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…

International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in the 21st Century

International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in the 21st Century

In April 2017 Pakistani student Mashal Khan was killed by an angry mob in the premises of his university over fake allegations of posting blasphemous content online. Sadly, Mashal’s death is not a one-off incident. Even now dissenters continue to be threatened, silenced, no-platformed, intimidated and even killed for rejecting and criticising Islam. This is why a celebration of apostasy, blasphemy and the free word are historical tasks. One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (marking its tenth anniversary) are aiming to host the largest gathering of secularists, freethinkers and ex-Muslims as…

“ISIS aren’t in England”

“ISIS aren’t in England”

By Amina Lone   My heart goes out to the families of the people killed by evil madmen. I am angry, despairing and hopeful. My English resolve keep calm and carry on kicks in. But we must do something. It’s deeds not words time. My frustrations lies in our inability to be wise, balanced or mature. Some politicians, individuals and the media, whipped into a mass of hysteria, have hijacked the debate around extremism, counter- terrorism and security. The pendulum swings from ‘Lets put everyone back on boats and send…

Terror attack in Finsbury Park: Call out hate speech and the “us vs them” pronouncements

Terror attack in Finsbury Park: Call out hate speech and the “us vs them” pronouncements

By Tehmina Kazi A few thoughts on Monday’s terror attack in Finsbury Park.   1. There is sometimes a crossover between terrorist attacks and hate crimes — and on the face of it, last night’s attack appears to be both. But of course, it is possible to commit a terror attack that is not a hate crime. The most widely-accepted definition of hate crime is a criminal act which is motivated by bias against the victim’s membership, perceived membership or association with a particular group that shares a fundamental characteristic (this…

Finsbury Park mosque terror attack

Finsbury Park mosque terror attack

By Iram Ramzan   Another day, another terrorist attack. Is there no end to the senseless violence and killings? This time, it seems the terrorist was not from the Muslim community, but a non-Muslim who apparently attacked Muslims deliberately. Police were called just after 12.20am on Monday June 19 to reports of a white van striking worshippers outside Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park. Witnesses said the van struck pedestrians who were tending to an elderly man who had collapsed. Here are some of the facts so far:  Darren Osborne (47), of Cardiff,…

General Election: what is the colour of your X?

General Election: what is the colour of your X?

By Amina Lone   It’s General Election 2017 and there is something deeply unsettling about some grassroots behaviour in regards to cultivating the ‘Muslim’ vote. Targeting specific communities has been going on since time immemorial. Every vote counts so it is understandable that showcasing how one’s party will benefit that individual or community is a sensible political strategy. The challenge is the balance between the specifics and the universal. If one plays the identity politics game and solely focuses on micro matters then the wider macro issues of the economy,…

Manchester Attacks: Spare us your crocodile tears, anti-Prevent lobby

Manchester Attacks: Spare us your crocodile tears, anti-Prevent lobby

By Shamim Begum I am a Muslim and, shock horror, I support Prevent, the government’s counter-terrorist strategy. I do so because I have seen the reality of Islamist extremism in my local community for years, despite the denial by so many other Muslims. When I was at university, I remember meeting Muslim women who were calling for the establishment of a caliphate while ranting on about how evil Britain is. The attack in Manchester was devastating. But last week as I shed tears for the victims, my anger was growing, in particular against what is widely…

Terror in Manchester

Terror in Manchester

By Iram Ramzan   A terrorist attack in my own city is the last thing I expected to wake up to on Tuesday morning. There were several messages on my phone from concerned friends and acquaintances urging me to contact them as soon as I could. I wondered what had happened, until I went online to read the news. At least 22 people were killed and 59 injured after a terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena on the evening of Monday, May 22. Thousands of gig-goers were packed into the…

The Prevent Strategy: Fact vs Fiction

The Prevent Strategy: Fact vs Fiction

  Why is the Prevent strategy deemed controversial? Prevent is one of the four Ps that make up the UK government’s post 9/11 counter-terrorism strategy, known as Contest: Prepare for attacks, Protect the public, Pursue the attackers and Prevent their radicalisation in the first place. Much has been said about the strategy and not a week goes by without an article in the news and it is difficult to separate the facts from fiction. Critics claim it stifles free speech or disproportionately targets Muslims, which has led to some calls…

Casey pulls no punches but will anything change?

Casey pulls no punches but will anything change?

By Iram Ramzan This is a cross-post from Integration Hub   A much-awaited report which contains no big surprises received reactions that were entirely predictable. From segregation and misogyny, to the child grooming gangs and Sharia councils, Dame Louise Casey’s lengthy, evidence-based report pulls no punches. Towns and cities with high Muslim populations, such as Oldham, Rochdale, Blackburn and Bradford are mentioned as places of concern. Some of them are areas with large numbers of people who came from Pakistani-administered Kashmir, particularly the rural region of Mirpur. They came to the former…