Countless individuals accused of apostasy and blasphemy face threats, imprisonment, and execution. Blasphemy laws in over 30 countries and apostasy laws in over 20 aim primarily to restrict thought, expression and the rights of Muslims, ex-Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
On 14 March 2013, we, the undersigned, call for an international day of action to defend apostates and blasphemers worldwide by highlighting ten cases though there are countless more.
Ahmad Rajib, Bangladesh: The well-known 35 year old atheist blogger had his head hacked apart with a machete one day after attending anti-Islamist protests in Bangladesh.
We urge the public to mark this day by taking action in support of the many women, men and even children languishing in prison or on death row.
We must never forget them.
Take action on 14 March to highlight this intolerable situation, including by Tweeting, signing a petition, writing a letter of protest, drawing a picture, taking a photo, making a video – anything at all to defend free expression and thought and the many whose lives are at stake.
Mina Ahadi, International Committee against Stoning and Execution, Germany
Nazanin Afshin-Jam, President and co founder, Stop Child Executions, Canada
Sue Cox, Survivors Voice Europe, UK
Richard Dawkins, Scientist and Atheist, UK
Carlos A. Diaz, President, Atheist Alliance International, Argentina
Michael De Dora, U.N. Representative, Center for Inquiry, USA
Sonja Eggerickx, President, International Humanist and Ethical Union, Belgium
Sundas Hoorain, Human Rights Lawyer, Pakistan
Sikivu Hutchinson , Editor, blackfemlens.org, USA
Darina al Joundi, Writer and Actress, France
Harold Walter Kroto, 1996 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, USA
Ronald Lindsay, President, Centre For Inquiry, USA
Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism Is A Women’s Issue, France
Houzan Mahmoud, International Representative, Organisaiton of Women’s Freedom in Iraq, UK
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, One Law for All and Equal Rights Now, UK
David Nicholls, President, Atheist Foundation of Australia, Australia
Michael Nugent, Chair, Atheist Ireland, Ireland
Fariborz Pooya, Iran Secular Society, UK
Anthony B Pinn, Academic, USA
Gita Sahgal, Centre for Secular Space, UK
Terry Sanderson, President, National Secular Society, UK
Nina Sankari, President, European Feminist Initiative, Poland
Sohaila Sharifi, Women’s Rights Campaigner, UK
Esam Shoukry, Organization for Secularism and Civil Right in Iraq, Canada
Annie Sugier, President, Ligue du Droit International des Femmes, France
Jacek Tabisz, President, Polish Rationalist Society, Poland
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner, UK
Ibn Warraq, Writer, USA
(Please add your name or action in the comments section on the CEMB website and the list will be updated with your details on a regular basis until 15 March 2013.)
1. Join the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain at its upcoming events. On 15 March, there is a Muslimish launch in Chicago; evening drinks with Sudanese atheist Nahla Mahmoud on 22 March in London; 24 March Nowrooz Party in Manchester; and a meet-up for apostate refugees and asylum seekers on 26 March in London. Find out more here.
2. See the CEMB’s latest statement against sex segregation at an Islamist-organised event at UCL. The university banned the group IERA from holding future events on its premises. More information is available here.
4. See the latest media coverage, including a piece in the Washington Post about Muslimish and Maryam’s interview with the Thinking Atheist.
5. To donate to the important work of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, click here.
6. For more information:
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 8059509.