iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for Leaving the Faith

Listen now 29 mins

Listen in pop-out player

Leaving the Faith

Duration:
29 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 11 January 2014

Pretending to fast while sneaking food, keeping the pretence that you still follow the faith, scared that you may be found out and disowned by your family. Sarfraz Manzoor talks to people who have decided to leave Islam and become former Muslims.

Sarfraz visits a fairly typical London pub where a group are getting together to plan a stand-up comedy night. All of them describe themselves as being an 'ex-Muslim'. But as the laughter subsides and the regulars at this particular comedy night start to tell their stories Sarfraz find out that there isn’t really anything comical about leaving the faith.

Sarfraz Manzoor meets the group and hears their individual stories, which on the face of it do not sound like comedy material. Some of the members say they have been threatened with violence and others have been shunned by their families - losing all contact with them. Some have not actually told their families and live a difficult double life, going to the mosque one day whilst quietly attending the ex-Muslims club the next. Just how dangerous is it to say you are no longer a Muslim, to reject the teachings of the faith you grew up with, which are followed by billions?

Heart and Soul hears how in certain countries, fuelled by laws and attitudes that go back to medieval times, the punishment for apostasy could be your life. Sarfraz hears what drives these young people away from Islam in the first place and explores the sensitive issues around being a Muslim - or not - in 21st Century Britain.

This was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in November 2013.

Broadcasts

Free download

  1. Image for Heart and Soul: Faith Perspectives

    Heart and Soul: Faith Perspectives

    Explore the role of faith, spirituality and religious practice in the lives of people around the…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss