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Pledge to stop threats on Former Muslims: Silence in Florida!

Posted by on Mar 11th, 2010 and filed under Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

By Nonie Darwish
Mar. 11, 2010

“Overwhelmingly, Florida Muslim leaders do not honor freedom to choose one’s beliefs as guaranteed under our First Amendment. That is the only conclusion we can draw from the overwhelming ‘silence’ and non-response to 47 letters containing a Freedom Pledge sent to Florida Muslim leaders by our organization in February 2010,” according to author and human rights activist Nonie Darwish.

She is executive director of Former Muslims United (FMU) speaking at the America on Guard briefing to Florida legislators and staff about Muslim Day at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida.

Former Muslims United (FMU) is a human- and civil-rights organization whose mission is to protect and defend those who have chosen to leave Islam and face threats to their lives and property under Fatwas or rulings from Muslim clerics and legal authorities both here in the United States and abroad.

Darwish said, “The objective of letters sent by FMU was to request that Florida Muslim community leaders sign a pledge to honor the freedom of former Muslims to choose a personal belief other than Islam.

We are dismayed. We call upon the majority of Florida Muslims who consider themselves law abiding citizens of this country to urge their leaders to reconsider their positions and sign the Freedom Pledge.”

The threats to former Muslims’ human rights have been recognized by the US Department of Justice (USDOJ). Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas E. Perez of the USDOJ Civil Rights Division sent a letter to Darwish naming Mr. Eric Treene of his staff to investigate “incidents of persons facing religion-based discrimination or violence or threats.” FMU has established a reporting relationship with USDOJ and filed such threats made against former Muslims.

In the fall of 2009, Former Muslims United mailed copies of the Freedom Pledge asking Muslims to repudiate the Shariah law consensus permitting execution of apostates from Islam, to more than 111 Muslim American leaders of 50 organizations.

Only two pledges were returned: from Dr. M. Zhudi Jasser of the American Forum for Islam and Democracy and Dr. Ali Ayami, executive director of the Washington, DC-based, Center for Human Rights and Democracy in Saudi Arabia.

A press conference was held by FMU on February 18 at the House Rayburn Office Building in Washington, DC presenting these findings. FMU directors, Nonie Darwish, Wafa Sultan and Amil Imani answered questions about the Freedom Pledge campaign, the mission and activities of this civil rights organization for former Muslims.

In late February, 2010, FMU sent Freedom Pledge requests to 47 Florida Muslim leaders, including Ahmed Bedier, founder of United Voices for America (UVA) and former Tampa Council of American Relations (CAIR) chapter executive director, four Florida CAIR Chapter executive directors and the leaders of 42 Mosques in Florida.

The America on Guard briefing on March 10 is part of a two day program of events sponsored by the Florida Security Council in opposition to Muslim Day at the Florida Capitol organized by Ahmed Bedier of UVA.

Former Muslims United has submitted cases of threats and discrimination to the Civil Rights Division of the US DOJ and has assisted in several individual cases of former Muslims seeking help.

FMU has issued a proposal to the Islamic Society of North America to conduct a parallel session on “Civil Rights, Social Justice, and the Rights of Former Muslims to Religious Freedom and Freedom of Speech in America” at the ISNA July 2-5, 2010 Annual Convention


Source: Stand Up America  


Editor’s Note: We would like to know what you think. dan@goldcoastchronicle.com

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