A group of people “who abandoned their religion” have floated a new organisation called ‘Ex-Muslims of Kerala’, offering a platform and support to those who stopped practising Islam. The organization observed January 9 as ‘Ex-Muslims Day’.
The outfit’s president, Liyakkathali C M, said this is the first of its kind organisation in India. “We have formed a 10-member executive committee and membership campaign is on. Initially, we have identified 300 Muslims, who have abandoned their religion over the years, who openly come out in support of the organisation,” he said.
He said the organisation aims to provide moral support to those who quit Islam. “There are many Muslims who have abandoned their religion but are reluctant to declare it openly as they fear repercussions from society. Many are forced to live hiding their identity after abandoning religion. They fail to get support from even family and are targeted in their places of work. We want to give support and courage to people who are willing to come out of the religion. Those who abandon religion should be allowed to live fearlessly,” he said.
On selecting January 9 as Ex-Muslims Day, Liyakkathali said on the same day last year there had been a debate between Islamic preacher M M Akbar and Malappuram-based rationalist E A Jabbar on Islam. “This debate was widely viewed in social media platforms and paved way for an open criticism on Islam and prompted many to abandon the religion. Hence, we wanted January 9 to be marked as the ex-Muslims day,’’ he said.
Liyakkathali said he had abandoned Islam two years back “after I realized the hollowness of religion.”