Moroccan activists defying fasting rules beaten; Join 20 July International Day to Defy Fasting Rules

On July 19th at 7.30pm, the Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties (M.A.L.I.) and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco held a sit-in in front of the parliament in Rabat, Morocco for the International Day to Defy Fasting Rules.

The sit in denounced the violation of freedom of conscience and called on the Moroccan government to repeal Article 222 of the penal code which is incompatible with international Human Rights Conventions signed and ratified by Morocco. Article 222 says “a person commonly known to be Muslim who violates the fast in a public place during Ramadan, without having one of the justifications allowed by Islam [such as travelling or sickness], shall be punished by one to six months in prison,” as well as a fine.

5 minutes into the start of the sit in, 6 non-uniformed police pushed, hit and insulted protesters. They also confiscated three phones and deleted contents of the photos taken as well as photos including that of a Dutch journalist, a laptop and some IDs. This attack in condemned.

On 20 July, International Day to Defy Fasting Rules during Ramadan, join Bread and Roses TV in eating and drinking in public in solidarity with people in Iran, Morocco, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq… who are beaten, flogged, fined, imprisoned and harassed for contravening compulsory fasting.

To fast or not to fast in a personal choice. The state has no place in imposing religious rules on society.

Join the 20 July international day to defy fasting rules. You can also join Facebook Event.

I and the Bread and Roses team will be in Hyde Park at  1pm across from Serpentine Cafe picnicking. Where will you be? Picnic or eat in public at 1pm to show your solidarity.

Send us photos or videos of your action to be broadcast on our programme.

A media outlet linked to the Islamic regime of Iran has condemned our call for eating in public to challenge compulsory fasting rules. All the more reason to do it…

Join us today.

Bread and Roses
نان و گل سرخ
Email: nanogolesorkh@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NanoGoleSorkh
Twitter: @NanoGoleSorkh
Youtube: youtube.com/breadandrosesTV
Telephone: +44 20 3287 6128

Repeal Moroccan Article 222: Stop penalising people for eating during Ramadan

Article 222 of the Moroccan Penal Code states that: “a person commonly known to be Muslim who violates the fast in a public place during Ramadan, without having one of the justifications allowed by Islam [such as travelling or sickness], shall be punished by one to six months in prison,” as well as a fine.

Non-Muslim minorities in Morocco – such as Jews and foreigners – are exempted from the prohibition of eating in public during Ramadan. However, its application to people “commonly known to be Muslim” denies anyone the state considers as a Muslim, the right to come out either as a non-Muslim, or as a Muslim who simply choose not to fast.

As the month of Ramadan begins, we young secular Moroccans, call the Moroccan authorities, once again, to immediately repeal Article 222 of the Penal Code. This is clearly an attack on freedom of conscience, which includes the right of everyone to change their religious views, according to their choice, and at any time. It is also incompatible with a true rule of law, since “commonly known to be Muslim” is unclear as a notion that leaves the door wide open to judicial discretion of judges which is unacceptable. This creates an a fortiori, allowing for the imposition of a heavy prison sentence.

We stand for freedom of conscience, inseparable from any democratic state based on respect for the choices of its citizens.

We are Moroccans of all religious views (including practising Muslims), united to defend individual liberties. To this end, a press conference will be held Monday, June 23, 2014 at 11 am in the premises of the AMDH (Moroccan Association for Human Rights) at Avenue Hassan II, 6 Rue Aguensous in Rabat.

The press conference is open to public.

For more information, contact:
Imad Iddine Habib
Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco
imadiddinehabib@icloud.com
Skype ID : ZokTooR
+212 (0) 626-172590
Facebook: fb.com/Zoktoor
Twitter: @imadiddinehabib

I support International Imad Day

imadToday is International Imad Day to stand with 22 year old Imad Iddine Habib who has received threats after his establishment of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco and to exert pressure on the Moroccan government to guarantee his security and respect freedom of expression and thought. Rather than prosecute freethinkers, the government should prosecute those who issue fatwas and death threats against the likes of Imad.

