Use the Web in their
From: "Faith Freedom International FFI"
To: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Watch a quiet global revolution in the making
Date: January 07, 2004 6:52 PM
To whom it may concern:
The author of this letter is affiliated with an internet-based organization called Faith Freedom International, www.faithfreedom.org . FFI is an effort of secularists and humanists of Islamic origin to lead Muslims out of fundamentalism and into the fold of humanity.
During the past decade, something revolutionary has taken place on the internet, a thing unheard of ever before in world history: Organized groups of former Muslims have come into being. Traditionally, Islamic law requires the death penalty for those leaving Islam. Even today, in our modern world, it remains dangerous. Which is why you can often hear stories about people converting to Islam, but rarely from Islam. This is slowly changing. With the internet revolution, more people from Muslim background can come forward with their apostasy, under a nickname and relative anonymity in cyberspace. Ibn Warraq, the author of books like Why I Am Not a Muslim, recently published a compilation of testimonies of former Muslims, Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out, partly taken from posts at his website, The Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society.
More sites like this are appearing. Apostates of Islam is one, but the fastest growing is Faith Freedom International. With the Iranian Ali Sina as primus motor, FFI has attracted ex-Muslims from all over the world, as well as some non-Muslims. Here they meet and discuss the latest global trends relating to Islam. Many Islam-critical websites popped up after 9-11. What differentiates FFI from most of these is that many, if not most, of the forum members are ex-Muslims. As such, they are not interested in spreading hate for Muslims in general. That would include their friends, family and loved ones. They do, however, not have any problems with criticizing Islam as a thought-system, and would laugh at the very notion that it should somehow be considered racism to do so. Their importance, if yet marginal, should not be overlooked in the long run. It is likely that the appearance of a modern, democratic Islamic world will be closely linked to the possibility of criticizing the religion in public, without fear. Without freedom of speech in all areas, including religion, democracy is impossible.
Groups of apostates in cyberspace are leading the way to achieve this right also for Muslims. This is a small, yet valuable and underrated contribution to the task of modernization in the Islamic world. The internet, because of it's relatively unfettered and interactive structure, is spearheading changes that spread to more traditional media. Gutenberg's printing press was instrumental during the Christian Reformation. The internet is having a similar effect in the Islamic world today, with the ability to spread new ideas. While the international focus on Islamic issues is primarily on the conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan, a quiet revolution is going on in websites like www.faithfreedom.org.
FFI is a valuable and rich source for gaining critical background information about the latest developments in the Islamic world. You are most welcome to visit us and have a look.
Yours sincerely, a member of Faith Freedom International.