Victory for free expression and end-year celebrations

Hello friend

I hope you are well.


Our spokesperson Maryam Namazie finally spoke at Warwick University and Trinity College Dublin this month after her talk was barred by the Student Union at Warwick and cancelled by the student group at TCD due to “concerns.” You can read and watch her speech on “Apostasy, Blasphemy and Free Expression in the Age of ISIS” here.

A huge thank you to all the wonderful people who protested the initial decisions and defended free expression. You can see some of the widespread support, including from the National Secular Society, Ben Goldacre, Brian Cox, Gita Sahgal, Julie Bindel, Kate Smurthwaite, Maajid Nawaz, Marieme Helie Lucas, Pragna Patel, Richard Dawkins and Salman Rushdie here.

There’s a comprehensive 30 minute BBC Radio Scotland interview with Maryam on the Warwick University affair, Islam, Islamism and Muslims as well as free expression and the Left for further background on the issues.

Earlier, Maryam published a right to reply in the Guardian in response to David Shariatmadari’s defence of censorship. You can read her unedited article here.


Tickets are selling fast for One the Law for All and CEMB’s end-year celebrations with Philosopher AC Grayling, Secular Activist Aliyah Saleem, British Iraqi singer Alya Marquardt, Warwick Atheist Society President Benjamin David, Bread and Roses TV Host Fariborz Pooya, Founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco Imad Iddine Habib, Comedian Kate Smurthwaite, Libyan Women’s Rights Campaigner Magdulien Abaida, CEMB Spokesperson Maryam Namazie, CEMB Spokesperson Nahla Mahmoud, Ex-Muslims of Scotland founder Ramin Forghani, Bangladeshi campaigner Rayhana Sultan, Scientist Richard Dawkins and more.

To reserve a place, please email with your name and mobile number and purchase ticket(s): £25 (waged); £18 (unwaged) by “donating” price of ticket via Paypal or by sending a cheque made payable to CEMB to: CEMB, BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX. No tickets will be sold at the door so please buy tickets as soon as possible.


Our final meet-up for the year will be on 16 November in central London with Ibrahim Abdallah, Founder of Muslimish NYC. More information here.

Maryam Namazie will also be speaking at Nottingham and Exeter Universities in November. More details can be found here.


CEMB has updated its comprehensive leaflet on “Covering your Internet Tracks,” which has been written by Imran. Please look at it carefully, particularly if you don’t feel safe at home. You can email any further questions and we’ll ask Imran to respond.


Our list of affiliate organisations is growing. Council of Ex-Muslims of Singapore has recently joined us. We wish them and all the others much success.


Hundreds have signed a joint statement calling for the dismantling of parallel legal systems here in Britain. The statement will be handed in at 10 Downing Street on 10 December, Human Rights Day. If you and/or your organisation would like to sign the statement, there’s still time. Just email so your name can be added to the list.


If you are able to, please donate to CEMB. We really rely on support from individuals for much of the work we do; any help will be greatly appreciated. No amount is too small or big for that matter. You can donate via Paypal or send a cheque. Details are here.

Thanks to those of you who have already donated to CEMB; a particular thanks to those who have set up standing orders. It helps to know we have regular support that we can rely on.

We hope you will continue to support us in the coming year and look forward to a secular world where people are free to live and think as they choose – religious or none.

Warm wishes
Maryam Namazie
Nahla Mahmoud
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 8059509.

Council of Ex-Muslims: We need to do more with your support

Dear friend

As you know, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain was established in 2007 to break the taboo that comes with leaving Islam and religion. We have done this by challenging apostasy and blasphemy laws and facilitating a public renunciation of Islam and a rise in atheism. We have also been there for many ex-Muslims facing persecution by Islamists or family members – around 300 a year – including one-on-one support. Our web-forum has given thousands a network to rely on, including threads in Arabic and Urdu. The ex-Muslim movement has grown tremendously since our establishment with affiliated councils in a number of countries such as France, Turkey and Morocco.

The CEMB’s campaigning work (with One Law for All and other allies) is also finally paying off. Atheism has been recognised in Britain as a grounds for asylum with legal decisions no longer guided by whether the apostasy can be kept private. Also, the Law Society has withdrawn its discriminatory Guidance on Sharia wills and Universities UK has taken back its guidance endorsing gender segregation. Sharia courts are now being scrutinised after many years of silence and appeasement.

Thanks to your support, the CEMB has made a huge difference in the lives of countless people and society at large. But we have a lot more work ahead.
In the coming year, we aim to further focus on women ex-Muslims, organise a tribunal against Sharia, produce a report and video on women apostates, organise a secular film festival, set up the International Front for Secularism as well as exposing Islamist “hate speech” against ex-Muslims and Muslims who dissent with others.

