Ex-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries face life, wellness and mental health issues brought on by the trauma of leaving their religion. In the West, there are government programs and health care that can support ex-Muslims; however, in Muslim-majority countries, this is not an option. People who leave Islam often face social isolation, honor killings, or even a state-sanctioned death penalty. 13 Muslim Majority states legislate execution as the official punishment.
Leaving any religion or group is hard. But leaving Islam is harder than leaving most faith groups. Islam is not just a religion for many, but a total way of life that comes with a built in community and support network. Leaving is considered apostasy, a serious sin which in many Islamic countries carries the death penalty. Those who do so are often branded with the slur “murtad” (apostate) and considered traitors.
This can lead to a range of problems including:
- Feelings of worthlessness and low self-esteem
- Shame and despair
- Suicidal thoughts
Those who leave the faith face:
- Social isolation, as they can be expelled from their communities
- Abandonment by their family or being disowned
- Losing friendships which may date back decades
- Pressure tactics such as harassment to rejoin the faith
- Threats of violence or in extreme cases actual violence from
community and family.
MEET THE TEAM
Yasmine is the Founder of FHFM. As well as volunteering her time to our causes, she is also a writer, activist, and college instructor.
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Free Hearts Free Minds is committed to helping ex-Muslims to successfully transition out of Islam and into a happy, healthy life. We will be presenting ex-Muslims from Muslim Majority countries with the opportunity to receive coaching and mental health support. We are working with Jimmy from Integrated Wellness. An exMuslim Integrative Coach who has lived through the experience of leaving Islam.
Jimmy is the resident Life Coach at FHFM. He is an ExMuslim activist that works closely with many organizations including Council of ExMuslims of Britain and Faith to Faithless.
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Scott Douglas Jacobsen
Scott is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He works for science and human rights, especially women’s rights, Indigenous rights, labor rights, and children’s rights. He considers the modern scientific and technological world the foundation for the provision of the basics of human life throughout the world and advancement of human rights as the universal movement among peoples everywhere. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost.
Diane was raised an atheist and to question everything. She became interested in Eastern Women’s rights by listening to the stories and challenges women face in their country of origin, as well as in the West.
Diane writes about the confusion and hypocrisies facing the West with the rise of censorship.
Rivka Leah Goldstein
Rivka is a Licensed Practical Nurse Health and Wellnesss professional and a Yoga Instructor with a concentration in trauma and injury recovery. In addition she is a secular and political activist, public speaker and unabashed freethinker.
Obaid was born in India, grew up in Canada where he currently lives. He left Islam in his teens due to inconsistencies with science and the lack of evidence provided by religion. Obaid is a proponent of free speech and secularism. Obaid also is a co-host for the Heretics Corner podcast focusing on highlighting issues and dealing with apostasy.
Ghada is a Saudi national that grew up in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. Her family is fundamentalist Shia Muslim. Ghada was a practicing Muslim until researching women’s roles in Islam and reading on theology and jurisprudence. She left Islam in 2011, while studying engineering in the United States. She is now a speaker for ExMuslims of North America.
Moad is also the writer of the Let There Be Man webcomic.