She has been fighting for many years to bring her son Louis home. Louis lives in Dubai where Sharia law prevents Afsana from visiting and gaining custody of her son. Afsana’s long running legal campaign for justice continues both in the UK and France. She is currently writing a book on honour killings.
Pakistani-born Canadian ex-Muslim writer and podcaster who explores the challenges of Muslims who leave their faith. Rizvi is the author of The Atheist Muslim: A Journey From Religion to Reason published in 2016. It is a combination of personal biography and analysis of arguments in favour of rejecting Islam.
co-president of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, originally founded in 1976 with her mother, feminist activist Anne Nicol Gaylor. Gaylor is the author of several books, including “Woe to the Women: The Bible Tells Me So”, “Betrayal of Trust: Clergy Abuse of Children” and, as editor, “Women Without Superstition: No Gods – No Masters,” an anthology of historic women freethinkers.
former Muslim and the founder of the Atheist Republic, a non-profit organisation with over one million fans and followers worldwide. Armin started as a dedicated Muslim, and even attempted suicide when he was 12 because this would get him into a heaven. But after searching for God for many years, Armin’s journey led him to leave Islam and to become an atheist. Armin is the author of the bestselling book “Why There Is No God: Simple Responses to 20 Common Arguments for the Existence of God”. Speakers
performance artist, dancer and choreographer based in Sweden. She is currently working at IM (Individual Humanitarian Aid) as an artistic director. She is focusing on creating platforms for newcomers to come together and explore different forms of art.
was active in the youth branch of an Islamist movement. He is now an ex-Muslim atheist activist and founder and chair of Ex-Muslims of Norway. He writes articles, participates in debates related to apostasy, blasphemy, women’s status in Islam, Islamic reform, and political and social issues.
outspoken activist and human rights defender from Poland. She has stood up against hate and discrimination for many years and is fighting for a just and equal Poland. She was charged with ‘offending religious beliefs’ and is currently facing up to two years in prison. Still, she refuses to stay silent.
human rights activist and ex-Muslim. After an arranged and unhealthy marriage she started to doubt the existence of God an eventually founded the Atheist & Agnostic Alliance Pakistan. She has been a subject of several death threats and sought asylum in the Netherlands in 2015.
writer, journalist, film-maker and rights activist. She is currently Founder and Director of Centre for Secular Space. During the 1980s, she worked for a current affairs programme focussed on Afro-Caribbean and Asian issues called “Bandung File” on Channel 4 TV. She made two films about the Rushdie affair.
ex-Muslim poet. She defines herself as a free thinker, a rebel and an atheist. She was born Muslim but no longer believes in Islam. She was a closet non-believer for a while until when she came to live in the Netherlands three years ago, where she ‘came out’ because of woman’s individual rights.
Australian ex-Muslim atheist of Pakistani descent. Harris moved to Australia at the age of 19 and was exposed to the big wide world other than his hometown of Lahore, Pakistan which eventually led him away from Islam. His new upcoming book is “The Curse of God.”
Moroccan rights activist. Besides her job as an English teacher, she holds a hotline to inform callers about a safe abortion. Abortion is illegal in Morocco and therefore Bariaz was forced to do it in secret in an filthy clinic, which was not safe at all. This inspired her to fight for legalized abortion.
Iranian–born political activist, who runs the International Campaign against Sharia Court in Canada. She received the 2005 Toronto Humanist of the Year award and was recognised as women of the year by Gazette Des Femmes amongst others. She is the Spokesperson of Women’s Liberation in Canada and founder of the Cultural Bridges.
clinical psychologist specialized in violence against women and sexual violence. She is leader of MALI (Alternative Movement for Individual Liberties), which is universalist, feminist and secularist. She initiated the first LGBT movement in Morocco in 2012, but has been censored by the majority of organizations in Morocco, even progressive and feminist ones.