To so do, we are in desperate need for funds, including for an office computer and printer, production costs and expenses related to organising the high profile events.

Any support you can provide will help us make our plans a reality, will be greatly appreciated and will continue to make a huge difference.

If you are able to donate, please make your cheque payable to ‘CEMB’ and send it to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX. You can also donate via Paypal.

Thanks again for your on-going help and support.

Warmest wishes


Maryam Namazie
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

Upcoming Events

Here are a few upcoming events that are either organised by the Council of Ex-Muslims and One Law for All or are by others in which I am speaking. More details can be found here.

16 March 2015, central London by Kings Cross station, 19:00-21:00 hours
International Women’s Day CEMB and One Law for All evening drinks with Pragna Patel from Southall Black Sisters.
£3 entry (waged); £1 entry (unwaged). E-mail to register.

19 March 2015
NE Humanists Event, Newcastle
Maryam Namazie will be speaking in Newcastle.

23 March 2015, Trinity College Dublin
Maryam will be speaking on Apostasy and the Rise of Islamism.

27-31 March 2015
Marea Feminist Review Anniversary, Italy
Maryam Namazie will be speaking at the anniversary celebrations of a feminist review in Genoa, Torino and Imola, Italy with Inna Shevchenko, Nadia El Fani, Marieme Helie Lucas and others. [Read more…]

What happens to iERA T-Shirts in my hands

The iERA has sent the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) two T-shirts. You know, the yellow ones which their dawah teams wear on the streets of Britain to hate-preach misogyny and death to apostates, gays, Jews, unveiled women, Muslims who don’t agree with them….

They have sent the T-shirts to prove that anyone can wear them. This is in response to the CEMB’s recent report on the group called Evangelising Hate where we show Ifthekar Jaman in one of their T-shirts doing Dawah.

IIn case you don’t know, Jaman is from Portsmouth and was killed in Syria whilst fighting for a Jihadi group called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), which has engaged in brutal terrorist violence. It seeks to set up an Islamic caliphate in territory that it controls, and its members have engaged in beheadings, amputations and public executions. Shias and Christians have been persecuted by them. ISIS executed a secular Syrian activist for “apostasy”.

Nine months before being killed in Syria, Jaman was participating in an iERA dawah event in Portsmouth city centre.

In a picture posted on his Twitter account on 14 April, Jaman is standing in a group of men, wearing a yellow iERA T-shirt with the slogan ‘Is Life Just a Game?’ He comments under the picture “Us Portsmouth Dawah group & brothers from Newham dawah joined today. Alhamdullilah for shahadahs! Allahu Akbar”.


In their pathetic response to our report, iERA tried to deceptively dissociate themselves from Jaman by saying that anyone could wear their T-shirts, including me.

But sending the T-Shirts to CEMB has once again proven them wrong and confirmed my position that only Islamists, terrorists, and their apologists would wear their T-Shirts. When I get my hands on them, something else happens. Here’s some before and after photos:

iERA T-Shirt before I get my hands on them

april-may2014 093








iERA T-Shirt after I get my hands on them:

april-may2014 102








I will leave the intentions of a group preaching the death of apostates (by beheading no less as it is “painless”) sending unmarked post to those it wishes dead to the readers of this post. Needless to say, as I have written earlier, the iERA’s charity status is the least of our worries.

Revoking its charitable status should be a first step in further investigation of this organisation and its links to terrorism.

New Report: Evangelising Hate – Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA)

EvangelisingHate_Report_Web_Page_01A new report from the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain “Evangelising Hate” exposes the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) as a Hate Group. You can read the report here.

Whilst iERA purports to be a missionary-like charitable organisation, it is in fact a “soft Islamist” group, which acts as the Islamist movement’s public relations arm by promoting and normalising Islamist values and norms, including inciting hatred against ex-Muslims, gays, Jews, women, non Muslims and a majority of Muslims who do not share their values. In Britain and the west, groups like iERA use multiculturalism (as a social policy that segregates “communities”) and cultural relativism as well as the rights language of diversity, tolerance and inter-faith dialogue to increase influence and access. Any opposition to their theocratic aims are met with accusations of racism and Islamophobia.

This timely report is being published just as the Charity Commission is investigating the group.

