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Jun 13 2013

Rim Razek must be granted asylum in the US

Updated: 13 June
Today is the last day of Rim’s campaign. Donate now. Here’s a blog post from “Between a veil and a dark place” on why you should.

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reemRim Razek writes to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain:

I was born in Egypt. I come from a strictly religious background; most members of my family are members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Despite being brought up by parents who tried to censor art, music, and certain books, I was constantly searching for answers and looking for ways to get around the censorship. By the time I was sixteen, I had read numerous books on philosophy and religion and had come to conclusions that led me to leave Islam, conclusions I knew would make me a social outcast once anyone found out about them. After a period of inner conflict, I decided I wasn’t going to let society dictate what I believe or how I should live my life. I resolved to take off my veil and wrote an article called “Mass Hysteria,” saying that the veil is nothing more than a political and misogynistic tool used by Islamists in order to gain power and control while it provides no reflection of piety or morality as advertised. I also compared the freer attitude of Egyptian women in the sixties with the present.

After I published this article and a picture of myself without the hijab, I was thrown in a mental asylum and subjected to electroshock treatments as a punishment; I have recently blogged about for the first time. This was a traumatic experience. After getting out of the asylum and pretending to conform for a while, I returned to being outspoken. I made a video about how indoctrinating children with religious ideologies is child abuse and my friend Kacem Elghazali posted it on his blog atheistica. I took part in my friend Aliaa Elmahdi’s campaign by posting pictures of myself with and without the veil.

In another post, “Male Dominance and Female Submission,” I posted a series of photos that showed the way I had to veil throughout my teenage years and concluded with a photo that represents my emancipation. In that post I wrote, “I screamed under my veil: Equality!! Justice!! Freedom!! My echoes were never heard and my only choice was submission. My thoughts, my feelings, my beliefs had no place in a society which gave women no more rights than cattle, a society that considers women no more than the sum of their hymen plus the length of their headscarves.” Shortly after, I did an interview with an Arabic blog called libvoices.net.

As a result of publishing these articles and pictures, and my support of Aliaa Elmahdy, I received many threats of rape, torture and murder. I was afraid I would be denounced to the police and arrested as an apostate, in which case I would be raped, tortured, and possibly killed in jail. Under the current government, there has been a drastic increase in the number of people being prosecuted for blasphemy and apostasy, and many Egyptian salafis and preachers are calling for the death penalty for apostates.

In February 2012, my father received a research fellowship to the US and brought me and my brother with him. When I arrived here and began living in the dorm, away from my family, I began to feel like I could breathe again. My father’s fellowship ends in June; when he said he expected me to return to Egypt with him, I decided to apply for political asylum. I did so without the help of an attorney by researching the process online. I am not allowed to work for a period of about six months after I file, so I started this crowdfunding appeal to help me cover basic living expenses until I am allowed to work. I would appreciate your support.

Support Reem now!

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10 comments

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  1. 1
    Andy

    Thank you for getting the word out, I will be contributing. Beyond that is there anything we can do to help her case? I’m not sure how asylum cases work, if a letter-writing campaign to Congress or the President would help or not.

    1. 1.1
      Maryam Namazie

      Good idea. CEMB is writing a letter to support her case but we can ask her about doing more.

  2. 2
    Comtessa de Metoncula

    I could not but agree more about the endoctrination of our children whose beautiful virgin minds should be encouraged to explore and be free the way they were born.Organized religion is the worst that happened to this Planet. It gives free reigns to destroy in the name of some man made ficticious deity.
    Nothing live comes from a man except sperms that are useless without the shelter of a woman’s body..We do not need more people on this Planet, that we are exploiting, depleting for natural resources and killing rapidly..No God will come to our rescue after we will have obliterated everything live on this planet.
    We desperately need to rally all women to change things and stop this religious nonsense! Animals are Atheists and a lot more moral than human animals who have lost all sense of what life is all about, having been blinded by some religious fast food for the brain which we use at just a fraction of its capabilities because of religion!!!!Even here in America, religion has permeated every aspect of our lives in politics even though it is against our Constitution..The founding fathers were free thinking Masons..And that is the way it ought to be!

  3. 3
    Deborah Jamil

    Regarding the video clips of religious authorities going on about apostasy: these people use the religion to enslave others and for nothing else.

  4. 4
    René

    I tried to contribute by credit card. My screen froze after a second attempt. I’ll check tomorrow. (Sometimes, I regret having installed NoScript.)

  5. 5
    citizengold

    René, I run noscript too. You know you can selectively enable domains with wildcards? I had no problems with the donation process once I’d done that.

  6. 6
    HMAN

    I’m also an Egyptian asylum seeker in the states for the same reasons and I went through the same exhausting process. Unfortunately there is nothing that can make Homeland Security push your asylum application forward. It also depends on which asylum office you filed in. The worst office is the LA one and I think that is the one you filed for since you are facing all of this problems. However, you will be entitled to work authorization 180 days after filing your application so there is nothing you can do now but to sit and wait.
    The asylum process in the US has been always criticized by several people and organization of interests yet the concerns were never addressed. Many asylees suffer from horrible situations of poverty and homelessness in the US because of the bureaucracy in the immigration office. Not able to work they almost depend exclusively on charity from churches, which makes it oftenly hard for cases like urs to get any income when the subject is an atheist. There are many recorded cases of asylum seekers in the US eventually deciding to go back to their home country facing death threats because of how the US government leave them in the streets to rot. Also there are recorded cases of suicide attempts. It is sad and it is true. I myself spent a time homeless in the streets of Santa Ana because of this. I find what the US did to me the past year to be no less cruel than what I faced in Egypt. I wish I can leave here and go to somewhere else where people will deal with me more humanly, but even that I can’t do.

  7. 7
    mizo

    hum I have read all about your posts. I liked so much to take off veil, but I have question is that real that you got punishment because of just you take off veil just because of it ? .I love so much free woman but sorry when free woman use lies. hum I change my mind about her fast and I know later every single word she said it was just lies even in news paper on, tv ,on youtube, what ever she is, she just say lies for something she want just it. sorry if my words criticizing you ,I am not so curious about your life or about your personal life I am just put my view point as comment long life for America and for American

  8. 8
    Marwa

    Today is the last day of Reem’s campaign!

    I wrote this post in support of her.:

    http://aveilandadarkplace.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/why-you-should-contribute-to-reem-abdel-razeks-campaign-today/

    If it is at all possible to share this post, I would be most grateful.

    1. 8.1

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