I can’t believe I even have to write this. No one should be killed for leaving Islam. The dignity of a person’s life and their right to self-determination will always trump Islam. As an ex-Muslim woman, this is my reality. As if I’m not already fearful for my life as a Black immigrant woman in the US, I am also afraid that I will be killed for my apostasy. We live in a political climate where this major human rights violation is being ignored. Leaving Islam is the first major life decision I’ve ever made for myself. I am finally in a place where I can lose relationships and still survive. I don’t have to hide. I didn’t have to get on a plane to escape my deathbed. I didn’t have to learn a new language. I wake up without the fear of being brutally raped and murdered.
I left Islam knowing I could get killed for it. I left Islam knowing I already live at a dangerous intersection of Black, woman, and immigrant. Why would I make my life harder? I wouldn’t do this unless I had a sense of moral urgency to do the right thing. I chose the side of liberation, morality, and self-determination. I am glad I did. I did the hardest thing ever because I am a person of integrity. Leaving Islam was a traumatic event, but I made it out alive. Yes, I had to work two jobs and survive without health insurance for 3 months, but it was worth it. I would do it all over again because I am finally able to emerge from hiding and live in my authentic truth.
Every time I hear someone advocating for the death penalty for apostaty, I’m shocked that such a level of cruelty is humanly possible. There was a sheikh who ordered people to “kill, cook, fry and eat apostates.” WHAT?! This will never be okay. I will never “get used” to people threatening my life. It’s hard enough having to worry about the police, and now I have to worry about acts of violence from my own family. No one would leave Islam if they weren’t ready to face repercussions, violence, and ostracization. I was willing to risk everything to live a self-determined life. Who would’ve thought that living without oppression would be an innately human desire? Living in bondage eroded my spirit and sense of self.
Imagine actually believing that people should be imprisoned or even killed for leaving Islam as punishment. There is no justification. There is no logic to that level of madness. I am proud of myself. I did something incredibly difficult. I can finally say: I left Islam because of my feminist principles. I am so committed to women’s liberation that I was willing to risk my life! I can’t be any more dedicated than that. Literally. If there was ever a scale, risking your life has to be the pinnacle! No one can bully, scare or threaten me into going back. Muslims are so threatened by apostates that they’re eager to kill us. Just our existence alone is threatening lol. Stop killing apostates.