by Elliot Friedland
Spearheaded by the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain, ex-Muslims have been telling the world why they left Islam, prompting a backlash from Muslims.
Graphic shared by the Council of Ex-Muslims in Britain.
Watch the #ExMuslimsBecause campaign video put out by the CEMB:
Ex-Muslims from the UK and around the world tweeted their reasons using the hashtag #ExMuslimBecause. Many cited theological justifications such as not being able to believe in God. Others cited abuse from Muslim families, teachers and leaders as the reason.
At the prestigious Goldsmiths College, in the UK, founder of the campaign and President of the CEMB Maryam Namazie was aggressively heckled and intimidated by members of the Islamic Society during a talk arranged by the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist society. There are some reports of death threats being issued by students against Namazie during the event.
Ex-Muslims suffer discrimination and hatred from many in the mainstream Muslim community and can even face death.
"Whilst in the Muslim world ex-Muslims fear their physical safety and their lives, in the Western democratic and secular world they fear and indeed suffer from excommunication by their family, friends, and indeed their entire communities" explained ex-Islamist Sohail Ahmed, who supports the campaign. "As for those teenagers still living with their parents, they fear being made homeless. And of course, they are made homeless, as I myself was last year.
The fact is that the very existence of ex-Muslims offends Muslims and makes many of them angry. And a number of Muslims respond to vocal ex-Muslims with threats of extreme violence."
In strict sharia law, the punishment for apostasy is death. This is the law in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
It is also practiced by the Islamic State as well as extra-judicially by Islamists worldwide. In Iran, apostasy does not carry the death penalty by statute, but courts can and have handed down the death penalty in sentencing, based on fatwas.
The #ExMuslimsBecause campaign highlights the number of ex-Muslims who feel their freedom of religion and expression has been stifled by extremists.
The backlash worryingly shows even among the mainstream Muslim community targeting ex-Muslims is seen as acceptable. Even Shaista Gohir, a Muslim women’s rights activist who runs a helpline for Muslim women facing abuse and has been outspoken against honor violence, attacked #ExMuslimsBecause on Twitter.
The Kyle Kulinsky Show discusses #ExMuslimBecause:
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.