Persecution of Ex-Muslims (United Kingdom)
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While Christians who turn to Islam are feted, the 200,000 Muslims who turn away are faced with abuse, violence and even murder in the UK
It was a shock, but hardly a surprise. The week before, another brick had been thrown through the window as the family were preparing for bed in their Bradford home. The victim of a three-year campaign of religious hatred, Mr Hussein’s car has also been rammed and torched, and the steps to his home have been strewn with rubbish.
He and his family have been regularly jostled, abused, attacked, shouted at to move out of the area, and given death threats in the street. His wife has been held hostage inside their home for two hours by a mob. His car, walls and windows have been daubed in graffiti: “Christian bastard”.
The problem isn’t so much what Mr Hussein, whose parents came from Pakistan, believes, but what he doesn’t believe. Born into Islam, he converted eight years ago to Christianity, and his wife, also from Pakistan, followed suit.While those who convert to Islam, such as Cat Stevens, Jemima Khan, and the sons of the Frank Dobson, the former Health Secretary, and Lord Birt, the former BBC Director-General, can publicly celebrate their new religion, those whose faith goes in the other direction face persecution. Mr Hussein, a 39-year-old hospital nurse in Bradford, is one of a growing number of former Muslims in Britain who face not just being shunned by family and community, but attacked, kidnapped, and in some cases killed. There is even a secret underground network to support and protect those who leave Islam. One estimate suggests that as many as 15 per cent of Muslims in Western societies have lost their faith, which would mean that in Britain there are about 200,000 apostates.
Anthony Browne, The Sunday Times, February 5, 2005
Some 3,000 Christians in the UK are in danger because they have chosen to convert from Islam
. . .
The number of individuals at risk in the UK is substantial. It is conservatively estimated that there are 1,500 to 2,000 Iranians, approaching 1,000 Arabs, and some 150 Pakistanis and others living in this country who have left Islam to become Christians. In round figures there are 3,000 KNOWN converts, but there may also be many more who are isolated from the various networks, and thus omitted from the figures.
These converts face not only the possibility of hostility and aggression from individuals within the Muslim community in Britain, but also some are asylum-seekers who have fled much graver dangers in their countries of origin. If such individuals are refused asylum and sent home, they could face imprisonment, torture or death.
. . .
John Mark Ministries, March 11, 2005
1 out of every 3 young British Muslim believes that Muslim apostates should be executed
In the survey of 1,003 Muslims by the polling company Populus through internet and telephone questionnaires, nearly 60% said they would prefer to live under British law, while 37% of 16 to 24-year-olds said they would prefer sharia law, against 17% of those over 55. Eighty-six per cent said their religion was the most important thing in their lives.Nearly a third of 16 to 24-year-olds believed that those converting to another religion should be executed, while less than a fifth of those over 55 believed the same. The survey claimed that British authorities and some Muslim groups have exaggerated the problem of Islamophobia and fuelled a sense of victimhood among some Muslims: 84% said they believed they had been well treated in British society, though only 28% thought the authorities had gone over the top in trying not to offend Muslims. Munira Mirza, a doctoral student at Kent University who wrote the report, said: "The government should engage with Muslims as citizens, not through their religious identity."
Stephen Bates, The Guardian, January 29, 2007
Daughter of UK imam (in hiding for ten years) living under police protection after receiving death threats from her father for converting to Christianity. Moved house 45 times after relatives pledged to hunt her down and kill her
The 31-year-old, whose father is the leader of a mosque in Lancashire, has moved house an astonishing 45 times after relatives pledged to hunt her down and kill her.
The British-born university graduate, who uses the pseudonym Hannah for her own safety, said she renounced the Muslim faith to escape being forced into an arranged marriage when she was 16.
She has been in hiding for more than a decade but called in police only a few months ago after receiving a text message from her brother. In it, he said he would not be held responsible for his actions if she failed to return to Islam. Officers have agreed to offer her protection in case of an attempt on her life.
. . .
London Evening Standard, December 8, 2007
Convert to Christianity forced to leave home after three weeks of being bullied by relatives, constantly being beaten by her mother, and being threatened with death by her father
And what had brought on his transformation? He had discovered that she had left the Muslim faith in which he had raised her and become a Christian.
