Helpful Hints for Ex-Muslims
- This article was originally present at ehow.com and was found to be deleted for some reason.
Step to Consider
Where do you live?
If you live in a secular country where religion is separated from the state, where there are no religious courts, where people have religious freedom, then you are completely free to leave Islam openly. You may face consequences from family, friends and perhaps from people of your background/culture, but the secular society which you live in grants you freedom of religion. However, if you live in a country that is secular on paper, but in practice is quite religious, you should err on the side of caution and reveal your apostasy only to trusted friends. It is not in your best interest for your neighbors, co-workers and everyone in your town to know that you are an apostate. Revealing your apostasy would make you a target for discrimination.
More specifically, where do you live?
If you live in a secular country, consider more specifically where in the country you live. In the UK, 1 out of 3 British Muslims ages 16 to 24 believe that Muslim apostates should be executed. If you live in a multicultural country, understand that your freedom of religion is usually secondary to soothing the social and political climate of the politically correct country you are living in. Look out for your own interests and don't trust the authorities or government in the "secular" country you live in.
Keep to yourself
Don't draw attention to yourself, wherever you are living. If you have to go as far as to pretend to pray and to pretend to fast, do it, if you must. It is better to be subtle than to make yourself a target for discrimination or misunderstanding. If you live in a country where your apostasy is punishable, make an attempt to leave, by studying in an international university or getting a job in a secular country.
You are escaping religious compulsion, but don't fall into the trap of persuading, bullying or forcing others to believe as you do too. Everyone has a right to their own religious beliefs, and also a right to their religious privacy.
Tips and Warnings
- The world is not filled with people who want to persecute you for your faith, in fact most people couldn't care less what you believe, but for your own self-interests, err on the side of caution.
- Don't assume that a secular country is actually 100% secular. Some countries are just more secular than others, but they all have some system of faith (religion or not), that dominates their government and state.
- A wise choice would be to change your name, either the first name or the whole name, in order to both conceal your Islamic origin, as well as the fact that you are an apostate. This, however, must only be done if possible to do so, without being inconvenienced.
- Resources for Former Muslims
- People Who Left Islam
- Help and Advice - A hub page that leads to other articles related to Help and Advice
- ehow.com's original link (currently does not work as the article was deleted)
- Stephen Bates - More young Muslims back sharia, says poll - The Guardian, January 29, 2007