Who We Are
Faith to Faithless was founded in 2015 by Imtiaz Shams and Aliyah Saleem. Living in London they had experienced difficulty leaving their religion and wanted to develop a platform that would help others.
They embarked on hosting a series of panel discussions at universities to enable students to learn about leaving faith, and facilitate conversations around this taboo subject. Events were packed out; they were filmed, and shared on YouTube. Then the enquiries came flooding in.
Today, Faith to Faithless is a programme within Humanists UK, the national charity for the non-religious that has worked to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail since 1896.
Founded by two ex-Muslims, Faith to Faithless now supports people who have left many religions including ex-Evangelical Christians, ex-Ultra-Orthodox Jews, ex-Muslims, ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others.
What’s the issue with leaving religion?
Belief in a religion is a fundamental human right and with it is the human right not to believe. Unfortunately, this right is not afforded to everyone, and for some people leaving their religion can be a complicated, challenging, and dangerous process.
Apostates (those who leave their religion) can bring shame and dishonour to a family, and as a result apostates often experience emotional and physical abuse. Shunning, and sometimes complete disownment, from immediate family, relatives, and the community at large is not uncommon. Confusion, isolation, and loneliness often follow which can lead to anxiety, depression, and self-harm.
For those who stay with their families there is a risk of physical abuse, commonly referred to as honour violence. In extreme cases, apostasy or blasphemy can escalate to murder, also known as honour killings.
Faith to Faithless was featured on a BBC documentary on Ex Muslims, with Imtiaz Shams and Aliyah Saleem talking about the issues Ex Muslims face.