In the Name of Religion

In the Name of Religion

By Ammara Mustafa Allahu Akbar they chant in a frenzy, In vain our men are slain in the name of religion Take off your rose tinted spectacles Dare to ponder and look around yourself. You – my dear, average Pakistani are not free,   Chaos is the disruptive violin playing in the air, Scare tactics are on the rise once again, Men in disguised robes have hijacked our country, Will the military intervene, will this noise end? Will the foundations of Islam be shaken so easily, Will humanity and justice…

A new day for Pakistan? The Asia Bibi Verdict

A new day for Pakistan? The Asia Bibi Verdict

By Saima Baig   A strange thing has happened in the land of the pure, the bastion of Islam that is Pakistan. A woman imprisoned for almost nine years and who was on death row for blasphemy has been acquitted by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The reason I call this strange is that in Pakistan — it is. The country’s infamous blasphemy laws are used willy-nilly to settle personal scores and it is very difficult to be absolved of this ridiculous crime. Plenty of people are languishing in jail…

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…

The right to enquiry

The right to enquiry

By Arshia Malik   Altamira, in Spain, is a testimony to the fact that the “early people” had developed a sense of consciousness and the instinct to enquiry, judging by the inaccessible grottos and niches they crawled into just to express themselves, with the rudimentary tools and pigments their early minds had made efforts to invent. I am not sure if most of the constitutions of the world have the right to enquiry, but it seems to be an obvious truth that there should be an irrevocably, undisputed article in…

Blasphemy-o-phobia is the Leading Scourge of our Time

Blasphemy-o-phobia is the Leading Scourge of our Time

By Mo Dawah   As the premier spokesman for self-appointed community leaders in the media, and one of the leading campaigners for religious freedom in Britain — where religious freedom is defined in its classical sense as freedom to obey and do as I say —  I am very passionate about the issue of how to enrich society by making it scared. Recently, the BBC Asian Network asked, ‘What is the right punishment for blasphemy’? This is a very important question, and the response to it unleashed a tsunami of…

The Muslim Council of Britain needs to accept Ahmadis as their own.

The Muslim Council of Britain needs to accept Ahmadis as their own.

By Shamila Ghyas   Asad Shah was what one would use as an example for a good human being. The humble shopkeeper from Glasgow was loved by his whole community — Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Well — except a few. We live in a world where it is the loud, violent people like Anjem Choudary who go around telling and trying to convince everyone that all ‘Kaafirs’ [non believers] deserve to die.  A world in which popular scholars like Zakir Naik preach that it is “haram” [forbidden] to even wish a Christian ‘Merry…

After Asad Shah’s murder solidarity must extend to reformist Muslims

After Asad Shah’s murder solidarity must extend to reformist Muslims

By Rasool Bibi The brutal murder of Asad Shah of Shawlands, Glasgow, on Good Friday has shocked us all.  All those who knew him or even encountered him in his shop talk of a peaceful, loving man.  Even those who did not know him, having read the tributes, feel deep sorrow and a loss. Hours before the terrifying attack that led to his death, Mr Shah had gone on Facebook to wish his “beloved Christian nation” a “Happy Easter”. Mr Shah had been repeatedly stabbed and stamped on, an indicator…