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It is common for people who renounce Islam in Islam-majority countries to become outcasts and targeted for persecution.

A lonely campaign for religious freedom

Malaysia Kini ( Malaysia ) 01/05/06

Elisia Yeo

No one will give Kamariah Ali a job, relatives and one-time friends shun her, and much of her time is spent in the law courts – all because she no longer wants to be a Muslim.

“People look down on me because I renounced Islam. But people don’t understand. Actually, religion belongs to God and you can access God in any way, not necessarily through Islam,” says the soft-spoken 54-year-old.

Seven years ago, Kamariah publicly renounced Islam after being continually prosecuted and jailed by religious authorities in Kelantan who accused her of deviating from the faith.