A British branch of a new Europe-wide phenomenon is to be launched on
Thursday 21 June in London. The Council of ex-Muslims of Britain is building
on the stunning success of other branches already operating in Germany,
Finland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. The British Humanist Association and
National Secular Society are sponsoring the launch and support the new
The Council will provide a voice for those labelled Muslim but who have
renounced religion and do not want to be identified by religion.
Rights activist Maryam Namazie will be the voice of the organisation in this
country. She said: "We are establishing the alternative to the likes of the
Muslim Council of Britain because we don't think people should be
pigeonholed as Muslims or deemed to be represented by regressive
organisations like the MCB. Those of us who have come forward with our names
and photographs represent countless others who are unable or unwilling to do
so because of the threats faced by those considered 'apostates' - punishable
by death in countries under Islamic law. By doing so, we are breaking the
taboo that comes with renouncing Islam but also taking a stand for reason,
universal rights and values, and secularism. We are quite certain we
represent a majority in Europe and a vast secular and humanist protest
movement in countries like Iran."
Mina Ahadi who initiated the original Central Council of Ex-Muslims in
Germany will be attending the launch. She spoke about the aims of the
organisation in an interview to Der Spiegel.
Mina Ahadi, Mahin Alipour (spokesperson of the Scandinavian organisation), Maryam Namazie and others will be available for interviews at the launch.
A manifesto explaining the aims of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Manifesto of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
We, non-believers, atheists, and ex-Muslims, are establishing or joining the
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain to insist that no one be pigeonholed as
Muslims with culturally relative rights nor deemed to be represented by
regressive Islamic organisations and 'Muslim community leaders'.
Those of us who have come forward with our names and photographs represent
countless others who are unable or unwilling to do so because of the threats
faced by those considered 'apostates' - punishable by death in countries
under Islamic law.
By doing so, we are breaking the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam but
also taking a stand for reason, universal rights and values, and secularism.
Whilst religion or the lack thereof is a private affair, the increasing
intervention of and devastation caused by religion and particularly Islam in
contemporary society has necessitated our public renunciation and
declaration. We represent a majority in Europe and a vast secular and
humanist protest movement in countries like Iran.
Taking the lead from the Central Council of Ex-Muslims in Germany, we
- Universal rights and equal citizenship for all. We are opposed to
cultural relativism and the tolerance of inhuman beliefs, discrimination and
abuse in the name of respecting religion or culture.
- Freedom to criticise religion. Prohibition of restrictions on
unconditional freedom of criticism and expression using so-called religious
- Freedom of religion and atheism.
- Separation of religion from the state and legal and educational system.
- Prohibition of religious customs, rules, ceremonies or activities that
are incompatible with or infringe people's rights and freedoms.
- Abolition of all restrictive and repressive cultural and religious
customs which hinder and contradict woman's independence, free will and
equality. Prohibition of segregation of sexes.
- Prohibition of interference by any authority, family members or
relatives, or official authorities in the private lives of women and men and
their personal, emotional and sexual relationships and sexuality.
- Protection of children from manipulation and abuse by religion and
- Prohibition of any kind of financial, material or moral support by the
state or state institutions to religion and religious activities and
- Prohibition of all forms of religious intimidation and threats.
For more information please contact:
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain,
BM Box 1919,
London WC1N 3XX, UK
website: www.ex-muslim.org.uk (under construction)
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