I'm an Egyptian ex-Muslim Atheist and I'm am residing illegally in Denmark with my girlfriend (who is Danish) as I am scared to go back to my home country and get arrested or tortured for criticizing Islam. I have been legally traveling between Europe and North America every three months for the past two years, and I literally spent every cent from my savings doing that. I have no home where I can get back to in Egypt and my family doesn't accept me for rejecting Islam. I have thought a lot about applying for Asylum but I discovered that only 33% of applicants succeed in their case. I also spoke with many people over here who are extremely supportive but are also confused about whether I should apply for Asylum or not as if I get deported back to Egypt my chances of survival would be minimal.

My hatred towards Islam started when I saw how violent and immoral that religion is. I have been taught as a child that Islam is the one true religion and that anyone that is not Muslim is considered to be an enemy and I simply couldn't accept that kind of logic. I was lucky enough to travel around the world, explore other cultures and I was mostly fascinated with Scandinavian countries and how peaceful they are. I also happen to love Islam's number one enemy: Science, and thanks to it, I became who I am today.

I am extremely confused and sad about the life I'm living, I've never felt freedom before and I hope to be part of a secular society that wouldn't kill or torture me for my own freedom of thought. I am also psychologically frustrated as I feel chained to something that I don't and will never belong to.

Any help would be very appreciated.

Thank you.

Tags: Apostasy, Asylum, Atheist, Death, Denmark, Egypt, Ex-Muslim, Exmuslim, Freedom, Help, More…Islam, Penalty, Support

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If you get deported, how grave exactly will your crime be? Is there any chance you can pretend to repent, or deny your apostasy in some way to be safe?

Apostasy is punishable by death. Though not clearly written  in holy books but that is the accepted practice among the muslims

*cough* The asylum rejection rate in Norway is 30% and the processing time is 3 weeks if you are cooperative. I would advise you to do this quickly as there is currently a very high influx of asylum seekers which will lead to a tightening of the rules, especially with the new government which comes in next month.

And the beauty of it is any Danish you have learned so far will carry over fairly well.  Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish are so similar that most linguists consider them dialects rather than separate languages.  Were it not for the happenstance of them being separate countries today there's probably be no controversy on that.

Best of luck, wherever you end up!

Weeeeelll... Can you understand Begbie's English accent?

Begby has a Scottish accent.

I have thought a lot about applying for Asylum [in Denmark] but I discovered that only 33% of applicants succeed in their case. I also spoke with many people over here who are extremely supportive but are also confused about whether I should apply for Asylum or not as if I get deported back to Egypt my chances of survival would be minimal.

I am not a lawyer, so my first advice is that you find a competent one immediately, ask his or her advice, and then follow that advice. If you have no money, consider contacting the Freedom From Religion Foundation here in the United States and asking for a referral. Draw from whatever resources you have-- friends, teachers, student organizations, atheist support groups, newspaper reporters, anything at all-- to get the best legal advice that you possibly can. I cannot emphasize this enough.
Your chances of being approved for asylum depend on several factors, starting with the country where you apply. The USA and Canada approve the most asylum requests in the world, so perhaps your chances are best here, but the approvals process is arbitrary enough for ivy league scholars to compare it with spinning a roulette wheel.
Your odds may be comparable but less random in secular France, which not only invented asylum but approves comparable numbers of asylum applications each year despite that its population is much smaller than the USA and Canada. Any judge in France may be more sympathetic to your plight as an atheist than any immigration judge in America, since the former is most likely to be a secularist and the latter is most likely to be a Christian who detests you for being an atheist as much as any Muslim back in Egypt.
The other factor that improves your chances immeasurably: you can demonstrate reasonably well that government forces (or forces acting beyond government control) in Egypt make your safe return there impossible. When you say your "chances of survival would be minimal", show them you really mean "significant persecution due to your atheism". That is, mental or physical abuse, denial of basic needs like food and housing, imprisonment, torture, death, etc., and not simply the struggles of economic hardship or the ostracism of former friends and family members.
Please keep in contact and let us know how the process goes.

I agree that seeking an immigration lawyer is in your best interest.

This is about an application for asylum, not an application for immigration.

Sorry Gallup: but the approvals process is arbitrary enough for ivy league scholars to compare it with spinning a roulette wheel. ........Yes and No.

I'm afraid it's mostly yes and very little no. Here is a sample study from the link I posted above:

"This study analyzes databases of merits decisions from all four levels of the asylum adjudication process: 133,000 decisions by 884 asylum officers over a seven year period; 140,000 decisions of 225 immigration judges over a four-and-a-half year period; 126,000 decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals over six years; and 4215 decisions of the U.S. Courts of Appeal during 2004 and 2005. The analysis reveals significant disparities in grant rates, even when different adjudicators in the same office each considered large numbers of applications from nationals of the same country. In many cases, the most important moment in an asylum case is the instant in which a clerk randomly assigns an application to a particular asylum officer or immigration judge.  Using cross-tabulations based on public biographies, the paper also explores correlations between sociological characteristics of individual immigration judges and their grant rates. The cross tabulations show that the chance of winning asylum was strongly affected by whether or not the applicant had legal representation, by the gender of the immigration judge, and by the immigration judge's work experience prior to appointment."

The GAO study independently reached similar conclusions: 1) the outcome of an asylum case is mostly determined by which judge or official is assigned (which is random) and 2) the one strong determining factor the applicant has any control over: having a lawyer or not.

You have a good point, immigration lawyers won't do him much good in the Nordics.

Immigration lawyers represent asylum cases. There is no other kind of attorney that does. I'm surprised at that comment from you.

I drew the distinction between immigration and asylum for the same reason you did: he may end up working without a lawyer.

As for the rest of your post...is 100% COMPLETELY irrelevant if he's applying in Denmark. This is why he needs to research what the embassy wants WHERE HE IS APPLYING!

The country where he applies effects his chances, so it is 100% relevant and worth considering.

Every single solitary embassy is looking for something different and has a different standard. There are similarities of course, but researching how it's done in the US is ONLY relevant if he is applying in the US.

Under international law a US diplomatic post overseas is considered to be US soil: apply there and you are applying in the US.

One can apply for asylum under the US refugee admissions program at its diplomatic posts in Athens, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Madrid, Manila, Mexico City, New Delhi, Rome or Vienna.

Many other countries besides the US have similar policies regarding asylum applications at their foreign diplomatic posts. Our Egyptian friend has choices (of which the US and France are among many).

Not everyone has the money to throw down to move where applications are more likely to be approved and not everyone has the money for an attorney. AND not everyone has the ability to represent themselves by producing a flawless application unless they know what to do. This is one of the reasons so many applications are denied.

He wouldn't have to move to the country in question, only apply to it, which in most cases he can do at its embassy. (This might even be the most prudent move: would a failed asylum application to the US from its embassy in Madrid mean automatic deportation back to Egypt? Would he be allowed to try again at another embassy?) And I did suggest (first thing) that he contact the Freedom From Religion Foundation for legal advice or a referral if he can't afford an attorney.

I suggest you explore the possibilities within the European Community countries, as acceptance by any of them will give you the right to reside in any of them.  Alternately, have you and your girlfriend considered the possibility of marriage?

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