Human rights must apply universally; they do not differ from one culture to the next. Unfortunately, Muslim abuses of human rights have long been subject to “false tolerance”. In order to avoid accusations of xenophobia, many progressive thinkers have shied away from criticizing religiously legitimized violence in the Muslim community. The founding of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims and its “We have forsworn” campaign, both of which received substantial support from the gbs, have led to a change in the situation.
The ex-Muslims, mostly refugees from Iran and Iraq, cannot be accused of xenophobia when they denounce honour killings, forced marriages, hostility to democracy and the religious indoctrination of children in the Islamic community. The political debate on integration, Islam and Islamism has thus taken on a new character, not only in Germany but far beyond its borders too. There are now ex-Muslim groups, based on the German model, in, among other countries, the Netherlands, Scandinavia, the United Kingdom and Switzerland.
In partnership with the Central Council of Ex-Muslims and other organizations critical of Islam, the gbs initiated the first “Critical Islam Conference”. This showed that there is a sensible alternative to the extremes of xenophobia and reactionary defence of Islam. The international conference generated important signals and impetus for a worldwide, Islam-critical enlightenment movement.
» Whereas European Christianity went through the hard school of the Enlightenment, as a result of which it had to get used to more civil ways of interacting, Islam, despite admirable attempts in the 9th and 10th centuries, has mainly been spared such “progressive harassment”. We want to contribute to changing this in a lasting way. «
(From the flyer “We have forsworn” of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims)