In the News: Ex-Muslims Meet in London

Largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history, CEMB (Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain), 2017-07-25.

The International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression, the largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history, was held during 22-24 July 2017 in London. Over 70 notable speakers from 30 countries or the Diaspora gathered in what was dubbed “The Glastonbury of Freethinkers” and “a Conference of Heroes” to honour dissenters and defend apostasy, blasphemy, and secularism.

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At the conference, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) honoured ten individuals to mark its tenth anniversary, namely 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 Author and Scientist Richard Dawkins.

Some topics and highlights of the Conference:

  • Screening of Deeyah Khan’s film, “Islam’s Non Believers.”
  • So-called “Islamophobia” and its use by Islamists to impose de facto blasphemy laws.
  • Communalism’s threat to universal rights.
  • Resolution against the no-platforming of Richard Dawkins by KPFA radio station because of Dawkins’ alleged “hurtful” comments about Islam:
    • “Given that most of the speakers and delegates at our conference are Islam’s apostates, many from countries where the legal penalty for apostasy is death, we find it necessary to remind KPFA that criticism of Islam is no different from criticism of Christianity or Judaism. Also, criticism of Islamism is no different from criticism of the Christian-Right, Jewish-Right or Hindu-Right. Criticism of religious ideas as well as violent religious political movements isn’t bigotry but integral to free conscience and expression and vital for human progress.”
  • Resolution condemning Egyptian government for preventing Ismail Mohamed from speaking at the Conference.
  • Resolution calling on organizers of London LGBT Pride whether they side with Islamists who use accusations of “Islamophobia” to attempt to censor criticism and who support judicial murder of ex-Muslims and gay men, or with those who oppose Islamic homophobia and all laws criminalising homosexuality, apostasy and blasphemy.
  • Declaration of Freethinkers for freedom of conscience and secularism, against racism, xenophobia and far-right extremism (such as Islamism).

Finally, the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression calls for:

  1. End the killing of apostates and blasphemers
  2. Release those on death row or in prison simply because they are atheists, freethinkers, apostates or blasphemers
  3. Repeal apostasy and blasphemy laws
  4. Clarify that freedom of conscience and freedom of belief guarantee the right to freedom of and from religion; and that religion is not an excuse for silencing dissent or threatening other rights and freedoms
  5. Protect the right of freedom of expression to ‘offend’, without which no human progress is possible
  6. A declaration of principles showing that the human right to freedom of conscience is explicitly embedded in human rights documents and is not limited by any right to religious belief.

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