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

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”.

Jaman

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

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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.

On iERA: Let me say what no one is saying clearly enough

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s (CEMB) has a new report “Evangelising Hate” on the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA). It has received quite a bit of media coverage (though of course not from the Guardian) particularly since its publication coincides with a Charity Commission investigation into the iERA. CEMB is calling for iERA to be considered a hate group and not a charity.

But there is more.

Let me say what others are avoiding or not saying clearly enough.

As we have mentioned in our report, iERA is not a “religious group” but rather a “soft” Islamist group, normalising and justifying the Islamist agenda, including by perpetrating hatred against gays, Jews, women, ex-Muslims, a majority of Muslims who don’t abide by their values… But there is more to this story and that is that “soft” Islamists are often linked with violent Islamists or jihadis.

At least one iERA dawah activist, Iftekhar Jaman, has been killed in Syria whilst fighting for the brutal Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), which even Al Qaeda has broken ties with.

ISIS executed a secular Syrian activist for “apostasy” and has taken up crucifiction. Moreover, Iftekhar was friends with Mashudur Choudhury, the first Briton to be convicted of terrorism charges for travelling to Syria to train for jihad…

Clearly, groups like iERA are responsible for more than normalising the Islamist agenda like gender segregation at universities, Sharia-compliant wills, and the imposition of burkas and Sharia courts. They have links to and are – let’s just be frank - even cultivating British jihadis.

This should not be surprising given the freedom they have been given to organise around their hate-speech, including on university campuses.

Britons now make up most of the foreign members in Syria’s most violent terror group. UK Islamists are involved in activities including beheadings, crucifixions and ill-treatment of women – many of them not unlike iERA’s teachings.

The iERA’s charitable status is the least of our worries… Someone with the access needed to investigate these links needs to get on it – and fast.

***

I am annoyed to no end at reports that worry about what will happen when the British jihadis come home. What about what they are doing right now to the people of Syria? And what about the climate of threats and intimidation they are creating right here in Britain for dissenters – Muslim and ex-Muslim?

iERA: Islamic far-Right and Hate Group not Charity

The Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) has responded to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s (CEMB) new report “Evangelising Hate”.

Rather than address the numerous documented facts of hate speech by those associated with the organisation against ex-Muslims, Jews, gays, women, Muslims and others who don’t agree with their values the iERA uses predictable and standard responses in order to circumvent the main issue at hand: that it is a hate group which should have its charitable status revoked.

The iERA’s tactics include the usual deception, obfuscation, irrelevant arguments about context, false accusations of bigotry and denial in order to evade scrutiny.

Context

The iERA says the CEMB report is “filled with spin and statements deliberately taken out of context”. It is unclear how exact quotes, including from video footage, justifying everything from domestic violence, stoning to death, execution for apostates, hatred against Jews, non Muslims, and Muslims who oppose iERA’s views, to FGM and jihad can be taken out of context. How can the below quote by Abdurraheem Green, a founding member and chairman of iERA, for example, be taken in any way other than it is intended? He says:

“We want to create an environment where it is encouraging people to be good, otherwise what is the point in the hudood? [Hudood laws are the bounds of acceptable behaviour and the punishments for serious crimes.] What is the hudood? Why you chop the hand off the thief? Why you stone the adulterer and the adulteress to death? Why do you chop the hand and the leg of the one who commits highway robbery and leave them to bleed to death or crucify them? All of this is to deter the people from being evil and committing evil. Why is the person who drinks alcohol, who is a drunk, whipped eighty times in public? All of this is to deter the people from being evil”.

The out of context argument is a bogus one that aims to portray critics as deceptive in order to move attention away from iERA’s hate speech.

On the issue of “clarification”

The iERA statement says the CEMB report “quotes out of context, outdated or clarified statements from iERA speakers” giving as an example clarifications provided by iERA’s head of research teams and lectures Hamza Tzortzis.  One example will suffice to reveal iERA’s dishonesty. In his supposed clarification, Hamza says with regards gender segregation:

“There have been various newspapers and bloggers that have implied that Hamza Andreas Tzortzis has been involved in public events that have enforced gender segregation or separation. Tzortzis has not been involved in such events or been aware of enforced gender separation. He advocates a tolerant position that all choices should be offered. If some women regardless of religious background wish to sit with women only, that should be accommodated if possible”.

This is clearly untrue since Hamza was himself a speaker at an iERA organised debate entitled “Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?” at UCL with US scientist Lawrence Krauss on March 9, 2013 where segregation was enforced. Separate entrances were put in place for males and females and audience members were separated into male and female only queues by the organisers’ security staff. Security guards tried to forcibly remove those who refused to comply with segregated seating. The students were only allowed back after Krauss threatened to leave the debate.

