Saira Khan reveals she's received death threats after renouncing Islam
Saira Khan has revealed she’s received death threats after revealing she’s no longer a practising Muslim after years of feeling ‘guilty, caged and unhappy’.
During an Instagram Live on Monday, the former Loose Women panellist, 50, who publicly renounced Islam over the weekend, insisted she’s ‘not perturbed’ by the vile abuse as she declared: ‘I have to live my life.’
The journalist also uploaded a screenshot of a horrific message she received from a troll in a bid to help others in similar situations who may be ‘too scared come out about it.’
Backlash: Saira Khan revealed she’s received death threats after revealing she’s no longer a practising Muslim during an Instagram Live on Monday
TV star Saira addressed the backlash she’s been met with after her revelation as she said: ‘I have had death threats…
‘Until you come from that background or ethnicity as a woman, you will never understand the barriers the obstacles – the deaths to your life, we are about 100 years behind in terms of freedom of speech freedom or individualism, liberty and choice.
‘You cannot believe the messages I have received. I am not going to come out and say I practise the religions because I don’t.’ (sic)
The media personality further explained her reasoning behind leaving the faith as she shared: ‘I don’t believe in certain aspects of the teachings.
I have to live my life’: The former Loose Women panellist, 50, who publicly renounced Islam over the weekend, insisted she’s ‘not perturbed’ by the vile abuse (pictured in 2019)
‘If it’s happening to me it’s happening to other women’: The journalist also uploaded a screenshot of a horrific message (pictured) she received from a troll in a bid to help others
‘I believe in gay marriage, and if I stay quiet nothing will change – it’s important for me and my truth and my happiness and my choice, for me to demonstrate to my children you have to live your life according to your rules.
‘As long as you are good and kind and not hurting anyone else, and you should not be scared that people are threatening to kill you, you should not be scared they are going to come smash your windows.’
The former Apprentice star added that while she’s not fearful about uploading criticism online, she’s ‘frightened’ that trolls ‘want to come and kill you’ for being yourself.
‘Why my choice of how I choose to live my life should stir hatred is incomprehensible’: TV star Saira addressed the backlash she’s been met with after her revelation in a separate post
One of the offensive notes read: ‘You f***ing dirty s**g, In’sha’Allah Allah gives you the punishment you deserve you fat ugly w***e.’ (sic)
Saira elaborated: ‘We must not be fearful to live our lives because of external threats. Otherwise, the world will never change.
‘I am not afraid to share these threats with you because if it’s happening to me it’s happening to other women and they are too scared to come out about it. It doesn’t frighten me, it doesn’t perturb me and you know, because I live in Britain and believe the majority of people are good.
Support: The media personality also expressed her gratitude towards her followers for their ‘kind words’, and shared messages from others who have gone through similar situations
‘I have so many messages on my messages saying they do not represent the true Islam. The majority of people just stay quiet and I say you have to step up.
I am frightened about that in a country with free speech, they want to come and kill you for it.’ (sic)
In her interview about the religion, the panellist revealed she was led to share her life update after receiving a ‘disgusting message from a troll’ as she declared: ‘This was the last taboo to overcome before I could live my best life.’
‘I’m doing this for my well-being’: In the interview, the panellist revealed she was led to share her life update after receiving a ‘disgusting message from a troll’ (pictured in 2020)
She said: ‘Saying I’m Muslim and then having a boyfriend, wearing clothes that go against the Muslim dress code, having a drink and living a non-Muslim life only brings guilt, self-loathing, loneliness and a feeling of being caged.’
The reality star confessed she doesn’t want to ‘inadvertently confuse, represent or unintentionally hurt others’ of the Muslim faith after being met with assumptions about fasting for Ramadan, not drinking and abstaining from sex before marriage.
Saira also clarified that while some Muslims ‘are the most humble people I know’ and most of her values are based on the ‘spiritual aspect of the faith’, she’s influenced by other teachings and has only been ‘hurting’ herself by ‘living a lie’ for her loved ones.
The social media star added to The Mirror: ‘It has taken me till the age of 50 to find the courage to say it. I’m doing it now for my own wellbeing. I want to be honest and feel free to live my life by my own rules. I have found a huge relief in being honest.
‘This was the last taboo’: The reality star confessed she doesn’t want to ‘inadvertently confuse, represent or unintentionally hurt others’ of the Muslim faith (pictured in 2020)
Candid: The Apprentice star, who is of Pakistani heritage, explained how she ‘pretended to be someone I’m not’ in order to make her family happy
‘I know that one of the reasons I have been so angry and unhappy in my life is because of the many contradictions I’ve had to live with. I’ve not dared to share these feelings before because the very few Muslim women who have are called sinful and some have even been targeted with death threats.’
Fundamentalist Muslims regard apostasy, or leaving Islam, as a sin deserving of death.
Daily Mail Australia in 2017 filmed Uthman Badar, the Australian spokesman for Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir, declaring ex-Muslims deserved to be killed.
Pakistan also has the death penalty for criticising the faith, as well as any recognised religion.
Happy family: The presenter shares son Zac, 12, and daughter Amara, nine, with businessman husband of over 15 years, Steve Hyde (pictured together in 2020)
In December 2019, the mother-of-two, who is of Pakistani heritage, revealed she was branded a ‘racist’ and ‘white sell out’ in the past for speaking against radicalisation.
The presenter, who has been trolled for sharing topless selfies to Instagram in the past, said that although it’s ‘difficult’ for her to discuss her community, she feels some are ignoring British cultural norms.
The Long Eaton native said on Loose Women: ‘It’s very difficult for me sometimes to sit here and talk about a culture that I belong to. But I have to do it because this is my country. I was born here and I am British.
‘I love living in a multi-cultural society, but I think we all have to wake up and see we are living by cultures, side my side, where they are flouting British values and we’re allowing people to get away with it.
‘We’re allowing people to get away with it us because we’re not an integrated society.
‘I’ve been speaking about radicalisation of young people in this country since the 1980s and when I talk about it, I’m a ‘racist’ or I get told by the community I’m a white sell-out.
‘That’s what happens, so I can’t physically do something myself. I am giving you an insight into parts of the community where things are not right.’
Saira, who shares son Zac, 12, and daughter Amara, nine, with businessman husband Steve Hyde, was nominated for the Services to Media award at the British Muslim Awards in 2013 and 2015.
The host left long-running lunchtime staple Loose Women in December 2020, shortly after Andrea McClean announced her resignation.
‘Name and shame time!’ Saira has been trolled for sharing topless selfies to Instagram in the past (pictured above in 2018)
The broadcaster, who has blocked some members of the panel on Instagram, previously said she felt there were bits towards the end of her stint on the show which she ‘didn’t feel were part of the sisterhood’.
She told HELLO!: ‘There were elements both on screen and behind the scenes of being a Loose Woman that towards the end I didn’t enjoy and I didn’t feel like it was part of the sisterhood.
‘It wasn’t make me happy so I had to bow out, look after my mental health and give someone else my platform.
‘I had a great five years and I did what I wanted to with my platform, which was share my stories and experiences being from a minority background, there’s nothing more I can say that’s new.’
She’s out! The host left long-running lunchtime staple Loose Women in December 2020 (pictured in 2015), shortly after Andrea McClean announced her resignation
Saira Khan reveals she's received death threats after renouncing Islam
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