The following testimonies were written between February 2001 and April 2002.
MY VIEW OF ISLAM AND WHY I LEFT IT
My reason for leaving Islam is very simple: I read the Koran. For me it was as easy as just reading the Koran and using a little reason, logic, and thinking. I thought the story of the Noah's Ark that is recorded in the Koran is one of the most bizarre stories I have ever heard. Apparently the world was overrun by water and the only survivors were the people who had followed Noah. Noah had, it seems, the ability to communicate with animals to ask them to come aboard the ship, so that their species would not become extinct.
Back then the early Arabs looked around themselves and they saw a few camels and a couple of dogs and they thought that these were all the animals in the world. They were unaware of the fact that there are over a billion species in the world and some that have not even been discovered yet. What about the animals that did not live in Arabia? Did Noah fly on a winged horse like Muhammad, to go and collect the animals from all around the world? What about the species that we are unable to see without a microscope? How did Noah collect them? Most impor tant, in the research of earth biology we have discovered all the facts about the earth and its past. Can anyone find in any book of earth biology any evidence that proves that the earth was once completely covered by water?
This was enough for me to realize that the Koran is just a book of fables.
People will tell you that according to the Koran the sun sets in a pond, or that mountains are pegs that Allah installed on the earth to keep it from moving, and so on, but the only flaw of the Koran is not what is in it. The biggest flaw of the Koran is what is not in it. There are many many crimes a person can commit, yet the Koran mentions only the punishments for a mere three or four. I was astonished at the fact that the Koran mentions nothing about punishment for rape. The word rape is not even mentioned once in the Koran, as if it were not worth bringing up.
Apparently Allah thought it worthwhile to insist to his prophet on the necessity for praying and for paying alms over one thousand times, but rape is not worth mentioning. When you read the Hadiths about the obvious rape of Safiyah, the Jewish woman, by Muhammad, and the way he backs it up with a verse from the Koran, you also realize that rape is not considered a crime. It then all starts to come together and make sense.
There are an unlimited number of acts of kindness that we can do to help each other and make this world a better place for everyone, yet you do not see these in the Koran. How can the Koran be a perfect guidance from God when it lacks so many important issues?
What I have done for the last six months on the Internet is debate with Muslims and try to show them the light of truth. When you debate with a Muslim and he does not know what to say, he always says, "God is the author of the Koran because that's what it says in the Koran." It is absurd to prove something by itself. Sometimes when I hear these responses I feel like giving up on exposing the truth about Islam and religion, but then I realize that I would be abandoning my dear friends, like Dr. Ali Sina and the many people who have given their lives for the truth.
I was was nine years old when my grade four teacher was teaching us about history. He asked us how we can know the truth about what really happened in the past. We did not know the answer to his question. What he offered us as the answer was this: "Only the Koran holds the truth." It did not make any sense to me at the time because I thought, What if the Koran itself is not true, either? However, I did not dare to voice my view. I did not pay the matter much attention. I grew up to be a Muslim but I always had my doubts about the whole thing. As I grew older, I started to look at religion as a social phenomenon. Now, there is no doubt in my mind that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all man-made. However, I found the Islamic message to be particularly disturbing mainly because it requires at its core suppression and persecution of all those that oppose it.
I was born in a Pakistani family in the West. I was a major fundamentalist Muslim. I had absolute faith in Islam and I loved it very much. However after reading the Koran a few times I started to wonder about some of the verses. There were things in the Koran that were making me nervous, also the many stories about Muhammad were also cause for concern. The conquest and subjugation of the Jews was rather disturbing; so, too, was the rape of many women. I did not want to believe this and I started to say to myself that these stories are lies.
However the thought of my faith was eating my mind, slowly, slowly I was being torn apart by this dilemma. I finally wrote down some of the problems I had with the Koran and the story of Muhammad. I went to mosque and asked the maulawi [learned man, especially in religious matters] sahib about these issues I had with Islam. He tried his best to explain but I knew that he wasn't going to be able to justify some of the atrocities committed by Muhammad. However the part where he got stuck was the `A'isha question: How can a man of more than fifty years old have sexual feelings for a girl of only six? After he gave me an unsatisfactory answer I just went quiet and walked away. I was out the door and I looked back. He looked at me and he put his head down. I think he knew I was not going to come back.