Abdurraheem Green, a founding member and chairman of iERA, has made very clear why gender segregation is a necessity:

“Let us also bear in mind that Muslim societies take every precaution to avoid the means that can lead to adultery. Public nudity is forbidden. In fact a strict dress code is observed. This is part of the wisdom behind the hijab. It is an act of social responsibility that helps towards a harmonious society. Also free mixing between sexes is avoided, men and women should not have physical contact and men and women should not even be alone together (unless they are husband and wife, or from close relatives who are permanently forbidden in marriage). Again in this context adultery is inexcusable, and justly punished with severity”. 

Denying links to Jihadis

The iERA states that the CEMB report “unscrupulously” tries “to link other individuals who are not at all connected with the charity”, namely Ifthekar Jaman and Hassan Farooq.

Despite iERA’s supposed lack of affiliation with Hassan Farooq and Ifthekar Jaman, iERA has provided Dawah teams, including theirs, with T-shirts and materials. In one video by Young Dawah, founding member and iERA chairman Abdurraheem Green is seen giving the Dawah group his support. In another Tweet, the Newham Dawah Team says: “Had a call conference meeting with abdur raheem green, the iera team and hundreds of da’ee emirs all over UK, mashAllah the dawah movement is massive, and we have massive plans for 2013, our focus will be on Newham, by the permission of Allah this borough shall change, for those who wish to help us get in contact asap”.

Screen-Shot-2014-01-27-at-11.07.50

The iERA is clearly linked to the dawah teams but makes contrary assertions to aid in deniability when suitable, particularly if jihadis are involved.

Hassan Farooq can be seen in a picture posted on 14 April 2013 participating in a dawah mission with Ifthekar Jaman on Jaman’s Twitter account. In the picture, both are standing in a group of men, wearing yellow iERA T-shirts 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”. Several months later, Jaman was killed in Syria whilst fighting for a Jihadi group called the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in December 2013. ISIS has engaged in beheadings, amputations and public executions, including the execution of a secular Syrian activist for “apostasy”. Iftekhar was also friends with another Portsmouth man Mashudur Choudhury, the first Briton to be convicted of terrorism charges for travelling to Syria to train for jihad…

Accusations of bigotry

The iERA assert that the CEMB has “bigoted views about Islam and mainstream Islamic speakers” and that it espouses “hatred”. Clearly, though, it is not bigotry to expose the bigotry of the Islamic far-Right. It is also not espousing hatred to expose the hate speech propounded by iERA speakers.

More importantly – and despite claims about the CEMB’s deception and misrepresentation – iERA stands by their “mainstream Islamic speakers”. The very use of the term “mainstream” is an attempt to neutralise criticism and portray it as an attack on religion rather than legitimate opposition to Islamism. In this way, the promoters of hatred depict themselves as victims of those who expose their hatred.

As always, despite the mountains of evidence, iERA hopes to carry on doing what they do best: normalising Islamist values and norms as “mainstream” and creating a climate where extremism and hate can flourish.

The iERA has been able to evade scrutiny for so long by using many of the tactics mentioned above. The iERA’s role in propagating Islamism here and even abroad has been largely missing from the public debate on this issue. The iERA’s modus operandi has been to take advantage of multiculturalism (as a social policy that segregates “communities”) and cultural relativism as well as the language of diversity, rights, tolerance and inter-faith dialogue to increase influence and access.

It is high time that they are recognised for what they truly are: the Islamic far-Right and a hate group not a charity.

For more information, contact:
Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson
Al Razi, CEMB Forum
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: [email protected]
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk
 

Sudan apostasy case, New Report: Evangelising Hate – Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA); ex-Muslims internationally

Dear friend

I am writing to give you an update of the work of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, including a new report on the hate group Islamic Education and Research Academy, and also ask for your help in defending an “apostate” facing death in Sudan.

Sudan apostasy case

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is outraged to learn of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim’s death sentence in Sudan for apostasy. The heavily pregnant Mariam has also been charged with adultery and imprisoned with her toddler.  She and her husband are Christian but the judge insists she is Muslim.

Mariam Yahya’s case represents a great number of similar cases where individuals cannot choose or express their beliefs nor have many inalienable rights because of Sharia law.

CEMB condemns Sharia law and in particular articles 126 and 146 of the Sudanese criminal code which punishes apostasy and adultery. Apostasy and adultery are not crimes; executing human beings, including for their beliefs or their consensual sexual relations should be.

CEMB demands the immediate release of Mariam Yahya Ibrahim and calls on all groups and individuals to put pressure on the Sudanese government and help save Mariam’s life.

Sign the petition defending Mariam here.

Ex-Muslims Internationally

CEMB co-Spokesperson Nahla Mahmoud and heads of affiliated groups, namely the Ex-Muslims of North America and Ex-Muslims of Scotland recently discussed the Mariam Yahya case on BBC World Service and why it is so hard to be an ex-Muslim. You can listen to the programme here.

