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Imagine being a Muslim atheist in Britain. Though it sounds self-contradictory, there must be thousands of such people living alongside us in every corner of this country, typically in a condition of self-hatred and misery.

Try to empathise with them even a little and you can readily appreciate their plight. Imagine what it’s like to be trapped in a culture of stupidity that will kill you if you try to leave. Imagine being forced to suppress your own rationality and to oppose those you agree with. Imagine suffering the swelling hatred of the native majority and feeling the hot persecution of those who should rightly be your friends. Imagine the prospect of having to sever ties with your family, friends and ethnic origins just to embrace the modern way of life.

I feel immense sympathy for these people. They didn’t ask to be born into a degraded life. It was their own random misfortune.

What can we do to better facilitate their liberation? There is no riskless panacea or faultless manifesto to employ, but we must do something, or we risk abandoning our ideals completely and becoming simple xenophobes. 

As far as I can see, there are three core motivations that inspire Muslim atheists resident in the West to remain linked to their faith of birth. Other motivations (and there are many others) are usually children or siblings of these.

1. Distrust of the Islamophobic Community / racial pride.

2. Family ties.

3. Retribution.

Let’s deal with them in order.

If you were a Western Muslim atheist wishing to leave Islam, you might be deterred from doing so by the thought that Islamophobes are vulgar, racist and stupid. Despite your atheism, you might be averse to giving such idiots ‘what they want’. Islam, for good or ill, is watermarked in your ethnic identity and cannot be cleanly excised. In short, you would rather be a proud Turk or Arab, than a shy, quivering uncle tom.

I can fully appreciate this. Though far from the majority, there are obviously racists in the EDL, in SION and in other like-minded organisations; the kind of people who don’t have any religious opinions at all, but merely an active dislike of Turks, Arabs and Pakistanis. What proud Muslim atheist would want to shake those hands? – Would want to go from being a first-rate Pakistani or Turk to being a second-rate Westerner?

The solution to this is to place a heavy emphasis on the corrosive effects Islam has had on the ethnic cultures now dominated by it. Explain to the Pakistani that Pakistan was once peaceful and Buddhist; to the Arab that the Arab world was once an illustrious collection of ancient glories; to the Iranian that Iran was once the Persian Empire, and so on. Remind them that everyone on earth is too good for Islam. It degrades anyone who embraces it and depresses their natural talents.

Secondly, the Muslim atheist is understandably averse to severing ties with his family, who in most cases remain wedded to the Islamic faith.

The solution to this is naturally more difficult. How can we offer a replacement kinship for such people? As daunting as it seems, we can but try. It is often remarked upon that Counter-Jihad has become something of a sub-culture in recent years. Our enemies make much beef of this, claiming it as evidence for our collective delusion. But on the contrary, this pleasant fraternal atmosphere can help greatly to accommodate those who remain addicted to the communal warmth of religion and traditional culture. Try to make use of that.

The last deterrent factor is by far the most important. According to the Hadith (a religious authority in Islam second only to the Qur’an), the penalty for leaving Islam is death. The apostate is to be killed without mercy or regard for secular law.

This can be dealt with via politics. We must lobby and petition the government to ensure apostates are supplied with police protection and given special consideration in  housing and work. No apostate, having abandoned Islam, should be left to the mercy (or lack of it) of their community. They should be helped to move elsewhere with restraining orders placed on those relatives who seem likely and willing to fulfil the religious sentence. While this sounds over-the-top and beyond the rightful expectations of national charity, it is in fact the same protection we supply to beaten wives, witnesses to murder and any other citizen proven to be vulnerable to extrajudicial homicide. Why should apostates be treated any differently?

People of my viewpoint are often accused of being racist. Though it is a tedious and unwarranted slur, it is worth combating. The best way to do this is to look past the imposed surface of a Muslim and offer a hand of friendship to the person beneath it.