Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"Some members of my family are ISIS supporters and i'm expected to join as well."

I'd like 'end Muslim (im)migration' types to keep this letter in mind when advocating for the exclusion of ALL incoming Muslims from their country. Yes there's no easy way to vet or authenticate this situation, but surely we recognize that there are people in this situation, and other situations which make life difficult, that are not necessarily endangering their lives immediately. 

Any advice, or help on this would be much appreciated. I've reached out to people both inside and outside of Pakistan and haven't really heard much in the way of advice. It's a very stressful situation :( I can't imagine what it must feel like to be dependent on your family and have them pressure/expect you to join extremists. 

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From Pakistan: 

Hello E. I hope this email finds you in good health.


Some members of my family are ISIS supporters and i'm expected to join as well.

I knew there were some Islamist elements in my family but i didn't expect there would be ISIS supporters.
But then again,may be i should have.

Any support/advice will be a great help.

I don't really have any friends left (I declared myself openly secular on facebook and now people treat me like i'm infected with a contagious disease)

I do have one friend, another exMuslim atheist. I'm confident i can stay there if things turn really bad and i have to hide temporarily. Also, i can stall my family members for a few months probably.They won't force me to join.They just present explanation of Quranic verses and hadith and *expect* me to join.I told them i will study Islam myself and then decide.

Previously, i would have went on to pretend to be Muslim (fake my prayers etc) till i can immigrate out of here, but now i'm hoping for a chance at Asylum. I can't keep up this pretense forever, when i'm expected to join ISIS in the near future.

On the other hand, if nothing works, then i will cross my fingers and hope for a quick, clean death.

Regards,

Y

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Incredibly heartbreaking and scary situation, I feel quite helpless...leave any advice in the comments section or send it to my email nicemangosDOTblogATgmailDOTcom

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11 comments:

  1. I have no idea what to say. I would advise the person in question that if they feel their life is under threat or the pressure from their family is increasing to join ISIS then they should leave and hide with their friend.

    Its not much, I know but its all I can think of.

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  2. Are there perhaps imams/people at a local moderate mosque who could help, either with practical advice, or by defending the position that a devout Muslim can legitimately reject ISIS?

    I admit I'm from the West and so relatively ignorant of the local situation, and I really don't mean to be dismissive of the kind of pressure the writer is under. But, while I can understand it's tough to live there as an atheist, it's hard to grasp how just refusing to join ISIS could be so controversial. Is this about actual personal risk if he refuses to join, or is it more about a young man's mental struggle to overcome the expectations of his family? Because if it's more the latter, it may be that if he firmly asserts his independence, they'll come to accept that, as annoyed families reluctantly do all over the world.

    In any case, best of luck Y, my heart truly goes out to you!

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  3. The one thing you can do to make a difference, is to pretend to embrace the ideology & get in amongst the heart of the ISIS leadership or as high as possible. Do whatever it takes to get there. And inflict as much damage as possible. Not much in the way of advice to save yourself, but a great way to demoralise & damage an evil ideology. A one in a million opportunity which would require the ultimate sacrifice. Better to die by ones own actions, than by the hand of evil & false deities.

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    Replies
    1. Um...That's terrible and dangerous advice. And one person can not make the impact u are hoping for. Also you probably can't get higher in the ranks without violence...probably directed at innocents.

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  4. I have no advice to offer, but do want to express the best wishes to Y.

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  5. The folks at movements.org are the only ones I can think of. Faisal Mutar and Maryam Namazie I believe are members.

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  6. Unbelievable situation. All I can hope for is that this person is able to blend in until escape becomes a feasible option.

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  7. Awful situation to be in.
    If Y wants to try to get asylum, I'd say gather as much evidence as possible that your life is in danger. Contact ex-muslims organisations as they are certainly willing to give useful advice.

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  8. If i were in Y's shoes, this is what i would do: It is going to be a slow painstaking process, but definitely a better option instead of crying and seeking asylum etc. Instead of playing victim.
    Y should, slowly and steadily, get her family (ISIS supporters), on his/her side. Reason with them, discuss the idiosyncrasies, and one by one, get all of them to believe that they are all on the wrong path.
    Or worst case, they would convince him/her to join them! I guess this would not happen considering the writer seems to be a smart person who owns a blog.

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    Replies
    1. As per as my views, they (family members)never gonna accept it, countries like Pakistan is so conservative in on an average, these are few situation on which almost every individual broke down, Y you need not to be rebel in this situation, try to ignore wisely. And keep yourself calm.

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  9. It seems like the most prudent course of action here would be to find a religious authority to back you up somehow.

    It's certainly been sold to those of us in the West that ISIS is rejected by most Muslims, even the more extreme ones. If this is true it may be possible to find a local Imam who could provide you with compelling arguments (or even talk with your parents and argue for you) against joining ISIS.

    You probably won't convince them of secularism or atheistic ideals or anything like that, but a moderate Imam (even if he's not really that moderate) should be able to help push back on specifically being called to join ISIS.

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