On Salah al Bander’s hate campaign against Nahla Mahmoud: Police and Lib Dems must act

nahlaThe Liberal Democrats member and the former councillor, Salah al Bander, who led the Takfir/Hate campaign against Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s Spokesperson Nahla Mahmoud last year is now back with other death threats.

In last week’s ‘A View Point’ which al Bander hosts (episode No 109 also available on his Facebook page), he discusses ‘Extremism and ISIS’ within the Sudanese Diaspora in the UK and says that Nahla Mahmoud is an extremist as dangerous as ISIS:

“Our youth are faced with two extreme choices, the choice of ISIS which is a savage path, and the choice of Nahla Mahmoud which is a shameful scandalous path, and one which no morals would accept”. He adds that Nahla is “a woman who is deviating the youth, insulting Islam and promoting infidelity”. He calls on people to take action against her and adds: “We will not tolerate what she is advocating: promoting the addiction and drinking of alcohol in public, insulting people’s beliefs, offending Islam and the Sudanese traditions and culture. We believe that her goals of promoting Ridah/Apostasy and encouraging people out of Islam, besides her missionary role to insult people’s beliefs is a dangerous project which should be fought against.” He also says: “This issue needs clear awareness, caution, preparation and serious handling to tackle the extremism we are facing so that our youth are not forced to either path if that was the path of ISIS or the path of Nahla.”

In the programme, he uses – without permission – personal photos from Nahla’s social media accounts, photo-shopped phrases and edited segments from her online articles. He also uses a recording of a phone conversation with Nahla Mahmoud’s mother, edited and recorded without her knowledge or permission.

A number of other activists are attacked, including Maryam Namazie, Founder and Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, who he claims is “a mentor of Nahla” who has “insulted Islam” herself.

The show is in Arabic as was his previous Takfir/Hate campaign.  He is still using “double-speak” – saying one thing in English to dupe his English speaking audience and another in Arabic. His speech in Arabic clearly incites hatred against Nahla who has merely expressed her views, promoted freethought and secularism and lived a life of her choosing. Al-Bander shamefully compares her to ISIS, which kills people like Nahla every day, whilst he himself promotes Islamist ideas of hate, misogyny and the targeting of apostates not very different from that of ISIS.

Despite al-Bander’s hate campaign, Spencer Hagard, Chair of the Cambridge Liberal Democrats found the former’s threats “groundless” and said that his inquiry into Nahla’s complaint “increased his previously high esteem for al Bandar”.

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is outraged at the callous disregard for the safety and well being of one of our activists and calls on the Lib Dems to investigate this incident of hate speech  – properly for a change.

We are also fed up of the police’s inaction when it comes to threats against apostates and call on them to investigate and reopen Nahla’s case against al Bander. This is the third incident reported to the police against al Bander without any action taken.

Calling someone Murtad/ Kafir/Zindeeq, claiming they have “insulted Islam” and targeting them within a context where Islamists and Islamic states kill and threaten freethinkers is a direct threat and a form of hate speech.

CEMB calls on the authorities to ensure the safety of those who are deemed apostates. People, including Muslims, must have the right to express dissent and leave Islam without threats, and fear of their lives.

For more information, please contact:

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/

Really iERA? Legal action?

Below is an email I just received from iERA – the organisation we recently exposed  as a hate group (not charity) in our report entitled Evangelising Hate.

They are now threatening the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) and myself with legal action unless we remove one paragraph on my blog (though they are also “taking legal advice on the whole report”).

Really iERA? Just one teeny tiny little paragraph though we have over 40 pages of the organisation’s hate speech documented in our report?

In the letter, the hate group says they have never called for anyone’s death. Well, we beg to differ and we think the facts speak for themselves.

And to prove our point, after the report was published, a number of iERA supporters/activists have called me a “murtad” and “munafiq”, which are clear death threats for anyone who knows the Islamist movement. There have been death threats against me on their Facebook page (which have now been deleted). Plus one of their speakers we exposed in our report, Adnan Rashid, has been calling me Janazie (which means a corpse)…

iERA: If anyone should face legal action it is you lot.

And no we will not be removing anything.

Here’s their letter, which if looked at carefully just exposes them even more…

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you in relation to your “Evangelising Hate” report against iERA as well as further comments made by Maryam Namazie on the website entitled FreeThoughtBlogs (http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2014/05/31/what-happens-to-iera-t-shirts-in-my-hands/) where she wrote:

“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….”

We are taking legal advice on the report as a whole because we believe there are some blatant untruths and twisting of many matters. As for the paragraph above, this contains outright falsehood as iERA has never called for the death of anyone. In fact, iERA does not know of any mainstream organisation in the West who has called for the death to unveiled women or Muslims who don’t agree with them. We advise you to take down this paragraph as this puts Ms. Namazie and your organisation at considerable risk of legal action.

I look forward to your confirmation of taking down this quote.

Yours faithfully,

Abdurrahman bin Jaseem

You want to ban hate speech? Isn’t that what religion is?

I was on a panel discussion this past weekend on free expression.

In such discussions, there are always those who are proponents of banning ‘hate’ speech because they say it causes emotional distress and can lead to discrimination.

My response is that much of religion is hate speech. Have they read the Koran or Bible recently?

Whenever I hear a sura of the Koran, I feel distressed. And by the way, every time we hear religious edicts that say apostates should die, or that women are subhuman, can’t that also be considered adding to the discrimination apostates or women face?

We have been tortured, executed and stoned to death with ‘Allah O Akbar’ ringing in our ears:

(The singer says, with Allah O Akbar, we have been totured, executed and stoned to death.)

Nonetheless, you can’t ban religion because it is hate speech.

Of course I know when people defend the banning of hate speech, they don’t mean banning religion – that’s always off-limits; what they usually mean is that they want a ban on the uncompromising criticism of religion.

I say let the religious bigots – and for that matter all bigots – express themselves freely.

And we will too.

Speech – however distressing or hateful – is not the same as physical harm.

And anyway, you can’t stop hate with censorship. You can only stop it by challenging it head on.