Can any migrant from an Islamic country obtain citizenship in a Western country by saying “I renounce Islam”?

“Saudi teen lands in Canada after fleeing family” (CNN):

A Saudi teen who fled to Thailand to escape her allegedly abusive family has arrived in Canada after being offered asylum there. … Qunun had flown to Thailand from Kuwait to escape her family, saying she feared they would kill her because she renounced Islam.

Could this work for anyone willing to say to a Western official “I don’t think that there is a God”?

The U.S., Canada, Australia, or the European nations are required to offer asylum to anyone with a reasonable fear of persecution, right?

A lot of countries do not allow residents to commit blasphemy or apostasy. See Wikipedia on Freedom of Religion in Saudi Arabia, for example, or this page on how anyone who questions a major religion can be imprisoned for five years in Indonesia. Why couldn’t any of the 264 million folks who live in Indonesia move to Canada or the U.S. tomorrow, saying “I question the truth of all six recognized religions and I could be imprisoned for this if I were to be returned to Indonesia.”? How could a government official in Canada, for example, ever prove that such a declaration of disbelief was false?

Why would anyone from a country in which denying the truth of Islam is punishable bother with any other strategy for obtaining legal residency in a Western welfare state?


21 thoughts on “Can any migrant from an Islamic country obtain citizenship in a Western country by saying “I renounce Islam”?

  1. The answer to your final question: Because they are devout? Because they really couldn’t go back home if they did that? (A lot of the South Asian H1-B visa holders I’ve worked with at least initially plan on going back once they’ve secured some kind of fortune)

  2. A more sound strategy might be “I have committed adultery and will be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment if I remain in ” It’s probably a lot easier to walk that one back.

  3. Similar to your belief that bourgeois kids could easily get into better schools simply for self-reporting as a protected group

    How much do admissions committees see?

  4. Sounds perfectly reasonable. Maybe when a plurality of their citizens emigrate, the host country can hold a referendum, neutron bomb the offender, and repopulate the new found lands as a protectorate.

    Seriously though, isn’t credibly renouncing Islam (or Christianity) a sufficient oath of allegiance for any rational country?

  5. It helps being a cute young female!

    I don’t think the many Achmeds would get the same world stage sympathy.

  6. SuperMike: Why couldn’t they go back to the oppressive/dangerous country from which they fled, as is typical for most successful refugees/asylees (they will go back to visit relatives, e.g.)? Why would statements made to a U.S. official, for example, become public? And, even if these statements did somehow become public, why would it be bad to lie to an infidel in order to gain entry and collect welfare? That’s taking resources away from the infidels, no?

    Paul: It is true. Given that universities practically beg students to check at least one victim box, I am shocked that they don’t get 100% applications from the kinds of people they are seeking!

    • Because refugees don’t take away resources in the long-term –

      “By the time refugees who entered the U.S. as adults have been here for 20 years, they will have paid, on average, $21,000 more in taxes to all levels of government than they received in benefits over that time span, according to a working paper released Monday by the National Bureau of Economic Research that examined the economic and social outcomes of refugees in the U.S.”

      The break even point is around 8 years, so I guess if they smash, grab and run then your assumption could be valid.

      “Why would statements made to a U.S. official, for example, become public?”

      The U.S. has terrible I.T. Security, so it would be reasonable to think any immigration docs would be available to state actors ( such as Saudi Arabia ).

    • Achmed: did the 12 lb. economist brains behind that NBER leave out the biggest welfare cost in urban areas? Is public housing accounted for? That’s $60,000+/year for some families in my home town (Cambridge) and more in Manhattan and San Francisco or really anywhere in California.

      The study: “There are six social insurance programs that account for the majority of government payments to U.S. citizens: welfare, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security, food stamps, Medicare, and Medicaid. The ACS reports the dollar amounts of welfare, SSI, and Social Security payments received by a respondent. Food stamps, Medicare, and Medicaid are dummy variables in the ACS, indicating whether or not the respondent is enrolled in the program.”

      Didn’t they also leave out other means-tested programs? 20 years of obamaphone? So they’re looking primarily at cash transfers and leaving out a huge range of American welfare subsystems.

    • As of 7 years ago, there were at least 79 Federally run means-tested welfare programs. See

      So I think this is how the economists came up with their net positive conclusion (though of course an American who pays a net $21k in tax over 20 years is still a “taker” from other Americans as this does not fund his or her proportional share of government).

    • It’s an interesting paper but the first question that comes to mind concerns changes in the population of refugees over time. For a survey done in, say, 2014, the population of refugees who arrived between 2004-2009 (5-10 years in country) might look very different from those who arrived 1994-1999. In the table of countries of origin represented I was curious to see Czechoslovakia, for instance, which ceased to exist 26 years ago. Or maybe there are a wide enough places in the world going to hell at any moment that the population of refugees is pretty consistent over time. It wasn’t clear if the authors considered that or not.

    • shows that if we subtract the programs that the study covered and accounted for, the US government (local, state, federal) consumes roughly $5.5 trillion per year, about $16,750 per person. So a resident who pays $1,050 per year in net tax is being subsidized by at least $15,700 per year by other taxpayers? And it would be another $30,000 to $60,000/year if the resident lives in housing allocated by a government housing ministry?

    • There is a requirement that green card holders don’t use any of the 79 welfare programs for the first five years of their residency, and doing so is grounds for deportation. My information is that during Obama, this was practiced for only 2 of the 79 programs. I am wondering if the current regime is trying to enforce this law properly?

      PS. I can remember this requirement from when I received my own greencard through lottery in 1992.

      PPS. I am fairly confident the restriction on using welfare specifically does not apply to refuges.

      PPPS. I believe “Achmed” is really Vince.

  7. This is a part of the domestic violence racket. She can also claim a lot of other forms of abuse, without proof.

    England and the USA are now considering amendments to their definitions of domestic violence to include financial abuse and emotional abuse. The proposed definitions are so broad that it is hard to imagine anyone who would not qualify.

  8. The issue with today’s asylum policies is that they are outdated — couple that with ease of mobility, population growth and you will see why anyone can abuse it.

    The issue with asylum seekers from Islamic countries is that they will migrate but they will not integrate with the hosting culture — this creates friction of “not in my backyard”.

    • If people are using the system as designed, how it is fair to call that “abuse”? If we combine the rules against heresy and apostasy in various countries with the rules in the U.S., Europe, Australia, et al. around who gets asylum, then doesn’t anyone with any doubt about religion legitimately qualify for asylum? Just like if a state sets up means-tested public housing and the price for a zero-income person is $0 to live in Manhattan or San Francisco. If an able-bodied adult never works and instead enjoys life in the city, that’s just using the system as designed, no? If voters set up a system in which there is no requirement to work in order to receive housing, health care, and food, why label someone an “abuser” who signs up for the free stuff?

  9. @Viking,

    > There is a requirement that green card holders don’t use any of the 79 welfare programs for the first five years …

    This is very true. In fact, your application will be denied if you do not submit an Affidavit of Support Application as part of your immigration application to the USA. The person who is supporting you will have to provide legal documents to prove that s/he can support you and notarize that s/he will support you financially until when you become a legal green card holder or become a citizen. And of course, what is also true is that this is hardly enforced.

    For asylum seekers, the government — you and me — become the support system.

  10. Shouldn’t other countries be accepting flocks of American asylum-seekers who are being emotionally abused by the presence of a near-Hitler regime here?

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