Ex-Muslim to ‘Post’: Trying to teach ‘naive West’ about true nature of Islam

“In Muslim communities, the word for Jew is not only used as a pejorative, it is used as a curse word. It is a hate that permeates so much so that it is invisible: It is just accepted."

Yasmine Mohammed (photo credit: Courtesy)
Yasmine Mohammed
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Yasmine Mohammed has a story that sounds like an adventure novel. The ex-Muslim, as she calls herself, escaped a forced marriage to an al-Qaeda operative, who was bailed out of prison by Osama bin Laden himself.
The author of Confessions of an Ex-Muslim is now open about her past so she can help others, she told The Jerusalem Post. Mohammed says that she is on a mission to help closeted apostates living in Muslim-majority countries, and to teach the “naive West” about what she calls the true nature of Islam.
The educator and author has become a prominent voice within the growing global ex-Muslim community, speaking extensively to audiences worldwide.
It all started when she was a child.
Mohammed grew up in Canada. Her typical Western childhood was interrupted when her mother married a devout Muslim, and the little girl went from riding her bike and going swimming to wearing a hijab and enduring beatings for not memorizing the Quran.
Years later, under the torment of a horrific forced marriage, she would bravely risk her life to escape in a bid to rescue her daughter from the threat of female genital mutilation.
“I lived every aspect of Islam up to actually being a jihadi,” said Mohammed. “I was the embodiment of an extremist Muslim. To see someone like me change so resolutely to a person who is in many ways the complete antithesis of who I was, speaks to the power of human resilience.”
The “catalyst” for Mohammed to start speaking out was the now famous 2014 clash between Ben Affleck and Sam Harris on The Bill Maher Show, in which they debated radical Islam. When her Facebook page was inundated with people praising Affleck for shutting down “that racist Sam Harris,” she realized things were profoundly twisted, and the time had come to speak up.
“Everything Sam Harris said was spot on,” explained Mohammed, “I could not understand why so many people were in agreement with Ben Affleck’s stand – and there began a public chapter in my life. I went on to discover the global secular humanist movement and took it upon myself to enlighten others.
“Western democracies are suffering from a toxic mix of arrogance and naiveté that makes them complacent,” said Mohammed, who highlighted this challenge only days after an eruption between Israel and the American Left over a proposed visit to the Jewish state by pro-BDS representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib. “They underestimate the power of Islam, they look at what Islamists have done in other countries and they arrogantly think: ‘That won’t happen to us’ – even though it is happening right under their noses.”
AT THE HEART of this naiveté is a disturbing alliance between Islam and the Left, she said, a toxic partnership that sees high-ranking officials embracing Muslim traditions with “gestures” such as Hijab Day.
“The hypocrisy of the Left is never more pronounced than when it comes to the topic of hijab,” said Mohammed. “As women in the West demand for themselves the right to wear what they want – in fact to be topless if they so choose – those same women will celebrate hijab.
“They splash hijab on Barbie dolls, on [modeling] runways and on the cover of magazines,” said Mohammed. “A tool of oppression – a garment that perpetuates rape culture – is celebrated by women who claim to be progressive. They want freedom for themselves, but are happy to support the subjugation of other women. If they actually truly cared, they would be celebrating the women in Iran that are being arrested for defying the compulsory hijab laws.”
This hypocrisy is best demonstrated through the likes of women marchers led by Linda Sarsour.
“How can a woman that celebrates the antisemitic, anti-woman, anti-LGBT Louis Farrakhan lead a liberal march?” asked Mohammed. “She stands in conservative religious clothing claiming that she stands for progressive values; she says we should not humanize Israelis while she claims that Palestinians are being dehumanized; she is best friends with terrorists such as Rasmeah Odeh, while pretending that she is all about peace and humanity.”
Mohammed launched “No Hijab Day,” celebrating the millions of women across the globe who have to defy laws and risk imprisonment, abuse and even honor killings to remove that cloth off their heads.
“Women are forced to wear it all over the planet,” Mohammed said, “by their families that threaten to kill them for removing it, as in my case. Or they actually are killed for removing it.”
She also founded the Free Hearts Free Minds organization, which provides psychological support for ex-Muslims living within Muslim majority countries, where the state-sanctioned punishment for leaving Islam is death.
Mohammed has stern words for the Obama administration, which “made a grave mistake” by highlighting an Islamist that praises the Muslim Brotherhood.
“In the White House, they celebrated a woman who has spoken about the virtues of Sharia,” she added. “World leaders should invest time studying the history of Islam and look at the modern rise of Islamism through groups like the Muslim Brotherhood.”
About the Jews, she said that the general experience for Muslims is that of “pervasive hate for Jewish people – and this is learned from a young age. In Muslim communities, the word for Jew is not only used as a pejorative, it is used as a curse word. It is a hate that permeates so much so that it is invisible: It is just accepted.
“Never once, as a Muslim, did I stop to think about why we were to hate Jewish people so much, she said. “It’s like asking a child why they hate monsters. It is just a learned behavior that rarely gets questioned, and the hate of Israel is an extension of that. The hope to annihilate all Jewish people is based on the religion that teaches there will only be peace on earth once all Jews are killed by righteous Muslims.
“There is a Hadith that states that Jewish people will not even be able to hide, as even the rocks and trees will call out: ‘Oh Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me.’”
Mohammed is “consumed with shame and guilt” over the hatred she was forced to carry for the Jewish people, and that once she started to actually meet Jews, she realized the weight of the lie she had been told.
“I feel humbled at how not one single Jewish person has ever allowed me to feel this guilt; they always quickly remind me that I was a child and that I should forgive myself,” she said. “One of the first Jewish people I met when I was still a child wearing hijab immediately smiled and called me their family, their cousin – but I was mortified and disgusted that this person would associate me with them. That is how blinding the hate is.”
Remembering that incident, she explained, is “a shocking reminder of how much I have changed – and a testament to the fact that anyone else that harbors this hate can change as well.”