In the Muslim part of the online world it has become common for western Muslims to speak dismissively of Ex Muslims as people who don`t have any real grievances and are only speaking out to seek attention through demonizing Muslims.
An example of this ignorant mentality can be demonstrated using a facebook post of a Muslim apologist by the name of Asadullah Ali Al-Andalusi. This is not meant only as a reply to Asadullah but to conservative Muslims as a whole since many of them tend to make the same arguments as those presented below.
Let’s go through his points one by one.
- Muslims suffer through occupations, invasions, genocide , murder and oppression by dictators.
It’s true that people in Muslim majority countries suffer through all of the grievances mentioned above. The fact of the matter is that exmuslims and liberal Muslims share the same ethnicities, nationalities names and social family backgrounds as Muslims and as a consequences suffer through and they share many of the same grievances.
Apologists like Asadullah would prefer to erase the existence of Ex Muslims and liberal Muslims (who are considered apostates and deviants by traditionalists) but we live in every country and community where Muslims are present. When Buddhist extremists attack Muslims in Myanmar they don`t go up to Muslims and question them on their beliefs before attacking them. They target their bigotry based on outward appearances and community backgrounds.
2) Muslims suffer discrimination in the workplace and face bigotry because they look foreign.
The same applies to bigotry in the west. A conversation with Ex Muslims will reveal that many have had anti Muslim slurs thrown at them by racists because of the color of their skins and wearing of foreign clothes do not differentiate between what type of Muslim they are. Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims , Ismaili Muslims, Secular Muslims and Ex Muslims are all perceived in the same way by bigots.
The same is true for workplace discrimination and racial profiling. To a biased recruiter in the workplace there is no difference between the resume of a Muslims and an Ex Muslim. We both have Arab sounding names and have the same racial backgrounds. The level of discrimination we face is the exact same.
3) The extra discrimination faced by Ex Muslims from their own communities.
Now that we`ve established that Ex Muslims face the same discrimination and external social pressures its worth noting the additional internal social pressure faced by Ex Muslims that can make the life of an average Ex Muslims more difficult than the life of an average Muslim.
A) Kicked out of The House: Many Ex Muslims come from extremely religious households where having a child that left Islam is seen as damaging the `honor`of the family. The community will often blame the parents for not having raised their child “properly”.
In order to safeguard their reputation among the community as god fearing Muslims the parents will kick the child out of the house for dishonoring them. This is a very similar type of mindset that is held by parents who commit honor killings.
B) Risk of Violence: For those countless Ex Muslims unfortunate enough to be living in muslim majority countries they also have to suffer through countless other difficulties. If exmuslims or even liberal minded muslims are open and public about their views the most direct risk is the threat of violence from islamists.
Examples of this type of violence have been witnessed by the killings of bloggers such as Avjit Roy in Bangladesh and the killing of human rights activist Khuram Zaki in Pakistan.
C) Discrimination and Persecution: In addition to the risk of physical violence Ex Muslims in Muslim majority countries also have to deal with discrimination in the workplace and looking for employment. It has been well documented that religious minorities in Pakistan such as Christians have been subject to a very dehumanizing level of discrimination. An example of this is the sanitation worker who was refused medical treatment in a hospital because of his religious identity. The situation is much the same for atheistic and agnostic Ex Muslims who choose to go public with their beliefs.
And of course the most ridiculous accusation against Ex Muslims I’ve heard is that we are only doing it to get rich (I’m looking at you Mariam Sobh ). All I’ll say on this conspiracy theory is that if Ex Muslims could get wealthy simply by criticizing Islam then there would not be countless Ex Muslims trapped in abusive household due to financial restraints. And this fact makes that accusation all the more disgusting and deplorable.
So in conclusion we can see how ridiculous Asadullah and other muslims’ condescension towards Ex Muslims really is given that we not only endure the same grievances as our Muslim friends and family but we also have to suffer and work through an additional set of issues as well.