Difference between revisions of "Zara Kay"

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{{Article for deletion/dated|page=Zara Kay|timestamp=20200516045025|year=2020|month=May|day=16|substed=yes}}
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{{Multiple issues|
{{notability|date=August 2019}}
{{POV|date=May 2020}}
{{short description|Australian activist}}
{{use British English|date=March 2019}}
{{Use dmy dates|date=October 2019}}
{{Infobox person
| name = Zara Kay
| image = Zara Kay 2018.jpg
| caption = Zara Kay pictured in 2018
| birth_date = 1992
| birth_place = [[Dar es Salaam]], [[Tanzania]]
| occupation = Information Technology
| known_for = Atheist and secular activist, women's rights activist
| citizenship = [[Australia]]n
| nationality =
| ethnicity =
| alma_mater = [[Monash University]]
| website = {{URL|faithlesshijabi.org}}
'''Zara Kay''' (born 1992) is a [[Tanzania]]n-born ex-Muslim atheist, secular activist and women's rights activist, based in [[London]]. She is the founder of Faithless Hijabi, an international non-profit organisation that seeks to support the rights of Muslim-raised women, especially those who are in the process of [[Apostasy in Islam|leaving or have left Islam]].<ref name="Overington"/><ref name="Loomes"/>
== Biography ==
=== Youth ===
Kay was born in [[Dar es Salaam]], Tanzania in 1992, and raised as a [[Khoja]] [[Twelver]] [[Shia Muslim]].<ref name="Overington">{{Cite news |url=https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/women-pay-heavy-price-for-ditching-islam/news-story/6f92f24242a5bbe4ab28b4ea19e520af?nk=c0ceea916e7fa818fa421a16a8e2fb89-1552416857 |title=Women pay heavy price for ditching Islam |author=Caroline Overington |work=[[The Australian]] |publisher=News Corp Australia |date=14 January 2019 |accessdate=12 March 2019}}</ref><ref name="SJME">{{Cite episode |url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dULr2tFgps |title=EP71: Shia Muslims Leaving Islam |last1=Rizvi |first1=Ali A. |authorlink1=Ali A. Rizvi |last2=Navabi |first2=Armin |authorlink2=Armin Navabi |series=Secular Jihadists for a Muslim Enlightenment |number=71 |format=podcast |date=10 October 2018 |accessdate=12 March 2019}}</ref>{{rp|at=4:00–4:25}} The languages of [[English language|English]], [[Gujarati language|Gujarati]], [[Swahili language|Swahili]], and [[Kutchi language|Kutchi]] were spoken at home, but not [[Arabic]].<ref name="warraq" />{{rp|659}} Her mother is [[Kenya]]n, her father is Tanzanian.<ref name="SJME"/>{{rp|at=48:50–49:35}} Her parents were conservative Muslims; she has four sisters and one brother.<ref name="Overington"/> She began wearing the [[hijab]] from the age of eight, because she "wanted to be more pure, I wanted God to love me more." In hindsight, she said "that's not a choice. That is coercion."<ref name="Overington"/>
=== Education and career ===
Aged fourteen, Kay began to question her religion, wanting to know why she couldn't be friends with non-Muslims, listen to music, loosen her hijab or not want to get married at eighteen (like some of her friends).<ref name="Overington"/> After finishing high school aged fifteen, she moved to [[Malaysia]] to attend [[Sunway University]] and then [[Monash University Malaysia Campus|Monash University's Malaysian campus]] in [[Bandar Sunway]] aged sixteen.<ref name="Overington"/><ref name="SJME"/>{{rp|at=4:50–5:10}} She stopped wearing the hijab at age eighteen before she moved to Australia.<ref name="Overington"/><ref name="Loomes"/>
After about 3½ years in Malaysia, when she was nineteen, Kay moved to Australia in 2012<ref name="SJME"/>{{rp|at=4:50–5:10}} in order to continue her studies at the [[Monash University|Australian campus of Monash University]] in [[Melbourne]].<ref name="Loomes">{{Cite news |url=https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/exmuslim-activist-says-renouncing-islam-more-difficult-for-women-invited-constant-sexual-harassment/news-story/0932d06933208f24e973a5e6d5d968d1 |title=Ex-Muslim activist says renouncing Islam more difficult for women, invited constant sexual harassment |author=Phoebe Loomes |work=[[news.com.au]] |publisher=News Corp Australia |date=17 January 2019 |accessdate=12 March 2019}}</ref> There, she finished her bachelor's degree in [[information technology]] and her master's degree in business information systems at the age of twenty-one.<ref name="Loomes"/> Kay got a job as an engineer for an IT company in Melbourne, and then worked as a technical support engineer at [[Google]] in [[Sydney]] until 2018, the same year in which she also became an Australian citizen.<ref name="Hanlon">{{Cite news |url=https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/753499/muslim-zara-kay-islam-melbourne-australia-death-threats |title=Former Muslim reveals she lives in fear of her life and has been called a 'sl*t' |author=Tim Hanlon |work=[[Daily Star (United Kingdom)|Daily Star]] |date=14 January 2019 |accessdate=11 July 2019}}</ref> She relocated to London in 2019.
