Reformation of Islam "The St. Petersburg Declaration"

10 June 2009
Reformation of Islam "The St. Petersburg Declaration"

Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society 10 June 2009

The St. Petersburg Declaration is the most eloquent articulation of Enlightenment principles ever given voice by Muslims

A group of Muslims met 2007 in St. Petersburg Florida recently to found a new movement for the reformation of Islam. Their movement is supported by a spectrum of dissidents seeking reform and enlightenment in Islam.
Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society (ISIS) Mission Statement Russian / Danish / Turkish / German
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Released by the delegates to the Secular Islam Summit, St. Petersburg, Florida on March 5, 2007

The St. Petersburg Declaration
We are secular Muslims, and secular persons of Muslim societies. We are believers, doubters, and unbelievers, brought together by a great struggle, not between the West and Islam, but between the free and the unfree.

We affirm the inviolable freedom of the individual conscience. We believe in the equality of all human persons.

We insist upon the separation of religion from state and the observance of universal human rights.

We find traditions of liberty, rationality, and tolerance in the rich histories of pre-Islamic and Islamic societies. These values do not belong to the West or the East; they are the common moral heritage of humankind.

We see no colonialism, racism, or so-called "Islamaphobia" in submitting Islamic practices to criticism or condemnation when they violate human reason or rights.
We call on the governments of the world to

• reject Sharia law, fatwa courts, clerical rule, and state-sanctioned religion in all their forms; oppose all penalties for blasphemy and apostasy, in accordance with Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights;

• eliminate practices, such as female circumcision, honor killing, forced veiling, and forced marriage, that further the oppression of women;

• protect sexual and gender minorities from persecution and violence;

• reform sectarian education that teaches intolerance and bigotry towards non-Muslims;

• and foster an open public sphere in which all matters may be discussed without coercion or intimidation.
We demand the release of Islam from its captivity to the totalitarian ambitions of power-hungry men and the rigid strictures of orthodoxy.

We enjoin academics and thinkers everywhere to embark on a fearless examination of the origins and sources of Islam, and to promulgate the ideals of free scientific and spiritual inquiry through cross-cultural translation, publishing, and the mass media.

We say to Muslim believers: there is a noble future for Islam as a personal faith, not a political doctrine;

to Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Baha'is, and all members of non-Muslim faith communities: we stand with you as free and equal citizens;

and to nonbelievers: we defend your unqualified liberty to question and dissent.

Before any of us is a member of the Umma, the Body of Christ, or the Chosen People, we are all members of the community of conscience, the people who must choose for themselves.

Endorsed by:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Magdi Allam Mithal Al-Alusi Shaker Al-Nabulsi Nonie Darwish Afshin Ellian Tawfik Hamid Shahriar Kabir Hasan Mahmud Wafa Sultan Amir Taheri Ibn Warraq Manda Zand Ervin Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi
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Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society (ISIS)

VIDEO: Secular Islam Summit

Secular Islam Summit Panel 1 (part 1) - Mar 08, 2007 29 minutes 2 seconds

Secular Islam Summit Panel 1 pt 2 - Mar 08, 2007 35 minutes 13 seconds

Secular Islam Summit Panel 2 (part 1) - Mar 08, 2007 17 minutes 3 seconds

Secular Islam Summit Panel 2 (part 2) - Mar 08, 2007 23 minutes 43 seconds

Secular Islam Summit Panel 2 (part 3) - Mar 08, 2007 27 minutes 1 second

Secular Islam Summit Panel 3 (part 1) - Mar 08, 2007 35 minutes 29 seconds

Secular Islam Summit Panel 3 (part 2) - Mar 08, 2007 21 minutes 55 seconds

Secular Islam Summit Panel 4 (part 1) - Mar 08, 2007 40 minutes 47 seconds

Secular Islam Summit Panel 4 (part 2) - Mar 08, 2007 37 minutes 31 seconds

Secular Islam Summit Panel 4 (part 3) - Mar 08, 2007 40 minutes 47 seconds

More Videos


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Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society (ISIS)

Statement of Principles

1. We share the ideals of a democratic society, and a secular state that does not endorse any religion, religious institution, or any religious dogma. The basis for its authority is in man-made law, not in religious doctrine or in divine revelation. In a theocracy of the type that Islamic fundamentalists wish to establish, sovereignty belongs to god, but in a democracy sovereignty belongs to the people. We therefore favor the firm separation of religion and state: without such a separation there can be no freedom from tyranny, and such a separation is the sine qua non for a secular state.

