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. [Read more…]