"He said he couldn't have me in the house now that I was a Kaffir [an insulting term for a non-Muslim]," Sofia - not her real name - remembers. "He said I was damned for ever. He insulted me horribly. I couldn't recognise that man as the father who had been so kind to me as I was growing up. My mother's transformation was even worse. She constantly beat me about the head. She screamed at me all the time. I remember saying to them, as they were shouting death threats, 'Mum, Dad - you're saying you should kill me… but I'm your daughter! Don't you realise that?'?"
They did not: they insisted they wanted her out of their house. After three weeks of bullying, and just before her parents physically threw her out, Sofia left. "They put their loyalty to Islam above any love for me," she says, her voice faltering slightly.
"It was such a shock. I remember thinking when they brought all my uncles round to try to intimidate me - all these men were lined up telling me how terrible a person I was, how the devil had taken me - I remember thinking, how can this be happening? Because this isn't Lahore in Pakistan. This is Dagenham in London! This is Britain!"Religious persecution of the kind Sofia suffers, however, is increasingly common in Britain today. It is hard to get an accurate notion of the scale of the problem, not least because very few of the people who leave Islam are willing to complain to the police about the way they are treated.
The Telegraph, December 9, 2007
Convert to Christianity spat at and threatened with death by two Afghan Muslims in London
But his conversion had met with hostility from other Afghans and Muslims, who spat at him in the street when rumours spread, the Asylum and Immigration Appeals Tribunal was told.
He was even threatened with death by two Afghans with whom he had shared a house in London and warned by others that he would be killed if he went back to Afghanistan.Although the Afghan Constitution allows non-Muslims to practise their faith, the small Christian community practises exclusively underground and it is forbidden for Afghans to abandon Islam.
Tom Whitehead, The Telegraph, November 17, 2009
Vice Chancellor of City University London, allows the Islamic Society to host Muslim preacher who advocates the murder of gays and apostates
. . .
Another speaker given a platform at the same City University event on 4 November, Murthadah Khan, was also caught on the Undercover Mosque documentary calling Jews and Christians “enemies” and “filthy”.
“It is utterly disgraceful that the student’s union has defended the
hosting of these two hate preachers, and that the Vice Chancellor has
not responded to complaints from students.
. . .
Harry's Place, November 22, 2009
Two Converts from Islam to Christianity are being sent back to Afghanistan despite fears that they'll be killed. "If the Taliban don't execute me for being a Christian, my family will"
Ahmed Faizi, 29, has been on a hunger strike at the Harmondsworth immigration removal centre near Heathrow for six days.
According to friends, Faizi – who has a cross tattooed on his right arm – is convinced that he will be killed if forced to return to Afghanistan. He told a friend: "If the Taliban don't execute me for being a Christian, my family will."
. . .
His fellow deportee, Ali Hussani, expressed similar fears. "They will kill me for being Christian," he said. "There are only Muslims there."
Although Hussani was baptised only two weeks ago, his friends are convinced of his commitment to Christianity.
Marie Lutter, a member of the Jesus Army, said she had known him for five or six months and had "no doubt whatsoever" about his faith.
She said she also feared the worst if he was deported."I think he's probably at risk of being imprisoned or killed," she said. "The other Afghan boys have ostracised him since he became a Christian; they have refused to speak to him or eat with him. He is an orphan, and if he arrives in Kabul, he [will have] no one to defend him."
Sam Jones, Guardian, April 26, 2011
Afghan convert to Christianity punched, kicked, and beaten with a plank of wood in the street by two Muslims. Prosecutor says the victim's conversion "did not sit well with the defendant"
Nottingham Crown Court heard that Sher Ahmadzai, 20, hit his victim with a metre-long plank, causing him to fall over during the attack in Radford.
Another man then started punching and kicking the fallen man in the face.
The victim escaped without serious injury but was left with a sore jaw and leg pain.
The court heard Ahmadzai knew his victim and both were members of the Afghan community.
The man was of Muslim faith but converted to Christianity after claiming asylum here.
"This did not sit well with the defendant," said prosecutor Paul Stimson.
"That culminated in the assault in October last year in Hartley Road."When police questioned Ahmadzai, of Magdala Road, Mapperley, he said there had been a feud but would not elaborate.
Nottingham Post, June 11, 2011