=== Doubts and apostasy ===
Although she began to not wear a hijab in 2011 when she was eighteen, Kay still identified as a Muslim, and says she "even went on pilgrimage (''[[ziyarat]]'')" to visit Shia Islamic holy sites in [[Iran]] (including [[Qom]] and [[Mashhad]]) in 2011 and [[Iraq]] in 2013.<ref name="SJME"/>{{rp|at=52:56–53:42}}
Kay renounced Islam at the age of twenty-four,<ref name="warraq" />{{rp|660}} because she saw the religion as incompatible with her own values: "I rejected a lot of Islamic values such as the [[LGBT in Islam|punishment of gay people]], [[Women in Islam|inequality between genders]] and forced [[hijab]]."<ref name="Hanlon"/> Raised in a close-knit community, she says her decision to stop wearing the hijab and her eventual [[Apostasy in Islam|apostasy]] led to a lot of negative and hateful reactions from within her family and the wider social environment in Tanzania.<ref name="SJME"/>{{rp|at=50:53–52:15}} After establishing boundaries, Kay and her family were able to repair a relationship, and she no longer felt threatened by community backlash.<ref name="warraq" />{{rp|660}}
=== Activism ===
Kay was one of the guest panelists at the "Celebrating Dissent" event at [[De Balie]] in [[Amsterdam]], where the film "Laïcité, Inch'Allah!" (which translated into English means Secularism, God willing) was shown.<ref>{{Cite web|url=https://sister-hood.com/sister-hood-staff/laicite-inchallah/|title=Laïcité Inch’allah|date=September 18, 2019|website=sister-hood.com|publisher=[[Fuuse]]}}</ref><ref>{{IMDb title | 1987601 | Laïcité, Inch'Allah!}}</ref><ref>{{Cite web|url=https://debalie.nl/debalie-tv/celebrating-dissent-neither-allah-nor-master-by-nadia-el-fani/|title=Celebrating Dissent: Neither Allah nor Master by Nadia El Fani|website=[[De Balie]]|date=1 September 2019}}</ref>
<!---Times Zara Kay spoke during the Celebrating Dissent video 15:30-19:35, 40:55-42:15, 46:05-47:10, and possibly others--->
== Faithless Hijabi ==
Kay founded Faithless Hijabi (FH) in 2018 in [[Sydney]]. Faithless Hijabi is a storytelling platform that enables ex-Muslim and questioning Muslim women to share their stories of apostasy, doubt and freedom. While being a platform that creates safe spaces for women to express their dissent, Faithless Hijabi strives to take an active role in advocating for women's rights. FH is active on numerous social media in order to enable people to reach out for help. At present, the organisation primarily publishes stories and blogs in English, but has recently launched their Arabic social media pages.<ref name="Brown">{{Cite news |url=https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/secret-womens-network-led-the-charge-to-help-rahaf-mohammed-alqunun/news-story/f323ad1bffae1674cf918674f4e74ab7 |title=Secret women's network led the charge to help Rahaf Mohammed al |author=Greg Brown |work=The Australian |date=11 January 2019 |accessdate=12 March 2019}}</ref> FH's mission is "Educate through stories," and "to empower an underrepresented group of women."<ref name="warraq">{{cite book|title=Leaving the Allah Delusion Behind: Atheism and Freethought in Islam|last=Warraq|first=Ibn|author-link=Ibn Warraq|isbn=3899302567|date=2020|publisher=Berlin Schiler}}</ref>{{rp|659}}
Faithless Hijabi was involved with the case of [[Rahaf Mohammed]], the 18-year-old Saudi Arabian woman who managed to escape from her family in January 2019, but was held by [[Thailand|Thai]] authorities at [[Suvarnabhumi Airport|Bangkok Airport]], after which she was able to raise international pressure via social media to allow her continue to [[Canada]].<ref name="Loomes"/><ref name="Brown"/>
== References ==
==External links==
{{Commons category|Zara Kay}}
[[Category:1992 births]]
[[Category:21st-century atheists]]
[[Category:Atheism activists]]
[[Category:Australian atheists]]
[[Category:Australian humanists]]
[[Category:Australian feminists]]
[[Category:Australian former Muslims]]
[[Category:Australian human rights activists]]
[[Category:Former Muslim critics of Islam]]
[[Category:Former Muslims turned agnostics or atheists]]
[[Category:Living people]]
[[Category:People from Dar es Salaam]]
[[Category:Tanzanian emigrants to Australia]]
[[Category:Opposition to Islam in Australia]]

Latest revision as of 06:46, 2 June 2020

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