Thursday, February 16, 2017
Muslim father-of-two who renounced Islam 'forced from home with wife and young children'
A BRITISH Muslim who renounced his religion claims he has been driven from his home by a campaign of harassment.
Faisal Bashir/Ilford Mosque
Faisal Bashir stopped practicing Islam in the summer of 2014 saying he found it “too hateful” and that it was “sending out the wrong message”.
But he said he started getting harassed when he stopped going to the mosque in Ilford, east London.
The father-of-two said: “I heard religious people say things I couldn’t put up with any longer – it was all too hateful.
“These people knew I had become an atheist and soon enough my whole family was being harassed.
“At least once a week they would hang around near my house, shouting and swearing at me.
I was called an apostate, a non-believer, I was told I had betrayed my God and my faith.
“Sometimes they would even say things to my children – they are far too little to know what was happening, they were very frightened.
“Eventually a police officer told me I should just move house to get away from it all.”
The 43-year-old mechanic moved house with his wife, 11-year-old daughter, and eight-year-old son in June 2015.
He said: “We weren’t left with any other choice.
“It was very distressing for all of us, not to mention the inconvenience.
“I used to be able to walk my children to school, now I have to drive them every day.
“The new house is over a mile away, but they still managed to find us again.”
Mr Bashir said the police and local authorities to work together to tackle hate crime, with more time, money and energy dedicated to the cause.
Chairman of the Ilford-based British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA) Wilson Chowdhry is supporting Mr Bashir’s calls for action.
He said: “Sadly Faisal’s description of persecution is similar to that faced by many Muslims choosing to leave the faith who end up shunned by their community.”
But chairman of the Federation of Redbridge Muslim Organisations (FORMO) Farouk Ismail said: “There is no compulsion in Islam.
“It’s up to the individual if they want to be a Muslim or not and each individual’s faith is a matter between them and God, no one else.
“I don’t think this is about religion, I think it’s the individuals involved being a bit silly.”
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