AMSTERDAM, 21/06/07 – Organisations of ex-Muslims in Europe are coming to Amsterdam in September to sign a declaration that Muslims must be free to renounce their faith. The move has been announced by Ehsan Jami, Labour (PvdA) council member in Voorburg and initiator of the Central Committee of Ex-Muslims in the Netherlands.
According to Jami, who has toured foreign sister associations, as well as the Dutch and German associations, groups of ex-Muslims from Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, the UK and France will also come to sign the declaration. He says in this week’s edition of Elsevier magazine that governments must also give their citizens the freedom to renounce their religion.
Openly abjuring Islam is according to Jami the biggest taboo among Muslims. Although the Koran does not say so in so many words, it is forbidden for Muslims to abjure Islam. In some countries and Muslim circles this actually carries the death penalty.
The 22 year old Ehsan Jami himself renounced Islam after the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks and began setting up the Central Committee of Ex-Muslims modelled on the German Zentralrat der Ex-Muslime last April. The committee’s aim is to break the taboo on leaving Islam.
Jami says he has since had e-mails from around 200 potential members. These are mainly people who have renounced Islam due to its dogmas about women and homosexuals. “I expect it will only really get busy after September,” predicts Jami.
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