Friday, June 22, 2007

Hanne Stinson, British Humanist Association (BHA) executive director at the birth of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain

WASPofScience wrote

Andrew Copson's colleague, Hanne Stinson, British Humanist Association (BHA) executive director, speaking at the launch, said 'she was delighted to be present at the birth of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain as a representative of one of the group's sponsors.'

'When we were approached by the ex-Muslims who initially came up with the idea of this project, we were only too happy to offer our support', she said.

'Our Association has many members who were raised in one religion or another but, until quite recently, we had comparatively few former Muslims amongst our members - perhaps because some of them have been afraid to 'come out' as ex-Muslims. But we are now getting more members from this community, and we need to do more to support them.

'The British Humanist Association's purpose - our mission - is to support and represent people who live their lives without religion, and we should certainly be doing this for ex-Muslims, and for atheists and agnostics who live within Muslim communities, as we do for people brought up in other religions.

'We know that we are very likely to be criticised for supporting the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain - that we may well be accused of Islamophobia - but as far as I am concerned this is not any kind of phobia, it's about human rights: the rights we all have; rights that we should all be defending.

'We all have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and this includes freedom to change our religion or belief. If any religious group claims they have the right to stop people leaving their religion, or threatens people who renounce their religion, shouldn't we all be defending this basic human right?

'As a humanist, the last thing I want to do is cause gratuitous offence. But I believe that if we do not speak out in support of other people's human rights, we all risk losing our rights. And if some people are offended by what I am saying, so be it.'

'The atheists, agnostics and ex-Muslims who are coming together in this new Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain are courageous people. I salute them. And I am proud to count myself, and the British Humanist Association, amongst their supporters.'

I suggest you join the British Humanist Association here:

BHA have only 6000 members and need supporting.

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