Skip to main content

London ex-Muslim world meet seeks right to criticize Islamism, as it's "same" as criticizing Hindu or Christian right

Solidarity protest with persecuted atheists
By Our Representative
In what is being described by its organizers as “the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history”, an International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression, held in London on July 22-24 was participation of delegates as “Islam's apostates, many from countries where the legal penalty for apostasy is death.”
Participated by 70 speakers from 30 countries, the conference honoured dissenters and defenders of apostasy, blasphemy, and secularism, with participants pointing out that the “criticism of Islam is no different the “criticism of Islamism is no different from criticism of the Christian-Right, Jewish-Right or Hindu-Right.”
The conference highlighted the voices of those described as being on the frontlines of resistance, many of them persecuted and exiled, and saw the first London film screening of Deeyah Khan's film, “Islam's Non Believers”, and a public art protest of 99 balloons representing those killed or imprisoned for blasphemy and apostasy.
Discussions centres around Islamophobia and its use by Islamists to impose de facto blasphemy laws, the relation between Islam and Islamism as well as communalism's threat to universal rights, art as resistance and Laicite as a human rights. “The conference hashtag, #IWant2BFree, trended on Twitter during the two days”, said a communiqué.
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), which organized the conference, honoured ten individuals to mark its tenth anniversary – Bangladeshi freethinker Bonya Ahmed, Saudi freethinkers Ensaf Haidar and Raif Badawi, Moroccan atheist Zineb El Rhazoui, philosopher AC Grayling, Centre for Secular Space's Gita Sahgal and Yasmin Rehman, Algerian sociologist Marieme Helie Lucas, Jordanian Atheists' Founder Mohammad AlKhadra, Egyptian atheist founder of The Black Ducks Ismail Mohamed, and scientist Richard Dawkins.
The conference issued resolutions against the no-platforming of Richard Dawkins by KPFA, a listener-funded talk radio and music radio station in Berkeley, California, US, and in defence of Ismail Mohamed who was prevented from leaving Egypt to speak at the London conference.
Prof Dawkins, an invited speaker at the conference, was de-platformed because of his alleged “hurtful” comments on Islam. A well known critic of all religions, his “long-standing attacks on Christianity have never resulted in anything approaching de-platforming”, a conference resolution claimed.
The resolution expressed “outrage” that the Egyptian government prevented Ismail Mohamed from speaking at the London conference, demanding the Egyptian government allow him freedom of movement and end his persecution and that of all freethinkers.
CEMB calls itself a “world-wide movement that supports people who wish to leave Islam and declare themselves ex-Muslim”, using the term “ex-Muslim” to highlight that the danger of leaving Islam risks death for apostasy. It works to ensure that people are safe from hate and violence from their families, communities and states.
The resolution took strong exception to 14 Islamic states (15 if ISIS-held territories are included) punish homosexuality with the death penalty, pointing out that its aim is to “expose Islamist-affiliated mosques, like East London Mosque, which have given a platform to hate clerics who have justified the murder of gays and apostates.”
The resolution said, “There is a tsunami of freethinking and atheism that is challenging religious fundamentalism, especially Islamism. The Internet is doing to Islam what the printing press did to Christianity”, though regretting, “This peaceful resistance movement is often characterised as ‘offensive’ against religion, nation, tradition or culture.”

Comments

Anonymous said…
Why can't you criticize islam? Lets see those fuckers come to Texas and try to implement sharia. Such losers. muhammad is a pedophile rapist
Anonymous said…
Islamophobia is an oxymoron. When a cult is required by their "holy book", named the quran, to KILL YOU for being of another, or no, religion it is stupid to call fearing this cult a phobia. It is common sense. Look at what they are doing to Europe. Look at Sweden. Look at the death and destruction of this cult. READ THE QURAN, understand this nasty cult for what it is.

