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Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Celebrating Dissent 2022

Celebrating Dissent — a two-day conference and the largest gathering of ex-Muslims, freethinkers and intellectuals championing freedom of thought since the pandemic — took place in Cologne, Germany, on Aug. 20-21, to coincide with International Apostasy Day.

FFRF was proud to be a co-sponsor, and Co-Presidents Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor were participants. 

Co-sponsor Maryam Namazie, after citing the brutal Aug. 12 attack on Salman Rushdie, best expressed the conference theme by quoting Chilean poet Pablo Neruda: “You can cut the flowers, but you cannot stop the spring.” Scientist Richard Dawkins, in attendance, described the movement as “one of the most important political movements of our time” and praised it as one of the “decisive forces in defense of freedom of expression worldwide.”

Co-sponsor Sami Abdallah, president of Freethought Lebanon, said: “We stand for ideas and words while they stand for daggers and guns; we stand for humor and satire while they stand for state sponsored incitement to murder . . . We are the future, and they are the past.”