Muslim Atheists in UK Fear for Their Lives

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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While the UK is being Islamized, the process does occasionally work the other way. For every dozen Samantha Lewthwaites and Taliban Terrys, there is the occasional Salman Rushdie.

But it’s not easy leaving Islam in a Western society coming under the demographic and cultural pressures of Islamization.

Amal Farah, a 32-year-old banking executive, is laughing about a contestant singing off-key in the last series of The X Factor. For a woman who was not allowed to listen to music when she was growing up, this is a delight. After years of turmoil, she is in control of her own life.

On the face of it, she is a product of modern Britain. Born in Somalia to Muslim parents, she grew up in Yemen and came to the UK in her late teens. After questioning her faith, she became an atheist and married a Jewish lawyer. But this has come at a cost. When she turned her back on her religion, she was disowned by her family and received death threats. She has not seen her mother or her siblings for eight years. None of them have met her husband or daughter.

“It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done – telling my observant family that I was having doubts. My mum was shocked; she began to cry. It was very painful for her. When she realised I actually meant it, she cut communication with me,” said Ms Farah. “She was suspicious of me being in contact with my brothers and sisters. She didn’t want me to poison their heads in any way. I felt like a leper and I lived in fear. As long as they knew where I was, I wasn’t safe.”

This is the first time Ms Farah has spoken publicly about her experience of leaving her faith, after realising that she did not want to keep a low profile for ever. She is an extreme case – her mother, now back in Somalia, has become increasingly radical in her religious views. But Ms Farah is not alone in wanting to speak out.

The most significant aspect of this development is that is unlinks Islam as a system from race. That linkage has been the best offensive and defensive weapon in the hands of Islamic groups looking to carve out special rights while denouncing critics of Islam as racist.

It’s hard to call the Council of Ex-Muslims, racist.

The Ex-Muslim Forum, a group of former Muslims, was set up seven years ago. Then, about 15 people were involved; now they have more than 3,000 members around the world. Membership has reportedly doubled in the past two years. Another branch, the Ex-Muslims of North America, was launched last year.

Their increasing visibility is controversial. There are those who question why anyone needs to define themselves as an “ex-Muslim”; others accuse the group of having an  anti-Muslim agenda (a claim that the group denies).

Maryam Namazie, a spokeswoman for the forum – which is affiliated with the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) – said: “The idea behind coming out in public is to show we exist and that we’re not going anywhere. A lot of people feel crazy [when they leave their faith]; they think they’re not normal. The forum is a place to meet like-minded people; to feel safe and secure.”

The Council of Ex-Muslims has become a pivotal force in the fight against gender segregation at UK universities and in other issues as well.

  • Edward

    Why is it that EVERY white country is forced to be multicultural/multiracial?

    Why is it that EVERY white country is told to end its own race/culture?

    No one asks that of -ANY- non-White country.

    Immigration/assimilation is FORCED upon ONLY White countries

    Anti-whites call themselves “anti-racists” but their actions lead to the elimination of only one race, the White race.

    The purpose of “anti-racism” is to genocide White children.

    Anti-racist is a code for anti-White

    • Lee

      My view for what it’s worth, is that Lefto-fascists believe that it is English-speaking, predominately white countries, which are the bedrock of Western civilization, and are the most intellectually and morally advanced and free of all countries. These countries are then a natural focus for fascist destruction, and the destruction utilizes a number of techniques to facilitate this.

      Multiculturalism is applied to convince the people who built these civilizations that they have no values inherently worthwhile, and in fact must jettison these values when challenged by foreign cultures, especially if the foreign values are manifestly inferior.

      Peoples who built advanced countries are told they have no culture (and thus none worth preserving), and there is also an attempt to disenfranchise them by telling them they have no right to their lands anyway, and no right to the civilizations they or their forbears built from nothing.

      And the last technique is possibly the most brazen of all. In an attempt to stop contributions to civilization of white people – and white men in particular, who are seen as the driving force – they are *formally* discriminated against in education and jobs under the Ministry of Truth-esque title of “affirmative action” (as if there are no losers under explicitly discriminatory practices).

      With regard to the women vs men aspect of this, as Orwell notes in ’1984′, “The aim of The Party was…to prevent men and women from forming loyalties which it might not be able to control”.

      Of course turning women against men is classic divide and conquer, but I also think white men are feared as the force behind the ideology and philosophy of advanced civilizations, and are also responsible for a range of inventions benefiting civilization, and I think this is why they are specifically targeted.

  • kilfincelt

    Good for her! One would think, though, that people would realize that Islam can’t be a religion of peace when so many people who speak out against it or leave it are threatened by its adherents with death. There is something very wrong with any religion that kills apostates and those who speak out against it.

  • deejayaz

    I believe, one answer to this dilemma would be for the The Ex-Muslim Forum not to be segregate by their own title. Ask for support from all corners of the world who do not support Islam, or, you just hold yourself to another sort of separatism.

    I would get behind their efforts 100 + %.

  • A Z

    Amal Farah emigrated from Somalia probably as a refugee. She is NOT part of the problem.

    Although given how the PC crowd operates, since she causes religious strife merely by existing and being an atheist, they could charge her with disturbing the peace.

    That is how swift the Left is.

  • Lee

    Thanks for this article. Unfortunately this woman will not only be subject to death-threats for apostasy (Islam is Muhammad’s declaration of war on the world, so Muslim apostates are seen as committing treason – i.e. going over to the other side of the war), but lefto-fascist journalists will also be lining up to denounce her if she speaks up, and will publish her address for suitably-motivated jihadis. This is what happened to Ayaan Hirsi Ali of course. So much for the “anti-racist” pose of mainstream journalists.

  • De Doc

    The ‘Islamophobia is racism’ narrative is still alive and well though. Ex-Muslims are usually smeared as Uncle Toms and collaborators even worse than the non-Muslims with whom they agree.

  • Drakken

    I really have to look at folks who think that these so called ex muslims will be a force to be reckoned with as nothing more than a minor distraction and an exercise in desperate futility, when the SHTF, it is not going to matter one iota because nobody is going to care, these so called ex muslims are the rare exception, not the rule.

  • Richie

    Soon the ragheads will start there crap here in the states and will be running for there own lives, the American do not want you in this country, we don’t want that raghead Obama either

  • Nasty

    WTF is a Muslim “atheist”? Islam is not a “race”. If you don’t believe in Allah, then you are not a Muslim. If you don’t believe in God you are not a Christian. There is no such thing as a Christian “atheist”. Just as there is no such thing as a Muslim “atheist”. A Muslim is someone that believes in Islam.