Category: LATEST

THE CEMB IS MAKING A SHORT FILM ON EX-MUSLIM WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD THE COURAGE TO LEAVE ISLAM AND RELIGION

THE CEMB IS MAKING A SHORT FILM ON EX-MUSLIM WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD THE COURAGE TO LEAVE ISLAM AND RELIGION

“The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is making a short film on ex-Muslim women who have had the courage to leave Islam and religion. We would very much like to hear from anyone who would be willing to take part in this important film.

If you are interested in taking part, please contact us as soon as possible to find out more at exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com. All initial discussions will be confidential and without any obligation to go ahead. During filming, anonymity, if requested, is a possibility.

 

We would like to start and complete filming within the next few weeks. We look forward to hearing from you.”

http://ex-muslim.org.uk/2015/05/interested-in-participating-in-a-film-of-women-ex-muslims/

MEDIA REQUEST

MEDIA REQUEST

A freelance journalist is interested in speaking to some of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s members for a possible article in one of the UK national newspapers/magazines about why they renounced Islam.

Also a TV Producer in the Yorkshire/Northern region would like to speak to ex Muslims and those wanting to leave the religion about their reasons and the pressures on them from other members of the faith. Initial discussions in total confidence would be the first step. Even those who don’t want to appear would be welcome in order to help gauge the extent of the issue and to gain greater understanding.

If interested in either of the above, please email exmuslimcouncil@gmail.com.

SECULAR CONFERENCE 2014 AND ITS LEGACY; THE ‘MANIFESTO FOR SECULARISM’

SECULAR CONFERENCE 2014 AND ITS LEGACY; THE ‘MANIFESTO FOR SECULARISM’

Two days of fascinating ‘International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights’ in London during 11 and 12 of October are now over. Two amazing days of presentations and debates.

Last weekend over 50 speakers and 250 delegates from round the world got together at the London Tower hotel for this important event.

The conference gathered secularists from every continent together, from different religions and cultures, all believing separation of state and religion as a universal human value. In fact, secularism is not just about atheism and atheists, it supports believers AND atheists. As Maryam Namazie told the Guardian, “This is a fight between secularists and theocrats. This does not preclude religious allies as the religious can also be – and often are – secularist�?.

At the opening of the Conference, Karima Bennoune paid tribute to the secularist victims of extremism and Islamism. (The recorded video can be seen here.)

I had the chance to present some fascinating secularists such as AC Grayling and Nadia El Fani to the conference and enjoyed listening to talks of Amel Grami and Safak Pavey who fight for secularism and against Islamism in Tunisia and Turkey.

 

I had the opportunity to meet Richard Dawkins on the second day of the conference. The Sunday Herald also published an articleabout me and my presence at the conference. It attracted public’s reaction on the Richard Dawkins Foundation Facebook page. I also have noticed the South African paper, The Times, has published a piece yesterday on the matter. I appreciate the kind words and supports.

The conference concluded with the presentation of the ‘Manifesto for Secularism’. The aim of the manifesto is to establish an international front against the Religious-Right and for secularism; it is now open to public to sign.

 

Ramin Forghani

18/Oct/14

GUARDIAN: SECULARIST CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS RISE OF RELIGIOUS RIGHT

GUARDIAN: SECULARIST CONFERENCE TO DISCUSS RISE OF RELIGIOUS RIGHT

Campaigners will gather in London at the weekend to promote an international front of secularism to counter the rise of extremist groups such as Islamic State (Isis) in the Middle East, Boko Haram in Nigeria and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Richard Dawkins, AC Grayling and the Algerian sociologist Marieme Hélie-Lucas will be among the participants at the two-day conference, titled the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights.

Hélie-Lucas, one of the organisers of the event, said: “This century is not, as many still think, marked by a religious or spiritual revival. What we are actually witnessing is the rise of extreme right political movements, working under the cover of religion.”

Another organiser, Maryam Namazie, emphasised that the battle with groups such as Isis was not religious but political. “The way to push back Isis and other forms of the religious right – from the Hindu right, Jewish right, Christian right, Buddhist right and so on – is by pushing it out of the state and unequivocally defending secularism, universalism and citizenship rights,” she said.

