Solidarity with Conference on Free Expression and Conscience London 2017

AFT Declaration of Solidarity with the International Conference on Free Expression and Conscience in London

July 2017

Duration: about 1 min. 25 sec. The declaration in the video is an abbreviated version of the text below.
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On the occasion of the International Conference on Free Expression and Conscience in London in July 2017, our organization Atheist Freethinkers of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, sends its greetings and expresses our solidarity. We regret that our organization will not be represented at the Conference, but we wholehearted endorse its goals of freedom of expression and freedom of conscience as well as support for ex-Muslims throughout the world, including those so cruelly persecuted in many countries.

In particular, we are in complete solidarity with efforts by Maryam Namazie and her colleagues of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and other organizations to fight back against attempts to silence criticism of Islam, of Islamism and of regimes based on it such as those of Iran, Saudi Arabia and other countries. Such attempts at censorship frequently come directly from adherents of political Islam. However they also come all too often from those who claim to be progressive but foolishly enable Islamofascism by bullying its critics with slanderous accusations. We agree completely that accusations of so-called “Islamophobia” are a propaganda tool which not only stifles debate but also compromises the freedom of Muslims themselves by making it more difficult for them to criticize the actions of their coreligionists. This is especially obvious in the case of gays and other sexual minorities from a Muslim background who find themselves slandered by false progressives when they criticize Islamic homophobia.

In Canada we are very familiar with this problem. Our organization, Atheist Freethinkers is fighting to reverse the adoption by the Canadian parliament of a motion denouncing so-called “Islamophobia”. We are also fighting to repeal a religious exception in the country’s hate propaganda legislation which allows impunity for hateful speech based on a religious text in which one believes.

We wish you a productive Conference and look forward to working with you and all others like you who oppose obscurantism and who support atheism, secularism and freedom.

David Rand
President, Atheist Freethinkers
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

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