TRENDING

Telangana govt proposes to give unfettered powers to forest officials, 'help' corporates

By Dr Palla Trinadha Rao*
The Telangana Government is contemplating to replace the Telangana Forest Act 1967 with a new law - the Telangana Forest Act (TFA) 2019, trampling the rights of adivasis ensured under the Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA Act 2006) and Panchayats Extension to Schedule Area (PESA) Act 1996 both of which are central acts.

RSS, Hindu Mahasabha were 'subservient' to British masters: Nagpur varsity VC told

Counterview Desk
Well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam, associate professor (retired), University of Delhi, in an open letter to the vice-chancellor of the Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University, Dr Siddharthavinayaka P Kane, has taken strong exception to the varsity decision to include RSS’ “role” in nation building in the syllabus of the BA (history) course, citing instances to say that the RSS ever since its birth in 1925 with its Hindutva allies like Hindu Mahasabha led by VD Savarkar worked overtime to “betray the glorious anti-colonial freedom struggle”.

British companies export 'deadly' asbestos to India, other countries from offshore offices

By Rajiv Shah
“The Sunday Times”, which forms part of the powerful British daily, “The Times”, has raised the alarm that though the “deadly” asbestos is banned in Britain, companies registered in United Kingdom, and operating from other countries, “are involved in shipping it to developing nations”, especially India. India, Brazil, Russia and China account for almost 80% of the asbestos consumed globally every year, it adds.

One lakh schools closed down, draft policy 'seeks' commercialisation: Whither RTE?

By Our Representative
A national consultation on the new draft National Education Policy (NEP) with senior experts, teachers’ association representatives and other stakeholders at the India International Centre in New Delhi on July 11, organised by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, has expressed serious concern over curtailment in the budgeted expenditure on education year after year, even as closure of more than one lakh schools over the "last few years."

Lynching as state terror? Complete dearth of 'political will' to deal with mob violence

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
On Friday July 5, thousands of people had gathered at a rally in Surat to protest against the growing mob lynching incidents in different parts of the country. There are different interpretations at what happened during the rally: with police blaming the rallyists and those in the rally blaming the police for using teargas shells upon them without any reason.

Beijing-based infrastructure bank 'funding' India's environmentally risky projects

By Our Representative
A new civil society note has questioned the operations of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), a multilateral development bank that aims to support the building of infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region, seeking to fund projects in India through the Government of India’s National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), calling it “a risky venture”.

Gender budgeting? Govt of India allocates just 2.1%, 0.73% for SC, ST women

By Rajiv Shah
The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), one of the most influential all-India Dalit rights networks, has taken strong exception to the manner in which the Government of India has undermined Gender Responsive Budgeting in the Union Budget 2019-20 for scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), pointing towards “wide gaps” between the goals and the situational reality of “the Dalit and Adivasi women on the ground.”

Mental health: India's 95% patients "deprived" of medical care, treatment gap 70%

By Moin Qazi*
Among the many challenges India faces, the most underappreciated is the ongoing mental health crisis. Mental illness is actually India’s ticking bomb. An estimated 56 million Indians suffer from depression, and 38 million from anxiety disorders. For those who suffer from mental illness, life can seem like a terrible prison from which there is no hope of escape; they are left forlorn and abandoned, stigmatized, shunned and misunderstood.

Universal healthcare? India lacks provisions to 'fight' non-communicable diseases

By Moin Qazi*
Universal health coverage (UHC) -- ensuring that all people receive proper and adequate health care without suffering financial hardship -- is an integral part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It enables countries to make the most of their strongest asset: human capital.

Include all workers exposed to silica dust in anti-TB programme: Govt of India told

Counterview Desk
In a letter, sponsored by well-known civil rights organization, Occupational & Environmental Health Network of India and signed by more than 60 professionals and activists*, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has been told that Indian policy makers shouldn't just acknowledge higher TB risk to mine and stone crusher workers, but also “other silica-exposed workers”.