Apostasy and Blasphemy is my right....and not a crime!

Being an Ex-Muslim and born of Pakistan, it sure brings with itself a barrage of problems, pressures, ridicule and a lot of threats, especially if you happen to be an atheist and are fighting for your right to be an apostate or stand and oppose religious beliefs.

If you happen to be born in a country that takes Islam as the forefront for law-making, rights and the way of life to be run in that country, then you're most likely stripped away with a great deal of freedom of choice, practice or expression.

Born and raised in a religious environment and background, one is already given into the brainwash effect of being attached to Islamic beliefs the moment a person is born. The ritual of 'Aqeeqah' (shaving of the baby's hair, together with the sacrifice of an animal on the 7th day after the baby's birth), teaching and reading of the Quran when the child is growing up, performing the 5 daily prayers (which becomes obligatory after the child reaches the age of 10), gender segregation for both boys and girls, men and women, discouraging supposedly 'evil' acts like Music, gender mixing, watching 'western based media', and being discouraged to talk with 'Kafirs' (Non-believers), coupled with that being stuck to talking, dealing and interacting with Muslims and Muslims only.

This leaves one with no other choice but to ultimately accept that Islam is the one and absolute religion for them. The person grows up, and eventually becomes a 'missionary' of sorts as he/she is then asked to spread the message to other people of the same religion and bring them to the 'right' path.
Any and all forms of doubt and questioning against the said religion is shunned, pressured and discouraged so much to the extent that the person is eventually silences himself to such pressures that he/she isn't allowed to raise that question of doubt ever again.

Hence it comes as no surprise that once a person raised in such an environment, declares himself an apostate or commits blasphemy in such countries, he/she is subjected to mental torture, ridicule, threatened or even denied their right to live in this world.

Under a majority of Islamic countries, there is a severe punishment for a person that becomes an apostate or commits blasphemy (Some even put to death). Even if the person isn't tried in the Court, the public, what with being stern believers of Islam come out as a mob with the victim punished and ridiculed in such an inhumane manner that they're left to rot, or worse even, killed.

As is evident in recent cases, relgious minorities, free-thinkers and apostates are ill-treated and are stripped off their belongings, their lives and treated in such barbaric ways it's appalling. 

The recent killings of the Shia minority in Pakistan, (See: Pakistan Market Bomb Kills Scores. and Pakistan: car bomb kills dozens outside mosque in Karachi.)

As well as the recent attack of the Christians by the angry Muslim mobs there. (See: The Anatomy of an Attack on Christians in Pakistan.)

And also the killing of atheist bloggers in Bangladesh (See the blog by Taslima Nasreen, a prominent secular humanist: Save atheists! Islamists are slaughtering them in Bangladesh! (Warning: Violent Images)

All of these stories just ascertain the level of intolerance Muslims are against the topic of Apostasy, free-thinking, blasphemy as well as not even giving rights for religious minorities as well. So much for a religion that is known as the 'religion of peace'.

As an ex-Muslim, who stands up for Atheism as well as being a secular humanist, my matters of becoming an Apostate as well as opposition against Islam and whatever it teaches should be my right of freedom of expression.

Intimidation, or threatening for such acts altogether put a huge blockade on the freedom of speech. A joke made about Muhammad should be given credence as much as one makes a joke about Jesus, yet it seems it serves to become a 'one-way ticket' to get murdered in vein of religious radicalism.

It's only appropriate, that we, as atheists and secular humanists, should be spreading our word, our message that such forms of barbaric torture, cruelty and violence cannot be tolerated that does a great degree of damage towards humanity.

In the end I'd like to state:

'' I'm a Pakistani. I'm an Atheist and an Apostate.

I stand against the blasphemy law of my country 
which persecutes religious minorities, free-thinkers, apostates
and blasphemers.

I have the right to be an Atheist, a free-thinker and I don't 
need a religion that needs to be pressured and enforced upon me against my will. ''

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Comment by Alan Perlman on March 17, 2013 at 9:30pm

I am with you. Atheists are not beloved in America, but at least we are not persecuted.  And we are not killed for making jokes.  One of the hallmarks of fanaticism is its total lack of humor.  Good luck.

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