Yasmine Mohammed

Yasmine Mohammed is a Canadian university instructor, human rights activist and author who is critical of Islam. Mohammed, who escaped a forced, abusive marriage to an Al-Qaeda operative, became an advocate for women's rights through her non-profit organization Free Hearts, Free Minds. She is a member of the Center for Inquiry Speaker's Bureau[1] and on the board of advisory for the Brighter Brains Institute.[2]

Yasmine Mohammed
Yasmine Mohammed professional head shot.jpg
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia
OrganizationFree Hearts, Free Minds
Known forWomen's rights advocacy, human rights advocacy, criticism of Islam
Notable work
Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam

Through her initiative Free Hearts, Free Minds she supports closeted ex-Muslims from Muslim-majority countries and co-ordinates an online campaign called #NoHijabDay against World Hijab Day. She also has a website and hosts a online series on YouTube called Forgotten Feminists.

Mohammed has been interviewed by Sam Harris, Seth Andrews, and several news outlets from multiple countries, and in 2019 self-published the book Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam.

Family and early lifeEdit

Mohammed's mother is Egyptian, the niece of former President Mohammed Naguib, and her father is Palestinian, born in Gaza. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.[3]

The family lived a secular life until her father left when she was two, leaving her mother with three young children.[3] Mohammed's mother sought community and support from a local mosque, where she met a man who said he would support her. He was already married, with three of his own children, and Mohammed's mother became his second wife.[4][5] Mohammed was nine at the time,[6] and states that her mother's situation improved, because her new husband was not abusive towards her like her first husband was. However, Mohammed states in an interview with Sam Harris that her step-father was physically abusive towards her and her siblings. Her mother became a born-again Muslim, which changed Mohammed's life. She was no longer permitted to go outside to play with her friends and she had to pray five times per day.[4] She was forced to wear a hijab and was beaten for failing to memorize the Quran.[7] She started attending an Islamic school that was established in the mosque.[4] When she was 13, she told a trusted teacher about the abuse she was experiencing and showed him her bruises. The police were called and the case went to court, but Mohammed states that the judge ruled that because her family was Arab, they had the right to discipline her in that manner. She states that it made her feel that she didn't matter as much as other children due to this negligence from the Canadian authorities.[4]

Mohammed has often described the way she was raised as "evil".[3] She started wearing the niqāb at the age of 19, after being introduced to her future husband.[4]

Forced marriage to an Al-Qaeda operativeEdit

When Mohammed was 20, she was forced to marry a member of Al-Qaeda, and had a daughter with him.[7][4] She later escaped the marriage to protect her daughter from the threat of female genital mutilation.[7] She changed their names and moved to a different city, as she was worried that her daughter would be kidnapped and raised a Muslim. Even though she believed her husband was in prison she remained frightened because he was a member of Al-Qaeda.[8][9] Following her escape, she secured student loans[4] and attended the University of British Columbia, where she took a history of religion class and started to examine Islam more critically for the first time.[10]


No Hijab Day
..a day to support brave women
...who want to be free from the hijab.
Women who want to decide for themselves
what to wear or what not to wear on their heads.
Women who fight against
either misogynist governments that will imprison
them for removing their hijab
or against abusive families and communities
that will ostracize, abuse and even kill them.

– Mohammed, Yasmine.
"Support Muslim women in fight against hijab".
Toronto Sun - 2 February 2019[11]

Mohammed decided to start speaking out after she watched Ben Affleck and Sam Harris debate Islam on Real Time with Bill Maher.[7][8] She has criticized both Islam and the left - that she accuses of inadvertently enabling radical Islam through their work to fight Islamophobia.[8] Mohammed is a vocal opponent to the practice of wearing a burka or hijab, as well as attempts to promote its use, viewing the hijab as "a tool of oppression, a garment that perpetuates rape culture". To protest against World Hijab Day, she promoted the hashtag #NoHijabDay as a social media extension of a campaign launched by Maryam Namazie and the Council of Ex-Muslims.[7][12][13]

Mohammed also raised money to accommodate Rahaf Mohammed, an asylum seeker who fled to Canada from Saudi Arabia to escape her abusive family.[14] According to Erich J. Prince, Mohammed has become a frequent commentator on Islam's relationship with the West, particularly in Canada.[15]

Mohammed was a witness at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage on November 8, 2017 regarding the inclusion of the word Islamaphobia in Motion 103. She indicated that the motion's aim is "...to quell bigotry against human beings." but she argued that the term “Islamophobia” does not protect Muslims but protects the ideology of Islam.[16] Mohammed was one of several witnesses that cautioned committee members to not be in a rush to legislate because of an "increasing public climate of hate and fear." Mohammed and other witnesses recommended that existing laws need to be enforced and strengthened to curb hatred and discrimination for all Canadians and not just one group of Canadians.[17]

In 2017, Mohammed contributed an essay called Unholy Alliance: Why do left-wing Americans support right-wing Muslims? to SEDAA: Our Voices, a platform that features writers of Muslim Heritage, where she writes about her story and issues facing ex-Muslims.[18]

According to the Jerusalem Post, Mohammed is a significant voice in the ex-Muslim community, speaking to audiences worldwide.[7]

No Hijab DayEdit

Mohammed is the founder of the hashtag campaign called No Hijab Day or Free From Hijab Day celebrated on February 1, a hashtag campaign to raise awareness about the girls and women who want to take off their hijabs but cannot or who have already taken it off and are facing the consequences thereof.

