There is a growing community of former Muslims who now denounce Islam. They used to be devout Muslims, who were born in religious families, and who studied Quran. Now they are, by some intrepetations of their previous faith, apostates. They don’t agree with the religion, they don’t agree with many of the Quran’s teachings -and they have decided to speak out against it, despite this posing a direct threat to their safety.
You do not have to be opposed to Islam itself, or anti-Muslim, to deprecate the risk that comes with leaving this faith. America’s first amendment covers many ex-Catholics who slam that religion, former Scientologists who say it is a cult, born-again Christians who’ve become atheists, and so forth. While we may respect religions, freedom of speech requires the ability to slam any faith or belief system from Islam to atheism, from Hinduism to Protestantism.
But for these ex-Muslims, challenging Islam comes with enormous risk. Our interviewees live in the United States – so they won’t face state persecution. In many allies of the USA, they could be executed for deciding they don’t believe anymore. However, these folks are definitely not protected from being ostracized by some religious hardliners in their families and communities. They decided to speak to us anyway.