BMSD was set up 13 years ago to promote active democratic engagement and secularist principles. Secularism- often misunderstood or misrepresented- is not atheism. It is the separation of state and faith in order to guarantee every citizen equal rights. The constitutions of post-colonial Pakistan, India, Tunisia were based on secular rights and responsibilities. Post-Apartheid South Africa chose the same model. However, this ideal has been rolled back and many nations are now dominated by majority religions and doctrines, relegating minorities to second class status. There is little respect in those countries for equality and freedom. We believe that religious privilege should be taken out of politics and see this as part of the struggle for equality and human rights.
BMSD is a unique, collective organisation made up of practising Muslims of diverse backgrounds, cultural Muslims, as well as non-Muslims.
- We are against the privileges of the established Church of England in government or the undue influence of religious or non-religious groups. We are against reserved places in the Lords for Bishops and other religious leaders.
- We believe every human being has the right to equal treatment. We oppose discrimination on grounds of gender, sexuality, religion, ethnicity or politics and do not accept that religious belief is a justification for discrimination
- We believe in social cohesion and shared human values. We are against faith based schools which divide communities.
- We think faith is a fundamental human need and individuals should be free to practice their religion within the parameters of a democratic society. Aggressive atheism is oppressive, as is the shunning or exclusion of those with different religious beliefs.