Post your messages of support for Council of ex-Muslims here

Messages of support to mark 5th anniversary of the
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Final Updated 28 June 2012

As you know, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) is celebrating its 5th anniversary on 23 June. We’re asking people to attend the fundraiser luncheon if they can, donate, and send messages of support to mark our birthday. Here are some messages we have already received.

Well done for standing up for rational and free thought, a universe and it’s life that exist due to physical and not magical forces. I applaud each and every one of you. Carry on in your wisdom, benevolence, rationality and humanity.
Regards
Martin Gallagher
An ex Christian

To Maryam and the Council of Ex-Muslims
I’d just like to add my thanks and appreciation for what all of you are doing. Here’s to a world freed of imaginary sky-gods!
Theophontes

Good for you and all.
Hyoid, from Neckbone, PA, USA

When ex-Christians think they’re ostracized and persecuted, we should remember the even greater strength and determination it takes to be an ex-Muslim. May you find fortune a gift of the Universe through all of your Lives.
Maxdevlin

Congratulations CEMB, on being a beacon of hope to many, and not least to progressives like my humble self who constantly encounter other “progressives” to whom Islam is above criticism! Happy 5th anniversary!
Taru Dutt

Courageous! Thank you for standing up. Happy anniversary.
Jim

Congratulations on your 5th birthday! I wish you success in your important work.
Alan Clark

Happy anniversary. Thanks for your great work.
I have been following your work in this blog.
It’s fresh, inspiring and make me put questions where I had answers
Paulo Alves Reis, Chateau-d’Oex – Switzerland

In a time when the cancer of fundamentalism is ravaging the Islamic community, and Islamist bullies are determined to drag the whole world back to the seventh century, the CEMB provides much needed support for former and questioning Muslims, as well as those of us affected by religious fundamentalism. Please accept my best wishes for the work you do.
Winterwind

It is very difficult for those in America who choose to reject the Christian religion. They face anger, hate, accusations, insults, loss of friends and family, loss of income (losing a job if employed – losing customers if an employer), and are unable to participate in government.
For Muslims, add to all of the above … the threat of injury or even death.
You people have redefined the word “courage.”
Neo

Congratulations on 5 successful years, and may you be a victim of your success and become unnecessary!
Stay free, stay fair, stay fun!
Allegra Sloman, Vancouver, Canada

Congratulations on the anniversary. Any organisation that celebrates those who have discovered the truth and turned away from their misogynistic, hate-filled and irrational religion should be congratulated. The difference with Islam is that it promises vengeance – murder – in THIS life, as opposed to the non-existent next one.
Your bravery is recognised.
Jon Pierson
Member of Atheist Ireland

Very best wishes to the CEMB on your 5th birthday. In those five years you’ve done great work to help provide new friends and a community to those would could be ostracised for transistions in outlook and thought.
Your campaigning work for rights both here and outside the UK has helped create change, and drawn attention to the fact that thought-crime is still an issue for so many in the world. The freedom to pursue evidence-based reasoning should not be accompanied by fear and loneliness – so here’s to the CEMB’s next five years.
Deborah Hyde, Editor-in-Chief, The Skeptic Magazine

Way to go, dear friends! I hope your enlightened example will inspire many more to break free form religious oppression! Good luck in your activities – and get your message especially among women: every mother who is able to think for herself will help her children think as well, rather than obey ideologies and tyrants!
Respect,
Teodora

My name is Mirko, I’m 22 and I’m from Italy. Your work is incredible, what you did is right and i hope all people of the world follow the message you have sent. I support your campaign and all you do for the women. Continue to fight and don’t give up Maryam.

