Centre for Secular Space

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The Centre for Secular Space is a think tank based in the United Kingdom which was founded in February 2011.[1]


The non-profit organisation began as an informal network of human rights activists seeking both to defend women’s rights and oppose fundamentalism. In February 2010, this network rallied together in support of Gita Sahgal, the former head of Amnesty International’s gender unit. Sahgal had been suspended following her concerns about the relationship between Amnesty International and Cageprisoners – a defence group for Guantanamo Bay prisoners which some consider to be a pro-Salafi Jihadi organisation. An expansive campaign was initiated on Sahgal’s behalf, which, incentivised by a need for enhanced organisation and strategy, became officially recognised as the CSS in February 2011.

The CSS aims to demonstrate the necessity for a separation between religion and the state in the interests of human rights; particularly the rights of women, sexual minorities, religious minorities, and atheists or apostates. It further seeks to promote secular voices whilst opposing religious fundamentalism. In doing so, it conducts research; facilitates education programs; stimulates debate; connects secularists; and initiates defence campaigns for those attacked by fundamentalists. The latter work is carried out under the name: International Defense Against Religious Extremism.[1][2]


Gita Sahgal: Co-founder and Executive Director (since 2011)[3][4]| Meredith Tax: Co-founder and Chair (since 2011)[5][6]| Yasmin Rehman: Trustee.[7]

Resources, Publications, Contact

  • Tax, M. (2013). Double Bind: The Muslim Right, the Anglo-American Left, and Universal Human Rights. Centre for Secular Space: New York: NY.

Email: info@centreforsecularspace.org

Website: http://www.centreforsecularspace.org/


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Centre for Secular Space: About Us Centre for Secular Space. Accessed 29 April 2016
  2. Centre for Secular Space Facebook Page, Facebook. Accessed 11 August 2016
  3. Gita Sahgal LinkedIn Profile LinkedIn. Accessed 11 August 2016
  4. Open Democracy: Gita Sahgal Open Democracy. Accessed 11 August 2016
  5. Meredith Tax Guardian Profile The Guardian. Accessed 11 August 2016
  6. Open Democracy: Meredith Tax Open Democracy. Accessed 11 August 2016
  7. Open Democracy: Yasmin Rehman Open Democracy. Accessed 11 August 2016