At the start of 2019, Rahaf Mohammed Al-Qanun, an 18-year-old Saudi ex-Muslim made global headlines when she escaped her abusive family and country Saudi Arabia. Her passport was taken from her at the behest of Saudi authorities in Thailand (against international laws) and was in the process of being deported back to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi ambassador was recorded as saying "They should have taken her phone instead of her passport". He said it because her frantic tweets from her hotel room quickly went viral and human rights activists from all over the world got involved. UNHCR reached Rahaf just in time and gave her the status of a refugee. It is safe to say, had her tweets not gotten the attention they did, her fate would have been similar to her compatriot, Dina Ali, who also tried to escape Saudi Arabia but was deported from the Philippines to Saudi Arabia, never to be heard from ever since.
As touching as Rahaf's story is, Rahaf recognises she is one of the very lucky ones. There are millions of ex-Muslims living in their native countries where a simple expression of their apostasy or atheism can attract capital punishment. Why is that? Why there are so many young Muslims leaving Islam? Is it because of the free-flowing information of social media or is it the books by the famous atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris or it is the behaviour of extremist and fundamentalist Muslims? This documentary will explore all these possibilities. It will also cover the stories of ex-Muslims who are thinking about escaping, are in the process of escaping and those who have successfully escaped the clutches of their oppressive countries.
The ex-Muslim movement has been growing for a better part of the decade and is showing no slow down. We intend to take this message mainstream, into the very heart of the public discourse for which we need funds. A well-produced documentary requires travel to interview people, services of the well trained and skilled crew and above all security. We need your help and without it, we wouldn't be able to make this highly important topic known.
Risks and challenges
This is a hotly debated topic and attracts a lot of death threats not only at the individual level but also at state level. In order to make this documentary, we need secure travel of the crew as well as a lot of convincing to the mainstream media to feature it as most of the mainstream media are afraid of being labelled as "Islamophobes".
I am asking all those people who believe we should live in a world, free of any bigotry and intimidation and choice, a choice to follow any religion we want or none at all. I am asking all those people to help us get this project off the ground. I have set up a Kickstarter page where you can pledge an amount. It is all or nothing meaning you wouldn’t be charged until we reach our target. There are some rewards for pledgers as well, depending on the amount you pledge. Please click on the link below and pledge an amount. We, as people, together can make our world a little better than before.
I thank you all for your support.