Yasmine mohammed is a member of Women for all and an inspirational leader and author providing in-depth guidance for like-minded, courageous free-thinkers, educators and activists.
Confessions of an ExMuslim: From Al Qaeda to Atheism
Yasmine Mohammed is an Arab-Canadian college instructor, activist, podcaster, and writer who has written a memoir entitled: From Al Qaeda to Atheism: The Girl Who Would Not Submit. Yasmine shares her story of growing up in an Islamic fundamentalist home and then being forced into marriage. She now works to offer hope to ex-Muslims, atheists and freethinkers.
In From Al Qaeda to Atheism: The Girl Who Would Not Submit, Yasmine Mohammed describes how, even though she was born and raised in North America, she endured the same traumas that are familiar to Muslims across the planet. As a child, she was beaten for not memorizing the Quran. As a teenager, she was forced into a marriage to a member of Al Qaeda (after he was bailed out of prison by Osama bin Laden). And as an adult, she wore a niqab, and lived in a home/prison with paper covering all the windows.
Yet, with nothing but a high school diploma and a baby in tow, she got out.
Despite the dark themes, Yasmine’s message is one of hope to her fellow ExMuslims, atheists, and freethinkers.
Trapped in A Marriage with an Al-Qaeda Operative, Yasmine Fought Back for the Sake of Her Daughter
I was born into a marriage that was on its last legs. My parents moved from California to Vancouver, Canada to raise their children in a quiet environment far away from the free love culture of 1960s San Francisco. They were actually separated when my mom discovered she was pregnant with me. She hoped that this news would cause my father to reconsider, but he still left her. He left her with three children in a city she was unfamiliar with, in a country she was uncomfortable in.
My mother, who was born and raised in Egypt, went looking for support and community, and unfortunately this quest caused her to gravitate towards the local mosque. In that mosque, she met a man who was already married, and already had three children, but who offered to take her on as his second (concurrent) wife. In Islam, a man can have up to four wives. His French-Canadian convert wife accepted this arrangement.
I was around five or six years old when this man entered our lives. I had no idea why my mom was accepting of all his brutality. He demanded that she wear a scarf on her hair, which was very strange to us, and it made me angry that he was changing my mother. Soon after, he sat us down and broke all of our records in front of us. I sat there helplessly as he snapped Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams, and Dolly Parton into pieces. My mother just stood there with her hands clasped, looking at the carpet, avoiding our eyes and ignoring our questions.
“Music is haram!” he bellowed. Read more...
Reach out for support and you will find it.
If you are facing honor violence, FGM, forced marriage or other forms of violence, please reach out to the AHA Foundation. If you are in a Muslim majority country, you can contact me through my website and I will get you involved in my Free Hearts, Free Minds program that will match you up with an ex-Muslim life coach who will help you find your inner strength and will arm you with the tools you need to fight back. If you are an ex-Muslim in North America, you can contact EXMNA. If you are a Muslim, you can contact the group Muslimish in the US or Faith to Faithless in the UK. There are many organizations and individuals that will support you if you reach out.
Through my involvement with the AHA Foundation, I hope to offer a counter-narrative to the commonly heard trope of how Islam is a feminist religion and Mohammed was the first feminist. No religion can identify as feminist, least of all Islam. If we accept that this trope is true, we are then going to ignore the millions of women that are fighting for their freedom across the globe daily. Women that are forced to dress in a certain way. Women/girls that are forced into marriages or into having their bodies mutilated, all in the name of Islam. These women have been ignored for over a century. Now that Islam is finally on the lips of politicians and the general public, this is our chance to finally reach out our hands in support. If we deny that there is this pervasive problem with misogyny in Islam, how will we ever hope to begin to solve the issue?