Despite the many difficulties, atheism is on the rise in countries where Sharia law has influence or access to political power. Interestingly, the country where Richard Dawkins’ name is most searched is Iran. Recently, co-Spokesperson Maryam Namazie sent a video message to over 60 atheists meeting clandestinely in Jordan to congratulate them on their bold move and to pledge CEMB’s support.  Moreover, the first legal atheist organisation in the Middle East and North Africa has been established in Turkey. You can see their statement here.

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

A new CEMB report “Evangelising Hate” exposes the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA) as a Hate Group. You can read the full press release and 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, 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. Clearly, 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 in a 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 and those living here.

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.

The new CEMB report has been forwarded to the Home Office, the Charity Commission and the Department for Education, amongst others.

New office space

We have moved into a new office space near Kings Cross, thanks to the fantastic support of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK. The office is shared with One Law for All and Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation.

We will have an official opening in the near future and will let you know about it when the time comes.

11-12 October 2014 Conference

Please don’t forget to register and buy tickets for a historic two-day conference in London with secular, including ex-Muslim activists from across the world, and particularly the Middle East and North Africa who have been imprisoned and persecuted for their atheism.

Whatever you do, don’t miss the conference if you can help it. You can register and pay for your tickets here.

Keep Supporting Us!

If you like the work we do and want to help or continue helping us, please donate! Your support has been instrumental so far and will further our important work.

A huge thanks to those of you who donate on a monthly basis; it has made a world of difference being able to depend on regular support. We need a lot more help so please do join our small but important group of monthly donors or give us a one off donation if you can. Here’s information on how to donate.  We also still need more volunteers if you have some time to spare.

We look forward to continuing – together – our fight for atheism, secularism, rights and equality and countering the far-Right, racism and cultural relativism in the months and years to come.

Warmest wishes
Maryam Namazie
Spokesperson
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: [email protected]
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

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

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
CEMB
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK
tel: +44 (0) 7719166731
email: [email protected]
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/
Company limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales under company number 8059509.

Sexual segregation at a UCL event is a scandal

I posted earlier about the sex segregation scandal at UCL.

Here’s a statement by concerned students on the matter (updated with a quote from a woman student):

A policy of sexual segregation was enforced at an event at University College London on Saturday, with the organisers’ security trying to physically remove members of the audience who would not comply.

Seating at the event was segregated between men and women, with a small ‘mixed’ space allocated for couples.

Separate entrances were in place for women and men, although ‘couples’ were allowed to enter via the men’s door. Male attendees were refused entry via the women’s door.

The event “Islam vs Atheism” on Saturday 9th was organised by the Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA), and pitted writer Hamza Tzortzis against Professor Laurence Krauss in a debate.

A policy of segregation was suggested by IERA in a statement before the event, which said: “As for seating, it is according to when the ticket was booked and gender.” This was raised by students with UCL, who gave assurances that no segregation would be allowed.

Fiona McClement, UCL equalities and diversities adviser, said on 8th March: “We have been in contact with the event organisers and made it clear that UCL will not permit enforced gender segregated seating. All attendees are free to sit wherever they feel comfortable.” [Read more...]

Sex segregation not miscommunication

On March 9, the Islamic Education & Research Academy (a nice sounding front for Islamism) organised a “debate” at the University College in London between atheist Lawrence Krauss and Hamza Andreas Tzortzis entitled “Islam or Atheism: Which Makes More Sense?” I guess that’s what they call it when they don’t have political power.

Just in case you don’t know about IERA, here’s more information. I’ve also written a post about them in the past, aptly titled: “For those who don’t know the difference between a Muslim and an Islamist“.

Despite sex-apartheid and segregation of the sexes at the event, the debate shockingly went ahead. I was returning from an 8th March conference in Germany. Had I been there, I would have been arrested before I would have allowed the debate to go ahead.

For all those who stayed on as if it was business as usual: you remind me of those who sat through “debates” with racists at racially segregated events. How utterly shameful.

Lawrence Krauss has Tweeted: “Met with IERA people today, who told me there was no intent to have enforced gender segregation. Problem was communication to and from staff.” IERA lies. Sex apartheid and misogyny is a pillar of their existence. It does make me wonder when people will stop believing their propaganda and instead side with human principles and equality?

By the way, here is a letter written by Chris Moos to UCL about the event:

I am writing to inform you that I was shocked about the manner in which the event was carried out yesterday.

1) The organisers clearly and repeatedly violated UCL’s Equality and Diversity policy. Not only did they enforce gender segregation, but five security guards of the organiser intimidated and attempted to physically remove audience members who refused to comply, falsely claiming that these attendees had been disruptive. Both male and female audience members felt intimidated by the actions of the organiser’s security guards.

Only after Professor Krauss threatened trice to leave the debate if the organisers should continue to enforce gender segregation (follow this link), the organisers cleared one row of the women’s area and allowed the male attendees to sit there, thereby maintaining forced gender segregation. Notably, the women who were sitting in that row were not asked by the security guards whether they would feel comfortable with a man sitting next to them, or whether they would be willing to move. Forced gender segregation was thus maintained. [Read more...]