Every person should be able to count on the love of his or her family, no matter his or her beliefs. Yet in countries where Islam is so predominant as to be synonymous with government, losing that love is the usual consequence for those who choose to leave Islam behind. They are made apostates for believing something different and for daring to question ancient ideas with which they don’t agree.
Sadly, this is not a story or a perspective that is easily heard. Ex-Muslims must censor themselves for fear of being targeted, harmed, or even killed. Those who have mustered the courage to speak often have had a blind eye turned to their story. And anyone, ex-Muslim or otherwise, who may be unhappy with the common perception of Islam is shouted down or told to be quiet. Few Ex-Muslims escape the detrimental consequences many Ex-Muslims face, for choosing to leave Islam. The status quo is maintained, even when lives hang in the balance.
The ex-Muslim experience has been hidden for a long time. It is time to have a global conversation about Ex-Muslims and involving ex-Muslims, and this conversation is best divided into two stages of equal importance. Muslims, non-Muslims and ex-Muslims are vital pivots with important roles in this conversation requiring an exchange and analysis of information, alongside a willingness to communicate civilly, while exercising civic-conscious graciousness in taking turns to listen and speak.
Shift The Script, an organization dedicated to raising important conversations at a local and global level for discussion, provides the platform to start this critical exchange.
The word “Critical” has two meanings. First, it defines a situation that is particularly important, severe, and timely. It also describes someone with skillful judgement and a willingness to open his or her mind, examine contexts, and think carefully through potential solutions. The former applies to the circumstance in which ex-Muslims find themselves, and the latter describes the people who stand a real chance of starting a conversation and challenging the flawed power structure of misinformation and confusion that continues to harm ex-Muslims.
Governments and much of the media do not have the cultural freedom or motivation to recognize the ex-Muslim perspective or work to solve these problems, but ordinary citizens are not bound in the same way. They are empowered to balance facts with empathy, to leave bias at the door, and to come together for an open and honest dialogue. Shift The Script supplies the stage where that dialogue starts — where no one will have to worry about being judged or shouted down for having a challenging opinion.
Citizens, real people who see a problem and want to solve it, form the foundation of any kind of meaningful change. If enough people make it clear these problems are real, those in power cannot help but take notice. That’s all it takes to start changing the tide and building a world where people such as ex-Muslims can feel accepted, and hatred finally starts to ebb. Shift The Script is made for the people who are invested in taking that first, critical step.
The first stage raises awareness of Ex-Muslims, and how we are all human with undeniable traits of humanity, regardless of whether we identify as Muslim, Ex-Muslim or non-Muslim.
The second stage is far more complex and requires all of us to face 3 facts alongside evidence this world has never seen, in unison.
How are ex-Muslims affected, because many Muslims and non-Muslims are unaware of these three critical facts? How are many non-Muslims and Muslims affected, when unaware or misguided in their understanding of 3 key details of Sunni Islam? Why must we know the above, in order have a fruitful progressive conversation and proper solutions benefitting everyone?
Please proceed to Two Stages of A Conversation, which will take you through vital human history and context along with the first important stage requiring understanding of Ex-Muslims, before finally facing the second stage.