Outrage as Columnist Compares 'Ex-Muslims' to Nazis

Published August 15th, 2017 - 01:34 GMT
An image used by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain in a social media campaign (Wikimedia Commons)
An image used by the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain in a social media campaign (Wikimedia Commons)

Former Muslims have expressed outrage after a columnist compared them to Nazis.

On August 12, Middle East Eye (MEE) columnist CJ Werleman tweeted that “‘Ex-Muslims’ not only adopt the same tactics as Nazis, they're also supported by Nazis and white supremacists.”

The claims, for which no evidence or justification was given, were strongly criticized by ex-Muslims and others on Twitter.

@RonanCharnock wrote “Absolutely disgraceful comparison that's bereft of reason or morality. Comparing all those who've left a religion to genocidal maniacs? Low.”

While @Geemme, a “gay ex-Muslim” according to his profile, responded “Gay Pakistani exmuslims marching in a gay pride march for LGBT rights (especially in Islamic communities). Sounds exactly like Nazis. Genius.”

Werleman made the comment as he shared an MEE piece by a colleague about the ongoing row between the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) and the East London Mosque.

The dispute centers on placards held by members of the CEMB at the LGBT Pride Parade in London on July 8.

The mosque made a formal complaint to Pride in London over the banners reading "East London Mosque incites murder of LGBT", "F*** Islam(ophobic) Muslims" and "Islamophobia is an oxymoron".

Pride in London is now carrying out an investigation into the incident, and if it is found that CEMB has breached its code of conduct, they could be barred from marching next year.

In the replies to Werleman’s tweet, @zandaqa, another ex-Muslim, demanded “show us evidence that CEMB is being backed and supported by Nazi's and "white supremacists". I DARE you. That, or shut the fuck up.”

Another reply from @DanielF01521143 added “CEMB "supported by Nazis & White Supremacists", would you like to back up your accusation with hard evidence?”

@Roadboy1989_Alt wrote in response: “‘I left a faith where in certain nations I could legally be beheaded for this, I want reformation of the faith’ You - ‘islamaphobic Nazi’”

East London Mosque (ELM) executive director Dilowar Khan claimed that CEMB’s banners were intended to "alienate all Muslims from Pride in London, including LGBT Muslims".

In a letter to CEMB, Pride in London wrote that while "groups are able to use our platform to protest" this did not "give people in our parade the freedom to ostracise, discriminate against or humiliate anyone else taking part".

Meanwhile, CEMB spokesperson Maryam Namazie suggested that Pride was only taking the complaints "seriously because of a cultural relativism and tone policing that is only applicable to critics of Islam and never [to] critics of Christianity".

The organization says it targeted the ELM because of its hosting of homophobic speakers in previous years, although the mosque has "condemned without reservation" those instances of homophobia.

CEMB has received support over the incident from Peter Tatchell, human and LGBT rights campaigner.

In an annual report by the International Humanist and Ethical Union, all but one of the 13 countries identified as punishing apostacy by the death penalty were majority-Muslim countries.

Ten of these countries that execute atheists also have the death penalty for homosexuality.

The CEMB "manifesto" on is website writes "Those of us who have come forward with our names and photographs represent countless others who are unable or unwilling to do so because of the threats faced by those considered ‘apostates’ – punishable by death in countries under Islamic law."

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