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Posted by on Oct 16, 2008 in Death to apostates | 17 comments

Council of Ex-Muslims of Great Britain

…had their launch on June 21st of this year.

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 demand:

1) 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.

2) Freedom to criticise religion. Prohibition of restrictions on unconditional freedom of criticism and expression using so-called religious “sanctities”.

3) Freedom of religion and atheism.

4) Separation of religion from the state and legal and educational system.

5) Prohibition of religious customs, rules, ceremonies or activities that are incompatible with or infringe people’s rights and freedoms.

6) Abolition of all restrictive and repressive cultural and religious customs which hinder and contradict women’s independence, free will and equality. Prohibition of segregation of sexes.

7) 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.

8) Protection of children from manipulation and abuse by religion and religious institutions.

9) Prohibition of any kind of financial, material or moral support by the state or state institutions to religion and religious activities and institutions.

10) Prohibition of all forms of religious intimidation and threats.


The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s first international conference on Political Islam, Sharia Law and Civil Society held at Conway Hall on October 10 was a resounding success. Nearly 300 people came together to discuss issues ranging from apostasy, the freedom to criticise and renounce religion, Sharia law and civil society and creationism, faith schools and religious education. Held on the International Day against the Death Penalty, the conference was a stark reminder of the many killed or facing execution for apostasy in countries ruled by Islamic laws.

You can see the report, complete film footage and photographs of the conference by clicking on the first available internal link on the press releases section of CEMB’s website:

To read Richard Dawkins’ thoughts on the conference, visit :

To see AC Grayling’s report on the conference in The Guardian, visit

For more information, please contact Maryam Namazie at: or call +44 (0) 7719166731.


  1. The debate over the trajectory of the western sociopolitical system and its strained relations with Islam is the most pivotal of our time. Muslims are in one of the most difficult phases of their history when malicious attacks including allegation of terrorism are being made on Islam and Muslims all over the world. The malicious campaign against Muslims is politically motivated. The world is obsessed by Islam. Anti-terror measures are ruining lives of Muslim youths. If you go around arresting young Muslims, you are going to find that you are going to ostracise this community. Young Muslims don’t need to be ostracized, they need to be engaged. According to the Arch Bishop, Rowan Williams, acceptance of some facets of Sharia not only “seems unavoidable”, but could actually improve social cohesion. Muslims should be able to choose to have marital or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia Court. Such courts should therefore be incorporated into the British legal system as a constructive accommodation with Islam. Schools are being asked to help “win hearts and minds” in the battle against violent extremists on both sides. British born Imams should go into schools to supplement the teaching of RE, PSHE and Citizenship so that all pupils can learn about the Holy Quran and Islam in the context of a multicultural society. OFSTED must make sure that their services should be fully utilised by the schools, otherwise, it will be waste of public money. The British Establishment is wrong to assert that Imams and Masajid have been radicalising Muslim youths. The roots of extremism are in the British society and schools where institutional racism is at its peak. The racism within schools has got little media coverage. The school attended by 7/7 bombers in a part of Leeds known for its history of racial tension between British Asians and native Brits. Leeds council was so worried about the violence that it had to call in Foundation for Peace, a government funded peacekeepers who were used to keep Catholics and Protestants from killing one another in Northern Ireland. True message of Islam should be promoted because British media and society have always portrayed Islam in a negative way since Crusades and the siege of Vienna in 1683. School Curriculum should be used to convey a deeper understanding of Islamic faith, history and culture. Prison is not the answer of those who are vulnerable to, or are being drawn into violent extremism unless they have clearly committed an offence. The greatest challenge to humanity is learning to live in a crowded and interconnected world that is creating unprecedented pressures on human society. The rector of Oxford’s largest Anglican Churches has called a Muslim call to prayers from the main Masjid “un-English”. This is a clear case of intolerance. Gibraltar is a British colony. Five Pound currency note has a queen image on one side and on the other side there is an image of the Muslim Conqueror with a sword in his hand. There is more hatred of Muslims seduced by the Western media, education system and church leaders like Bishop Nazir Ali. Catholic nuns have worn veils for centuries, with no public controversies arising. There is no reason why any girl’s school uniform can not now be modified to include a veil. Wearing a veil to school or to work must be a matter of choice for all. Iftikhar Ahmad

  2. Iftikhara,I’m sorry but that reads as an incoherent set of statements, most of which are devoid of either meaning or truth and none of which engage with the demands of the ex-muslims.You haven’t mentioned anything about human rights, liberty or equality. Why not? You have complained of oppression where there is none, and no support for any in the Ex-muslim council’s statement. Why?