Since then I have been rather heartbroken as I have lost my faith. Islam is a falsehood, a pure hoax. I felt that I might as well believe in Santa Claus or the bogeyman! I wish I could believe again, but as a normal and respectable human being I cannot believe in a man who is a pedophile! Simple as that. I can't comprehend the fact that a man of that age can fantasize about a six-year-old, and then have sex with her while she was still playing with her dolls! And why is it that a woman is lower than a man? Is my mother lower than me? Why is it that a Muslim man can have four wives? Can a woman not have four husbands, then? And why did Muhammad have more than four wives'? Doesn't he believe in practice what you preach'? Also, how can I believe a man with such low moral character? How can I believe in a man who does things I myself find abhorrent and disgusting? A man like him today, instead of being in a mosque, would actually be in prison with a seven-year jail sentence for rape and child molestation. For the cultural reasons given for this act (by the so-called scholars) of Muhammad's marriage with a six-year-old are irrelevant! No sane man in any time or place would have sexual feelings for a baby!
This is reason enough for denouncing Islam, for this man is not from God. And Islam is just the ramblings of some dillusioned Arab madman. All this religion has done is cause pain and misery for the world, especially India, where the mass murder of Hindus was unforgivable. No country suffered more than Hindu India. As for other religions, at least the so-called enemies of Islam, such as Sikhism, Hinduism, and Buddhism, etc., do not have their religious leaders doing such disgusting things or being complete hypocrites! I'm still a right-wing conservative but I am not a sucker and I am not going to let this nutcase ideology ruin my life anymore. Even Jesus was not anything like this fiend Muhammad! I'm just glad I got out while I could, and I just hope that all the other Muslims finally get their facts right and come to their senses. They should dump this evil satanic cult immediately, and do with the Koran as is done with all other piles of useless trash: Commit it to the flames!
I find it difficult to accept the fact that Allah asked women to pray with the scarf on, with long sleeves, etc., when, surely, God is above all this unimportant issues and can see what is in our souls and hearts. Also, it is almost sacrilegious to assume that God is humanlike and would get offended or influenced in any way by the clothes people wear. We are naked many times and God is present around us at all times, so I don't understand the point of being alone in the house, feeling like praying, and having to look for particular garments to pray in. If it helps people to concentrate in their contemplation that is fine, but to claim that God would not accept a good human being just because this human being did not have appropriate garments (when alone) is completely ridiculous.
In regard to women being required to pray with a scarf and long clothes on: This is something that has perplexed me, and, interestingly enough, I have not encountered another Muslim who also finds it strange. Hijab as an identifier or a protector is reasonable, but hijab as a uniform for prayer does not make sense. Prayer reflects a personal bond with God. What does hijab have to do with it?
Having to always have to put on prayer clothes before I can worship God always seemed to me a bother. It makes prayer much more formal, uncomfortable, and impersonal, for although God is supposed to be closer to you than your jugular vein, putting on hijab to pray implies that God is not as close to you as you would think (similar to putting on hijab in front of nonrelatives or strange men).
I never understood how covering added anything positive to prayer. I still do not (the "out of respect for God" explanation just doesn't cut it) and that is one of the many reasons, big and small, for my gradual disbelief in Islam.
Born in to a Muslim household in the West, I learned to "read" Arabic somewhere around age five. I finished the Koran, so I'm told, at age six. In all my life, every time I pick up a book, it has always required a superhuman effort on my part to read it to the end. This, I am certain, is at least partly a consequence of my early forced reading of the Koran. It is obvious to me (from my experiences) that any forced adherence to rules, be they religious, political, or social, inflicts psychological damage on a mind. This damage is especially severe when the compelled individual is a child. What was the cause of my lame excuse to cover up Allah's ignorance?
Although I am no longer a Muslim, I still enjoy listening to the Koran recitation by the voice of Al Shaikh Mustafa Ismail. I have a large collection of his tapes and I listen to them quite often. I found Surat Al-Namal (Ants) particularly amusing and perhaps down right funny. It talks about how Suliman was walking down the valley of the ants. One ant was warning the other ants and was saying, "Get down to your homes lest Suliman and his soliders destroy you while they are unaware." Suliman, who understands the language of the ants, laughed and smiled at what they were saying.
You will find these stories and much more in the Koran beautifully described, and the reading by Mustafa Ismail makes them even more beautiful. Great stories for kids, don't you think so?
There are also good adult stories. The story of Yosef is one that is particularly erotic. I know that most of these stories were borrowed from previous works by Jewish authors. But the Islamic edition is far superior from a literary point of view. I may be biased because Arabic is my mother tongue and so I have a taste for Arabic-language literature. One of my favorite Om Kalthoum songs is "Nahg El Burda," which is purely a religious song.
