London conference sees ‘largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history’

London conference sees ‘largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history’

The International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression saw what the organisers described as the ‘largest gathering of ex-Muslims in history during 22-24 July 2017 in London. Over 70 notable speakers from 30 countries came together to honour dissenters to defend apostasy, blasphemy and secularism. The sold-out conference highlighted the voices of those on the front-lines of resistance – many of them persecuted and exiled – and included the first London film screening of Deeyah Khan’s film, Islam’s Non Believers, a public art protest of 99 balloons representing those killed or imprisoned for blasphemy and…

Women smearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali are ‘carrying water’ for Islamists

Women smearing Ayaan Hirsi Ali are ‘carrying water’ for Islamists

By Arshia Malik   For us women in India, carrying water signifies courage, fortitude and surviving amidst insurmountable odds, considering the country still has parts where drinking water is not available and women have to walk miles to get two potable vessels of water for the cooking of the day. Compared to the slur of “carrying water” which the dictionary defines as “performing menial tasks for or to serve; to assist; to be forced by politics or pragmatism to endorse or promote a belief”, this act has become symbolic of…

Of women and girls

Of women and girls

By Arshia Malik   There is no end to the hypocrisy of Muslims. On the one hand, every time, a daughter is born, the only thing that looms large in the minds of the subcontinental Muslims is the daughter’s marriage. From birth onwards, they tend to see the female offspring as somebody to shove off the minute she is of the ”proper marriageable age” which can be anywhere from 15 to the ‘old maid’ 28. At every waking hour the talk around the home is centered around the ”dowry” they…

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Demand for Anti-Muslim Bigotry

The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Demand for Anti-Muslim Bigotry

By Amjad Khan   The well-known British political commentator Douglas Murray once observed that sections of the political left, known as the regressive left, have a supply and demand problem with bigotry.  He elaborated that there simply aren’t enough racists in the West these days yet the demand for such bigotry is at an all-time high. Without the demand left-wing activists that organise themselves as anti-bigotry activists can’t justify their work and, more importantly, request for donations. Hence, the definition of bigotry needs to be stretched, new sources of bigotry…

I’m not a ‘House-Muslim’… I’m more into rap

I’m not a ‘House-Muslim’… I’m more into rap

By Haydar Zaki   House-Muslim. Uncle Tom. These are just some of the terms thrown at me because, as a Muslim, I have a different political outlook to others. Fetishising over my physical appearance and religious identification, the groups that use these (frankly racist) terms so carelessly aim to portray me as one who has no agency, and is merely a slave or a “sell-out” to their community and cause. My abandonment of the tribal political mentality was the first step to warrant such a slanderous response. Many of us,…

Muslims: reform your religion

Muslims: reform your religion

By Saima Baig Orlando, Istanbul, Bangladesh and now one of the worst attacks in Iraq. The last few days of Ramzan have seen more bloodshed and less peace and love from the caretakers of Islam. Of course, we had widespread global condemnation, followed by the usual blame on western foreign policy by some, certain people fearing that this makes Islam look bad, and the overall placing of blame firmly on all Muslims by others. And most importantly, there was the complaint of why the attacks on Muslim countries did not…

The War for Secularism

The War for Secularism

By Arshia Malik   It is not easy to promote democracy, secular and liberal values in a population that insists on being regressive, mostly by men with patriarchal agendas and their conditioned female counterparts. Often those very “empowered better halves” trumpet their liberation by announcing the acceptance of regressive practices just because they want inclusion and acceptance in the frat boys club. One cannot ignore the fact that it is a battle between the progressive West (which by the way has Muslim-dominated countries too) and the regressive East (which includes…

We need a counter-narrative to the threat that is Islamism

We need a counter-narrative to the threat that is Islamism

By Ammar Anwer   Islamism is a serious threat to humanity. The harm that it has caused, and continues to cause, is indescribable, unspeakable and extremely horrendous. The most saddening aspect of this aching cruelty is that it has damaged the reputation of the entire Muslim community around the world Although its extremist tactics have affected the entire human community across the globe, but the ones who have also suffered are peaceful Muslims, who carry the pain of the entire humanity in their hearts; those who do not hate other fellow…

The Orlando tragedy brings out the same old comments

The Orlando tragedy brings out the same old comments

By Tehmina Kazi   In what appears to be the worst mass shooting in US history, 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened fire in a gay Florida nightclub at 2am on Sunday, killing 50 people and injuring up to 53 others. Orlando sheriff Jerry Demings called the shooting a “domestic terror incident” and the FBI — who already had Afghan-American citizen Mateen on their radar — are now investigating his links to terror groups abroad. His father, Mir Seddique, claimed that Mateen’s motives were not religious, and that he had been incensed…

Islamophobia is a convenient word to shut down a debate

Islamophobia is a convenient word to shut down a debate

By Arshia Malik   Islamophobia is a term branded around very casually these days on anything and anybody who stands up to the regressive practices in Muslim culture and denounces their oppressive characteristics. The first to scream Islamophobia are the practicing Muslims themselves at ex-Muslims, or agnostic Muslims, or liberal Muslims who feel they should speak out against the various shortcomings in their culture, their religion, their text and their fellow Muslims. A disclaimer first – I am aware that many cases of discrimination and abuse against Muslims are on…