Report on successful CEMB 5th anniversary celebration | Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

23

Over one hundred people joined the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain’s hugely successful 5th anniversary celebration luncheon in London on 23 June 2012.


Guests heard from philosopher AC Grayling, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss, comedian Kate Smurthwaite, writer Gita Sahgal, singer/songwriter Shelley Segal, dancer Maryam Freeflower, DV8 Physical Theatre Director Lloyd Newson, and poet Lilith. Magician Neil Edwards also performed whilst CEMB founder Maryam Namazie gave the closing address.

In his keynote address, AC Grayling said: ‘…The history of the world and not just the western world but of the world in the last 3-4 centuries has turned on the very crucial fact – the fact that there were people who had the courage to think for themselves…’

Lawrence Krauss said: ‘…We are all ex-Muslims… it’s true in the sense that all of us are fighting ignorance and superstition and a world where policies are made and people are oppressed on the basis of these things…’

Writer Gita Sahgal said: ‘…Council of Ex-Muslims is particularly important because it is dangerous to declare yourself having lost faith even in Britain and in fact in some places it is getting more dangerous. One of the reasons it is getting more dangerous is because …there is virtually no support from any public source for people who have actually left their religion.’

The CEMB also received many wonderful messages of support and solidarity to mark its fifth anniversary, including from Richard Dawkins, Taslima Nasrin and Mina Ahadi.

In her closing address, Maryam Namazie said: Whilst CEMB is many things to many people… it is first and foremost a challenge to political Islam. It is meant to shock and provoke. Throughout history that is how barbarity has been pushed back – not by tiptoeing around it, accommodating it, appeasing it, tolerating it but by facing it head on.’ She went on to say: ‘Pragmatism never changed the world but we intend to.’ You can read her full speech here.

The CEMB is grateful to all those who have volunteered their time, and supported or donated to the organisation over these five years.

We look forward to your continued support and another successful five years!

Photos from the event

Written By: Maryam Namazie
continue to source article at ex-muslim.org.uk

23 COMMENTS

  1. “Lawrence Krauss said: ‘…We are all ex-Muslims… it’s true in the sense that all of us are fighting ignorance and superstition and a world where policies are made and people are oppressed on the basis of these things…’”Which begs the question as to who is freeloading who? It takes not much thinking for oneself to see upon whom all power and wealth is built at the expense of!

  2. I think we should all remember how much of a leap it really is to declare yourself a non believer if you have been brought up in a Muslim family. The level of indoctrination routinely forced upon many young children within this community is appalling and it is a real credit to the intelligence and character of anyone who is able to throw off these shackles in later life. Not to mention the social and family pressures exerted on those who become apostates. 

  3. I’m not defending what Krauss said, but to fundamentalist Muslims we really are all ex-Muslims because Mohammed said we’re all born Muslim.  People don’t “convert” to Islam, they “revert”.

    I’d like to know if there are Muslims who actually justify killing the infidel by connecting the above with the prescribed death sentence for apostates.  Seems like it’s an easy link to make.

  4. Seems to me that part of the problem of the religiously addicted mind is being attached to the drama of it all. Conversion to this or that, de-conversion to this or that, becoming an apostate, not becoming an apostate, declaring oneself to be a believer or non-believer, etc.  Why not just stop believing in superstition and be satisfied with yourself at that?  Maybe it’s a way to be “somebody” which tells me that they are still susceptible to the religious virus.

  5. >Not to mention the 1000 new Muslims every day, through immigration and reproduction.

    Are they immigrating from outer space? 

    Muslims are not born.  Babies are born and indoctrinated through culture.  But Islam is just an idea and one that can be challenged by better ideas.  Culture is a stupidly (because humans are stupid in this regard) purvery of ideas. So a hundred ex-muslims standing up and saying that it’s a load of tosh is probably a little like finding a mouse in your house.  If you see one, there are many others hiding in the walls. A hundred standing up despite a threat of death in a mostly secular culture is brave and brilliant.

    From Border Collie

    >Why not just stop believing in superstition and be satisfied with yourself at that? Maybe it’s a way to be “somebody” which tells me that they are still susceptible to the religious virus.

    No.  It’s a way of standing up and saying it’s all crap.  This is terribly important. It’s very dangerous for them but they know it’s necessary.  Bad ideas must be challenged publicly when they’re as dangerous, wrong, and influential as religious ideas are. 

    This is not about drama.  It’s about truth.  We should applaud them.  It’s the very least we should do.

