KEY
FINDINGS

WHAT DO
EX-MUSLIMS
EXPERIENCE?

1

DEMOGRAPHICS

Respondents are young, more male than female, and diverse in their backgrounds.

2

IMMIGRANTS AND ORIGINS

The great majority of respondents are first-generation immigrants to North America, and most of the rest are children of immigrants.

3

EDUCATION

Respondents are highly educated. The overwhelming majority possess college degrees, and more hold graduate degrees than Americans hold college degrees of any kind.

4

AGE OF APOSTASY

Respondents left Islam early in life. Apostasy most often occurred when respondents were in their twenties and rarely after the age of 40.

5

PERIOD OF QUESTIONING

For most respondents, leaving religion was a long and protracted process. For almost two-thirds, the process took several years.

6

REASONS FOR APOSTASY

Respondents exhibit a wide range of motivations for leaving Islam behind—but nearly all express a fundamental discontent for doctrines and practices in Islam.

7

IN AND OUT OF THE CLOSET

The majority of respondents are closeted to at least some of their family and friends, but are open to others. A small few are completely closeted.

8

NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES

Respondents experienced a variety of negative repercussions after their apostasy, most notably verbal abuse, emotional manipulation, and loss of relationships. On almost every measure, fully open apostates experienced more severe consequences.

9

LIFE AFTER ISLAM

After leaving the faith, the majority of respondents experienced some degree of difficulty adjusting to religiously prohibited activities such as alcohol consumption and interaction with the opposite sex.

10

CHANGING OUTLOOKS

Respondents’ social and political views often became more progressive after apostasy, with the majority skewing strongly to the left.

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