Mubarak Bala is out of the psych ward he was forced into but he’s not out of danger.
A Nigerian atheist released from a psychiatric unit to which his Muslim family committed him by force has said he is getting death threats for blaspheming against Islam.
Mubarak Bala, a 29-year-old chemical process engineer, said he is in hiding in predominantly Muslim northern Nigeria where sharia law holds and some interpretations deem blasphemy punishable by death.
“People are threatening me, I mean life-threatening threats,” he said on Thursday. He said he was too frightened of drawing attention and wouldn’t allow an Associated Press video journalist or photographer to come to his hiding place.
Bala said that since he renounced Islam and declared himself an atheist, he has not only lost the trust of his father and elder brother, but many friends.
“Most of my friends condemn me and tell me I am bound for hell and that in an Islamic state, I would be killed. Blasphemy is a serious thing here,” said Bala, who describes himself on his Twitter page as an ex-Muslim.
Northern Nigeria is not a comfortable place for ex-Muslims.