Religion is a matter of private conscience—it has no place anywhere near the levers of government.

Some of the most egregious violations of human rights, including prosecutions for “blasphemy” and restrictions on women’s autonomy, occur in Islamic theocracies and Islamic republics. In these countries, secular reason defers to religious orthodoxy.

Under a philosophy that does not acknowledge the existence of universal human rights and instead classifies people’s worth by whether they belong to a religious tribe, this is deliberate. It leads to an atmosphere in which meaningful dissent is stifled, oppression based on religious doctrine is mandated, and truth is hidden from view. At their core, theocracies usurp the right of a country’s people to self-rule, instead placing that power with religious authorities.

The judgment of the world and the domain of government should be determined by empirical reality, rational deliberation, and the common good. Our vision is a world where religion is firmly a matter of private conscience and never involved in government.

what you need to know
Number of countries where Islam the state religion
Number of countries with any state religion
Number of countries where secularism is enshrined in the constitution
how we address this issue
what we advocate for
Ex-Muslims of North America advocates for the following policy actions in defense of the right to blaspheme:
Countries with laws against blasphemy and apostasy should repeal those laws.
Countries which do not guarantee the rights of religious minorities or otherwise prevent discrimination against religious minorities should codify such protections.
Countries with “state religions” should renounce that religion’s status of supremacy.
Countries which do not explicitly guarantee a separation of religion and state in law should codify that guarantee.
If you want to help us continue this work toward a world free of religious oppression, please donate today—as it’s only with the aid of people like you that we can continue to do what we do.
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A Saudi Artist Muzzled and Imprisoned

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EXMNA Strongly Condemns Murder of Mahsa Amini, Supports Iranian Protests

Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA) strongly condemns the recent murder of Mahsa Amini while in police custody, supports the protests unfolding across Iran in response, and demands an immediate end to the compulsory hijab and other legal subjugation of women in Iran and in all Islamic states. Amini was admitted to the hospital on the 13th of September after spending roughly two hours in police custody for failure to adhere to the Islamic Republic’s mandatory hijab policy. Having lost consciousness and suffered apparent head injuries, she spent three days in a coma before being pronounced dead on the 16th. Iranian police have denied that Amini’s death was the result of physical abuse in police custody, instead alleging past health issues that led to a stroke or a heart attack — allegations which family members have denied. “The attempts of the Iranian regime to deny that Mahsa Amini is dead because of deliberate police misconduct are transparently false and already refuted by contradictions from her own family, as well as eyewitness accounts of the abuse she suffered,” said Muhammad Syed, President of EXMNA. “This only underscores the reality of what the hijab represents — the coercion and repression of women in fundamentalist Islamic societies. The theocracies that make this possible have no place in the world.” The protests that have unfolded across Iran, initially in response to the Amini murder, have expanded to cover a range of demands, including an end to the current Islamic Republic. Already, additional deaths have occurred as a result of police crackdowns, including several young women who themselves refused to wear the hijab. This comes in addition to extensive efforts of censorship, including internet blackouts. “The increasingly brutal methods of suppression employed by Iranian authorities in an attempt to quell these protests are as unacceptable as they are desperate,” continued Syed. “The people of Iran have a right to demand a more just society and future, something which the current theocratic leadership of Iran will never provide.”

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