In November 2019, the Houston Oasis board received an appeal to help raise funds for an ex-Muslim student who has attended Oasis and other area secular events. Houston Oasis is establishing this GoFundMe for that purpose. All funds raised will be used solely for the student's tuition costs. Note: Because donations are earmarked for a specific individual, they are not tax-deductible.
Please read the student's story below, written with help from a representative of the Oasis community, and consider helping out in this student's time of need.
*Special thanks to Nick Little from CFI and Secular Rescure for helping M. find an immigration attorney.*
"M. is a young, ex-Muslim atheist who fled his home country after being emotionally and physically tortured when community around him discovered about his beliefs. M. comes from a strictly conservative Muslim family, and used to be a strict Muslim himself, however, after meeting an atheist and learning about his views, M. started questioning his religion and after some time left Islam. M. comes from a country where apostasy is punishable by death. M.'s father upon hearing rumors about him being an ex-Muslim started forcing religion onto him and made M.'s life miserable. M. left his country and came to the U.S. to start a new life so that he could be free from his father’s tyranny, emotional abuse by his friends and community who knew he was an atheist and to be physically safe.
M. wants to apply for asylum in the U.S. but is currently in the U.S. on a student visa. He cannot stay for the asylum proceedings unless he remains a full-time student. Although enrolled in a normal, low-cost public institution, he pays international student tuition and fees, which totals close to $12,000/year.
He is also not able to apply for legal work authorization until his asylum application goes in process. He is asking the community for help with his college tuition and fees for his asylum process. He needs to be enrolled in the fall semester as a full-time student while he completes his asylum application so that his visa isn’t terminated, and he doesn’t get deported.
We are just asking for 1 semester now, while he begins the application. He may ask for help for a second semester, while he waits six months for the work authorization and his asylum process. Good thing is, in summer, as per his visa requirement, he doesn't have to be enrolled for summer semester so he will have sufficient time to figure things out for himself.
M. is an intelligent, capable, and driven young man who wants to complete university. He made high good grades in his home country and was enrolled in a university there when he had to flee because of all the torment he went through, and even at present, amid all the shortcomings he isn’t compromising his education and is doing fairly well in college. M. just needs to get on track, and he will be capable of supporting himself in the future when things get settled for him. M. is majoring in Psychology and has strong ambitions for his future.
I am making this plea on behalf of M., who cannot be identified for fear USCIS will deny his asylum application and fear of religious persecution. I assure you that M. is real, and that his fear is justified. Mashal Khan, also an ex-Muslim student, was attacked by a mob of students at the university and mercilessly lynched to death, apparently for posting some blasphemous content online. We don’t want to lose M. like Mashal Khan. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynching_of_Mashal_Khan
Thank you for considering any amount of help. Together we can keep M safe. All he wants is an opportunity to live without fear of persecution, have freedom of speech, freedom of belief and an opportunity to become something in his life.
Look for more posts about M's story. We will keep the community up to date as he goes through the asylum process and finally finds that basic human freedom."