Secret ex-Muslim network in Australia fear disownment and abuse

Secret ex-Muslim network in Australia fear disownment and abuse, by Jennine Khalik.

The young men and women blowing clouds of grape and mint-flavoured smoke at a Middle Eastern shisha cafe in Sydney could pass for any group of friends.

They are a cluster of ordinary professionals and students, passing hookah pipes to each other, as they sip coffee, banter and glance at their smartphones.

The circumstances under which they know each other are bittersweet. They are members of an underground network of former Muslims across Australia, caught between secularism and Islam. Some fear persecution if their loss of faith is discovered, some fear for their lives.

Aisha’s example:

Melbourne local Aisha is one of more than 70 members of the network spread across the country.

Aisha was cut off from her family three years ago when things took a dark turn after she removed her hijab.

“I never actually told my parents I was an ex-Muslim because I was scared of their reaction,” she said.

“The most that happened was when I took my hijab off, one of my friends put a photo on Facebook and my parents ended up seeing it.

“They were pretty upset and said I was obviously just a whore who would end up dead in the gutters.”

She said her parents, whom she described as “moderate, even liberal”, turned physically violent and police got involved.

Aisha, in her 20s, was forced to move out of the family home.

“My parents were claiming I was a compulsive liar.”

Her identity has been protected because she is still afraid of possible consequences, like most people in this network. …

And the PC mob say it is not a cult, and indeed is “the religion of peace.” No other “religion” kills apostates, or is as totalitarian.

Former Muslims told the ABC they had been accused of being mentally ill, being hurt and lost, of not understanding Islam properly, taking scripture out of context, or just wanting to have sex and drink alcohol.

Some have also been accused of never having practiced true Islam and conflating bad experiences with Muslims with the religion itself.

Robert Spencer:

The death penalty for those who leave Islam is based upon the Qur’an: … This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them … agree that apostates must be executed.”

Qaradawi also once famously said: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil