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: exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com
web: http://ex-muslim.org.uk/

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

Urgent Action: Mariam Yahya Ibrahim must be freed immediately

mariamThe 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 is not the first to be charged with apostasy. The case of Mahmoud Mohamed Taha, the Sudanese theologian who was hanged in 1985, remains vivid in the minds of all Sudanese. More recent cases include the 129 people charged with apostasy in South Kartoum/Hay Mayo and forced to repent in order to escape the death penalty.

Adultery cases are also not new. The cases of Intisar Shareef, Sadia Idris Fadul and Amouna Abdallah are amongst those reported.

Mariam Yahya’s case represent 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. The right to belief, religion and atheism are basic rights and must be respected.

We ask all groups and individuals to put pressure on the Sudanese government and help save Mariam’s life.

You can also sign a petition here to defend Mariam.

Lib Dems: Wrong Answer, Again!

Nahla Mahmoud MCUNahla Mahmoud, Spokesperson of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, was threatened after speaking out against Sharia law including by Salah al Bandar (or Salah al Bander) who has until recently been a Liberal Democrat Councillor and is currently an esteemed member. Details of his threats can be found here as can information on his dubious background here.

Spencer Hagard, Chair of the Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats, initiated an investigation when the threats were first made public in English and found them “groundless”. Instead, he said the inquiry “increased [his] previously high esteem for” al Bandar.

When he was further pressed, he commissioned an “independent translation” and reached the very same conclusion, which says:

1.  Nahla Mahmoud’s allegations against Dr Al Bander are very serious, in their nature, and in the scale and persistence of their dissemination.
2.  The allegations are based on Dr Al Bander’s posts on ‘SudaneseOnline’.  We have had these independently translated into English.
3. None of the independent translations supports the allegations made in Nahla Mahmoud’s articles of 2 August 2013, 2 September 2013, 4 September 2013, and 28 September 2013. By a combination of of mistranslation, omission of key phrases, and highly selective and partial quotation, she has created serious distortions of the meaning of Dr Al Bander’s posts.

4. Our conclusion is that Dr Al Bander has no case to answer in respect of the allegations by Nahla Mahmoud.

5. We are therefore satisfied that there is nothing in Dr Salah Al Bander’s behaviour which conflicts with his continuing membership of the Liberal Democrat Party.

When asked for a copy of the “independent translation”  by Janet Wright who lives in Cambridgeshire, Hagard refused. Janet wrote to him saying:

You say “You will see that the matter has been thoroughly investigated”. But that is exactly what I cannot see, because you have not shown me the evidence. As an academic, you know that repeating an assertion is not the same as providing evidence.

Would you please be kind enough to send me the independent translation you commissioned, with some information about who did the translation? Then I hope I will be able to see that Mr Al Bander is completely innocent of the charges made against him. Many thanks.

I very much wish to be reassured about the principles upheld by Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats. But the more you tell me you have evidence exonerating Mr Al Bander but you will not show it to me, the more worried I become.

Hagard wrote back: [Read more...]

I won’t cover my hair

Amira Osman Hamed says:

I’m Sudanese. I’m Muslim, and I’m not going to cover my head.

Today, 19 September, she faces trial in the Sudan for refusing to wear the hijab and will be flogged if convicted.

She says she’s prepared to be flogged to defend the right to leave her hair uncovered in defiance of a “Taliban”-like law.

It would be good if secularists could take some time out of their busy schedule defending the veil and burqa to defend the likes of Amira.

Here’s a petition you can sign (thanks to Jane J for forwarding it to me).

Also Tweet: Save Amira Osman Hamed from flogging in Sudan. #Amira #Sudan #flogging. Do it now please.

amiraosmanhamed

It has to stop

I have just been informed that a Dutch MP of the Socialist Party, Harry van Bommel, has successfully submitted a resolution in the Dutch parliament calling for the Dutch government to instigate an initiative during the 67th UN General Assembly with the goal of an international condemnation and prohibition of stoning.  The resolution has been accepted.

Clearly, we need other parliaments doing the same as we need to end stoning now.

The lives of tens of women and men depend on it.

In Iran, at least 22 people await death by stoning sentences.

In Sudan, Intisar Sharief Abdala was sentenced to death by stoning.  The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies says of her case:

On 22 April 2012, judge Sami Ibrahim Shabo sentenced Intisar Sharief Abdala to death by stoning and ordered the case file to be sent to the high court for the confirmation of the sentence subsequent to a lapse of appeal period. The case was initially put before the court alongside two others accused: Lutfi Abu-Alros Jaeo and Alrisala Khamis.

The court acquitted the second accused for insufficient evidence against him; the third accused recently killed in a car accident. All three were illiterate and stated in the police and trial record that they don’t know to write or read.

Intisar is believed to be 20 years old, although some reports state that she is a minor. [Human Rights Watch says she is under 18, is imprisoned with her 5 month old baby and her feet shackled.] [Read more...]

Intisar Sharif Abdallah is in danger of being stoned in Sudan!

I’ve been away for a few days and am trying to get through all my emails but thought I’d post this right away. It’s from Mina Ahadi about a stoning sentence in Sudan:

Intisar who is under 18 and has three children of whom the youngest is five months old is now in Omdurmanprison in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, with her five-month-old child. She has been condemned to death by stoning for allegedly having sexual relations outside marriage. She was tried without a lawyer or an interpreter, and was condemned to be stoned on the 22nd of April, 2012. She says that she was forced to confess under torture.

The International Committee Against Stoning invites all human-rights organisations, as well as all opponents of stoning and the people of the world as a whole, to protest immediately against this young woman’s stoning sentence…

Just as in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, this time too the people of the world must arise and declare that they will not allow these Islamic criminals to wrap a young woman in a burial shroud while she is still alive and then torture to death by throwing stones at her. Protest against Intisar Sharif Abdallah’s stoning sentence by any means possible!

International Committee Against Stoning
1 June 2012
Email: minaahadi@aol.com

http://notonemoreexecution.org

http://stopstonningnow.com/wpress/