27 July 2017

Where is the line between Islam and Islamism?

A recent conference on freedom of expression threw up issues around relationships between ex-Muslims and reformist Muslims – and the ideological confusion of their allies.

.... Bangash landed on a central faultline in the conference between those who were practising, progressive Muslims and those who felt that the door marked ‘exit’ was the only option as Islam was essentially unreformable. Could these two groups of people work together in a secular alliance or do atheists and ex-Muslims feel silenced because their critique of religion is seen as offensive by some believers?

These simmering tensions surfaced during a panel entitled ‘Secularism as a Human Right’. Chris Moos, council member of the National Secular Society, lit the fuse when he said it was not helpful to describe religious people as ‘stupid’ (in reference to comments made earlier at the conference) if you are trying to build an inclusive secular movement. He argued for more religious people to be part of campaigns for secularism, but said he feared they stayed away feeling their beliefs “were on trial”. [openDemocracy] Read more