As we have seen far too many times, to be an outspoken atheist in certain parts of the world is to put your life at risk. With Secular Rescue, we assist freethinking writers and activists whose lives are in danger by helping them relocate to safety. Dozens of individuals have been saved through Secular Rescue, relocated from countries such as Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Iraq, and now living safely and free to continue to shine the light of reason.
Writing for The Atlantic, David Robson spoke to CFI staff, academics and experts, and most importantly, one of the people who has been helped by Secular Rescue, the remarkable Lubna Yaseen. Targeted for her defiance of religion and the subjugation of women, militants in her conservative Iraq community threatened her life. “I disappeared—I left everything. I had to be always on the run, changing places and disguises,” she told The Atlantic. “I couldn’t feel anything except that I would end up being killed.”
Writes Robson, “Yaseen would still be at risk if it weren’t for the actions of Secular Rescue.”
Lubna goes into greater depth about her journey in her piece for Free Inquiry, “Resisting Radical Islam: My Escape to Freedom,” now available free online.
In the Atlantic article, Robyn Blumner, president and CEO of CFI, likens Secular Rescue to “an underground railroad for atheists,” from which the piece derives its title. Robyn acknowledges the inherent challenge in rallying support to the cause of saving atheists. “Part of the problem is that people don’t like atheists and it’s hard to protect a group you don’t like.”
Read the whole article here, and share it with your friends and social networks. Hopefully, it will awaken many more people to this crisis, and they will recognize that this kind of violence and persecution toward any group is unacceptable. Whether you like them or not.