Statement of Purpose

We are a global coalition founded by Muslims, ex-Muslims, academics, scholars, authors, and activists who stand for peace, democracy, liberty, and secular governance and who are deeply concerned by the continuing threat posed to these values by the actions and demands of Islamists in various places around the world.

We embrace democratic values founded in reason and critical debate and the fundamental freedoms set forth in the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

We support liberty and dignity for all persons, including women and girls, and whether or not one is Muslim.

We believe that, without fear of apostasy and blasphemy laws, every individual has the right to speak freely, engage in critical thinking, publicly express criticism of Islam, and has the right to freedom of religion or to have no religion.

Because we value peace and democracy, we reject the acceptance of and justifications for jihad, the use of dawa for political purposes, and advocacy for the institutionalization of sharia.

 We invite all like-minded people to join in supporting these core principles.

CLARITy Coalition Statement on Salman Rushdie

August 12, 2022

We are sure that, like us, you are still processing the shock and horror at the news of the attack on Salman Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institution, New York. When we saw it, we felt sick to our stomachs. Imagine: a writer preparing to give a lecture to a crowd of readers is brutally stabbed in the neck. How could this happen? Why?

There are still few facts on the motive of the attacker, but we all know that Salman Rushdie was given a death sentence by the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 for the crime of writing a novel, The Satanic Verses. Rushdie did not shy away from his ideals, despite the serious threat to his life: no, he persevered, continuing to write while championing free speech and opposing tyranny, including, especially, Islamist tyranny.

Whether or not today’s attack is linked to the fatwa or The Satanic Verses, we have been shown just how fragile our precious freedoms are. If a writer can’t speak at an educational center without being attacked, then we are all at serious risk of losing our right to free speech.

As Rushdie has said many times, freedom of speech means the freedom to blaspheme, to offend. And no amount of offense justifies a violent response. Without free speech, our humanity is diminished. As he wrote in 1991: “Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Free speech is life itself.”

Rest assured that, whatever the facts of this horrendous attack, we at the CLARITy Coalition will remain resolute in championing these ideals. With our friends and allies, the CLARITy Coalition of ex-Muslims, Muslim reformers, activists, and more, we will oppose the Islamist tyranny that has so blighted the lives of Salman Rushdie and so many others. 

This attack underscores how important it is to defend our precious values and we feel a renewed commitment to that task alongside the anger and grief.

Meanwhile, and above all, solidarity to Salman and his loved ones. Our best wishes go out to him and his family.

With anger, sadness, and a renewed resolve to champion our liberties against the rise of Islamist tyranny.

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