I like my Islamic cultural heritage and I enjoy it. Of course I am not taking any of it seriously. I understand why people still cling to their belief. They simply need it. I have nothing to offer these people because what they need is not the truth, they need to believe in something to ease their anxiety and their fear of death. If religion makes them feel good, let them. Where I draw the line is when they start to interfere in my own life. Fortunately, this is rather difficult because I no longer live in a Muslim country.
This page has been an eye-opener for me. As a convert to Islam, I thought that I had stumbled upon a religion that promoted unity and, above all else, love. Now, two years later, I am struggling with this religion. When I pick up the Koran, all I see are threats against me, about what will happen should I turn my back. I see depicted before me a vengeful creator, a jealous God. Something isn't right. Where is the love in all of this? I have always believed that God would love me unconditionally; now I am being told that our infinite and divine creator has conditional love for us?! Something definitely is not right here.
Repeated and completed Dear Enlightened Minds (peace be to you).
One of the unfortunate things that happened in my life was that my mother was a religious fanatic and I was raised in an atmosphere of religious superstition. Later, when the good vibrations became my fortune, I questioned my beliefs and found out that I followed Islam because of fear. I did not find the Koran inspiring but used to praise it because of fear and irrationality. Religious fear gripped me during my adolescence and late teens and I became an unbalanced personality. It was not easy to leave religion because I was living in an Islamic society, which is constantly sodomized by religious superstition. But gradually it dawned on me that if I wanted to live my life I would have to throw away the mask of being a Muslim. And so I believe in a power that is beyond my comprehension and that is orbiting the planets; thus, you could call me a deist. Yes, I agree that Islam has certain good points-but bad as well. In Islam the status of women is inferior, which I observed deeply, and I cannot understand the marriage between the Prophet of Islam and `A'isha. In my view mullahs or the ulemas twist this incident or avoid talking about it. From my boyhood I heard that the Prophet was fifty years old and she was nine years old, but later in an esteemed newspaper I saw an article that said a scholar had discovered that she was nineteen years old. I could not buy that. But I see a positive development: The world is getting smaller and through the blessing of the Internet the people of the world will get closer and will realize that one man's religion is another's superstition and they will act rationally rather then emotionally about religion and religious personalities.
I embraced Islam many, many years ago, when I was young and impressionable. Drawn and influenced by religious propaganda, I honestly felt compelled to accept the reality that the Bible was a corrupted text and that the Koran was unquestionably infallible and correct in all aspects. Today I realize that the scholarship in Islam is, in reality, no better than that of Christendom in authenticating and contriving arguments. I have seen some of the most ridiculous irrational arguments used to justify beliefs, it is astounding. Some people have audacity, I will grant them that! Unfortunately, Christianity and Judaism have been used as a yardstick to gauge and prove the authenticity of Islam in most cases. And we all know how reliable those sources are! Oh well, as Rodney Dangerfield would have said: "Who knew?"
Being from an ultraconservative society in an country where life revolves around the Sharma, I was shocked but delighted to have come across this Web site. Having been exposed to liberal societies and thoughts while studying abroad from an early age, and having to endure an uneasy reintegration into my own society each time I returned, I knew from early on that my situation would be untenable. One of the most unconvincing aspects of Islam that, more than anything, turned me away from it is the portrayal of Allah in weak, deficient human terms. This all-powerful, all-knowing God is shown to have emotional problems, i.e., gets angry, vengeful when his "faulty creation," man, goes astray for the most ludicrous of sins. Is Allah so unsure of himself that he needs his own creation to pray to him five times a day and to praise him continually? Doesn't this God have better goals for his creation than this pursuit'? Why not let man create or pursue better, more worthy objectives, such as figuring ways of overcoming hatred, war, intolerance, poverty, etc.? It seems the main focus is prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and mindless worship that serves no other worthy objective than to please him. Is this what gets him off? This omnipotent creator of the universe seems to have the character of a weak, emotionally unbalanced, deficient human being. Did he create us in his own imageor did we or Muhammad create him in our own image?
I am delighted to have found your Web site. I wish I had known about it a year and a half ago, because it might have saved me a lot of grief. Here is my story:
I am female, born and raised in the West in a family that could be labeled "Christian" but does not belong to any such church or organization. In college I became a "freethinker," read parts of the Bible at one point, although not in depth, examined other religions, such as Judaism and Buddhism. But not Islam. Just the mention of the word "Islam" conjured images of religious zealots who strap dynamite to themselves and walk into a mall, of women punished for not veiling themselves properly, and so on. Islam just didn't seem like a "warm and fuzzy" religion.
