- Posted by Maryam Namazie
- On October 22, 2013
- 4 Comments
- ex-muslim, North America
Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA) exists to build a community and provide a sense of solidarity for Ex-Muslims: people who used to identify as Muslim, and who no longer do so. We cater exclusively to the needs of Ex-Muslim atheists, agnostics, skeptics, humanists, and freethinkers.
At present, several communities of Ex-Muslims are being organized in cities across North America and all over the world. EXMNA’s goal is to expand and connect people with each other, so that Ex-Muslims have a place to call their own in every major North American city, and a community they can turn to for networking, support, and solidarity. Many people who leave Islam face the apostasy stigma, and are forced to hide. As Ex-Muslims, we are acutely aware of the need for safety for apostates from Islam. We foster alliances and affiliations with other atheist, skeptic, and humanist groups within and outside North America to fulfill our common goals. We hope to galvanize support from secular and progressive groups, as well as those Muslims who believe in freedom of, and from, religion.
In today’s political climate, Ex-Muslims stand between polarizing discourses of Islam and Muslims, and are often marginalized, dismissed, and silenced by both sides. As people who were raised Muslim or converted to Islam, and then left Islam because we could no longer believe in it, we cater to neither bigots who treat Muslims as a monolith, nor apologists who try to shield Islam from scrutiny. We do not wish to promote hatred of Muslims. We ourselves were Muslim once. Many of our families and friends are Muslim. We understand that Muslims come in all varieties, and we do not partake in erasing diversity among the world’s Muslims.
While we denounce the bigotry of those who promote their racist and xenophobic ideas under the guise of criticizing Muslims, we also denounce the cultural and moral relativism of those who propagate the idea that all criticism of Islam is inherently racist. We work closely with the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB), a UK-based, internationally recognized organization, founded in 2007, that has been instrumental in starting the movement to create a space for apostates. Ex-Muslims often have first-hand and well-researched knowledge about Islam’s various facets. We are uniquely positioned to use our voices and experiences to help bridge the polarized discussion of Islam. In order to further that goal, we have just launched the Ex-Muslim Blogs Project which broadcasts the voices of a diverse array of Ex-Muslim writers.
EXMNA is largely composed of local groups with a great degree of autonomy, united organizationally under the umbrella of the Ex-Muslims of North America. EXMNA’s humble beginnings were in the Ex-Muslim communities that began in Toronto (2011) and Washington DC (2012). Today, we have member groups operating and growing in regions throughout North America, including Texas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Virginia, D.C., Ontario, and Quebec.
Visit our website to learn more about us, to join one of our local groups, or to find out how you can start one in your city.
Website(s): http://www.exmna.org and http://www.exmuslimblogs.com
Phone: 1-855-EXMUSLIM (media department)