Free Hearts, Free MindsEdit

Mohammed founded a non-profit organization called Free Hearts, Free Minds that helps ex-Muslims living in Muslim-majority countries with state-sanctioned death penalties for leaving Islam.[7] The organization provides psychological counselling for people leaving Islam, especially focusing on providing services to women from Saudi Arabia and LGBT individuals from the Muslim world.[10]

Forgotten FeministsEdit

Mohammed is also a host of the online series "Forgotten Feminists", a series interviewing women about their experiences upon leaving Islam.[citation needed]


Mohammed wrote a memoir titled Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam. that was self-published on 25 September 2019.[15] She received two years of rejection letters before being convinced by Sam Harris to self-publish.[19] The memoir outlines her upbringing in a fundamentalist, Islamic household in Canada, her step-father beating the bottoms of her feet for not reciting her prayers correctly, being married against her will to an Al-Qaeda operative, her escape and subsequent activism.[15]

In an interview with Seth Andrews, host of The Thinking Atheist podcast, Andrews questioned her choice of title. Because not all western liberals empower radical Islam, he thought the title could have been Unveiled: How Many Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam. Mohammed responded that a more accurate title for the book could have been How Some Western Liberals Unintentionally Empower Radical Islam but this would not have captured sufficient attention.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Yasmine has since remarried and has two daughters, one from her first marriage and one from her second.[8] She severed ties with her mother after her mother threatened to kill her because she wouldn't wear hijab anymore and because she had become a non-believer.[10]


  • Mohammed, Yasmine (2019). Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam. Canada: Free Hearts Free Minds. ISBN 9781999240530. OCLC 1114336781.
  • Duñó, Borja, and Beltran, Laia. Un paradís com el nostre: Aventures de dos urbanites a la Califòrnia catalana. Spain, Edicions Saldonar, 2022. Language Catalan

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "CFI Speakers Bureau". cfi Center for Inquiry. 26 May 2020. Archived from the original on 11 April 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Officers, Board of Directors & Advisors". Humanist Global Charity. 26 May 2020. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Herzog, Katie (5 November 2019). "Human Rights Activist Yasmine Mohammed Details Escape from Islam in New Book". The Stranger. US. Archived from the original on 1 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Making Sense Podcast #175 - Leaving the Faith". Sam Harris. Retrieved 11 May 2020.
  5. ^ Married to Al Qaeda, and Being "Ex Muslim" (Pt. 1) Yasmine Mohammed SPIRITUALITY Rubin Report, retrieved 9 June 2020
  6. ^ Cocoran, Lucy (27 February 2020). "I Was Forced To Marry An Al-Qaede Operative". Whimn with her in mind. Archived from the original on 20 March 2020. Retrieved 7 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Gal, Hannah (19 August 2019). "Ex-Muslim to 'Post': Trying to teach 'naive West' about true nature of Islam". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on 18 August 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d Yasmine Mohammed - Confessions of an Ex-Muslim, retrieved 4 June 2020
  9. ^ Rizvi, Ali A. (25 December 2016). "Banning the burqa does nothing to help Muslim women". New York Post. Archived from the original on 23 August 2020.
  10. ^ a b c Taske, Paul (1 May 2019). "On Activism and Women's Rights: A Conversation with Yasmine Mohammed". Immigration and Human Rights Law Review. Archived from the original on 8 April 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  11. ^ Mohammed, Yasmine (1 February 2019). "OPINION: Support Muslim women in fight against hijab". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on 23 August 2020. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
  12. ^ Kay, Barbara (23 January 2019). "Barbara Kay: On World Hijab Day, remember those who refuse to wear it, too". National Post. Archived from the original on 23 August 2020.
  13. ^ Daussy, Laure; Shevchenko, Inna (1 February 2021). "World Hijab Day : une insulte au féminisme". Charlie Hebdo (in French). Retrieved 7 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ Porter, Catherine (14 January 2019). "Saudi Teenager Who Fled Family Embraces All Things Canadian. (O.K., Maybe Not Winter.)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on 16 May 2019. Retrieved 19 May 2020.
  15. ^ a b c Prince, Enrich (23 November 2019). "Why Yasmine Mohammed Is Speaking out Against Islam". Merion West. Archived from the original on 27 November 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Evidence - CHPC (42-1) - No. 85 - House of Commons of Canada". www.ourcommons.ca. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  17. ^ "Committee Report No. 10 - CHPC (42-1) - House of Commons of Canada". www.ourcommons.ca. Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  18. ^ Quintero, Faith (27 October 2020). "Ex-Muslims have to struggle to have their messages heard - on social media as well". Arutz Sheva Israelinationalnews.com. Archived from the original on 1 November 2020. Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  19. ^ Mohammed, Yasmine (2019). Unveiled: How Western Liberals Empower Radical Islam. Victoria, BC. p. 198. ISBN 978-1-9992405-3-0.
  20. ^ "VIDEOS". The Thinking Atheist. Archived from the original on 5 June 2020. Retrieved 4 June 2020.

External linksEdit