For over 20 years, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, the Director of Faith Matters has worked with faith communities. Having successfully set up national projects, like Tell MAMA, which he left in January 2017 after completing the set up and expansion of the project, he has been engaged in an area of work exploring the reasons why people leave the respective faiths that they were born into. He has also been exploring the fluidity of people’s identities and outlooks and how they can develop new identities.
His latest book is entitled, ‘Leaving Faith behind: The Journeys and Perspectives of People Who Have Chosen to Leave Islam’. You can purchase the book through this LINK.
Fiyaz Mughal also stated the following in relation to the completion of the book:
“Why did I co-edit and put this book together? Well, part of my identity remains as a Muslim though being a Muslim does not mean that I feel defensive of my faith nor do I feel that people cannot and should not question any belief. People have the right to question belief and religion and sometimes vocally so, but they do not have the right to harass and intimidate people.
What is also a fact is that for numerous reasons, some people leave faith and reject it. This happens in every faith and the degree to which this happens is led by numerous reasons. This is also the case with Islam and these personal experiences are things that should be explored and the reasons why.
“Do I agree with people leaving Islam – well, people have a choice as to how to live their lives and they make their own decisions. Have I left Islam – no and I find much beauty in it but there are things that I think need to be interpreted in a modern context if the faith, like any other faith, is to remain relevant to a younger generation.
I also want to add that people who leave Islam do so because of a range of reasons and experiences and these experiences are their personal ones. Who am I to question or undermine them, but I can listen and reflect and ensure that I protect their right to speak up, just as I would expect other’s to protect my right to.
“With Aliyah Saleem, my co-editor, we have put these experiences of people who have left Islam in this book and which I hope you will reflect on when reading. I believe that by speaking, listening and reflecting, we can all learn from each other. For Muslims reading this post – I ask one thing. Let us reflect on some of these stories and they should not cause anger or fear. They are experiences that should make us, I hope, want to reach out, engage and talk about these issues with others. In fact, there is nothing to fear, and ignorance, which causes fear is the greatest facet that we must all challenge”.
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