silberman and Finkelstein).

  10. 10
    Sajid

    youtu.be/aAMX3ecS6Kc

    The Jinn And Tonic Show tomorrow will have Tom Holland as a guest – the producer of the Channel 4 documentary “Islam – The untold story” and author of “In the shadow of the sword.” It is possible to watch the show live on BlogTV (link on the video) and if you wish you may also call in to the show with Skype.

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