The “Säkulare Flüchtlingshilfe” (Atheist Refugee Relief) was founded because there are serious shortcomings in dealing with non-religious refugees, which need to be remedied. The main goal of the association is therefore to make itself superfluous by eliminating the grievances. Two key political demands must be met for this:
1. Guaranteeing effective state protection for non-religious refugees in Germany
This means, among other things, housing of the affected persons separately from believing Muslims; police protection and assistance in adopting a different identity if they are subject to persecution from their country of origin or by Islamists in general; secrecy of sensitive data on the part of all the authorities involved.
2. The natural recognition of apostasy as a reason for asylum
– not only in the case of persecution by the state, but also expressly in the case of impending persecution by private persons in the country of origin.
We call on the directorate of the Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, BAMF) to improve training of personnel ruling on asylum applications. Unfortunately, too few of them know that apostasy is in many cases still punished with death penalty. This is legitimized with the Quran verse 9:74: “but if they turn back” (do not repent) “Allah will punish them with a painful punishment in this life and in the Hereafter”. In Sudan, Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Mauritania, falling from faith can be punished by death sentence. Executions are sometimes carried out in public.
Even in those countries, where the state does not punish atheistic views, there is a threat of civil law consequences. These are also based on classical Islamic law. In this way, marriage with an apostate can be nullifed and the “unbeliever” will lose the right to raise his or her children. The social consequences are also often devastating: people who actually or allegedly turn away from Islam must expect social ostracism, job loss and massive threats or even assaults by others.
In addition, their families often treat “dissidents” with complete incomprehension or even sheer hatred. For them, apostasy means shame and betrayal. This is particularly hard on women, as they are regarded as bearers of “family honor” in oriental tradition. In many cases this leads to fatal consequences.
Among the German authorities, however, this situation is often ignored. A young woman from Dubai, for example, whom we looked after, had to hear from the official in charge that she came from a safe country, where European tourists can easily lie on the beach. The so called migration expert would not understand that in the event of a deportation she was certain to be murdered by her own brothers to restore family honor.
Secular refugees can not be certain to be granted the right of asylum in Germany – despite their particular dangerous situation. When a Muslim converts to Christianity, the authorities rely on the judgement of a local priest during the asylum procedure. For atheists, however, there can be no such support. We want to eliminate this discrimination.