This is a familiar story by now as regards ex-Muslims expecting some support from the Left. Here as well as the US:
In twenty-first-century America, what happens to a young woman who has wised up and quit a faith-based ideology that ordains the second-class status of women, the submissiveness of wives to husbands (even violent husbands), the partial disinheritance of female heirs in favor of their male counterparts, the stoning of adulterers (and especially adulteresses, given the misogynistic vagaries of evidentiary law associated with said ideology), the taking of captive women as sex slaves, the adherence to a cumbersome dress code, and that also sanctions the savagery of female genital mutilation? Does she win plaudits for standing up her for rights as a woman? Do progressives recite panegyrics that sing her courage and praise her clear-sightedness? Is she inundated with offers of support?
Well...no. Progressive values don't apply to Muslim women, who are expected to know their place and shuffle around looking suitably "other" in their hijabs and black cloaks. It shows that they're maintaining their cultural integrity, not succumbing to the cheap blandishments of Western imperialist culture. Or something.
If the ideology is Islam (and it is) and the woman is a former Muslim (and she is), she must steel herself to face threats against her life from her onetime coreligionists and a hail of invective from, and insidious betrayals by, those posing as progressives. Moreover, she must prepare to fend off attempts to silence her viewpoint as “inconvenient” given our current political morass. Even more egregiously, if the woman is trying to help (as she is) others also striving after the gloriously secular freedom she has achieved for herself, she becomes a danger to the entire edifice of hypocrisy, cowardice, and fact-deficient balderdash forming the mainstream left’s view of Islam as a “religion of peace” distorted by a few deranged miscreants. In short, in the America of today, such a brave woman will find no haven extended to her, but, rather, confront wielders of figurative pitchforks eager to skewer her for both abandoning her religion and traducing her kind. And with Donald Trump’s ascent to the presidency, her position becomes more precarious than ever.
“When I read a news article about how a woman’s hijab was pulled off or how a stewardess refuses to give a Muslim woman an unopened can of Coke, it’s national news. But no one covers what we’re going through, no one covers our persecution. Of course we know there’s anti-Muslim bigotry, and that’s being covered. But our struggle should be covered as well. It’s appalling that our pain isn’t worth discussing. In fact, we’re often painted as the victimizers.”...
The left’s rejection hurts all the more since the most menaced former Muslims are women. Female apostates, she tells me, face ostracism, beatings, harassment and threats from their families and communities, forced travel back to home countries to pry them free of Western influence, and forced marriage.
But their own families often pose the greatest danger. At EXMNA, Haider says, “we’ve had women tell us harrowing stories. They’ve been locked in their rooms by their families and beaten for days, so they’ve had to try hard to escape. Generally speaking, they face physical abuse, mental abuse, and verbal abuse. Few ex-Muslims can be open about leaving Islam, because they’d be threatened by their families or communities or their employers.” The fate of those who have spoken out publicly, including the Somali-born public intellectual Ayaan Hirsi Ali, serves as a warning to all. Hirsi Ali has needed armed guards since she began denouncing her erstwhile religion more than a decade ago....
I ask Haider how she feels when those purporting to be on the left attack her as promoting racism or “helping the Trump narrative.”
“It feels like a betrayal,” she replies. “I’m still shocked and appalled by it. It’s difficult to move on. The betrayal of the left has really hurt us, because in principle these people should be on our side, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with us in our efforts to reform Islam and bring human and women’s rights to Islamic countries. But they’re barring the gate, telling us we’re ‘Islamophobic’ or spurring hatred toward Muslims or contributing to a hostile atmosphere for them. They even say we’re contributing to Western imperialism. This is nonsense and is appalling to us.”
In fact, some on the left treat her to mind-bending lectures about how Western imperialism is to blame for terrorist atrocities nowadays committed in Islam’s name, though the faith (with its attendant violence, misogyny, and warmongering) originated almost a thousand years before the imperialist era began. “This is dehumanizing,” Haider tells me. “It’s as if Eastern peoples have no agency, we’re just acted upon. But I can tell you about Islamic cruelty and how they treated women and homosexuals long before the West was even in the picture. [For those leftists] it’s as if history started in colonized countries when the West came.”...
I asked why she believes so many leftists reject ex-Muslims, who should be natural allies.
“They paint us as a self-hating, traitorous group of people,” she responds. “They believe religion’s inherent to Muslims, so they think insulting religion is like ridiculing their skin color. They’re racializing religion and conflating people with their religion. This idea will come back to hurt Muslims, since you can end up saying ‘this religion has issues that don’t mix well with modernity, so these [Muslims] need to go!’ And they think women’s rights and civil liberties always belong to Western culture. They subordinate women’s rights to cultural rights. They’re saying non-Western women have no need of human dignity. Now that’s true racism.”