Thursday, July 12, 2012

Manifesto of the Council of ex-Muslims of Britain

Launched in 2007 by Maryam Namazie, the Council of ex-Muslims' manifesto is reproduced below. In the present climate of increasing censorship of criticism of Islam (which is termed Islamophobia and racism by Islamists and Guardianistas in an attempt to stop proper examination and discussion of the more worrying aspects of Islam) I would especially draw your attention to #2.
We live in free, democratic country. We have the right to criticise and poke fun at all religions and beliefs - especially if we think they are inherently anti-democratic, homophobic and misogynistic.
What we do not have the right to do is to encourage or incite hatred against a racial or religious group.
I have repeatedly said in these pages that I admire and respect many Muslims (and Christians and Jews). They are some of the kindest, most intelligent and thoughtful people I know. (I have also said I am aware of many Muslims ..and Christians and Jews ... who use their religion to justify the most abhorrent prejudices imaginable)  
What I do hate is their adherence to a creed that encourages and fosters, in my view, such despicable prejudices.

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.

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