For always being there, giving the highest form of empathy and sympathy and having thought provoking discussion in its various forms, I thank the forum members and staff. (As well as giving me the chance to be on T.V)
Mchawking

I just registered after reading Maryam Namazie’s FtB blog. She said to come over with any words of support and encouragement to all the ex-Muslim people here.
I do have nothing but appreciation, as well as a sense of awe, for all of you. I grew up in a family that was very wishy-washy about religion, in a secular country with pretty liberal teachers along the way in all my schooling. I didn’t have a culture surrounding me that insisted on belief and certainly not one that threatened violence if I ever voiced apathy or disbelief. I know some of you have come to your rejection of Islam from such dangerous places and I just want to let you know that I am amazed by not only your bravery, but your integrity for not remaining a mental prisoner of (if I may steal from Hitchens) the spiritual North Korea.
I wish all of you well, and certainly offer all the encouragement I can muster for all of you to keep on fighting for humanity, peace, justice and freedom. Every mind that you open up to reality and clarity is one less that will be imprisoned by fear and hatred, all in the cause of an imaginary dictator. Best luck and prosperity to all of you.
Tatanka

I come here for the people, and the atmosphere. There’s a great mix of intelligent discussion, venting of frustrations, shared support, and general silliness. As The Wyre said, there’s a solidarity here that you can’t find anywhere else, and it’s present even if a topic has nothing to do with Islam or religion. This forum is just as much about moving past Islam as it is about Islam.
And it just happens to be truly the best damn forum on the internet.
I’ve bolded the part that really sums up how I feel about this place. In the early months after I left Islam, I had no support outside of the people here. And even still, 4 years later, there’s nobody else that quite understands how Islam still has an effect on my life. I remember everything I learned and all the love and support I received (and still do!) from people here, and how it’s helped me grow and change and make sense of my life. And I hope to offer the same sort of support to others when I can. This community is invaluable.
Luthiel

CEMB has been a safe place for me to learn to stand and move forward after the effects of islam..
it has helped me realize what i need to work on, and has given me a sense of solidarity..
CEMB has become a place to turn to for advice, comfort, debate, and friendship.. it is in essence giving me what anyone would want from a family.. i have seen boys learn to discard their misogynistic ideas, and girls embrace their strength.. i am grateful to the group of people who courageously continue to speak out.. the voice of CEMB must continue to be echoed for the sake of those who have no voice.. CEMB will always be part of me..
Nessrriinn [Read more...]

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

Add your message of support for the Council of Ex-Muslims

As you know, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is celebrating its 5th anniversary on 23 June. We’re asking people to attend the fundraiser luncheon if they can, donate, and send messages of support to mark our birthday. Here are some messages we have already received. Add your below or email it to us at maryamnamazie[@]gmail[dot]com.

To become an “Ex” of any religion needs intelligence and education. To become an Ex-Muslim needs courage as well. Maryam Namazie has the additional ability to inspire others to follow her admirable example. Many congratulations on the fifth anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.
Richard Dawkins FRS, University of Oxford

The Council of Ex-Muslims performs a vitally important service to the cause of liberty of conscience and all the human rights involved with it. I applaud it’s courage, humanity, determination and persistence.
A C Grayling, philosopher, UK

Congratulations to the Council of Ex-Muslims on your fifth anniversary. You have defied threats and intimidation to stand up for the freedom of all to think and believe as they wish. These are easy principles for we humanists to uphold, but ex-Muslims take their life in their hands when they proclaim themselves non-believers. Maryam Namazie herself deserves special praise for her bravery.
Polly Toynbee, President, British Humanist Association

Dearest Maryam, congratulations on the survival and continuing growth of the Council of Ex-Muslims. It’s a desperately needed group and community for people who want to escape one of the most binding and demanding communities that humans have ever created. From a community where the punishment for leaving is death to one where there is no punishment – what a hopeful inspiring journey for anyone, and how wonderful that it has achieved five years of existence.
Ophelia Benson, Author, USA

On behalf of the Token Skeptic podcast, I congratulate The Council of Ex-Muslims for their continued bravery and efforts in the face of enormous challenges. As an educator and friend of former Islamic students, I am proud to hear of your fifth birthday and know that there are many Australians who wish you the very best.
Kylie Sturgess
Token Skeptic podcast

CEMB,
Good luck with your celebrations of the 5th anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain on Saturday 23 June 2012.
Public awareness of the CEMB is growing which is encouraging for all. Please keep up the good work.
Cheers,
Dave, Kingston upon Thames [Read more...]

