Atheists in the “Haus der Geschichte”

Due to the lockdown, we unfortunately had to interrupt our activities in the Atheist Refugee Relief here in Stuttgart. In cooperation with the lpb we had planned the book presentation “Frauen dürfen hier nicht träumen – mein Ausbruch aus Saudi-Arabien” (Women must not dream here – my escape from Saudi Arabia). The presentation was to be held with the author Rana Ahmad, co-founder of the Atheist Refugee Relief e.V. together with our representation here in Stuttgart. We were naturally disappointed that the project now had to be postponed until 2021. Although we kept in touch with our individual members via WhatsApp at that time and also held a video conference, it was clear to us that the group had the desire to meet again “analogue”. Since the group is spread over Ludwigsburg and Stuttgart from Bad-Wimpfen to Esslingen, the need to meet is great.

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“They poured gasoline on me to set me on fire”

A guest article by Muhammad Ajeef

Muhammad Ajeef

I was born in Pakistan on May 9, 1989 to Muslim parents. My father named me Muhammad Ajeef, after the Prophet Mohammed. It was also a sign of devotion to Islam. But I was never part of this religion. How could anyone believe in a God that no man has ever seen. And how could I believe a prophet Muhammad who, after a solitary meditation in a cave, claimed to be the prophet of this invisible God. Actually, my place would have been in an atheistic family, but who can choose where he is born into. So I became the hunted, although I had not committed any crime. Actually, everyone has the right to freely determine his life, but not in a country like Pakistan, which was founded as an Islamic state and where Muslims make up 97% of the population. Although the white stripe in the Pakistani flag is supposed to symbolize these minorities and the legislation is supposed to be just, in reality it looks different. The public attitude does not correspond to this ideal in any way.

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Interview with Mina Ahadi on criticising Islam in Germany

Mina Ahadi, Chairwoman of the Council of Ex-Muslims Germany, was honored as one of five freedom heroes by the BILD newspaper in September 2019. The Atheist Refugee Relief took this opportunity to talk to Ms. Ahadi about the changed debate on Islam in Germany.

Mina Ahadi and Vitali Klitschko

Atheist Refugee Relief: Mrs. Ahadi, you were honoured this year on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the BILD newspaper together with the Klitschko brothers, Joshua Wong and Raed al-Saleh as a fighter for freedom. This is significant insofar as criticizing Islam used to be defamed with the politically instrumentalizing term “Islamophobia”. You yourself were often put in the political right corner. What has changed? Continue reading “Interview with Mina Ahadi on criticising Islam in Germany”

Secularists demonstrate in Iraq

A man sings a song that sounds similar to the religious chants that were also heard in IS videos. He is filming himself with his cell phone as he walks down a street in Baghdad where a demonstration had recently taken place. The demonstration was brutally suppressed. Thick smoke rises to the sky and car tires are still burning. But the man sings no religious song. He sings: “Oh world, I come to you to tell you that this is not a religious revolution, but a humanist revolution. They shot at us with guns and artillery, but the Enlightenment follows us revolutionaries.”
One of the triggers of the riots is the bad labor situation in the country. But this time, unlike in the past, according to the newspaper Al-Bayina Al-Jadida, there were no slogans or banners to be seen.  People no longer seem to follow the old religious or political groups. They seem to be looking for new ways beyond these.

The Islamic world is changing. After a long period of religious fundamentalism, the group of young people who long for a modern, enlightened society is growing. For example, in “The Arab world in seven charts: Are Arabs turning their backs on religion”, the BBC noted that atheism is spreading in the Islamic world. Atheist Refugee Relief is also experiencing a steady increase of 150% in requests from nonreligious people throughout the Islamic world in this year alone. Given this, it seems strange that so much consideration is given to religion in the integration process in Germany. Young people in the Middle East are already a lot ahead.

Secularists demonstrate in Iraq

A man sings a song that sounds similar to the religious chants that were also heard in IS videos. He is filming himself with his cell phone as he walks down a street in Baghdad where a demonstration had recently taken place. The demonstration was brutally suppressed. Thick smoke rises to the sky and car tires are still burning. But the man sings no religious song. He sings: “Oh world, I come to you to tell you that this is not a religious revolution, but a humanist revolution. They shot at us with guns and artillery, but the Enlightenment follows us revolutionaries.”
One of the triggers of the riots is the bad labor situation in the country. But this time, unlike in the past, according to the newspaper Al-Bayina Al-Jadida, there were no slogans or banners to be seen.  People no longer seem to follow the old religious or political groups. They seem to be looking for new ways beyond these.

The Islamic world is changing. After a long period of religious fundamentalism, the group of young people who long for a modern, enlightened society is growing. For example, in “The Arab world in seven charts: Are Arabs turning their backs on religion”, the BBC noted that atheism is spreading in the Islamic world. Atheist Refugee Relief is also experiencing a steady increase of 150% in requests from nonreligious people throughout the Islamic world in this year alone. Given this, it seems strange that so much consideration is given to religion in the integration process in Germany. Young people in the Middle East are already a lot ahead.