Namazie and her fellow secularists argue that secularism is not a western ideal, but one shared by many believers and non-believers in the Middle East, north Africa and Asia. “This is a fight between secularists and theocrats. This does not preclude religious allies as the religious can also be – and often are – secularists,” Namazie said. “In fact, in places under the rule of the religious right, you will find no greater adherents to secularism and the separation of religion from the state. They may not call themselves secularists, but that is what they are.”

Karima Bennoune, author of Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here, argued that Islamism by definition was not moderate as it advocated a theocratic stance, using its own interpretations of religion and religious language as a cover for a far-right political project.

“It is a politics, not a religious opinion,” she said. “The current Turkish government is indeed part of the religious right and opposed by many progressive, left, secularist, moderate religious people in Turkey, as the Gezi Park demonstrations show.”

Isis can be expected to loom large at the conference. The militant group, which has been condemned as too violent and extremist even by al-Qaida, has attracted thousands of adherents in the west despite its brutal tactics, which include public beheadings.

“You cannot have a conference today on the religious right and not begin and end with Isis,” said Namazie. “The fight against Isis is not about western versus eastern values. Isis is the result of the retreat of universality, secularism and the Iraq-isation or division of the world and societies into everything from religion to ethnicity, rather than seeing them as human beings and citizens first and foremost. We have the historical task of raising those ideals and demands.”

The conference organisers have issued a secularist manifesto calling for a complete separation of religion from the state; abolition of religious laws in the family; separation of religion from public policy, including the education system, healthcare and scientific research; freedom of religion and atheism and freedom to criticise religions; and equality between women and men and citizenship rights for all.

They said the conference was an “attempt to gather some of the secularists on the frontlines, show our strength, and provide a progressive alternative to the religious right that does not involve bigotry and fascism, US-led militarism or cultural relativism”.

 

Original Article on the Guardian

CONFERENCE OF A LIFE-TIME ON THE RELIGIOUS-RIGHT, SECULARISM AND CIVIL RIGHTS 11-12 OCTOBER 2014 THE TOWER HOTEL, LONDON

CONFERENCE OF A LIFE-TIME ON THE RELIGIOUS-RIGHT, SECULARISM AND CIVIL RIGHTS 11-12 OCTOBER 2014 THE TOWER HOTEL, LONDON

Dear Friend

“Secularism is probably the one big issue for our century. This century is not, as many still think, marked by a religious or spiritual revival. What we are actually witnessing is the rise of extreme-Right political movements, working under the cover of religion. Everywhere. No one is spared… Secularists are being attacked in many places in the world today: they are jailed, killed, tortured; their very existence is considered an offense to believers in many non-secular states. … There is a need for secularists around the world to come together and examine their situations, to exchange information, to strategize and to join hands,” writes Algerian secularist Marieme Helie Lucas (www.secularism.org.uk/blog/2014/09/secularism-today-now).

This is the impetus behind the 11-12 October 2014 International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights in London with speakers from countries or the Diaspora as diverse as Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, Morocco, Pakistan, Palestine, Poland, Senegal, Sudan, Switzerland, Syria, Tunisia, UK, USA and Yemen.

Join Us!

Join this historic conference which will establish an international front of secularists against the religious-Right.

Secularism. Today. Now.

Register for the conference today:
www.secularconference.com/registration/

See the conference agenda:
www.secularconference.com/agenda/

See the biographies of our distinguished speakers:
www.secularconference.com/speakers/

See a short Bread and Roses Video on the conference:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXLDRdPkOx8

The conference is endorsed by Atheist Alliance International; Bread and Roses TV; Children First Now; Center for Inquiry; Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain; Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in Iran; Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation; International Committee against Stoning; International Committee against Execution; International Federation of Iranian Refugees; Iran Solidarity; National Secular Society; One Law for All; Secularism is a Women’s Issue; The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science UK; and Women Living Under Muslim Laws amongst others.

Richard Dawkins will be attending the conference.

For more information, contact:
Amal Farah, Atoosa Khatiri, Eileen McFadden, Gaby Grammeno, Marieme Helie Lucas and Maryam Namazie
Conference Organising Committee
Email: maryamnamazie@gmail.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/events/630996160274751/
Twitter: twitter.com/SecularConf
Website: www.secularconference.com