Urgent Action: Atheist Ex-Muslims Sher Shah Jogzei, Syed Muhammad Tabish and Muhammad Shamoon must be granted asylum by Home Office

Pakistani ex-Muslim atheists Sher Shah Jogzei, Syed Muhammad Tabish and Muhammad Shamoon are currently detained in Harmondsworth IRC, which is a Cat B prison. Their crime? They have left Islam and want to live a life free from threats and intimidations prevalent in Pakistan.

Jogezai’s date for deportation has been set for 5th August 2014. Tabish’s deportation on 5th August has been cancelled and he has been granted 5 days to prepare for a fresh asylum trial.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain Case Manager Tanjir Sugar visited the three men at the detention to find out more about their cases and offer support. One of the men, Sher Shah was harassed by some of his fellow Muslim detainees. Rather than being given protection, he has been taken into isolation.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain knows only too well the dangers involved for those who renounce Islam and become atheists in countries where Sharia rules apply. Pakistan is officially an Islamic Republic. The government often uses its blasphemy law to prosecute atheists and those who allegedly hurt religious sentiments or defame Islam’s prophet Muhammad.

The above three men face great risk of persecution for openly and publicly leaving Islam and for being critical of Islam if they are returned. They have also been ostracised from their families and have no safe place to return to.

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain calls on the Home Office to immediately release Pakistani ex-Muslim atheists Sher Shah Jogzei, Syed Muhammad Tabish and Muhammad Shamoon from detention and grant them asylum.

To support the cases of these men, please Tweet the Home Office: @ukhomeoffice or write to Home Secretary Theresa May asking for their right to asylum at 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P 4DF or via email: public.enquiries@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

Support ex-Muslim atheist Nasir Irshad! He must be granted asylum in the UK

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) is pleased that an Afghan atheist recently gained asylum and protection in Britain for his atheism. Whilst this is being hailed as the first case of its kind, the CEMB has worked on countless asylum cases over the past several years with a rising number securing asylum based on their atheism and due to a well-founded fear of persecution for apostasy and leaving Islam.

In light of the abysmal situation for ex-Muslims in many countries under Sharia law, as highlighted in our recent report “Political and Legal Status of Apostates in Islam”, asylum and protection for apostates and ex-Muslim atheists is a basic right.

Whilst the numbers of those being granted protection are increasing, there are still large numbers of ex-Muslims facing refusals and deportation to countries where they face death at worst and a loss of liberty and rights at best.

One such case is that of Muhammad Nasir Irshad who is currently detained at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre awaiting deportation to Pakistan where he faces a real risk of persecution because of his atheism. His appeal has been refused; he had no legal counsel during his appeal given that legal aid was also refused him and he has been fast-tracked for deportation. The Home Office has refused his claim asserting that ex-Muslim atheists are not in danger in Pakistan.

Nasir Irshad has approached the CEMB to assist with his case. We call on the Home Office to immediately cancel any attempts to deport Nasir and to grant him the protection he deserves and which is his right. Needless to say, the Home Office will be held accountable for Nasir’s life and liberty.

For more information, contact:
Maryam Namazie
Council of Ex- Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

Rim Razek must be granted asylum in the US

Updated: 13 June
Today is the last day of Rim’s campaign. Donate now. Here’s a blog post from “Between a veil and a dark place” on why you should.

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reemRim Razek writes to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain:

I was born in Egypt. I come from a strictly religious background; most members of my family are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite being brought up by parents who tried to censor art, music, and certain books, I was constantly searching for answers and looking for ways to get around the censorship. By the time I was sixteen, I had read numerous books on philosophy and religion and had come to conclusions that led me to leave Islam, conclusions I knew would make me a social outcast once anyone found out about them. After a period of inner conflict, I decided I wasn’t going to let society dictate what I believe or how I should live my life. I resolved to take off my veil and wrote an article called “Mass Hysteria,” saying that the veil is nothing more than a political and misogynistic tool used by Islamists in order to gain power and control while it provides no reflection of piety or morality as advertised. I also compared the freer attitude of Egyptian women in the sixties with the present.

After I published this article and a picture of myself without the hijab, I was thrown in a mental asylum and subjected to electroshock treatments as a punishment; I have recently blogged about for the first time. This was a traumatic experience. After getting out of the asylum and pretending to conform for a while, I returned to being outspoken. I made a video about how indoctrinating children with religious ideologies is child abuse and my friend Kacem Elghazali posted it on his blog atheistica. I took part in my friend Aliaa Elmahdi’s campaign by posting pictures of myself with and without the veil. [Read more…]

A life free from fear

487966_10200816960411702_37253189_nTo480936_458620344210168_1343746438_nday is the one year anniversary of a sit-in of Iranian asylum seekers in Wurtzburg, Germany which turned into a sort of tent city after the tragic suicide of Iranian asylum seeker Mohammad Rahsepar. That protest kick-started the refugee tent movement in Germany which has helped to highlight the horrendous plight of asylum seekers.

In Germany and elsewhere, people – women, men and children – are warehoused, receive very little support, have no right to work, and are dehumanised and criminalised all because they have dared to dream of another life free from hellish dictatorial regimes and theocracies.

Protests such as these help remind the public of the humanity of those seeking refuge. Asylum seekers are not some statistic but real people who are fighting to live a life free from fear.

Ex-Muslim Women Coffee Morning

Ex-Muslim Women’s Coffee Morning

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is organising a second meet-up for ex-Muslim women after the summer term to provide a safe space for meeting like-minded friends and discussing concerns. The second meet-up will be held on Friday 7 September from 11:30am-1pm in central London.

If you would like to join us, email Maryam Namazie at exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com or call 07719166731 for further details.