If you renounce your faith in Morocco, watch out! John Turnbull tells the story of Imad Iddine Habib and his fight against the combination of church and state.
IMAD IDDINE HABIB used to be a practicing, if not particularly devout, Muslim. Somewhere along the way the nonsense all became too much, and Imad renounced his faith. To celebrate this, and to shed a light of reason in a country deep in the shadows of fundamentalism, Imad founded a local chapter of the Council of Ex-Muslims.
Now, if Imad lived in a country with proper separation of church and state, this wouldn’t have been a problem. Unfortunately, Imad lives in Morocco, where the state of play is decidedly different.
Morocco is an Islamic nation. The King of Morocco is also the head of the High Council of Ulemas, which is essentially a religious cadre with massive influence over state policy. Recently, the High Council declared a Fatwa against apostates – people who renounce their faith. This placed Imad and his associates in a dangerous position — not only could the authorities lock him up for blasphemy, but he risked getting dragged out of him home and beaten to death by anyone feeling particularly pious that day.
Inevitably, the Moroccan State police went looking for Imad. Fortunately, he had lived in Morocco long enough to know what was coming, and went into hiding.
Before he disappeared, he posted the following message on Facebook:
I would like to thank everyone who supported me, asked about me by any mean! Those whom I didn’t reply didn’t add me as a friend, as I am blocked, I couldn’t reply at them! Thank you All, you made me so proud of being part of this big and united family of rational and free thinkers!
Whatever my fate will be in the next hours, the next days, the next weeks; killed, beaten, jailed, or anything else, I am not sorry for what I have done since I became an activist few years ago, I have shared with many people here thoughts and ideas, and so many awesome memories.
Both police and people are looking for me, I have nowhere to go, my life is at high risk… However, I am Happy, because I am not the only one fighting for a better world, I hope I will be the last man persecuted because of Dogmatisms, Religions, or Myths.
Whatever I’ll be, KEEP FIGHTING, I love you all.
PS: There is no god but Minnie Mouse.
~ Imad Iddine Habib
Much like Indian skeptic Sanal Edamaruku, Imad Iddine Habib has been persecuted and essentially sentenced to death for not believing in the great sky-fairy. He is 22 years old.
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