The Council of ex-Muslims is an organisation I want to stand firmly alongside, and if possible increase their visibility. What they are doing requires enormous courage, even though in reality none should be required.
A Muslim who leaves Islam is exercising a life choice, doing no more than saying I do not subscribe to this system of belief. Why then, should such a decision come with so much baggage and fear?
It's easy. Islam has a lot to lose. For any religion, it's adherents are the oxygen that allow it to breath. Remove the oxygen and the thing dies. No wonder then that those with the proverbial power often deploy veiled threats in order to keep the flock in line. It used to be this way with Christianity, but the enlightenment strangled it of its power to control in this way. Which brings me to the point I want to make today; namely to highlight the importance of dissent. I have posted a video on my Facebook and Tweet feeds which I encourage all of you to watch; it shows that as a species we are often scarily ready to conform, even when every piece of evidence we have demands a different response. My own journey has required me to stand apart on numerous occasions and will doubtless require me to do so again; something I am proud of. I do not want to be swayed by power of numbers and I do not desire to hang out with the herd. So whether it's my attitude to religion, or my promotion of deeper acceptance of our sexuality, or my commitment to put truth above comfort, I will continue to dissent when I feel it appropriate.
Not to showboat, nor to make a scene, but simply because I desire to walk this way. I just want to be authentic, because to do so is to live as a truly free human being, and that seems a good idea given that we're all on limited time.
So join me in being who you truly are. Not because I or anybody else dictates it, but because you are free and beautiful and, most important of all, because you can.