My name is Slimane Bouhafs, from Algeria. I was raised in a committed Muslim family and from a conservative religion which is Islam. I am married, and I have three children. I worked as a police man for several years and as a business man as well, and during that period my business was very successful; however, because of some personal choices , my dreams end up, and I went through some trials.
My only sin was the fact that I have changed my religion, or in other words, I have rejected Islam and I have left that religion; however, things became so hard because of that. I was accused of Islamophobia; therefore, because of that, I was put in jail for twenty one months. They told me that I cursed the prophet of Islam by posting a cartoon about the prophet on my personal Facebook account. I assume that I have posted things on Facebook, but never cursed their prophet.
While I was in jail, they made a poison in my food, and it hurt me a lot, and still, I am suffering of that currently. I have also, suffered of discrimination among the prisoners and some of the jail administrators. I was also shocked how the jail became a place that is free for the extremists, they could preach freely the radical message that contains hostility and discrimination toward non Muslims and the west in general.
I am not the only one who suffered from this, but my family also, is going through these issues and trials. During, my jail time, my family was deprived of my salary, my business was stopped, and because of my faith, the extend family rejected me; therefore, no income to my family during many months. Moreover, the imam preached against me because I left Islam, and my family and I, we were marginalized from the community. I think, you know how the community plays an important role in our society, and mot of the messages go through the mosques.
Now, I am free of jail, but I am still paying my freedom. The government has quit my salary and I am struggling to get a job, and I am struggling to survive. I praise God that some friends are helping me, but they won’t do that for a long time because they have their own families and their own needs.
After getting out of jail, I though that things would be better, but did not change, and my situation got worst. In the midst of these trials, I applied as a refugee, yet many embassies have rejected my request. Actually, I applied for a visa in several countries, and non of them gave it to me.
Do I have the right to live in peace with my family without any discrimination, without persecution?
Can I find a country where I can live my Christian life with a Muslim background?