  6. “Muslims are not born. Babies are born and indoctrinated through culture. But Islam is just an idea and one that can be challenged by better ideas. Culture is a stupidly (because humans are stupid in this regard) purvery of ideas. So a hundred ex-muslims standing up and saying that it’s a load of tosh is probably a little like finding a mouse in your house. If you see one, there are many others hiding in the walls. A hundred standing up despite a threat of death in a mostly secular culture is brave and brilliant. “

    This really doesn’t make sense, and is totally at odds with the ‘ I know loads of Muslims who smoke and eat pork and drink ‘ stance from some here. I mean……which is it ? Are there really loads of Muslims who smoke and drink and eat pork, in which case where are all the Muslims our 100 apostates are affraid of ? Or are the smoking, drinking, pork lovers just an exaggerated figment of leftist imaginations ?

    If there’s so many moderate Muslims around…..as some like to keep telling us….then who are these 100 apostates affraid of ??

  7. Some of the not so old here may not know JFK’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech which is here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v… . Lawrence Krauss said: “in the spirit of John F Kennedy, we are all ex-Muslims” and I think he has put something into words for us all to use. The religious are grouping together for support and calling themselves “people of faith”, therefore when we are challenged about having a go at someone who is not of our cultural religion, we can reply “in the spirit of JFK, we are all ex-muslims/christians/mormons/insert idiocracy here”.

  8. Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain 5th Anniversary Celebration June 23, 2012

     http://youtu.be/ymTS9d1O9jA

    Lawrence Krauss said: ‘…We are all ex-Muslims… it’s true in the
    sense that all of us are fighting ignorance and superstition and a world
    where policies are made and people are oppressed on the basis of these
    things…’

    Well said, and hooray for Maryam Namazie! It’s about bloody time we change the world :D

  9.  >This really doesn’t make sense, and is totally at odds with the ‘ I know loads of Muslims who smoke and eat pork and drink ‘ stance from some here. I mean……which is it ? Are there really loads of Muslims who smoke and drink and eat pork, in which case where are all the Muslims our 100 apostates are affraid of ? Or are the smoking, drinking, pork lovers just an exaggerated figment of leftist imagination.

    What?  All I was trying to say is that Islam is spread as an idea through culture and that “1000 new muslims every day through immigration and reproduction” suggests that ideas can’t change.  They are NOT born muslim.  That’s why it’s so important for ex-muslims to stand up and challenge islam. 

    >If there’s so many moderate Muslims around…..as some like to keep telling us….then who are these 100 apostates affraid of ??

    The non-moderate muslims?  There are plenty of those.  That doesn’t mean that there aren’t moderate muslims.  I’d prefer it if there were no muslims.  No christians either.  I’d prefer it if people stopped believing in stuff that isn’t true.  If you re-read my previous comment, you might notice I wasn’t discussing moderate muslims.  I’m not sure where you got that.

    >Or are the smoking, drinking, pork lovers just an exaggerated figment of leftist imaginations ?

    Do they have to smoke, drink and eat pork to be considered moderates?  I would have thought that being against violence and respecting secular ideals would qualify them.  Are they cherry pickers?  Yes.  But so are moderate christians. 

    Do you think it’s possible to be a moderate muslim?  How about a moderate christian?

     

  10. I recently saw Maryam at a talk given by herself and Anne Waters.

    She was a star.  Very sweet and polite with a lovely smile – and able to suddenly morph into a complete tiger when presented with some BS.

    Marvellous lady.

  11. I’m equally amazed & depressed that more Muslims don’t see the cowardliness of Islam – an ideology that has to use the threat of murder to stop people from leaving it. If it was any sort of worthy ideology it could convince people not to apostatise through reason alone.

  12. You ignored the two questions I asked you. 

    I’m not talking about dogma.  I’m talking about people.  You must know that. 
     
    It’s just as well as it’s off-topic and this new format makes any kind of real discussion almost impossible. .

    Back on-topic.  This is about ex-muslims challenging bad ideas. What a wonderful thing that is.

  13. I saw Miriam at a British Humanist Association event in London. She was amazing – not so much the rest of the panel which included a ‘moderate’ muslim lawyer and a white male muslim convert. Nasty piece of work he was. The audience was largely hostile to Miriam and were desperate to get her to be more ‘tolerant’! The moderator joined in and she found herself cornered. That said, she did a fantastic job. The main source of her support was from a group of self-proclaimed feminists sitting at the back. It was great theatre but not a very balanced event.

Leave a Reply