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Supporting secularism: the approach that treats all citizens equally

MEDIA RELEASE

This Saturday, 17 September 2011, thousands of people will rally in central London to demand secularism in Europe.  Supporters of the rally include British biologist and author of The God Delusion Richard Dawkins and PZ Myers, an American biologist and author of the science blog Pharyngula.

Atheist Alliance International, with its UK Affiliates, Atheism UK and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, is proud to support the Secular Europe Campaign and congratulates the event organisers and sponsors.

Tanya Smith, President of Atheist Alliance International said: “Secularism is the only approach that treats all citizens equally and fairly, whether they are religious or not.  Public policy should be based on reason, evidence and compassion – and not whichever religion happens to be the strongest in a certain country at a certain time.  Religious privilege affects all of us – through our taxes and through its influence on issues like end-of-life choices, women’s reproductive rights and equality for same-sex oriented people.  If people want to live in a fair society they need to stand up and be heard.”

Mark Embleton, President of Atheism UK added: "It is no longer sufficient just to be a passive atheist.  Atheists everywhere need to be active in protesting the growing influence and power that the various religions are gaining in every corner of Europe.  Religious lobbyists are putting pressure on a weak European Parliament to seek even more privileges through legislation that, if enacted, will lead to further restriction of free speech for everyone.”

Hassan Radwan, Management Committee member of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, also called for action saying: “It's critical to make public our support for the separation of religion from the state and educational and judicial systems.  The simple act of showing public dissent to religion that enforces conformity through fear, is the most empowering thing one can do.  It erodes that fear and emboldens others.  This is what the Islamists dread the most.  They know that when people lose their fear, they gain their reason.”

Atheist Alliance International, Atheism UK and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain encourage all people concerned about the privileged place of religion in Europe to attend the London rally this Saturday and have their voices heard in support of secularism.

More information about the rally can be found at http://secular-europe-campaign.org/march-rally/.

 

Contact details

Atheist Alliance International

Atheism UK

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

Tanya Smith

President

t: +33 6 44 32 70 52

e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

languages: English (interviews in Spanish, German, French and Portuguese can also be arranged)

www.atheistalliance.org

Mark Embleton

President

t: +44 20 8678 1617

e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

languages: English

www.atheismuk.com

Maryam Namazie

Spokesperson

t: +44 7719 166 731

e: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

languages: English (interviews in Persian, Bengali, Urdu, Kurdish and Somali can also be arranged)

www.ex-muslim.org.uk

 

About Atheist Alliance International

Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is a global network of atheist/freethought groups and individuals, committed to educating its members and the public about atheism, secularism and related issues.  Atheist Alliance International's vision is a secular world where public policy, scientific inquiry and education are not influenced by religious beliefs, but based upon sound reasoning, rationality and evidence.  Atheist Alliance International's mission is to challenge and confront religious organisations and faith and strengthen global atheism by promoting the growth and interaction of atheist and freethought organisations in countries and regions around the world and undertaking international educational and advocacy projects.

About Atheism UK

Atheism UK is Britain’s only distinctively atheist organization; our objective is the advancement of atheism.  We reject the notion that faith and religion should not be questioned, and campaign against the false and pernicious claims of religion, its privileges and malign practices – including the religious labelling and indoctrination of children.

About the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) was formed in June 2007 to make renunciation from Islam a public matter.  Whilst religion or the lack thereof is a private affair, when apostasy is punishable by death under Sharia law and apostates face threats and intimidations for leaving Islam in Britain and elsewhere, a public renunciation becomes a necessity and form of resistance.  The CEMB was also formed to break the taboo that comes with renouncing Islam and take a stand for reason, universal rights and values, and secularism.