Something that we at EXMNA have been hard at work trying to rectify is our relative invisibility. People on all sides of the issue of apostasy in Islam have a tendency to forget that we exist. Numerous podcasts, articles, features, books, and so on mention us, sometimes even use us as props in arguments, without any of us actually being consulted on the matter. That it often stems from ignorance of our existence rather than malice makes it no less insulting and dehumanizing.
How bad is it? When I try to bring awareness of the issue, I’m told that ex-Muslims face too many dangers to be out, so there is no way to contact “them.” I’ve had anti-feminists tell me that if I really cared about women’s rights, I’d know and care about the plight of “those” ex-Muslim women. I’d laugh if it weren’t such a painful reminder that my mere existence isn’t worth consideration in so many people’s minds.
Thankfully, there are some who remember us. Yet those who do know we exist sometimes still rely on second- and third-hand voices to speak for us, even on matters that are explicitly by, for, and about us.
This erasure must be stopped.