Apostates are hiding no longer, and we at Ex-Muslims of North America are telling their stories.
Our mini-documentary series, Life Beyond Faith, pulls back the curtain to show the people behind the label – their lives, their journeys, and their hopes after finding freedom from the confines of faith.
Hear the story of Jamal – A Somali ex-Muslim, beaten by his family for leaving the faith. Or of Mahad, kidnapped and taken to a “conversion camp”.
Hear the stories of apostates whose families were kinder, who were able to rebuild trust and love.
Today, Stephanie lives in Canada, separated from her daughters who were taken to Libya. She hopes to one day be reunited again.
Hiba grew up in Lebanon under strict Shia Hezbollah culture where family honor and sexual purity was paramount.
She speaks about growing up in a strict patriarchal context and her journey to gain her freedom.
What does it mean to lose faith within the context of an American Somali family? Jamal talks about his loss of faith as a teenager and how his family reacted to his apostasy.
Hazar speaks about her struggle to gain acceptance for her sexual identity, and Lina shares how painful it can be to watch someone you love leave the faith.
With the wisdom of more than eighty years guiding him, Syed Rizvi shares a small party off his journey out of faith.
It is difficult for many believers to accept the decisions made by disbelievers around them.
According to the Quran, the message of Allah is perfect. Therefore, when some Muslims choose to leave Islam, alternative theories about who we are and why we leave are fabricated to preserve the faith from scrutiny. The most tame paint us as sad, confused, or lost people – influenced by malevolent forces within our environment or reacting to some past abuse or trauma which we wrongly blame on the religion. Others are content to dismiss us as immoral in one fashion or another – liars, attention-seekers, and hedonists.
These stereotypes allow the believers to feel comfortable with the way they treat us.
The more effective our demonization, the more justified cruelty against us becomes.
We at Ex-Muslims of North America want to shatter these stereotypes. We want ex-Muslims to know that leaving faith is natural, normal, and a journey undertaken by a variety of people from a diverse array of backgrounds.
This is why we have produced the Life Beyond Faith series. It is a celebration of ex-Muslim freethinkers – an exploration into their lives, struggles, and triumphs.
Watch the full series on Youtube.