Waleed Al-Husseini founded the Council of Ex-Muslims of France. He escaped from the Palestinian Authority to Jordan and then to France, after torture and imprisonment in Palestine. He is an ex-Muslim and an atheist. Here is an update on the Council of Ex-Muslims in France and ex-Muslims, in brief.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What happened in the summer 2018 season for the non-religious?
Waleed Al-Husseini: This summer was calm a bit.
We have some of the summer meetings here in France to welcome the new members and introduce them for the others, and following some issues of ex-Muslims who had some of the justice issues like Sharif Gaber in Egypt and then there were some problems in Jordan.
The greatest sadness: we lost one great fighter and writer. His name is Walid Al-Qubisi.
He is organizing from Iraq, but lives in Norway and in the 1980s got shot by Islamists in Oslo. He spent months in the hospital, then he left it.
This summer, we lost him. It was really sad even for me because he was one of the 1st fighters of political Islam in Europe.
Jacobsen: How were things for the ex-Muslim community in France – safer, more people?
Al-Husseini: We have some new members that’s why we made summer meetings, and they joined us and we talked about the dangers for us and described to them how things are and our activities.
For the security things, we got many threats through the internet after big discussions about hijab and child marriage, and some of our Twitter accounts got removed!
Jacobsen: As an internationalist independent journalist, when I get a story of an ex-religious person or a sexual minority individual, I cannot solve the problem, but I can bring light to their plight – simply hear and feel their horrible narrative as they tell it.
What does telling the stories, simply being heard by someone else, do for the ex-Muslims or the LGBTQ+ community in solidarity if anything?
Al-Husseini: For the stories and testimony, it’s really important to show for some who think about Islam that he or she is not alone, there are others who had questions. One, through this, he left Islam. These types of testimony also say that we are the voices of the many.
It helps to show for others that ex-Muslims exist. They have to fight one of the hardest fights in the world as the globe becomes more and more fundamentalist in orientation.
Ex-Muslims are the solution for making Islam less fundamentalist, and because of all these stories and the critiques and debates on Islam now in the open.
Because of these things, we have some people now talking about modern Islam or trying to moderate Islam. All these things because of ex-Muslims!
Jacobsen: Have there been some new ex-Muslim voices people should keep an eye on for their poignant analysis of the realities of the ex-Muslim community (global community)?
Al-Husseini: Yes, sure, Sharif Gaber, the YouTuber Egyptian, who faces justice now. Hamed Abdel-Samad with his show Box of Islam – and also his books, and the other ex-Muslims like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ibn Waraq, in the Arabic world like Said Alqumi, for other groups like Atheist Arab Magazine. It’s really a good one.
Also, some Arabic sites exist on the internet and blogs too.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Waleed.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
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Image Credit: Waleed Al-Husseini.