Violence against ex-Muslim on open street in Flensburg

Amed Sherwan (Photo: private)

Even in non-Muslim countries threats and violence against ex-Muslims are unfortunately not uncommon. A recent case from northern Germany bears witness to this.

Flensburg. The confessed ex-Muslim and secular activist Amed Sherwan just came out of a house entrance when he was hit on the head and feet from behind and was beaten and kicked lying on the floor. This incident took place in broad daylight in the presence of numerous people in the center of Flensburg. After the police and ambulance were alerted quickly, the worst could be averted.
This was preceded by an argument between the perpetrator and Sherwan two days earlier at a street festival in the idyllic port city. The perpetrator had obviously recognized Sherwan and at first only verbally attacked him. When Sherwan pulled his mobile phone out of his pocket shortly afterwards to take pictures at the party, the perpetrator again insulted Sherwan and accused him of having taken a picture of his wife. The woman spat at Sherwan and the man threatened Sherwan. Two days later he then carried out the threat. Continue reading “Violence against ex-Muslim on open street in Flensburg”

Another attack on ex-Muslim atheist

Rany E. shortly after the attack

Early Sunday afternoon, 28.04.2019, frightened Rany E. entered the ambulance in Bremerhaven. In addition to wounds on his upper arm, he also had a strongly swollen ankle joint, so that he could only move with a limp. He was attacked with an iron rod. This was only one of the last cases of attacks against atheistic ex-Muslims in German camps.

People whom we support in Germany are repeatedly attacked by other fellow refugees. Thus only last week a mother of four children was beaten by other residents because she ate a sausage with pork meat. Also in the past we received reports from men who were burned or whose mobile phones were destroyed. These are just the highlights of the martyrdom of harassment and abuse to which these people are subjected on a daily basis.

Women are often seen as sexual prey. Apart from the day-to-day harassment that women have to resist, we have also often been told of sexual assaults in the camps.

Rany E. says he is very worried whether he is safe in Germany. He has fled from the very people with whom he has to live here. The Atheist Refugee Relief demands that atheistic ex-Muslims be accommodated with non-Muslims. They are not safe in a normal camp – especially not in the now beginning Ramadan.

Residence requirement endangers homosexual refugee

Abdulrahman Akkad

Abdl Akadd Abdulrahman has had a long odyssey. One and a half years ago, the young man from Syria publicly outed himself as gay. He posted a video on Facebook, which exposed him to hostility and threats. As a result, he requested that his residence requirement (Wohnsitzauflage, a german legeslation, that requires refugees to stay in a certain for three years) be moved to a city in another region. When the trial dragged on, he had to run away and was forced to violate the residence requirement for security reasons. After moving back and forth for months because he couldn’t rent his own apartment in another region, the residence requirement was finally completely abolished after he emphatically pointed out his precarious situation in the Foreigners’ Office.

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Sherif Gaber, Egyptian blogger, desperately needs help

In October 2018 the passport of blogger Sherif Gaber was confiscated at an Egyptian airport. He can no longer leave the country. He has also been charged with blasphemy.

Please share this video!
(The video has English subtitles)

“ – After many months of trying everything, I decided to make this video. In it, I share many details about my situation and why it’s more complicated than many people think. I also couldn’t share some other more important details because of how dangerous it will be.For example, all the details about booking the flights with the names of the hotels and the ticket numbers that I’ve booked. Such details will reveal a lot of info that some people can track me with. Also, things that happened to me while being interrogated and while in prison but I couldn’t share it. But if one day I left Egypt, I’ll talk about all this publicly with evidence so that you understand more about this country and why I had to leave.

“ – Some of you who have contacted me in the past few months know how much I’ve tried and know how unpleasant it is for me to make this video. I already know how hard it’s to get that money and how almost impossible for a country to give me citizenship while I’m in here but I’m doing this for me. I can’t give up now. There’s so much in this life that’s worth living for.

“ – I never asked to share, comment or even like any of my videos. But this time I need that. Every support I get and every share gets me closer to freedom.

“Please share this video.

“Thank you”

Fled Saudi Rahad Mohammed Alkunun in safety for now

The Saudi citizen Rahad Alkunun wanted to flee from a forced marriage to Australia. On her flight there, she was prevented from continuing her journey in Bangkok, Thailand. Representatives of the Saudi and Kuwaiti embassies intercepted her in the transit area, where she said they confiscated her passport. Human rights organisations were alarmed and prevented Ms Alkunun from being repatriated for the time being.

The Atheist Refugee Relief has long emphasized the special danger situation of people who want to leave theocratic systems. So these affected people are never really safe. It can happen at any time that a family member commits a so-called “honour murder” against them, also in Germany. For example, we advocate that when ex-Muslim asylum seekers are recognised, a ban on information is automatically imposed and that a residence requirement is waived, according to which fugitives and recognised asylum seekers must be resident in a certain region for three years. This would make it difficult for persecutors to track them down in countries like Germany.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/07/saudi-woman-fleeing-family-wont-be-deported-say-thai-officials