leader of FEMEN, topless activists against various manifestations of patriarchy, including dictatorship, religion, and the sex industry. She was kidnapped and threatened by the Belarus KGB in 2011 and was given political asylum in France. During her speech on 14 February 2015 a terrorist opened fire in the lobby of where the debate took place. Surviving the attack, Shevchenko later said, “Liberal voices should be louder than Kalashnikovs”.
gyptian Atheist and Founder of Black Ducks Talk Show
is the first Egyptian to publicly announce his atheism on national television. He started The Black Ducks, an inspiring Talk Show on Youtube that interviews atheists and non-religious individuals from the Arab world. It aims to achieve a secular society in the Middle East and North Africa and offer solace and courage to those who are atheists in secret so they may know they are not alone in the world. Many share their stories of struggle on The Black Ducks. The channel is the number one platform for Arab atheists and apostates throughout the region. Mohamed launched his project in 2013, after the removal of the Muslim Brotherhood from power, a time when many Egyptians feared for their freedom..
grew up in a traditional Pashtun family in London where he struggled with both the homophobia and ardent misogyny within his community. As an LGBT ex-Muslim activist, he is committed to unbridling the reins of patriarchy on gays and women of Muslim heritage.
Co-founder of Atheist Alliance Middle East and North Africa. He is also active with Arab Atheists and the Forum for Humanitarian Dialogue, a Facebook discussion group of 44,000 members that promote the right to freedom of belief and expression offering unlimited space for free speech in the Middle East and North Africa region.
writer, lecturer and broadcaster and a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Analysis. His book From Fatwa to Jihad was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize. As a scientific author, his focus is on the philosophy of biology, and contemporary theories of multiculturalism, pluralism and race.
Marieme Helie Lucas
Algerian sociologist, political theorist and author. Marieme was born in Algeria to a ‘family of feminists’ and had been active in the liberation struggle of Algeria. She is founder and former International Coordinator of Women Living Under Muslim Laws, a solidarity network that provides information, support and a collective space for women. She is also the founder of Secularism Is A Women’s Issue.
Iranian-born writer and activist. She is the Spokesperson for Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation, One Law for All and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. The Islamic regime of Iran’s media outlets has called Namazie ‘immoral and corrupt’ and she has been barred and no platformed for speaking out against Islam and Islamism and defending the right to apostasy and blasphemy.
ex-Muslim Youtuber who discusses issues that Muslims and non-Muslims face, in an attempt to normalise ex-Muslims. Marwa went to a Muslim school most of her life in London and was involved in various Muslim organisations and communities before becoming an atheist two years ago.
writer and former Leiden University professor of Intercultural Literary Studies. She has worked with the Writers-in-Prison Committee of International PEN and was Chair of Index on Censorship in the Netherlands. The universality of human rights is central in her non-fiction books.
went on live Egyptian television and talked about his atheism, it invoked an aggressive reaction from the talk show host and other guests and ultimately resulted in him being abused, vilified and thrown out of the studio. As a result, he faced threats to his life making his living situation in Egypt risky and dangerous.
human rights activist, writer, speaker and community organizer. He is the founder and president of Ex-Muslims of North-America, the first Ex-Muslim advocacy and community building organization in North America. Muhammad has been a human rights activist for the past decade, with a focus on efforts to normalize religious dissent and promote acceptance of secularism in Muslim communities.
filmmaker living in France, who cannot return home because of her film “Neither Allah nor Master”. The film is an account of Tunisian life immediately before and after the fall of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Others films she made include “Ouled Lenine” and “Our Breasts, Our Weapons!”.
fled Egypt because of his atheism. He burned a Quran, to prove to the Swedish immigration services that he could not return to Egypt, for fear of his life. Omar has now gotten his permanent residency and works for GAPF – Never Forget Pela and Fadime – two young girls killed in the name of “honour”.
freelance journalist, writer and member of the Southall Black Sisters, an advocacy and campaigning group for women escaping domestic violence. Her work, about immigration, violence and patriarchy, has appeared in The Guardian among other papers and magazines.
activist, Women’s Rights Campaigner and Ex-Muslim Activist. She hopes to help all girls to be free. After she discarded her religion, she had to escape because she was threatened with death by her family and the government in Saudi Arabia.
former Islamist who become an ex-Muslim and co-founder of Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka. He is the first to become public as ex-Muslim and declared himself an Ex-Muslim atheist before the Parliamentary Select Committee recently.
