+++ UPDATE: The three sisters are now safe! Many thanks to all who helped!!!
The three sisters Manal, Muna and Nauf have left Islam and are now on the run. They are being persecuted by their family and are currently in great danger because apostasy (leaving the religion) is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. It is also a great shame for families there, especially when it comes to daughters, and it is therefore very important for their families to take the girls back to Saudi Arabia and bring them to the punishment.
Therefore we ask for your support. The three sisters must leave their current location as soon as possible, but they have no financial resources. Please donate to GoFundMe so they can go to a safe region.
“The protection of those who fled without faith must also be better ensured in Germany. Because they’re not safe here either from access by family or religious fanatics.” During the discussion at the Humanist Day 2018 in Nuremberg, Stefan Paintner (Atheist Refugee Relief) addressed the special situation of religious-free refugees. The public and politicians are not yet sufficiently aware of the problem – all panel participants agreed on this.
On the topic “Godless and persecuted – reason for atheism”, the Bengali blogger Arnab Goswami, the Iraqi blogger and activist Amed Sherwan and Michael Bauer from HVD Bayern sat on the podium alongside Stefan Paintner.
The two bloggers drew attention to the situation of atheists in Muslim countries. They reported on their own very traumatic experiences, which went as far as torture.
On May 2, Sherif Gaber, a well-known Egyptian blogger, posted the above text. It states that he was in a police station and if nothing more was heard from him in an hour, he was arrested.
Under pressure from the Islamist Al-Nour Party, Egypt has for some time now been increasingly taking action against free thinkers who are critical of Islam. The Al-Nour party has a very fundamentalist attitude towards Islam and received more than a quarter of the votes cast in a radical Islamist alliance in the 2011 parliamentary elections.
Egypt has been home to atheist activists for quite some time, who have also had their say in the official media. But in recent years they have been increasingly persecuted.
Secular activist Sherif Gaber, who is campaigning for a humanist society in Egypt, has been charged with blasphemy by the conservative-religious Al-Nour party. He could face up to 15 years in prison. He had already been sentenced once to one year of forced labour for fighting for LGBT rights.
Brave people have founded the Council of Ex-Muslims Jordan. It should give a home to all who see themselves as humanists and free thinkers in the Islamic country where criticism of Islam is severely punished. Those who are turned away from religion and are committed to philosophy, science and critical thinking can network here, seek help and inform themselves about various topics.
The establishment of the Council of Ex-Muslims Jordan is a sign of the strong increase in critical religious thinking in the Islamic world, which can be observed across all countries.
After the Secular Refugee Relief has been presented to the public at the celebration of “10 Years of Ex-Muslims” on 17 November 2017, numerous requests for help but also many offers of help have reached us.
Since then, the number of tasks and potential has grown enormously.
Asad Noor (25), a well-known blogger from Bangladesh, could face a prison sentence of up to 14 years, as he had criticised Islam on the Internet. He was arrested at Dhaka airport in late December.
In Bangladesh, the situation is very dangerous for atheists or critics of Islam. Dozens of bloggers and activists have already been killed there by Islamic fundamentalists.
With the rise of atheism in Islamic countries, more and more countries are taking tougher action against free critical thinking. After the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has already equated atheists with terrorists, Egypt is now following suit. These reactions can be seen as an indication that the beneficiaries of a reform incapable theocracy see themselves as seriously endangered by the enlightenment and critical thinking.