2. We believe in the primacy of the rule of law: a common civil code under which all men and women have equal protection of their rights and freedoms.

3. We endorse the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights without qualification. We are particularly concerned to promote and protect the rights of women and those with minority beliefs: all should be equal before the law.

4. We are dedicated to combating fanaticism, intolerance, violent fundamentalism, and terrorism by showing the intellectual inadequacy of the fanatics’ programmes, the historical inaccuracy of their claims, the philosophical poverty of their arguments, and the totalitarian nature of their thought.

5. We defend the right of free inquiry, and the free expression of ideas. We therefore reserve the right to examine the historical foundations of Islam, and to explain the rise and fall of Islam by the normal mechanisms of human history.


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Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society (ISIS)

Practical Goals

• To create a network of secularists and freethinkers in Islamic countries.

• To establish a women’s network to provide mutual support and to highlight the plight and the achievements of women in Islamic societies.

• To report on recent research findings on the origins of Islam and the Koran.

• To provide an alternative source of information and comment for the media on Islamic issues.

• To publicise acts of terror and oppression.

• To honor the memory and promote the work and thought of those martyred in the cause of freedom of expression.

• To attract writers, academics, politicians and activists as members of the Institute and as contributors to the debate.

• To establish a database of books, articles and news reports, an annotated bibliography of texts of interest, and a suggested reading list.

• To seek funding for Institute activities, including the translation of important texts.

• To publish a web-based newsletter: "Secular Islam."


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Institute for the Secularization of Islamic Society (ISIS)

Islamic Viewpoints

Human Rights and Islam

Human Rights Declaration

Separation of Mosque and State

Women and Islam



Reformation of Islam "The St. Petersburg Declaration"

UN Human Rights Council banned Discussion of religious questions Incredulous UN Bans Criticism of Islam Jihad Against Free Speech

Islamic states draw new battle lines over Freedom of Expression Petition for defence of individual rights at the UN Human Rights Council Growing opposition to the concept of "defamation of religion" How Some Europeans and the UN Are Helping Islamists Undermine Freedom

The UN must not give in to Islamic criticism In the name of Islamophobia, will the OIC soon ‘Rule the Waves’ at the UN General Assembly and the UN Human Rights Council? Religion and Freedom of Expression in the Human Rights Council

Criticism of religion is not blasphemy An Islamic Blasphemy Law? Let’s Call Their Bluff Islamic states draw new battle lines over Freedom of Expression

Creeping Dhimmitude at the United Nations World’s Press Criticises UN Human Rights Council IHEU "ambushed" at Human Rights Council

Universal Human Rights and "Human Rights in Islam"Universal Declaration of Human RightsIslamic Law vs Human RightsCairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam - Diverges from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in key respects

Why Europeans Should Support Israel

1948, Israel, and the Palestinians - The True Story The Hamas Charter - The Covenant of the Hamas 1988 New translation of Hamas charter contains anti-semitism Arab anti-Semitism is strategic threat, says study

Islam’s Jew-Hating Hadith Matter Today Antisemitism in the Qur’an: Motifs and Historical Manifestations The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism Hitler's Legacy: Islamic Antisemitism in the Middle East


Islam and democracy: The theory - and the practice?

ALGERIA: Political killings, Censorship, Harassment & Intimidation

BAHRAIN: Executions, Abuses of detainees & Censorship

EGYPT: Censorship, Limited Judicial Independence & Police Tortures

IRAN: Torture, Repressed Minorities, Discriminated Women, Unfair Trials, Censorship & Executions

LYBIA: Censorship, Killings of Demonstrators & Prisoners

MOROCCO: Discriminated Women, Abused Prisoners, Migrants & Refugees

OMAN: Discriminated Migrants, Abused Woman & Domestic Workers, Trafficking in Human Beings

IRAQ: Violence against women, Thousands of killed Civilians & Executions

KUWAIT: Torture, Abuse of Migrant Workers & Executions

QUATAR: Violence against Women, Human Trafficking, Torture & ill-Treatment

TUNISIA: Censorship, Limited Judicial Independence, Torture & ill-Treatment

SAUDI ARABIA: Violence against Women, Migrant worker Abuse, Torture, Unfair Trials, Censorship & Executions

SYRIA: Censorship, Torture, Arbitrary Detention, Discrimination of Woman & Minorities

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Stoning, Flogging, Death Penalties & Cruel Judicial Punishments

YEMEN: Executions, Censorship, Political Prisoners & Unfair Trials


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