Pakistan’s Secret Atheists…



From BBC

Being an atheist in Pakistan can be life-threatening. But behind closed doors, non-believers are getting together to support one another. How do they survive in a nation where blasphemy carries a death sentence?

Omar, named after one of Islam’s most revered caliphs, has rejected the faith of his forefathers. He is one of the founding members of an online group – a meeting point for the atheists of Pakistan.

But even there he must stay on his guard. Members use fake identities.

“You have to be careful who you are befriending,” he says.

One man contacted Omar to say he had visited his Facebook profile and printed out pictures of him with his family. “You cannot be safe,” Omar says.

In Pakistan, posting about atheism online can have serious consequences.

Under a recently passed cyber-crime law, it is now illegal to post content online – even in a private forum – that could be deemed blasphemous.

The government took out adverts in national newspapers asking members of the public to report any content they believe could constitute blasphemy.

And the law is being enforced. In June this year, in the first case of its kind, Taimoor Raza was sentenced to death for posting blasphemous content on Facebook.


A Pakistani atheist’s diary

“Zahir” is an online activist who uses social media to express atheist ideas and comment on Pakistani politics

“Dear diary, I’ve been through four Twitter accounts in one year now. The last one got blocked last night. It doesn’t matter how vague my details are or if the pictures I use are generic. It’s as if someone is watching me. Every time this happens I feel that I should just give up. They want to silence me.”


As a result, atheists feel their ability to publicly question the existence of God is threatened.

Confessions of an Ex-Muslim



It’s about time we listened to those speaking honestly about Islam…


From Ex-Muslim

Obaid is a free speech advocate and Ex-Muslim. He was born in India and grew up in Canada. His love for science eventually lead to his abandoning Islam. Obaid can be reached via Twitter @obaidomer.

Islam is a religion of peace; this has nothing to do with Islam, not all Muslims, we keep being told these tired old tropes by our politicians and pundits. It’s time for our politicians and media to start speaking the truth. It is also well past time that when our policy makers seek advice, they start looking for new sources. So far the people we hear from are apologists that tell us the same thing.

There is a group of people that need to be heard and sought after for advice when it concerns Islam, Ex-Muslims. Before you say what do Ex-Muslims have to say about Islam listen to their stories. People who left Islam, for the most part, know the religion better than those who practice it. We have left the faith because we looked at our religion and tried to find reasons to stay but could not and were appalled by what we saw.

Principles And Politics: The Southern Poverty Law Center Loses The Plot…


Maajid Nawaz

From Sarah Haider
The Ex-Muslim

In addition to threats of violence by Islamic fundamentalists, liberal critics of Islam are increasingly abandoned. At best, we are inconvenient afterthoughts, at worst, bigots and hate-mongers.

The intellectual confusion and moral paralysis plaguing the Western Left around the religion of Islam has done much to add credibility to the Western Right. Embodying the now-common approach of elevating politics over principle, the Southern Poverty Law Center has accused the ex-Muslim atheist Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Muslim reformer Maajid Nawaz of “anti-Muslim extremism”.

In the recently issued report Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists, the SPLC claims to have identified 15 “anti-Muslim extremists” who it believes are represented too often in mainstream media.

These “extremists”, the SPLC contends, spread “baseless and damaging lies” in order to demonize all Muslims. The Field Guide aims to arm journalists with information so that they may challenge the “hateful rhetoric and misinformation” of the extremists, or better yet, “deny them a public platform altogether.”

Perhaps in more competent hands, a report such as this may have been a useful guide for journalists with little time to spend on background research.  However, the one produced by SPLC is neither reliable nor factual, and often steers closer to the category of yellow journalism than anything worth serious consideration.

Lina & Hazar: Life Beyond Faith…



 ‘Jihad and martyrdom are mainstream Islam.’ Ayaan Hirsi Ali Explains How To Combat Political Islam…

From Quillette

What happens when we let fear, muddled thinking, ignorance, and political correctness guide us in confronting a threat to our constitutional freedoms?

We lose everything.

In the United States, our ability to enjoy our rights to liberty and the pursuit of happiness rests largely on the protection the First Amendment accords to freedom of speech and its corollary, the freedom to exercise the religion of our choice – or, of course, to profess no religion at all. It follows, then, that we should both vigorously defend the First Amendment and subject to withering criticism any challenges to it. If we begin dodging or concealing the truth about a threat to free speech, whether out of fear of appearing improper or even of knowing the consequences, we place ourselves at risk of losing our freedom of speech – and everything else we cherish in a democracy.

Speech consists of words. Words and how we use them matter. So, in the annals of self-defeating political inanities, the Obama administration’s term for Islamist terrorism – “violent extremism” – stands out as unusually obfuscatory, semantically unsound, and craven. (The phrase encompasses other kinds of terrorist doctrines as well, but no one can fail to see which one in particular is being addressed.) Originating as ISIS-inspired attacks were starting to hit the United States, it baldly omits their motivating ideology and purports that “extremism” can exist as a rootless, groundless, free-floating phenomenon. The term was so patently contrived to avoid mention of Islam that Republican candidate Donald J. Trump, during last year’s presidential campaign, could appear courageous to many just by saying “Islamic terrorism.” Yet coining the insipid phrase “violent extremism” was just par for the course. Former President Obama’s repeated declarations that the faith in question had nothing to do with all the bombing, beheading, and machete-slashing carried out to the cry of “Allahu Akbar!” looked, at best, cowardly – and at worst, complicit. Hillary Clinton followed Obama’s lead on the matter – all the way to a historic loss at the polls.

