Why We Fight

Every advancement in the human condition, every inch of social progress, is first a heresy
… a denial of something sacred

Since the very beginning of Islam, there have been apostates from Islam.

From the first wars (the Wars of Apostasy), to the charges of zandaqa by the Caliphs, to the blasphemy laws today – those who veer away from the path of Allah have faced the judgment of the sword.

Yet every advancement in the human condition, every inch of social progress, is first a heresy, a denial of something sacred. Every true innovation, every step forward, begins as a profanity against an established order.

Innovation in Islam is long overdue. The first innovation must be the one which establishes the foundation upon which all the rest depend – the right to question any idea.

At stake lies the prosperity of 1.5 billion people. Without the freedom to stray from the confines of religion, champions of progress are yoked to the superstitions of the 7th century. The label of “blasphemer” – and the threat of violence implicit in it – is an ever-present specter on any who push the boundaries policed by faith.

To those misled by the fog of politics, we offer the clarity of principle: Injustice by the religious does not excuse injustice against the religious. Injustice against the religious does not excuse the injustice they perpetuate against others.

We will be fearless when others are fearful. We will fight dogma with reason, cruelty with compassion, narratives with nuance. We stand for the rights of all – believer and non-believer alike – while standing against religious bigotry and oppression.

 

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