Yasmine Mohammed on Free Hearts, Free Minds
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: What does this organization mean to you?
Yasmine Mohammed: I was getting inundated with messages from people from the Muslim world asking for help. I tried as hard as I could, but I didn’t have the resources to help them all. I was frustrated and sad and it was starting to affect my life and my mental health.
Because I related so much to the stories I was hearing, it was hard to separate myself. I kept thinking of how I felt when I was going through what they’re going through. And in many ways, because I was in a free, secular country — even as bad as it was for me, it was a walk in the park compared to what people in the Islamic world have to endure. Rather than wallow in feelings helplessness, frustration and sadness, I decided to start FreeHearts, Free Minds.
Starting FHFM feels like I’m reaching back 10–15 years and helping my confused, lonely, petrified, and to be honest, suicidal young self. If social media had even been available for me-had I known that leaving Islam was even an option-I wouldn’t have suffered nearly as much as I did. Today, with the help of technology, and FHFM, I want to do all I can to ensure that no one ever feels that alone.
Jacobsen: What are the scale and scope of the organization at present and into the next 3 years?
Mohammed: FHFM is not even a year old yet, but we have managed to do so much in so little time. I now have a team of ten people working with me. And we are prepared to launch a dating site that will support Ex-Muslims in the Muslim world trying to avoid forced marriages and/or circumvent guardianship laws. We’re just a few months old, but we’re expanding our services already! Who knows what could happen within the next three years? If we’re able to maintain and grow our two services, I’ll be happy. I think both services provide essential support to apostates in Islamic countries in very dangerous situations who have no other resources, no other options, and no other hope.
Jacobsen: Where can ex-Muslims connect with the organization or others to find assistance, guidance, community, and safety?
Mohammed: There are lots of online support groups out there, but unfortunately they’re all localized, so an individual would have to search for a group in their region. As far as North America, they could join EXMNA or Muslimish. There are some groups scattered around Europe as well. Because of safety concerns, it’s not as easy to find groups in the Islamic world. That’s where FHFM comes in. It supports ppl in the Islamic world because they are in the most dire need. Even if they were to find a local private Facebook group or something, they’d be too afraid to share any personal info. They know they can trust us.
Jacobsen: How can everyone donate skills, time, money, experience, and connections to the organization?
Mohammed: If you are able to help, please go to www.freeheartsfreeminds.com and support us monthly through Patreon or GoFundMe. We currently have a growing waiting list of people looking for one-on-one support from a Life Coach. The list grows, on average, about a person per week.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Yasmine.