On Betrayal by the Left: Talking with Ex-Muslim Sarah Haider…


From Quilette

In twenty-first-century America, what happens to a young woman who has wised up and quit a faith-based ideology that ordains the second-class status of women, the submissiveness of wives to husbands (even violent husbands), the partial disinheritance of female heirs in favor of their male counterparts, the stoning of adulterers (and especially adulteresses, given the misogynistic vagaries of evidentiary law associated with said ideology), the taking of captive women as sex slaves, the adherence to a cumbersome dress code, and that also sanctions the savagery of female genital mutilation? Does she win plaudits for standing up her for rights as a woman? Do progressives recite panegyrics that sing her courage and praise her clear-sightedness? Is she inundated with offers of support?

Does she feel, perhaps for the first time in her life, that the United States, her adopted country – the only country on Earth established, at least according to its foundational documents, on the rights to free speech, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – wholly and unreservedly welcomes her as one of its own?

Not necessarily! If the ideology is Islam (and it is) and the woman is a former Muslim (and she is), she must steel herself to face threats against her life from her onetime coreligionists and a hail of invective from, and insidious betrayals by, those posing as progressives. Moreover, she must prepare to fend off attempts to silence her viewpoint as “inconvenient” given our current political morass. Even more egregiously, if the woman is trying to help (as she is) others also striving after the gloriously secular freedom she has achieved for herself, she becomes a danger to the entire edifice of hypocrisy, cowardice, and fact-deficient balderdash forming the mainstream left’s view of Islam as a “religion of peace” distorted by a few deranged miscreants. In short, in the America of today, such a brave woman will find no haven extended to her, but, rather, confront wielders of figurative pitchforks eager to skewer her for both abandoning her religion and traducing her kind. And with Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency, her position becomes more precarious than ever.

The Internet Is A Lifeline For Ex-Muslims…



From Vocatv
Online groups and communication platforms are giving atheists in the Middle East and northern Africa new ways to talk, and save each other’s lives

“I’ve been contacting many organizations that claim they fight for ex-Muslims, and they fight for women…nobody, nobody help [sic] me.” Sarah, a Moroccan who say she’s atheist, says in a video titled “my last chance.”

Sarah put her story out on the internet hoping someone in a position to help her might hear. Hers is a common plight for ex-Muslims living the Arab world. For many like her, the internet is a lifeline that provides a safe space for atheists to communicate about life in a society intolerant of apostasy. According to a 2014 Pew Research report, 14 out of 20 countries in the Middle East and North Africa still have laws banning apostasy and blasphemy, more than any other region of the world. In November 2015 a Saudi atheist poet was sentenced to death for renouncing Islam.

‘Atheist Muslims’ could be the key to defeating Islamic terror…



From New York Post Opinions

I was raised in three Muslim majority countries — Libya, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan — and arrived in North America in my mid-20s. Two years after I settled in Canada, September 11 happened. Nineteen hijackers acting in the name of my parents’ religion — 15 from a country I grew up in — flew fuel-laden airliners into the World Trade Center, killing thousands.

From the ashes, two opposing narratives began to emerge, as it happens with most issues in the US: one on the right, and one on the left.

And today, in a nation more divided than ever after a rancorous election season, the differences couldn’t be more stark.

The right is clear: We’re at war with Islamic terrorists. They started it, and we must respond. We know the common denominator here, so enough with the political correctness — we must keep our country safe, and if that means profiling Muslims, restricting Muslim immigration or even “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” as President-elect Donald Trump proposed last year, so be it.

No, says the left. We need to be nuanced. Read through our history. Islamists are simply responding to America’s atrocities around the world. We’re the imperialists who colonized them, held them down under the boot of the military-industrial complex and built our civilization at their expense. We must look at the underlying grievances and root causes driving this. The “biggest terrorist operation that exists,” according to uber-leftist hero Noam Chomsky, is actually the one being run by Obama.

Want to hear about Islam? Why not hear it from a woman who grew up as Muslim in the Middle East?



Some of my best friends are Jewish, and other confessions of an Ex-Muslim…



From Yasmine

One of my earliest memories is of being bound to my bed as the soles of my feet were whipped. At five or six years old, this was my punishment for not correctly memorising surahs, chapters, from the Quran, or for missing one of the daily prayers.

Lying on my bed, in the room that I shared with my sister, I would feebly struggle to free my feet from the skipping rope that bound them. But it was pointless. My strength was no match for the man who had restrained me there. I would scream as the plastic stick whipped across the soles of my feet.

“So, you think you’ll memorise properly next time?”


I would futilely plead to my mother with my eyes. Why wasn’t she raising her voice, or her hand, to protect me? Why was she just standing there next to him? My young mind grappled with what could possibly be holding her back. Was she afraid of him? No. She didn’t seem to be. Could she be complicit in this? No, never. But in fact, it was her that asked him to come over, so maybe she is partially to blame? No, that can’t be it.

I could not accept that the only parent that I knew would willingly give me up to be bound and beaten. He was the evil one, not my mother. That had to be the truth. So why, then, did she phone him and ask him to come over?

“Next time I come here, I want to hear all three surahs, you understand?”


“Which three surahs are they?”

If I hesitated for a fraction of a second, he would raise his hand again. Almost excited about the opportunity. When there was no fresh skin for his blows to land, they would fall atop my already bruised and torn feet. My body would be slick with sweat. My quickened heartbeat made it difficult to breathe, but I knew I could never end this until I found the strength to push on.

“Al Fatiha, Al Kauthar, and…Al Ikhlas.” Three short surahs necessary for the five daily prayers.

“If you make one mistake, one mistake, I will show you how I can really hurt you.”

Ex-Muslim: President Obama Not Saying “Radical Islam”?



Rescuing Ex-Muslims: The Desperation of a Young Woman Leaving Islam…


Faith To Faithless