Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

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Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Founded 22 June 2007
Focus Representing people who left Islam
Area served
United Kingdom
Key people
Maryam Namazie, Imad Iddine Habib, Nahla Mahmoud, Rayhana Sultan
Slogan We have renounced religion!

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain is the British branch of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims, representing former Muslims who fear for their lives because they have renounced Islam.[1] It was launched in Westminster on 22 June 2007.[1]


The CEMB in its manifesto states that it does not desire to be represented by regressive Islamic organizations and "Muslim community leaders".[2] It says that by coming forward in public, it represents countless other apostates who fear coming out in public due to death threats.[2] They take a "stand for reason, universal rights and values, and secularism".[2]

The Council in its manifesto also demands several things such as freedom to criticize religion, separation of religion from the state and the "protection of children from manipulation and abuse by religion and religious institutions".[2]


The Council plans to protest against Islamic states that still punish Muslim apostates with death under the Sharia law, as prescribed by the scriptures of that religion.[1] The Council is led by Maryam Namazie, who was awarded Secularist of the Year in 2005 and has faced death threats.[1]

The British Humanist Association and National Secular Society sponsored the launch and support the new organisation.[3]

The activists of the organization, many of whom are Iranian exiles, support the freedom to criticize religion and the end to what they call "religious intimidation and threats."[4] Namazie says they have 4,000 users on their forum[5] and assist around 350 people a year, "the majority of whom have faced threats for having left Islam – either by their families or by Islamists."[6]

The #ExMuslimBecause campaign, late 2015.

In November 2015, the CEMB launched the social media campaign #ExMuslimBecause, encouraging ex-Muslims to come out as apostates, and explain why they left Islam. Within two weeks, the hashtag had been used over a 100,000 times. Proponents argued that it should be possible to freely question and criticise Islam, opponents claimed the campaign was amongst other things 'hateful', and said the extremist excrescences of Islam were unfairly equated with the religion as a whole.[7]

News coverage[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Jonathan Petre: New group for those who renounce Islam, The Daily Telegraph, 21 June 2007
  2. ^ a b c d CEMB Manifesto
  3. ^ Maryam Namazie: Launch of the Council of ex-Muslims of Britain, Scoop, June 19, 2007
  4. ^ Tom Heneghan: "Ex-Muslim" group launches in Britain, Reuters, June 20, 2007
  5. ^ "Losing my religion". The Economist. 9 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Losing their religion: the hidden crisis of faith among Britain’s young Muslims". The Observer. 17 May 2015. 
  7. ^ Anne-Marie Tomchak & Greg Brosnan (1 December 2015). "Ex-Muslims give reasons they left the faith, using a hashtag". BBC News. Retrieved 21 December 2015. 

External links[edit]

Official website