Asia Bibi’s lawyer. Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was on death row for eight years accused of blasphemy after a quarrel with Muslim neighbours. Saif ul-Malook successfully defended Ms Bibi and she was released on appeal in 2018. After her release, he received death threats and had to flee.
Co-founder of Freethought Lebanon and a diligent Lebanese civil society activist. A theoretical physicist by profession, Sami has worked extensively to fight against discrimination and the negative social stereotypes that vilify atheists in Lebanon and the Arab World, and has been closely involved in offering protection to those who have been threatened because of their atheism.
Pakistan-born American activist, writer and speaker, raised as a practicing Muslim. In her late-teens, she began to read the Quran critically and left religion soon after. In 2013, she co-founded Ex-Muslims of North America, where she advocates for the acceptance of religious dissent.
Pakistani born Norwegian stand-up comedian, writer and columnist. She is known for her Mullah-Lifting. She received enormous publicity after lifting Mullah Krekar. Her own reason for doing this stunt was: A person that can be lifted is not that dangerous. She also flashed her naked bottom saying “I want to show that in Norway, you can do such things without being lynched or arrested.”
singer-songwriter involved in secular activism. Her first record, “An Atheist Album” is a passionate response to dogmatic belief, inequality and religious oppression. She has released seven recording projects and runs an independent record label True Music where she works with other artists.
ex-Muslim, ex-Ahmadi writer who is more commonly known by his social media alias, Reason on Faith. Sohail began his activism in 2016. In 2019, after years of activism and organizing behind the scenes, Sohail released his first video entitled ‘Why I am Leaving Islam and Ahmadiyyat’. Sohail’s journey of questioning had begun at the age of 19. Currently, Sohail is co-organizer of the Toronto Chapter of EXMNA (The Ex-Muslims of North America) as well as the organizer for the Toronto Chapter of Muslimish.
award-winning writer, physician, and activist, known for her powerful writings on women oppression and unflinching criticism of religion, despite forced exile and multiple fatwas calling for her death.
YouTube comedian who creates satirical videos on a range of topics mainly focusing on Islam. Veedu is an Ex-Muslim who enjoys engaging with his religious and cultural heritage by exploring different ideas and religious preachers in the form of parodies and discussions. Veedu is a free speech advocate and stands for individual rights.
award-winning body artist. She is passionate about merging art with science, as they share the common ancestor of human imagination. Victoria’s art has been a lifelong quest of “de-othering” people through art, public speaking and personal aesthetic choice.
teacher, with a lot of experience in teaching Islamic Shariah and Islamic studies. He was born in United Arab Emirates from Lebanese parents. In 2008, while doing a research on Islam and Evolution, he found a new understanding of life. In 2012 he co-founded Muslimish, an organization for support and dialogue among ex-Muslims and questioning Muslims in the US.
freelance consultant and doctoral candidate at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Her area of research is polygamy and the law. She has worked for more than 20 years predominantly on violence against women, race, faith and gender, and human rights.
Tanzanian ex-Muslim Atheist Activist, based in Australia. Zara is the founder of Faithless Hijabi, a platform to enable Ex-Muslim women to share their stories, about their journey from religion to reason.
Zineb El Rhazoui
Moroccan-born French journalist. She used to be a journalist of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where she was absent on the day of the murderous attack. After that she became the most protected woman in France. She is a passionate critic of Islam and a prominent secularist.
activist of the Atheism Association of Turkey, the first legally recognised Atheist Organisation of the Balkans, Middle East and Muslim-majority countries. The founders are striving for the day when atheists no longer face any discrimination or prejudice in the workplace, at home or on the street.