The origins of Alliance of Former Muslims (Ireland) are shrouded in controversy. On this page, we provide clarity on the events surrounding our launch in 2016 and the developments that have taken place since then. We reflect on our mistakes and those of our critics, and examine the efforts made to address them.
In the summer of 2016, three like-minded ex-Muslims – Faris B., Shan X., and Kareem Muhssin – met in Dublin to discuss the formation of a support group for those who have left Islam. This would lead to the establishment of Ex-Muslims of Ireland (EMI), complete with a Twitter page, a website, and a Mission Statement in which we would denounce the fascist Muslim Brotherhood and their Irish stooges, the Halawas.
To promote the EMI website, we featured a link to a blog post made by Kareem, detailing the jihadist threat to Ireland. Regrettably, we did not look into the other articles which Kareem had written for this blog. As it turns out, Kareem had published hateful diatribes about the Traveller and Roma communities, as well as deeply offensive comments concerning the abuse of women. Here are two examples:
Thus, it was inevitable that some would mistake the inclusion of a link to Kareem’s blog on our website as an endorsement of these views. To make it clear that this wasn’t the case, we provided a public apology and asked Kareem to leave the group. (In a state of disarray, Faris B. would incorrectly refer to Kareem as a “simple member”.) Eventually, the decision was made to remove the website altogether.
In the spring of 2017, EMI relaunched as Alliance of Former Muslims (Ireland). By this time, based on our personal correspondences with Kareem, we were satisfied that he no longer held the prejudiced views expressed on his blog, since deleted. Thus, Kareem was admitted back to the group. Indeed, as advocates of personal growth, we do not believe that an individual’s previous views should follow them in perpetuity.
For the Alliance website, we set up a page dedicated to addressing the controversy, titled ‘Previous History’. On this page, it was suggested that those individuals who had mistakenly equated Kareem’s views with those of EMI were part of a concerted effort by Social Justice Warriors to discredit us. Indeed, we would go so far as to describe them as “flagrant offenders in undermining the rights of ex-Muslims”.
The two individuals referred to here are ‘Subpri.me’ (@sbprme) and Peter Ferguson (@humanisticus). As the image below demonstrates, Subpri.me twisted our words to suggest that EMI discriminates against those with mental health issues. We thus make no apology for using harsh language to describe this person. Indeed, to our members who suffer from mental health problems, this was particularly egregious.
When it comes to Peter Ferguson, the situation is a bit more complicated. Ferguson is the author of ‘The Curious Case of Ex-Muslims Ireland’, published in July 2017 as a response to ‘Previous History’. In this ill-tempered article, written for Skeptic Ink, Peter provides screenshots of the offending posts from Kareem’s blog and repeats the essential mistake of equating these views with those of EMI:
Needless to say, this article has made it more difficult for the Alliance to connect with larger ex-Muslim organisations. However, are these sufficient grounds for accusing Peter of setting out to undermine the rights of ex-Muslims? After much reflection, we have concluded that the answer is no. While Peter does peddle the myth of ‘Islamophobia’, this does not constitute hard evidence of intent to harm.
This being the case, in March 2021, we made the decision to remove the ‘Previous History’ page from our website. In early April, we entered into a dialogue with Peter Ferguson, facilitated by Edward Clint of Skeptic Ink. In the course of this exchange, we not only disavowed the charge that Peter was part of an orchestrated campaign to discredit us, but apologised for the hurt that this has caused over the years:
Sadly, Peter has proven to be unreceptive. For some, this would suggest a fundamental hostility towards ex-Muslims – in other words, that our suspicions were correct. Indeed, over the years, we have received numerous emails accusing Peter of attempting to subvert our movement. This is but one example, which also implicates Leonie Hilliard – a fanatical opponent of Atheist Ireland – in this endeavour:
However, in the interests of resolving this matter amicably, we have decided to give Peter the benefit of the doubt. We remain open to dialogue, however uninterested he may be in engaging with us further. We have accepted that it was wrong to accuse Peter of trying to undermine our work; we can only hope that in time, Peter will admit his mistake of condemning us through guilt by association.
We refute any suggestions that the Alliance condones racism or misogyny. On the contrary, our members are the victims of racism and misogyny at the hands of the Direct Provision system and Muslim control-freaks, respectively. We will continue to expose Islam and campaign for the rights of ex-Muslims, and will not be deterred by those who are too conceited to admit their intellectual shortcomings.
April 26th 2021