Rahila Gupta

Author and Activist

Rahila Gupta

“I don’t want to die because I’m an atheist”: ex-Muslims speak out

11 August 2017   In the UK and beyond, filmmaker Deeyah Khan has documented the experiences of ex-Muslims and the “extraordinary levels of persecution, abuse and discrimination they face”. While making her documentary Islam’s Non-Believers, award-winning Norwegian filmmaker Deeyah Khan says she came to realise that Maryam Namazie and her group, Council of ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), were … Continue reading

Surviving a machete attack: the story of Bangladeshi-American freethinker Bonya Ahmed

3 August 2017 The growth of religious fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh poses life-threatening challenges to atheists and secularists. “We stand on the right side of history” was the title of the keynote speech given by Bonya Ahmed, a Bangladeshi-American freethinker, at the international Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in London last month. The price she … Continue reading

The politics of nudity as feminist protest – from Ukraine to Tunisia

Frontline activists, including women who use their topless bodies as political statements, are gathering in London to deplore threats to free expression worldwide. Such are the risks to some frontline activists who have dared to challenge religious orthodoxies around the world that an international conference on Free Expression and Conscience, 22-23 July, is taking place at … Continue reading

Brexit: where were women’s voices?

Recent creative writing and films feature women’s voices on Brexit, many of whom explore the paradox of migrants voting to leave the EU. Brexit supporters celebrate the referendum result, 24 June 2016. Photo: Michael Kappeler/PA Images. All rights reserved.When formal Brexit talks began last month, a telling photograph was published of the UK and EU negotiating teams: … Continue reading

“There is no such thing as a child prostitute”: a review of the BBC’s Three Girls

This is BBC drama at its best. But the privatisation of care homes, and how grooming impacts the families of perpetrators, were blind spots. “Gut-wrenching,” “brave” and “unflinching” are some of the adjectives flying around in the conversations on social media after the airing of Three Girls, BBC drama at its best. Based on the … Continue reading

Gender and fundamentalism: when religion muscles in on development

The truism that there cannot be real development without women’s participation needs a caveat: women’s rights cannot be achieved while religious forces are involved in development. Ruth Pearson, Emeritus Professor of International Development at the University of Leeds, one of the speakers at a seminar on Gender, Fundamentalism and Development, recounted how issues on which … Continue reading