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Jul 08 2013

Successful launch of Council of Ex-Muslims of France

The Council of Ex-Muslims of France held a successful launch in Paris hosted by Femmes Solidaires on 6 July 2013.

The launch marked the torture and murder of young Frenchman Jean-François Lefevre de la Barre in 1766 for refusing to remove his hat while a religious procession passed by and was a reminder of the countless la Barres facing threats, torture, imprisonment and death for apostasy, blasphemy, heresy, atheism and refusing to comply with Islamist norms.

Speakers at the packed event included founding members of the Council of Ex-Muslims of France Waleed Al-Husseini; Atica Samrah; Mehdi Lamrani; Elias Ben Amer and Soad Baba Aïssa of Association pour la mixité, l’égalité et la laïcité en Algérie. Other speakers included Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s Maryam Namazie, Tunisian film-maker Nadia El-Fani; Secularist Caroline Fourest; Safia Lebdi of Insoumisses; activist Fatou Sou; Mimouna Hadham; and Marieme Helie Lucas of Secularism is a Woman’s Issue.

The speakers welcomed the establishment of the Council of Ex-Muslims of France as an important step in challenging Islamism and apostasy laws and defending free expression, freedom of belief and atheism and secularism. The organisation stressed its opposition to the far-Right, including groups like Riposte Laique, and defended citizenship rights and equality for all, including Muslims and migrants.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of France will join a movement begun by Mina Ahadi in Germany defending the right to apostasy and free expression.

For more information on the CEMF, visit the CEMF’s Facebook page.

Film footage of speeches, photos, and press coverage can be found below.

All speeches are in French, except for Maryam Namazie’s which is in English and Waleed Al-Husseini’s, which is in Arabic:


Welcome address by Soad Baba Aïssa, Femmes Solidaires


Waleed Al-Husseini, Founding Member


Nadia El-Fani, Filmmaker


Mehdi Lamrani, founding member


Elias Ben Amer, founding member


Atica Samrah, founding member


Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain


Soad Baba Aïssa, Association pour la mixité, l’égalité et la laïcité en Algérie


Caroline Fourest, Secularist Writer


Safia Lebdi, Insoumisses


Marieme Helie Lucas, Secularism is a Woman’s Issue


Maryam Namazie responds about far-Right, including Riposte Laique, Islam, Islamism and bigotry against Muslims


Reza Moradi


Waleed Al-Husseini’s closing address

The event was covered by the media, including interviews for TV and radio. Some print coverage is below:

Interview exclusive de Waleed Al Husseini, fondateur du Conseil des ex-musulmans de France, Enquete and Debat, 9 July 2013 [external link]

Des athées marocains et algériens lancent un conseil des ex-musulmans de France, Slate Afrique, 8 July 2013 [external link]

Des athées marocains et algériens lancent un conseil des ex-musulmans de France, Le Mag de Morocco, 8 July 2013 [external link]

Islam : au nom de la tolerance, Le Point, 7 July 2013 [external link]

Des athées lancent un Conseil des ex-musulmans de France, Liberation, 6 July 2013 [external link]

Religion : création d’un Conseil des ex-musulmans de France, Le Parisien, 6 July 2013 [external link]

Des athées d’origine musulmane lancent un Conseil des ex-musulmans de France, Midi Libre, 6 July 2013 [external link]

Des athées d’origine musulmane lancent un Conseil des ex-musulmans de France, AFP, 6 July 2013 [external link]

Création du conseil des ex-musulmans, Le Figaro, 6 July 2013 [external link]

Ex-Muslims form first French council for non-believers, RFI English, 6 July 2013 [external link]

You can see photos of the event here:

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2 comments

  1. 1
    Nazanin Borumand

    well done dear maryam and ex-muslim in france. This is a very important step for all of secular people in france and europ.

  2. 2
    Guy Otten

    Congratulations!

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