New IHEU member organization The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain was one year old on June 21. Maryam Namazie writes: In the short time since CEMB was launched in June 2007, it has achieved much with volunteers alone.
We currently have 120 members and 90 supporters. Given that membership in our organisation comes with certain risks, these numbers represent many more that are unable or unwilling to renounce religion and Islam publicly. Moreover, there are thousands of members across the world and councils have been formed in a number of countries.
Our website has 7-8,000 unique visitors a month and up to 300,000 hits per month; our forum has over 300 members and is a crucial place for people to debate, share information and talk about issues and problems. We have provided referrals and assistance to tens of ex-Muslims in need of refuge and in fear for their safely and lives.
So far, over 40,000 people have seen the video of our launch on Youtube. We also organised a conference in March 2008 on the topic of “Sexual apartheid, political Islam and women’s rights” and are organising a one year anniversary celebration in central London on 5th July 2008 and an International Conference entitled Challenging Islam and Political Islam on October 10, 2008.
I have done my best to promote the organisation through the media and have appeared on a number of television programmes. In March 2008, The Times published an article about me: It’s time to take a stand against Islam and Sharia.
I have also spoken at numerous events and conferences including to Humanist MPs at the Houses of Parliament, the European Parliamentary Working Group on Separation of Religion from Politics, and at the World Humanist Congress in Washington, DC in early June. 26 MPs supported an Early Day Motion in support of the CEMB’s launch.
Clearly, though, we cannot continue like this for much longer – as a solely volunteer-run organisation without office space or any substantial resources. This untenable situation has to change — and soon — if the CEMB is going to give those who leave Islam the full support they need, challenge political Islam, defend humanist, secularist and progressive values from the perspective of those who have suffered and lived under Islam, and change society for the better. It can with the support of like-minded people. With your donation — however small or for that matter large — we can begin to further professionalise the organisation and carry out life-saving and crucial work, such as providing support to atheist freethinking ex-Muslims by breaking the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam and religion but also to provide access to services, resources and information for those who fear for their lives.
We need to document and highlight the status of ex-Muslims and respond to the challenges of the political Islamic movement. Freethinking, human rights and free expression all need to be defended against the political Islamist movement.
We also want to spread the ex-Muslim movement around the world. Already we have requests from the USA, Canada, Australia, and other European countries but have been unable to meet the demand for assistance and advice.
Political Islam is one of the greatest threats to civilised humanity. Challenging this movement and supporting those on the frontlines risking their lives to stand up to this reaction is a task for 21st century humanity. If you can, please donate. You can: Send a cheque made payable to the CEMB and mail to BM Box 1919, London WC1N 3XX, UK or via Worldpay on our website www.ex-muslim.org.uk.