Support the Council of Ex-Muslim on 23 June

Join us to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain on Saturday 23 June 2012 from 13.00-16.00hours in London.

Book your tickets today.

Speakers and acts include:
Renowned Philosopher AC Grayling
Writer and Documentary-maker Gita Sahgal
Comedian Kate Smurthwaite
Theoretical Physicist Lawrence Krauss and Best-selling Author of A Universe From Nothing
DV8 Physical Theatre Director Lloyd Newson with a clip from Can we Talk about This?
CEMB Founder and Campaigner Maryam Namazie
Magician Neil Edwards
Singer and Songwriter Shelley Segal

Ticket(s) for the event, which includes a three-course meal and glass of wine at a wonderful Italian restaurant, are £45.00 per person or £35.00 for students/unwaged.

If you are unable to attend the luncheon but would like to help, please donate or organise an event on 23 June, such as a coffee morning or a luncheon party in your home or a local cafe, to raise much needed funds for the CEMB.

You can also send a message of support to the CEMB to exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com. All messages will be published.

To purchase tickets, send a cheque made payable to CEMB to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX or pay via Paypal or Worldpay. Please make sure to include an email address and/or telephone number so that further details can be provided. Additional donations are welcome to help ensure the attendance of CEMB volunteers at the event.

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

HOLD THIS DATE: 23 June Luncheon for CEMB’S 5th Birthday

Hello

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) will be 5 years old next month.

To celebrate the work, significance and achievements of this unique organisation, we are holding a fundraising luncheon on Saturday 23 June 2012 in London from 13.00-16:00 hours.

The luncheon will be a wonderful opportunity to meet other like-minded individuals and enjoy a three-course lunch, great entertainment and speakers in an intimate setting whilst supporting our work.

In the five years since our establishment, the CEMB has been a beacon of hope for thousands of ex-Muslims who have renounced Islam and religion. It has helped to break the taboo and challenge Islamism, which punishes apostasy with the death penalty.

And during this time, we have done it all – from helping to return a young woman back to Britain from North Africa where she had been sent as punishment for her ‘disobedience’ to securing the release from detention and the right to asylum for many across Europe. We have also given large numbers of people a new ‘home’ via our forum and meet-up group. Moreover, we have helped to highlight the plight of ex-Muslims, apostates and blasphemers internationally, including Indonesian atheist Alex Aan currently in prison and German-Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi facing a death fatwa from Iran’s ayatollahs. The One Law for All campaign against Sharia law in Britain, which we initiated at our first international conference, has also made waves across the globe as has our unequivocal defence of free expression, equality and citizenship rights.

None of this could have been done without your help. So thank you!

We hope to have another successful five years with your continued support. You can do this by attending the 23 June luncheon. Ticket(s) are £45.00 per person or £35.00 for students/unwaged. To purchase tickets, send a cheque made payable to CEMB to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX or pay via Paypal or Worldpay. Please make sure to include your email address and telephone number so that we can provide further details of the venue upon receipt of payment.

If you can’t come to the luncheon but would like to help, please send in a donation. On 23 June, why not organise a coffee morning or a luncheon party at your home to raise some extra money for the CEMB? No amount is too small and helps us help others and make a real difference.

We hope to see you at the fundraising luncheon or hear from you about how you can help us with the important work that lies ahead.

If you have any questions about the luncheon or a fundraising event you want to hold in your own home, please feel free email me at exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com or call at +44 (0)7719166731.

Thanks again.

Best wishes,

Maryam

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

I’m the other type of apostate

Here’s an Egyptian cleric talking about apostates. He says:

There are two types of apostates. The first is the one who hides his apostasy and he doesn’t do anything against Islamic teachings. We have nothing to do with that kind… we only judge people by what they show and the rest is up to allah.