On 15 May, add your name to the list of signatories below; send letters of protest to the Moroccan embassy in your country of residence; Tweet #Imad, #Atheist, #exMuslim; do an act of solidarity, including posting a photo of yourself holding a message like Imad has done (you can also email the photo to exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com as Imad has been banned from updating the Council of Morocco’s Facebook page); click “like” on the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco’s Facebook page and more.]

Below are a few acts of solidarity with Imad;

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Athiest Alliance International President Carlos A. Diaz

Atheist Alliance International President Carlos A. Diaz

 

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Yasmine Vinck from Belgium

Yasmine Vinck from Belgium

Ghulam Mustafa Lakho statement

Jaya

Here’s one from activist Rafiq Mahmood in Indonesia:

rafiqMy name is Rafiq Mahmood and I am an ex-Muslim. I live in Indonesia which claims to be the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.

It is not my fault that I am an ex-Muslim. After many years of struggling with doubt I realised that I didn’t believe in Islam any more. I could not say the Kalima because it wasn’t true. I have not done anything wrong. I would be lying if I said I believed when I did not. Why should I be punished, put in prison or threatened by the mob with death? I can’t help it if I don’t believe. I am being honest. I am not convinced. If I am not convinced then I do not believe.

There are many people like me. There are many young people struggling with doubt. Why should they have to hide and run away from the police or angry people if they honestly and truthfully admit that Islam doesn’t convince them any more? It is up to Islam to persuade us, not up to us to persuade ourselves. Belief is not something that can be forced. It comes from inner conviction. If there is no inner conviction then there is no belief.

There is nothing wrong with not believing. Groups like the ex-Muslim Council of Morocco and its predecessors such as the ex-Muslim Council of Britain and Germany exist to give support to people who feel like us, to say, “We are not alone,” and to share our thoughts and hopes for a better world where people can be free to be themselves. The ex-Muslim Councils say that it is possible to leave your religion. A religion based on fear is not something that has a sound foundation at all. It is like trying to sit on a boiling kettle to prevent the lid coming off.

There is also nothing wrong with saying why we are ex-Muslims and what we don’t like about Islam. If Islam is, as we are always being told, the truth, then our arguments can be met with better arguments. Sticks and prison or the beheading sword are not better arguments. They are the admission of defeat, the admission that there are no ideas left and you have to resort to violence.

It is a disgraceful and shameful thing that good, intelligent and caring people like my friend Alexander An is in prison here in Indonesia for merely posting a link on facebook. A gentler and more truly peace-loving person I have yet to meet. Now another brave young man, Imad Iddine Habib, is facing pressure from the authorities in Morocco for daring to offer a support network for those, like us, who no longer buy into Islam.

It is utterly disgraceful that the King, whose duty is to all his people, should permit the High Council of Ulemas, which he chairs, to decree a fatwa of death to those who, like us, leave Islam. It brings his throne and his Kingdom into the gravest disrepute. Such a death penalty is a penalty for being honest, for striving to be normal citizens living in the open and fulfilling their part for the common benefit of all. Ex-Muslims are not bad people. We care deeply for the good of the community and for each other. Why should our contribution to society be denied by throwing us in jail, making us flee to Western countries or cutting us off from life itself?

Ex-Muslims are ordinary people. We are not enemies of the state, although we do want a better, freer state where everyone has equal opportunities to fulfil their potential and serve the community. We do want to see secular states emerge because we feel that secularism gives everyone the best chance of being themselves, whether they are religious or not. There is no shame in being an ex-Muslim. We just want to be open and honest and to be ourselves.

I fully support International Imad Day (15 May) and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco.

Rafiq Mahmood
Bogor
West Java
Indonesia

International Imad Day

imadSince 22 year old Imad Iddine Habib founded the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco (the first public atheist organisation in a country with Islam as the state religion), he has received numerous threats.

Morocco’s High Council of Ulemas (the highest government religious institution headed by the King) issued a fatwa decreeing the death penalty for Moroccans who leave Islam. Currently, under Morocco’s penal code, those who “impede or prevent worship” face imprisonment and fines.

