Here is an update for you on some important matters and upcoming events:

On Fitna Remade

Reza Moradi, a member of CEMB’s Executive Committee, has just produced Fitna Remade in response to Geert Wilders film, Fitna. You can see Reza’s remake here. To see commentaries and Fariborz Pooya’s interview with Maryam Namazie and Bahram Soroush on the original movie on Iranian Secular Society TV, click here. You can read the transcript of the programme here.

Events – Hold these dates

One year anniversary celebration: We are asking members and supporters to join CEMB executive committee members for drinks to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the establishment of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and to meet other like-minded people in central London on 5th July 2008 from 2pm onwards. For more details, please RSVP.

International Conference entitled Challenging Islam and Political Islam, October 10, 2008 at Conway Hall, London: The CEMB is busy organising an international conference on 10 October – the International Day against the Death Penalty – entitled Challenging Islam and political Islam – to focus on several key questions, namely the problem with Sharia law, including for women’s status; freedom of expression and the need for criticism of religion; universal rights; as well as the separation of religion and the state. Keep this date free in your diaries from now.

Urgent need for help

Support and safe houses: We are looking for emergency and temporary safe homes for people who want to leave Islam but fear that they will be killed by their families. This will enable them to be safe until we can help them access available resources and a shelter. If you are able to help, please contact us.

Legal advice: The Charities Commission has said the CEMB cannot apply for charity status because we defend secularism! Perhaps that explains why so many Islamic organisations and religious institutions have charity status. We are nonetheless going to file for charity status and are looking for someone with legal expertise to assist. If you can help us, please contact us as soon as possible.

Ex-Muslim case histories: As you know, there isn’t a lot of information out there about the case histories of those who have renounced religion and in particular Islam. We are looking to record these in various ways. If you might be interested in giving us your story, email, write or call us so we can set up a time to talk or meet.

Important recent media coverage and speeches

To see a Times article on Maryam Namazie entitled: It’s time to take a stand against Islam and Sharia, Maryam Namazie, head of the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain, says that rights are for individuals, not religions or beliefs, click here.

To see Maryam’s speech commemorating 17 year old Du’a who was stoned to death last year in Iraqi Kurdistan, click here. To read the speech, click here. To see Maryam’s response at the conference commemorating Du’a on whether men are to blame for women’s rights violations, exaggerating the extent of Islam’s role, is criticism of Islam being anti-Muslim, and on various interpretations of Islam, click here.

To hear a part English, part Swedish 25 minute interview with Maryam on Radio P4 Boras on Islam and political Islam, Click here.

Upcoming speaking engagements

Maryam Namazie will be speaking at the alternative Islam conference in Koln, Germany on May 31 at 11am and again at 1230pm on a panel with other heads of Ex-Muslim Councils. Her 11am speech is entitled ‘Islam is significant because of political Islam’. [External Link]

Maryam Namazie will be speaking at a plenary session on Political Islam and Freedom of Conscience and Expression at the World Humanist Congress, June 6, 2008, Washington, DC, USA. [External Link]

Other information

A CEMB supporter, Richard Collins, has set up a facebook page called 1,000,000 activists for Maryam Namazie. To see or join it, click here.

Maryam Namazie’s blog has been rated one of the top hundred hottest atheist blogs here.

How you can help us do more:

You can help us do more to break the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam and to push back religion’s adverse role in society at large by:

* Donating to our organisation. We need funds to cover everything from a campaign against the Sharia courts in Britain, a comprehensive resource centre about Islam, political Islam and ex-Muslims, a support system for ex-Muslims and Ex-Muslim TV programmes that can be broadcast across Europe and the Middle East. A huge thanks to everyone who has generously donated to our organisation. We need a lot more funds though if we are going to move from a volunteer run organisation to a more established one. No amount is too small or for that matter too big!

* Adding your name and statement to our list of members or supporters.

* Volunteering your time and expertise. We particularly need help in charity law, conference organising, researching, writing and broadcasting.

* Telling others about us by forwarding recent media coverage or our press releases to everyone you know…

We look forward to hearing from you.

Warmest regards,

CEMB Executive Committee

Asad Abbas (Secretary), Reyhan Hussein, Jalil Jalili, Rony Miah, Reza Moradi, Maryam Namazie (Chair), Bahram Soroush and Zia Zaffar (Treasurer).

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