The second kind is the one who declared his apostasy… This person has broken the limits of personal freedom and started creating temptation in society and hence he must be punished…. and judged by the law.

I’m the second kind of apostate. The one who publicly renounces Islam, and calls on others to do so if they want via the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain.

I have been asked many times why there is a need to ‘provoke’ and do it publicly? Well mainly because it is punishable by death under Sharia law as the cleric so helpfully explains. In such a situation, renouncing Islam publicly is a form of resistance – like gays coming out of the closet. It’s personal but not when you can be killed for it.

Public renunciation also helps to break the taboo and provides hope for those who are desperate and alone in their apostasy.

If I’m completely honest, it doesn’t hurt that it annoys arses like this cleric right here.

If you’ve got the stomach for it, you can watch his video on good and bad apostates. But just one thing before you do – the good apostate is merely an exercise in PR so that post-modernists and apologists for Islamism can blame us ex-Muslims for our death sentences and fatwas. In fact, the cleric and his brethren want all types of apostates killed and do just that when they have power.

Hoping that we return to the right path

Here is one more of the many emails we get at the Council of Ex-Muslims for you to enjoy.

It’s heartwarming, really,  to see all the concern. Here Khalid Najib asks why we don’t all ‘return to the right path’.

Err, Khalid, please don’t bother holding your breath. And thanks for asking but no thanks.

Here’s Khalid’s letter in case any of you ex-Muslim atheists out there want his unsolicited ‘advice’. Please feel free to give him a piece of your mind in the comments section.

Salam Alaiykum, I am writing to this organization as a concerned Muslim. What are you guys doing? Why do you want people out of Islam? Is there anything you didnt understand about the great religion of Islam? You people are former Muslims. I am astonished. Ofcourse it is your personal choice, but please dont give a bad name about Islam. As most of you know, Islam is the best religion. It makes the most sense. Please dont make a bad name about the great teachings of Muhammad (PBUH). Why dont you guys all return to the right path? Allah will bless you in this life and the Afterlife. It isnt too late to return. Thanks For Reading My Message Khalid Najib PS: I respect your freedom, but please consider my message.

Good thing prayers don’t work

I get a lot of interesting emails to say the least. I don’t usually answer them or post them but I thought some of you at least could use a good laugh. Here’s one from ‘an enemy of the ex-Muslim Council':

In the name of God the most gracious the most merciful, and peace and blessings be upon His most beloved messenger Mohammed.

Hello,

I came across your page whilst browsing, and thought I would email with the intention of warning you of the day of judgement and advising you to change your name and your mission.

Why must you be a council of ex-muslims and not simply be an atheist council? Why still hang onto the word muslim? This is a very evil and bitter council ‘name’ to adopt. Why must you be so hateful towards Islam, when even ex christians and ex jews and ex catholics etc are respectful enough to avoid such insult? If you no longer wish to be muslim, then leave the faith and leave its name behind. [Read more...]

Screams against Islamism

‘I will be celebrating my 27th birthday in a few days and as I enter into a new year of my life, I think it is time to renounce religion openly…The CEMB is doing a great job by providing a forum for Ex-Muslims and taking a stand against the brutality of this religion.’ – Hassan

‘After 20 yrs of Islam, I finally gave up the prison for my freedom. My main issue with Islam is the awful injustice against women and as a woman myself I could not stand for a religion which belittles me…well done CEMB for creating this unified voice for ex-Muslims!’ – Pariah

Dear friends

These are just two of the many testimonies of ex-Muslims on the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s (CEMB) website and forum. [Read more...]

I have chosen to speak up

Here are some testimonies from atheist ex-Muslims:

I left Islam at 16. I am at university now, but I am still “in the closet” about my atheism, worried about the reaction it would get from religious family members and friends. I still have to pretend to pray and wear the hijab. This has been frustrating, especially since I live in a mainly Muslim area of London. But through websites like this, knowing that there are people who have had similar experiences has been a great source of comfort. (SJ, London) [Read more...]