The threats continue to escalate. Recently, Imad’s father has been interrogated by the secret service. He was told to tell Imad to stop his activities and that this would be the “last warning before they react”. Imad’s registered address has also been raided by security forces.

We, the undersigned, are extremely concerned about Imad’s safety and life and call on the Moroccan government to guarantee his security and respect freedom of expression and thought. Rather than prosecute freethinkers, the government should prosecute those who issue fatwas and death threats.

On 15 May we call for an International Imad Day in order to stand with and defend Imad.

He is all of us.

[For 15 May, add your name to the list below; send letters of protest to the Moroccan embassy in your country of residence; Tweet #Imad, #Atheist, #exMuslim; do an act of solidarity, including posting a photo of yourself holding a message like Imad has done (you can also email the photo to exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com); click “like” on the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco’s Facebook page and more.]

Signatories: (Add your name, description and or organisation, and country in the comments section below. The list will be updated regularly.) [Read more...]

You better not touch him

imadThe last email the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain received from 22 year old Imad Iddine Habib, the founder of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco (the first atheist organisation in a country with Islam as a state religion), spoke of more threats and a final warning from the Moroccan government.

In the email, he said:

My Father has been interviewed by secret agents at work, they asked him about my activities, my beliefs, my relations and if some foreigners visit me, and they told him that I have to stop, and that I am considered an enemy of the country by showing bad things about it … and [that] it is the last warning before they react.

Since then, he has gone into hiding after security officials raided a home to possibly arrest him.

His latest Facebook post says:

Hey Everyone,

I would like to thank everyone who supported me, asked about me by any mean! Those whom I didn’t reply didn’t add me as a friend, as I am blocked, I couldn’t reply at them! Thank you All, you made me so proud of being part of this big and united family of rational and free thinkers!

Whatever my fate will be in the next hours, the next days, the next weeks; killed, beaten, jailed, or anything else, I am not sorry for what I have done since I became an activist few years ago, I have shared with many people here thoughts and ideas, and so many awesome memories.

Both police and people are looking for me, I have nowhere to go, my life is at high risk… However, I am Happy, because I am not the only one fighting for a better world, I hope I will be the last man persecuted because of Dogmatisms, Religions, or Myths.

Whatever I’ll be, KEEP FIGHTING, I love you all.

PS: There is no god but Minnie Mouse.

– Imad Iddine Habib

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain unequivocally condemns efforts of the Moroccan government to silence Imad. Rather, the government should be prosecuting those who threaten Imad and apostates with death, including members of Morocco’s High Council of Ulemas who recently issued a fatwa decreeing the death penalty for Moroccans leaving Islam.

This is our final warning to the Moroccan Government. Hands off Imad, prosecute those who threaten and incite murder, and respect freedom of expression and thought.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain calls on all to condemn the Moroccan government and defend Imad.

On 15 May join us in defending Imad. He is all of us.

More details will follow.

Leaving Islam is not a crime

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Press Release

CEM-moroccoMorocco’s High Council of Ulemas (the highest government religious institution headed by the King) has issued a fatwa decreeing the death penalty for Moroccans who leave Islam. Currently, under Morocco’s penal code, those who impede or prevent worship face imprisonment and fines.

An attack on apostates is clearly a response to the establishment of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco – the first public atheist organisation in a country with Islam as the state religion.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain reminds the government of Morocco that the right to religion has a corresponding right to be free from religion.

Leaving Islam is not a crime; issuing death fatwas against people, however, is.

We call on the Moroccan government to cancel the fatwa, guarantee the security of apostates and freethinkers and prosecute those who threaten citizens with death.

We call on the public to defend the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco and the right to atheism and renouncing Islam.

You can support the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco here.

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

bangladeshibloggersHello

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

25 APRIL: INTERNATIONAL DAY TO DEFEND BANGLADESHI BLOGGERS

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS

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...]