Ex-Muslim group hit back after Pride ‘Allah is gay’ sign row: ‘They are trying to silence us’
The Council of Ex-Muslims of Great Britain (CEMB) has hit back after the controversy concerning their placards at the Pride in London parade earlier this month.
Members of the secularist group held signs reading “Allah is gay” and “F**k Islamic Homophobia”, prompting an official complaint from the East London Mosque claiming that the group “was inciting hatred against Muslims”.
Prior to the march, the CEMB rejected claims of Islamophobia, their co-founder Maryam Namazie saying: “We need to stand up to racism and bigotry and at the same time we should be able to criticise religion and the religious right… people should be allowed to criticise without threat or intimidation.”
Following last week’s complaint from the East London Mosque, Namazie took issue with the suggestion that the signs and protest were in any way “anti-Muslim” – the group also published a full press release outlining its response in full.
“Why are signs critical of Islam (a belief) and Islamism (a far-right political movement) ‘anti-Muslim’?” she told Pink News.
“Muslims are people, with as many different opinions as anyone else. They are not a homogeneous group but individuals.
“Some will agree with us, others won’t. In fact, several Muslims visiting from Bangladesh joined us.
“The incredible support we received from minorities in the crowd cheering us on is a reflection of that. Not everyone was offended. And offence can never be a reason to censor and silence dissent.”
She added that ex-Muslims, including LGBT ex-Muslims, should have the right to speak beyond the confines of Islam and away from the control of “regressive” so-called leaders, including the East London Mosque.
“The East London mosque’s accusation that we are inciting hatred against Muslims for criticising their incitement to violence against apostates and LGBT would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic and if so many didn’t buy into it,” she said.
“The East London mosque has a history of inciting hate and violence against apostates and LGBT. It has clear links to the Islamist movement which executes apostates and gay men.
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