“This long-needed report provides a complete picture of the activities of the iERA, its promotion of hatred against women, gays, non-Muslims, ex-Muslims and liberal Muslims, and its affiliation with Islamists who have called for violence or have been involved in violent jihad themselves”, says Chris Moos of the LSESU Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society. He adds: “As a student who has experienced the violent tactics of the iERA myself, I find it unacceptable that this group continues to be the most active organiser of Islamic events on British university campuses, thereby sidelining liberal Muslim student groups. This report should serve as a wake-up call for both university and student representatives, and will hopefully lead to a classification of the iERA as what they are – a fascist hate group on a par with the likes of Hizb-ut Tahrir, BNP and EDL”.

Gita Sahgal of the Centre for Secular Space says: “This excellent report lays out in gruesome and forensic detail the hate agenda of speakers associated with the iERA. They should never be legitimised as a charity or given platforms that treat their views as acceptable”.

The iERA perpetuates a discourse that normalises hatred in religious terms, and sets the climate for “radicalisation”, bigotry and Islamism to flourish. Where groups like iERA have more influence, society is witness to a rise in everything from women and children wearing burkas, increased gender segregation at universities, legitimisation of Sharia-compliant wills and rules, acceptance of Sharia courts for the “Muslim minority” and the Islamisation of schools and mosques.

This report makes clear that iERA must be classified as a hate group and have their charitable status withdrawn. These will help bring clarity to their agenda and can be a starting point for a wider investigation into the influence of Islamism in modern Britain.


It is important to note that the CEMB publishes its report on a day that the far-Right group Britain First (an off-shoot of the British National Party) has targeted yet another mosque to bring its campaign of hate. Like Islamism, Britain First is a far-Right political group that asserts collective blame, incites hatred and dehumanises those deemed ‘other’. Just as Islamists do not represent a majority of Muslims or those considered Muslim, fascist groups like Britain First do not represent a majority of Britons.

Our fight is against the far-Right of all stripes and variations – be it Britain First or iERA – and in defence of the rights of all people, irrespective of their background, race, belief, gender, sexuality… to secularism, universal rights and equality.

For more information on the report, contact:
Al Razi
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 8059509.

CEMB November Update: Apostasy, Sex Segregation and Islamist Double-Speak


The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) and Atheist Alliance International have published a new report on the Political and Legal Status of Apostates in Islam with the support of The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK. The report examines sources for laws that prohibit apostasy from Islam, reviews legislation and government policies in various countries that persecute apostates and blasphemers, and highlights the cases of some of the many persecuted individuals, with a focus on atheists, secularists and freethinkers. You can read the report here.

CEMB has joined others in condemning the endorsement of gender apartheid by Universities UK in British universities. Any form of segregation, whether by race, sex or otherwise is discriminatory. Separate is never equal and segregation is never applied to those who are considered equal. By justifying segregation, Universities UK sides with Islamist values at the expense of the many Muslims and others who oppose sex apartheid and demand equality between women and men. Please sign the petition, and find out how to join the sex apartheid busters and protest at UUK offices on 10 December here.

CEMB is appalled that the Cambridgeshire Lib Dems has decided to side with their member and former councillor Salah al Bandar rather than CEMB Spokesperson, Nahla Mahmoud, who he has threatened. The head of the Cambridgeshire Lib Dems has stated that the matter is closed after commissioning an “independent translation,” which has not been made available to the public. Terms like Kafir(a), Murtad(a) and Fitnah are only ever derogatory and threatening and must be seen as such. Clearly, the group is the latest victims of Islamist double-speak. Whilst the matter may be closed for them, it is certainly not for CEMB. We will be commissioning our own independent translation, which will be made available to the public. More details can be found here.

A number of ex-Muslim groups have recently formed and affiliated with the CEMB, including Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA), Ex-Muslims of Austria and Ex-Muslims of Scotland. [Read more…]

CEMB needs your support

Dear Friend


Following her interview on Channel 4 on Sharia law, Islamists have threatened Sudanese secular campaigner and Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) Co-Spokesperson Nahla Mahmoud with death, calling her a ‘Kafira’ and ‘Murtada’ who has offended Islam and brought “fitnah”. The threats have been reported to the police who have advised that nothing can be done about the particular threats made by Salah al Bandar who has until recently been a Lib Dem Councillor. The police have even urged Nahla not to “anger” him further.

Hundreds of individuals and groups have already signed on to an open letter calling for the authorities to take action. You (and/or your organisation) can read more about the specific threats made and sign the open letter here.

After receiving a number of complaints from CEMB supporters, Spencer Hagard, Chair of the Cambridge Liberal Democrats, has written to al Bandar seeking an urgent response from him. Pending the outcome of his enquiry, the link between al Bandar’s webpage and the Cambridge Liberal Democrats website has been temporarily discontinued.

The Lawyers Secular Society is providing support and looking into various options available to address the matter.

