Maryam Namazie, the extremely courageous Iranian human rights activist based in Great Britain, gave this presentation to explain the purpose of the Council of ExMuslims of Britain (CEMB). According to the Koran, apostasy is punishable by stoning to death. In the west, radical Islamists have access to Internet web sites they can use to condemn and threaten Muslims who dare to leave Islam, or convert to another faith, or speak out against the misogyny, oppression and hatred of radical political Islam.Peace loving people around the world must support CEMB and other organizations and people who are inspired to action by Maryam's vision and bravery. Here are actions you can take to support CEMB. (Go to http://tinyurl.com/2dwu4e)
* Sign on to CEMB campaigns and urgent actions.
* Add your name and statement to CEMB's list of members or supporters.
* Volunteer your time and expertise. CEMB particularly needs help in charity law, conference organising, researching, writing and broadcasting.
* Tell others about CEMB by forwarding recent media coverage or CEMB press releases to everyone you know...
* Donate money
* Participate in the CEMB forum discussions
* Join the Facebook group, "1,000,000 activists for Maryam Namazie"
According to the writer and philosopher A. C. Grayling, CEMB's manifesto constitutes a bill of rights which is absolutely necessary for everyone, non-religious and otherwise, to adopt and observe now that the world is again experiencing, with such bitterness, widespread religion-generated difficulties.
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 woman'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 Koran, Bible, and Jewish bible all contain harsh words and advocate cruel treatment to intimidate believers from leaving and non-believers for refusing to believe. This is ignorant tribal thinking unworthy of modern people. Join the gathering storm of protest against such stupidity and backwardness. Insist your faith community openly, publically, emphatically and continually renounces all the passages in your holy text and directives that contain injunctions against apostasy and non-belief. Withdraw financial support if they refuse. An even more effective strategy is to find a more modern approach to search for answers to the transcendental questions life poses (if you believe such questions are worthwhile pondering) and vote with your feet. Be sure to tell your cleric why you are leaving. You have the power to force your faith community to conform to fair and reasonable demands. Don't be a lamb, be a lion. Maryam Namazie is showing you the way.