In a significant development, an organisation named 'Ex-Muslims of Kerala' has decided to observe January 9 as Kerala Ex-Muslims Day. This decision was announced in a meeting held at Kochi on January 9, 2022. The 'Ex-Muslims of Kerala' is the first of its kind organisation in India to be established for Muslims who abandon Islam.
The organisation was founded recently to provide emotional, social, financial and legal support for 'Ex-Muslims'. According to its leaders, ex-Muslims are facing various kinds of discrimination such as ostracism, financial boycott, threat to life etc. The main objective of the organisation is to collectively fight such discriminations and attacks against ex-Muslims.
Why January 9?
On January 9, 2021, there was a debate between a Salafi preacher named M M Akbar and an Islamic critic named E A Jabbar Master. This debate encouraged many Muslims to question the dark side of Islamism. Following the debate, many Muslims left Islam in the state.
Further, the programme also exposed false narratives of radical Islamic preachers. Therefore, the leaders of ex-Muslims of Kerala have decided to choose the date as a milestone to observe as Kerala ex-Muslims day hereafter.
Social activists Jasla Madassery, Arif Hussain Theruvath, Liyakhat Ali etc. are the prominent faces of ex-Muslims of the Kerala movement. All three have been facing threats for publicly criticising Islam.
According to some reports, the trend of people renouncing Islam started in Kerala around 1985 and, in the past three decades, a large number of Muslims left the Islamic faith. Further, there are several secret associations of ex-Muslims in the Malabar region. The new development is regarded as a reaction against the growing radicalisation and superstitions in the Islamic society in Kerala. The lectures and debates of atheists like E A Jabbar and C Ravichandran are also said to have influenced the movement.
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