Clearly, everyone has a right to religion or atheism without fear and intimidation. This is something al Bander and his Islamist friends need to learn.


14 September Rally and March for Secularism

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is endorsing the Central London Humanist Group’s Secular Europe March and Rally on Saturday 14th September 2013.

We will assemble at 12.30pm in Temple Place, next to Temple Tube Station; the March will start at 1.00pm and end in a Rally at Richmond Terrace, opposite Downing Street at around 2pm.

Confirmed speakers include Sue Cox (Survivors Voice), Charlie Klendjian (Lawyers Secular Society), Rory Fenton (AHS President), Philosopher AC Grayling, Adam Knowles (Chair of GALHA – LGBT Humanists), Philosopher Stephen Law, Houzan Mahmoud (Organisation for Iraqi Women’s Freedom), Nahla Mahmoud (Council of Ex Muslims of Britain), Maryam Namazie (Fitnah, CEMB and One Law for All), Pragna Patel (Southall Black Sisters), Naomi Phillips (Chair of Labour Humanists), Nina Sankari (Polish Rationalist Association) and Anne Marie Waters (One Law for All) amongst others.

More information available here: Join event page on Facebook and Event page on Meetup. We will be using the hashtag #SECM2013.

Other events

In the upcoming months, there will be evening drinks in London with philosopher Arif Ahmed and a meet-up of apostate asylum seekers and refugees on 19 September; lunch in Manchester on 24 August and Birmingham on 7 September organised by the Northern Ex-Muslim Meetup Group and the CEMB’s Annual General Meeting on 12 October 2013 in London.

Maryam Namazie and Nahla Mahmoud will also be speaking in Marseilles, Boston, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, and Brighton in the coming months. More details can be found here. [Read more…]

Evening drinks in London with Gita Sahgal

Tonight, 9 May 2013, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain has organised evening drinks with Gita Sahgal, Executive Director of Centre for Secular Space. 6:30-8:00pm at The George on the Strand, 213 Strand, London WC2R 1AP. Entry is £3; £1 for unwaged, which can be paid at the door. All are welcome.

Author Rumy Hasan who was to give the talk is ill; his talk will be rescheduled.

Hope to see some of you there!

By the way, the next CEMB event is our 6th anniversary luncheon.

Join us to celebrate the 6th anniversary of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain 15 June 2013 at 12pm for a 12:30pm start at a central London restaurant. The keynote speaker will be writer Kenan Malik. Other speakers and acts include Centre for Secular Space Executive Director Gita Sahgal, comedian Kate Smurthwaite and CEMB spokesperson Maryam Namazie. Nahla Mahmoud will be the MC for the event.

Book your tickets today. Ticket(s) for the event, which includes a three-course meal and glass of wine at a wonderful Italian restaurant, are £35.00 per person or £30.00 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 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.

Defend Bangladeshi Bloggers, Events, Ex-Muslims in Morocco and More


We are writing to give you an update on some important actions and events.


The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and others have called for 25 April to be an international day to defend Bangladesh’s bloggers and activists. Please spread the word, sign this petition today, and stand with and for Bangladeshi freethinkers.

As you may know, in January, 29 year old blogger Asif Mohiuddin was stabbed. In February, 35 year old atheist blogger involved in the Shahbag protests, Ahmed Rajib, was brutally killed. Islamists continue to threaten prominent bloggers and have called for the “execution of 84 atheist bloggers for insulting religion”. Rather than prosecute the Islamists, the government has arrested some bloggers and shut down blogs and sites.

We unequivocally condemn the attacks on and threats against atheist, secularist and freethinking bloggers and call on the Bangladeshi government to guarantee their safety, respect free expression and prosecute Islamists who threaten, attack and harm critics.

On 25 April, we urge groups and individuals to rally at Bangladeshi embassies, contact members of parliament in their countries of residence, highlight the situation, write protest letters, carry out acts of solidarity, Tweet #Bangladesh #Bloggers and more.

You can find more information here.


Please don’t forget about our upcoming events and join us:

On 15 June, we will celebrate the CEMB’s sixth anniversary at a luncheon with keynote speaker Kenan Malik. Other speakers/acts include comedian Kate Smurthwaite and CEMB Spokesperson Maryam Namazie. The luncheon starts at 12pm for 1230pm start at a central London location.

Book your tickets today. [Read more…]

It’s on Saturday

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.

There is still space so book your tickets today if you can join us!

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
Anti-Injustice Movement Poet Lilith
DV8 Physical Theatre Director Lloyd Newson with a clip from Can we Talk about This?
Dancer Maryam Freeflower
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 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
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 2387
London WC1N 3XX, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 7719166731

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…]