It felt so freeing to be able to be myself, Islam didn’t allow me that luxury. It makes me smile to think of the first meetup I went to. I was all abuzz in my head, looking around in disbelief at all these like minded people who all looked at ease and relaxed. We all laughed so hard that night.
We all need a sense of belonging. However, former Muslims find little acceptance from their own family and friends. In fact, many never disclose their lack of faith to anyone, living a lie for fear of the price of telling the truth. Others choose to come out as non-believers, and face devastating consequences. To help this vulnerable, often hidden population, Ex-Muslims of North America fosters local, covert communities all across the United States and Canada. These private networks are accessible only to other ex-Muslims who are approved to join – establishing a sense of safety when disclosure might lead to abuse or worse.
In addition to being lifelines for ex-Muslims, these communities are crucial to progress in the Muslim world. From human rights and civil liberties to equality and secularism – religious edicts are often a roadblock to progress. When activists stand up to fight, they are branded as heretics by religious leaders who oppose them and therefore subject to the persecution faced by ex-Muslims. Throughout the Islamic world, the label “murtad” may as well be a death sentence.
When faith has the power to impede progress, the only way forward is to tackle faith head-on. However, even when there is no state persecution, social ostracism and intimidation can be effective tools at curbing dissent.
I thought I was done with Islam many years ago. But I realized after joining EXMNA how I really had so much to say, to share and frankly, to do (counter-dawah). Keeping that bottled up inside has weighed on my psyche and I feel, held me back from taking more decisive actions in life sooner and with more clarity and conviction. Now that I have the wind at my back (you guys), I’m ready to do my part, to change the world. Thank you EXMNA!
With our communities, we hope to build a foundation upon which freethinkers can be empowered to fundamentally change the course of the Muslim world. Giving strength and courage to those who disbelieve – giving them a community from which they can find hope and support – is the first step.
Are you an ex-Muslim atheist who would like to join our Communities? Sign up for a call with one of our screeners, here Join an ex-Muslim community.