The schedule is subject to change.

Day 1

22 July



Registration with Refreshments


Welcome by MCs Fariborz Pooya (Bread and Roses TV Host) and Iram Ramzan (Journalist)


Opening Remarks by Maryam Namazie (Spokesperson of CEMB) and Marieme Helie Lucas (Founder of Secularism is a Women's Issue)


Bonya Ahmed, Activist, Writer and Blogger at Mukto-Mona


Islam's Non-Believers Film Screening


Islam's Non-Believers

Plenary Panel

Islam's Non-Believers
CHAIR: Maryam Namazie, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Deeyah Khan, Filmmaker
Fauzia Ilyas, Founder of Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan
Ismail Mohamed, Egyptian Atheist and Founder of Black Ducks Talk Show
Rayhana Sultan, #ExMuslimBecause
Sadia Hameed, Spokesperson of Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Waleed Al Husseini, Palestinian Writer and Founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of France
Zehra Pala, President of Atheism Association of Turkey


Break with Refreshments


Public Art Protest

in solidarity with persecuted atheists and freethinkers


Plenary Panel

Blasphemy, Islamophobia, Freedom of Thought and Expression
CHAIR: Victoria Gugenheim, Award-winning Body Artist
A C Grayling, Philosopher
Benjamin David, Conatus News
Jodie Ginsberg, CEO of Index on Censorship
Mazen Abou Hamdan, Co-Founder of Freethought Lebanon
Richard Dawkins, Author and Scientist (subject to availability)
Sarah Haider, Co-Founder of Ex-Muslims of North America




Religious in the Law & State

Plenary Panel

Religion in the Law and State
CHAIR: Jane Donnelly, Atheist Ireland’s Human Rights Officer
Chris Moos, National Secular Society Council Member
Elham Manea, Yemeni-born Author and Human Rights Campaigner
Gina Khan, One Law for All Spokesperson
Nasreen Rehman, Co-Founder and Chair of British Muslims for Secular Democracy
Nina Sankari, Polish Atheist Activist
Pragna Patel, Director of Southall Black Sisters
Savin Bapir Tardy, Lecturer in Psychology at UWL and Counselling Psychologist for The Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation


Dave Silverman, American Atheists President


Break with Refreshments


Secularism as human right

Plenary Panel

Secularism as a Human Right
CHAIR: Tasneem Khalil, Journalist and Editor of Independent World Report
Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation
Hanifullah Wais, Afghan Civil Society Activist and Human Rights Defender
Houzan Mahmoud, Culture Project Co-Founder
Karima Bennoune, UN Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights
Michael Nugent, Atheist Ireland’s Chairperson
Teresa Gimenez Barbat, MEP, Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and Euromind


Djemila Benhabib, Author and Activist


Alya Al-Sultani, British-Iraqi Vocalist and Composer


Art as Resistance

Exhibition & Cocktails

Black Days, Red Nights
Exhibition by: Aryan Arian
Cocktails are served throughout the exhibition.

Day 2

23 July



Registration with refreshments


Welcome by MCs Fariborz Pooya, Bread and Roses TV Host and Iram Ramzan, Journalist


Inna Shevchenko, FEMEN Leader


Women's Resistance, the Veil and Religious Morality

Plenary Panel

Women's Resistance, the Veil and Religious Morality
Chair: Annie Laurie Gaylor, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Egyptian Feminist Activist
Ani Zonneveld, Founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values
Rahila Gupta, Journalist and Activist
Rana Ahmad, Head of the RDF Arab Atheist Community
Yasmin Rehman, Women’s Rights Campaigner
Yasmine Mohammed, Confessions of an ExMuslim


Break with Refreshments


Plenary Panel

Identity Politics, Communalism and Multiculturalism
CHAIR: Hassan Radwan, Agnostic Muslim Khutbahs blog
Gita Sahgal, Director of Centre for Secular Space
Gona Saed, Co-Founder of Kurdistan Secular Centre
Kenan Malik, Author and Broadcaster
Maajid Nawaz, Founding Chairman of Quilliam Foundation
Peter Tatchell, Human Rights Campaigner
Sanal Edamaruku, Founder and President of Rationalist International


Ex-Muslims speak out


Shelley Segal, Singer/Songwriter




Atheism: Out, Loud and Proud

Plenary Panel

Out, Loud and Proud
CHAIR: Dan Barker, Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation
Armin Navabi, Founder of Atheist Republic
Asher Fainman, President of Goldsmiths University Atheist Society
Cemal Knudsen Yucel, Co-Founder and Chair of Ex-Muslims of Norway
Halima Begum, Ex-Muslim Feminist Researcher and Blogger
Imad Iddine Habib, Founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco
Jimmy Bangash, LGBT Ex-Muslim Activist
Karrar D. Al Asfoor, Co-founder of Atheist Alliance Middle East and North Africa (VISA REFUSED)
Noura Embabi, Muslim-ish President


Break with Refreshments


Art as Resistance

Plenary Panel

Art as Resistance
CHAIR: Sarah Peace, Nigerian Artist and Director of Fireproof Library
Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti, Award-winning Playwright
Kate Smurthwaite, Comedian
Nadia El Fani, Tunisian Filmmaker
Shabana Rehman, Performance Artist and Human and Animal Rights Advocate
Shelley Segal, Singer/Songwriter
Victoria Gugenheim, Award-winning Body Artist


Zineb El Rhazoui, Moroccan-born Writer


Closing of Conference



20:00 - 23:00

Dinner & Entertainment

With Performance Artist Shabana Rehman, Singer/Songwriter Shelley Segal, London Humanist Choir and Magicians Damon Conlan and Neil Edwards.

Day 3

24 July



Ex-Muslim Strategy Meeting

Ex-Muslim activists will meet to discuss strategy across organisations and borders.


Bodypainting Activity

The award-winning bodypainter Victoria Gugenheim will do a bodypainting of the Council of Ex-Muslims logo to be photographed by a drone.

 The schedule is subject to change.
  Calling all volunteers who want to make a statement in support of ex-Muslims: We need you for a mass bodypainting by award-winning bodypainter Victoria Gugenheim on 24 July from 14:00-20:00 in London. The action is free and open to the public.

Participants will be painted as the logo of Council of Ex-Muslims and photographed from above. The public are welcome to join in.


Do I have to be nude?
No. Flesh coloured underwear can be worn; plain, beige coloured, brown or black bras can also be painted over.

Will I get cold?
The weather should be good, but bring a warm dressing gown!

Will the paint stain?
Although we recommend not wearing anything crisp new and white, no. The paint comes off in the shower with shower gel, and off of clothes with normal biological washing powder or capsules.

How long will it take?
From 14:00-20:00 hours, and painting groups of people will be done in stages, with multiple groups. If you're later, you'll be in group 2 or 3 for example, and not group 1.

For further information, get in touch with us or email exmuslimcouncil [at]

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