These incredibly brave people are risking their lives for the freedom not to believe. They deserve better from us.
A few days ago Imtiaz, a solar engineer; Aliya, a campaigner for secular education; Sohail, a gay Somali in his twenties; and Sara, a bright student, went to Queen Mary University of London in the East End and made an astonishingly brave stand.
Astonishing because they volunteered to step forward to the front line after the Islamist murders of satirists and Jews in Paris and Copenhagen. Before an audience and in front of cameras, they explained why they had left Islam. They had become ‘apostates’, to use a dangerous word, which blackens what ought to be a personal decision that free adults in free countries ought to be free to make without anyone threatening them. In the mouths of theocrats, ‘apostasy’ turns individual rights to freedom of conscience into a sin and a betrayal.