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A Safe Space for Somalis to Vent

Somali atheists in the diaspora are running a Facebook group to challenge their community’s Islamic beliefs, but they often receive death threats. The popular Facebook group, which has more than 80,000 members, is predominantly led by atheists, or “ex-Muslims”, as they refer to themselves. It was initially inspired to create a safe space for religious discussion and now promotes all forms of freedom for Somalis who feel marginalised by mainstream Somali culture. In Somalia and the breakaway state of Somaliland, blasphemy is a jailable offence, and the TSFP has set out to challenge this. It campaigned and raised money for the academic Mahmoud Jama Ahmed-Hamdi. He was a university lecturer who was arrested for writing a Facebook post that questioned the validity of praying to God as a means of relieving the drought in 2019. Some of the most at-risk groups in Somalia who have put messages on the TSFP are Christians, atheists and LGBT individuals.