The Hijabi Ex-Muslim Whose Father Punished Her by Burning Her Hand on a Stove

“Come home — or you’ll regret it,” her father recently warned her on Facebook.

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When the left claims that any criticism of Islam is racist "Islamophobia", they are not only attacking free speech, but participating in the intimidation and silencing of young women like Halima.

Halima is an 18-year-old biology student from a strict Muslim family in Ontario. Although she continues to wear the hijab and dresses conservatively, Halima no longer prays or fasts. Nor does she abide by the restrictions against alcohol and pork, and she has all but forgotten the Qur’an — the holy book she once had committed to memory.

“They think I’m a bad Muslim,” she says of her family, “but I doubt if they’d ever think I’m an ex-Muslim.”

She adds she cannot imagine what would happen if she told her father, a well-known religious leader. “That would be the end. He would never accept my apostasy.”

She remembers one incident in particular.

“There was a tear in a page and my father assumed I’d ripped it,” she says. “He got my hand — and put it on the stove.”

After a teacher noticed the burn, the Children’s Aid Society interviewed her parents, who said it was an accident. CAS didn’t pursue the matter, but this did little to placate her father, who castigated her for bringing “kaffirs” (unbelievers) into the house.

Abuses like these can also be perpetuated using cultural differences. The victims are not only Canadian or English girls used for sex trafficking, but also Muslim girls like Halima.

 “I just couldn’t agree with most of the stuff, especially with the treatment of women — that got me out of Islam.”

In her mid-teens, she also discovered the online forum of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain, which gave her the courage to finally admit to herself she didn’t believe anymore and wanted to leave the faith. Before that, she “had never even heard of apostates.”

In the past few months, Halima finally had to take action.

Last year, her father started proceedings to bring a friend over from Yemen, a man in his mid-50s, to marry his daughter. Under immense pressure, she agreed to the engagement and signed the sponsorship papers to enable him to settle in Canada. But she couldn’t go through with it and fled her home.

“I just filled in two bags of my papers and stuff and told my brother, ‘I have to take out the trash,’ and there was a cab waiting for me and I went straight to the shelter.”

Her flight has confused as well as enraged her parents.

“Come home — or you’ll regret it,” her father recently warned her on Facebook.

Protecting criticism of Islam means defending a free society.

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