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Collective established in Kerala to protect rights of renouncers of ‘Islam’

Groups of people have formed a collective called ‘ExMuslims of Kerala’ in order to safeguard the human rights and dignity of people who have given up their religion. With an executive consisting of 10 members, the organization completed its registration in December 2021, and went public on January 9 as its ‘ExMuslims Day’.

‘According to the Indian constitution, every citizen has the right to abandon religion or to select another. There is a difference between leaving Islam and embracing it, however. We formed this organization to help those who leave Islam get equal rights and legal, social, and economic support,’ CM Liyakkathali ,the president, told

In response to a question about the necessity of such an organization, Liyakkathali said the problems faced by people who quit Islam are incomparable with those who leave other religions. ‘There are many who have abandoned Islam. But they are unwilling to express it openly as they fear backlash from the community. Hence, many are forced to live hiding their identity after renouncing the religion. We wish to extend support and courage to those who are willing to come out of the religion. Those who desert the religion should be allowed to live fearlessly,’ he said.

The group plans to take legal action against all atrocities committed in the name of religion or in violation of fundamental human rights. These include the rights denied to those who leave the religion. ‘We demand a civil code for protection of the rights of those who leave the religion. This is the first time in the country that such an organization has been officially formed in India’, Liyakkthali said.

Kerala ExMuslim Day will also be observed on January 9 by the collective led by Safiya PM, which met in Kochi on Sunday. According to Liyakkathali, on the same day last year, a debate between rationalist E A Jabbar and Muslim preacher M M Akbar took place about Islam. Over a million people viewed the debate on YouTube, which took place in Malappuram and lasted nearly three hours.


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