Separation of mosque & citizens

Today, September 11th 2007, the Committee of Ex-Muslims is officially founded in The Netherlands. Ehsan Jami (22), a young Iranian member of the city council from Leidschendam, wants to raise awareness about apostasy in Islam. He is worried about the human rights of those who are born into the religion of Islam, but who no longer wish to believe. In Islam apostasy is not accepted and is punished with the death sentence.

In The Netherlands where the number of Muslims is growing more than any other religion, there are growing numbers of honor killings and violence in cases when Muslims chose to turn their backs to the Islam. According to a recent poll, 30% of Muslims living in The Netherlands are willing to have the Sharia implemented as the legal system. This worrisome fact has raised some discussions about the dangers within this religion and the behavior of Muslims.

It was only 5 years ago when Theo van Gogh, a Islam- bashing satirist was stabbed to death by a Muslim extremist with a note attached to the knife saying that this killing was done to punish him for insulting the Islam and the prophet. Because of this and the existence of an underground Muslim extremist terrorist organization in The Netherlands, called the Hofstad Groep, the Dutch are becoming worried about Islam extremism. Recently, a government budget of 20 million was spent on educating teachers so that they could detect signs of extremism among their pupils.

The founding of the Committee of Ex-Muslims has raised some eyebrows with the multi-culturist and socialist parties in the Netherlands who wish to act more prudently with the Islam-issue than the method chosen by young Jami. The Netherlands on the other hand is not the first country in which such a committee has been founded. In other European countries, such as Germany, France and Sweden, such committees have been created and are working as a societal movement to institutionalize freedom of religion, especially within Islam.

The Committee of Ex-Muslims wish to institutionalize freedom of religion within the Islamic population of The Netherlands, by starting a dialogue with imams in mosques and by asking politicians to support this movement. By raising awareness about the current situation of Islamic apostates in The Netherlands, this committee hopes to improve the human rights position of apostates and to increase the value of freedom of thought and religion.

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