So...who are you guys?
We're Faith to Faithless, founded Imtiaz Shams and Aliyah Saleem in 2015, both having left heavily conservative religious backgrounds. Tip: If you want to see a list of all we've achieved, scroll all the way down.
Aliyah grew up going to Islamic faith schools, has campaigned in Parliament to abolish them and recently helped launch BHA's Faith Schooler's Anonymous. Imtiaz spent the last half-decade building underground communities for Ex Muslims, has helped atheists in danger in the Middle East and South East Asia, and has an unhealthy cat obsession. Beyond the founders, there are loads of volunteers and organisations with us: many helping secretly because of the danger they'd be in if they were "outed".
We've had a bit of media presence since we started with nothing but a dream last year: including a Vice documentary, two BBC documentaries (1, 2) and articles in the Guardian, Times (1, 2), Spectator, Vice, News Australia and DNA India.
What's the issue with leaving religion anyways?
It's simple, irreligious people make ~20% of the world’s population (ICM/BBC) but are treated horribly. It's even worse for minorities within minorities (e.g. Ex Muslims, Ex Hassidic Jews, Ex Mormons, Ex Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc). Discrimination spans multiple areas of life: your family, community, governments and public services.
More than that: it can be very lonely to leave certain brands of religion.
What do you guys do?
Right now, three things:
- Create platforms for apostates at Universities to tell their stories (like this)
- Turn these events into free Youtube videos (like below:)
- Work with apostates in trouble to get them the help they need
Where we're going:
- Way more Youtube videos, including videos discussing religion and mini-interviews of apostates
- Creating online "spaces" for Exes (e.g. Ex Mormons or Ex JWs) to add content to and advise e.g. Mormons or JWs leaving their faith
- Putting pressure on governments through raising awareness about apostasy
- Helping mental health organisations deal with apostasy better
We want Faith to Faithless to become a first port of call for ex-religious people everywhere, who often feel alone and just need to know that they aren’t. We are going to keep adding videos, doing events and helping bring people together.
Are you funded by the Illuminati?
Errr, no. We don't get any funding from the Illuminati, lizard people, the New World Order or any of these people (are lizard people even...people?).
What we do have are a bunch of awesome people who volunteer time for free, and some camera and audio equipment that we can occasionally beg, borrow or steal.
Do I need to donate?
Not at all, everything we release is free. If you can't help through donations but love what we do, share our stuff and volunteer your time if you can. If you can spare a little, it'll go a long way in helping us help others.
I'll bite. What will help?
Although the above seems like we've done a lot of work (we have), we'd done all this with no outside donations whatsoever. We've been pushing out hard to set Faith to Faithless up using what little money we have between us and our communities. But now we're looking to scale it up.
However much, or little, will go directly in helping people leave their religion without feeling alone, like many of us did.
What've you done so far?
- Created Facebook, Twitter page, set up Youtube channel
- Edited and launched Ex Muslim Voices: Faith to Faithless video
- Event #1: Ex Muslim Voices at Queen Mary University
- Edited and released 7 videos from event
- Media X3: Times, Spectator, BBC
- Featured in full page Guardian spread
- Event #2 2015: Ex Muslim Voices at Surrey University
- Event #3 2015: Event with Dr. Arif Ahmed at Cambridge University
- Videos currently being edited for release
- BBC documentary released on Faith to Faithless
- Event #4 2015: Is there Life after Faith? at UCL University
- Featuring Ex JW, Ex Muslim, Ex Christian Catholic, Ex Hindu
- Edited and released 5 videos from event
- Sold out 120 tickets
- Launched Faith to Faithless London Meetup
- First social had 25 members attend
- Currently at 96 members
- Vice documentary released on Faith to Faithless
- Event #5 2016: Race, Religious Dissent & Identity: Faith to Faithless & London Black Atheists at Goldsmiths University
- Featured 2 Ex Muslims and 2 Ex Christian from Nigeria
- Videos currently being edited for release
- Event #6 2016: Leaving Religion, easy?
- Featured an Ex Muslim, Ex JW and a Nigerian Ex Christian
- Event #7 2016 being planned: Ex JW Voices at a London University
- Found 4/5 Ex JW speakers for the event
- Partnered with British Humanist Association to provide training regarding apostates to AHS society presidents across all British Universities