  3. I’ll try this again – there were too many errors.There is a big difference to allowing girls to wear the hijab to school and allowing Sharia law to be enforced in parallel to secular law.I live in a multicultural society, but as soon as you have more than one legal system in place – different laws for different peoples – how can the society function? Religion has always been seen as something deeply personal and if you keep it to yourself, then it shouldn’t interfere with anyone else. This has been the unwritten and unstated agreement in the society I’ve lived in for my entire life, and it has largely worked to date. That is why girls can wear the hijab to a secular school or in the work place without upsetting the status quo.What are the limits of tolerance? The limits of tolerance are someone else’s intolerance. If a group of people, whether on religious or cultural grounds, become intolerant of another group, then that creates intolerance against themselves. In other words, intolerance towards me, for example, makes a normally tolerant person become intolerant. Intolerance by a minority creates intolerance in a majority, where there was previously tolerance, and that is the real danger.There are a large number of tolerant Muslims in secular societies, who don’t want to live by Sharia law. We need to be careful not to alienate moderate Muslims in opposing fundamentalist Muslims, and there are many who don’t make the distinction.Regards, Paul.

  4. Hello iftikharaA poll of young British Muslims found that 36% thought that any Muslim who leaves the faith for another should be “punished by death”.Do you share that view?If, like me, you find it abhorrent, doesn’t it concern you that schools – Muslim and non-Muslim – are not getting across the message that what an individual believes is up to them – every child should realize that religious belief or non-belief is their free choice?If, on the other hand, you agree with those 36%, well, I wouldn’t want you anywhere near a classroom.Be interested to know here you stand on this, iftikhara.

  5. I’ll post that last comment as a main posting, to which iftikhara can respond.

  6. Hi Iftikhara,There is no reason why any girl’s school uniform can not now be modified to include a veil. Wearing a veil to school or to work must be a matter of choice for all.Why should the school uniform be required to include a veil BTW? Just wondering, I really do not know the justification so I hope you can explain the reasoning.Oh, and does this mean the child has a right not to wear the veil if that is their choice? This sounds good.I suppose this could be extended to include the right of the child not being forced into any particular religion – so the child could be taught about many different religions without bias. Again, sounds reasonable… maybe we could add some critical thinking into the classroom as well – you know, to give more choices.Yes choices do seem like a good idea sometimes. Though I am not sure why we should have a choice to which law we decide to use – this seems very odd. Maybe you could explain the benefits of this to the society as a wholeMany thanks in advance.Lee

  7. “Muslims are in one of the most difficult phases of their history when malicious attacks including allegation of terrorism are being made on Islam and Muslims all over the world.”Wherever Islam rubs against the non-Islamic – anywhere in the world – there’s violence. Thailand, the Philippines, India, Australia, Russia, China, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, France, the UK. Why is that? It’s hardly as if Russia, China, India and the UK are allies pursuing a joint policy.

  8. Muslims have an entirely different ‘take’ on Human Rights to those of us in the West – still, fortunately, the great majority – who equate them with personal freedom of thought and action. According to most Muslim “scholars” and teachers, the alleged will of Allah [interpreted, of course, by them] overrides all else. Islamic countries have for some years been making a concerted push to modify the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in this sense. See:

  9. Sharia law is politics dressed up as religion – it allows people to make rules and laws that wouldn’t otherwise be countenanced.Regards, Paul.

  10. ALL religion is politics. Religion is politics claiming to speak with “divine” authority to give it more punch. It is about domination.

  11. ALL religion is politics. Religion is politics claiming to speak with “divine” authority to give it more punch. It is about domination.

  12. IFTIKHARAThe roots of extremism are in the British society and schools where institutional racism is at its peak. CARRMuslims play the race card again, a tacit admission that they cannot make Muslims out of white people, who were not brought up in the religion since childhood.If Islam truly were a religion based on evidence, and not culture, we would see Islam more widely distributed among ‘people-groups’ (I think that is the theologically correct word for races)

  13. IFTIKHARA Wearing a veil to school or to work must be a matter of choice for all. CARRWearing shoes to school or mosque must be a matter of choice for all.How dare people say what can and cannot be worn in a building that a child wants to attend.This is pure intolerance.If a white child wants to go into a mosque wearing shoes, then it is racism , nothing more and nothing less, for people to demand that no shoes can be worn by white schoolchildren in a mosque.

  14. Re VeilsDon’t forget that there is a serious problem in “Western” culture with respect to covering the face. It is seen as something sinister and threatening, possibly as representing subjugation, not as a symbol of piety. Covering ones face in public without the excuse of needing protection from the weather is viewed with suspicion irrespective of the wearers religious affiliation. Popular culture is full of mask wearing villains.

  15. Show me a religion that is based on evidence and not culture, and I will show you a skybluepink flying pig.

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