Sedaa – which means voice – is a platform which will feature writers of Muslim heritage. We use the term “of Muslim heritage” because we seek to bring together both those who identify as Muslims, and those who have left the religion.
We have set up this website to critique religious extremism, reactionary cultural attitudes, and problems caused by moral relativism in our society. We believe that Islamists and their fellow travellers and apologists must be challenged and opposed.
At the same time, as people with Islamic heritage, with Muslim family and friends, who have experienced discrimination ourselves, we are also aware that anti Muslim bigotry is a reality and so we will strive to challenge this too. We will seek to negotiate the issues we face with fairness and sensitivity.
Too often a free and unchallenged platform has been given to those who wish to portray extreme views as “normative” Islamic beliefs, and that they should thus be immune from critique. This comes, intentionally or otherwise, at the expense of abandoning liberal and democratic values and side-lining progressive and secular voices from within Muslim communities who are, and have been for many years, standing up to the fundamentalists.
Many of those voices are not being heard because they are not seen as ‘authentic’ or ‘representative’. Dissenters are silenced by being cast as ‘traitors’. Often, wider society either looks away, or sides with the reactionary forces within our communities because of fear of causing offense. By accident or design, often through a misguided notion of multicultural taboo, liberals and leftists can become complicit in double standards and oppression.
Often, these issues can be difficult to speak about, and in some cases can lead to threats to personal safety. We accept that misogyny and extremism exist in all societies. We always stand in solidarity with those who challenge reactionary values and practices. We are not self-proclaimed ‘experts’ but our background means we can highlight the issues within our own communities.
The jihadist terrorist atrocities in Brussels and Paris are a reminder of what is at stake. We wish to challenge underlying issues affecting our communities, ideologies that foment extremist religious hate, as well as the collective guilt assumptions that are too often made about Muslims and extremism.
This is a time, more than ever, when thoughtful comments unbounded by silencing taboos are needed and we will have our say