Posted on September 25, 2019 by PJ Slinger‘Heretics, infidels, renegades . . . Welcome to Amsterdam’ “Blasphemy is not a crime” was a recurring theme during the Celebrating Dissent conference. Atheist and author Taslima Nasrin, left, who can’t go back to Bangladesh after a fatwa against her was issued in the early 1990s, with Saif-Ul-Malook, the Pakistani attorney who successfully defended Asia Bibi, a Christian peasant who’d been condemned to death for blasphemy, and FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. Participants took to Amsterdam streets to commemorate the many targets and victims of blasphemy laws and Islam’s “crime” of apostasy. At right, leading the march, is Maryam Namazie, an Iranian-born United Kingdom secular leader. Among the many presentations and panels during the 2-day event was one on Separation of Religion and Government. Pictured from left: panelists Homa Arjomand (an Iranian-born activist who runs the International Campaign against Sharia Court in Canada); Elzbieta Podlesna, who is facing charges for blasphemy in Poland for placing LGBTQ rainbows on religious posters; deBalie director Yoeri Albrecht and panel moderator Bercan Gunel; Afsana Lachaux, UK, who is in a three-nation battle to regain custody of her son due to Sharia law; Sadia Hameed, Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, and FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor. Conference co-convener Maryam Namazie is pictured with the Swedish artist Jenny Wenhammar, who painted Maryam and herself as Femen protesters. Femen is an international women’s movement of topless female activists who are painted with slogans (Maryam’s slogan reads: “Neither god nor master”) and who use their own bodies to protest Islam, religion and other patriarchal forms. Omar Makram, founder of Ex-Muslims of Sweden, spoke about why he had to desecrate the Koran in order to gain asylum in Sweden, after fleeing Egypt when he was threatened with arrest for apostasy. Listen to his interview on Freethought Radio at ffrf.org/radio. (Scroll to the Sept. 5, 2019 program.) Omar was one of many ex-Muslims in attendance who has had to leave his country.