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Hold your breath! UK ex-Muslims to celebrate Blasphemy Day on September 30

Soheil Arabi
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), in a suprise move, has decided to observe September 30 as the Blasphemy Day. In an email alert, Maryam Namazie, CEMB spokesperson, has asked anyone interested to join CEMB in celebrating blasphemy by "uploading your photo into our #blasphemyday frame and sharing on social media."
"If you can’t show your face because it may put you at risk, hide it or leave it blank", Namazie offers an option, adding, "On this day, we reiterate that blasphemy is not a crime. It is part and parcel of freedom of conscience and expression and that ideas don’t need rights, people do."
Then, Namazie says, on November 20, there will be Blasphemous Women Film and Panel Discussion. She say,
"On Saturday November 20 from 6-8 pm, CEMB is screening 'Women Leaving Islam' for the first time in London. After the film, there will be a panel discussion on Blasphemous Women and Equality. Speakers include Somali Ex-Muslim Voices Founder Halima Salat, CEMB spokesperson Maryam Namazie, Youtuber Nuriyeh Khan, clinical psychologist Savin Bapir-Tardy, and writer and Southall Black Sisters activist Rahila Gupta, amongst others. Earlier, on October 3, CEMB proposes to observe Soheil Day. According to Namazie, "Over 140 personalities have called for October 3 to be recognised as International #SoheilDay in solidarity with Soheil Arabi, the atheist political prisoner in Iran who had originally been sentenced to death for a Facebook post. He has been imprisoned since 2013 and has become known as an outspoken advocate of atheism and prisoner rights despite the risks and pressures."
She insists, "Add your signature to the statement calling for #SoheilDay. On October 3, help highlight his case and put pressure on the Islamic regime of Iran to release him immediately and unconditionally."Then on December 10, CEMB will be publishing a poetry anthology on being ex-Muslim, atheist and a freethinker on December 10, International Human Rights Day. Poems related to being ex-Muslim/atheist as well as on Islam, Sharia, religion, fundamentalism, women’s or LGBT rights and other relevant issues are welcome. "If you are a poet, please send any unpublished work by 15 November to hello@ex-muslim.org.uk for consideration", says Namazie.
"Face-to-face meet-ups have begun since August. If you missed CEMB's Ali Malik speaking to Australian ex-Muslim activist Harris Sultan and Youtuber Nuriyeh Khan, you can see videos of the talks here", she says, adding, on November 29-30, she will be speaking at De Balie’s Freethinkers Festival in Amsterdam.
Other events she lists are:
* Signing up to a number of statements in support of women and people of Afghanistan, including "Women Against Taliban" and "Carte blanche: liberté, dignité et fraternité pour l’Afghanistan" in Le Soir.
* Maryam Namazie’s interview in "Dispatches on Global Secular Progress" by Marc Schaus for Humanist Canada Press.
* Ibn Warraq’s 2020 book “Leaving the Allah Delusion Behind: Atheism and Freethought in Islam” documenting atheism in Islam and the rising ex-Muslim movement. In it he writes, “If it were not for Ms. Namazie’s tireless efforts, I doubt if the ex-Muslim atheist movement as a whole would have had the success it is experiencing now.”

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