Two years ago I met a man from the Middle East. I must admit that I was not happy with the fact that he was a Sunni Muslim. But he was charming and gentle, nothing like what I saw on television. Since it was not in my nature to be prejudiced anyway, I allowed our relationship to continue. We had so much in common (we often finished each other's sentences) that I put the issue of religion on the "back burner," so to speak.
We were married six months later, in a civil ceremony. I was very much aware that my new husband had an extensive library of Islamic materials and that he prayed five times a day. But that didn't bother me. After all, I did not consider myself much of a Christian. Sure, I believed in the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I remember how thinking about this every year at Easter would move me to tears. If that is enough for one to be a Christian, then I certainly was one. But I had never studied the Bible in depth (in fact, I had only read bits and and pieces of the Old Testament). I was far from those people who know each chapter and verse by heart.
Then one day, while my new husband and I were discussing nothing special, he got on the topic of religion. He was really good at this, since he had studied extensively, like I said, and had debated people far more knowledgable in Christianity than I. He knew what to say and what to omit.
I agreed to convert to Islam because it all sounded good. I was presented with a picture of the Prophet Muhammed: a kind, gentle man, very Christlike, in fact, who only fought when provoked. The other things, like terrorism and hate, are not a part of real Islam, my husband claimed. He even showed me a copy of the so-called Gospel of Barnabas. It was supposedly written by a "true" disciple of Jesus. This "gospel" appeared to verify the Muslim point of view.
I had a few remaining apprehensions, of course. But they were squashed by the following: One, my husband was the very example of good manners and values. I had never met a Christian (nor Jew nor Buddhist nor atheist) who even compared to him in this. He assured me that I would never be forced to wear hijab except in prayer. Two, I did not have anything to offer up as argument: that is, I was ignorant about how to argue for the Christian viewpoint. And finally, I wanted our relationship to remain intact. I feared that if I refused, we'd be well on our way to getting a divorce.
After converting, I started reading about Islam. First, I read translations of hadith on the Internet. I was often disturbed by them. In some cases, the Prophet is described as brutal, not exactly Christlike. When I tried questioning my husband on this, a heated argument would follow. It seems that he had neglected to tell me one thing: That he had been allowed to marry me as a Christian, and as long as I remained Christian I could ask questions because I was an unbeliever anyway. But now that I had become Muslim, any doubt about anything the Prophet did or said, any disrespect toward the Prophet, would make me an apostate. Apostasy, my husband said, would also automatically annul our marriage.
So I went back to reading, hoping I'd discover that I was wrong, that I'd find that Islam was the truth. But it seems that the more I looked, the more I realized how wrong it really was. I am not going to go into details here about what I discovered. Suffice it to say that much of it is already mentioned on this site.
But I will mention that the Prophet consummating a marriage to a nine-yearold troubled me especially. I find it funny that someone is debating this. I have already asked my husband and he has confirmed it. He even showed me the book with the English/Arabic side by side. `A'isha was nine when the Prophet took her to bed. The hadith could certainly be interpreted that she was as young as eight (depending if they used solar or lunar months) but she was certainly no older than nine. My husband said that this was acceptable, since this was "in the old days" and 'A'isha had started menstruation. Beyond that, he did not want to discuss it. Again, I was warned that if I apostated, the consequences would be grave.
I have now managed to read all of the following: Most Web sites out there dealing with both Muslim and Christian viewpoints; the Koran in three English translations; both the Old and New Testaments. The Gospel of Barnabas, as it turns out, is a forgery, and there are even some Muslims out there who attest that it is. It's so ironic that in the last six months I have read more about religion than I ever had before or ever expected to.
My conclusion, much that I hoped for the contrary, is that Islam is a lie. Of course, all those born into it, including my husband, perpetuate the lie because they are so afraid of the threats in the Koran. The description of the hellfire and the torture in the graves is like a nightmare out of a horror novel. The torture in the gravel especially (my husband fears this so much that he turns pale when he talks about it) is nowhere to be found in any non-Muslim writing.
I can see that everything written in the Koran has a very human motivation. For example, Muslims drank until 'Umar approached Muhammad and told him that something must be done about the situation, since some were praying while drunk. Conveniently, Muhammad then "got a revelation" that alcohol was now forbidden. There are many such examples.
Actually, it would be nice to live like that. To have a "convenient revelation" for everything. So that every time someones asks why, I could just say, "Because God says so." In the end, more was done for Muhammad through Islam than Muhammad ever did for his followers. Think about it: He got people to donate all their money to him, he got first pick of the most beautiful women, he got loyal followers who adored him as a prophet, he got young men to fight his battles, he got to rule a nation. In the end, he got conquered by the law that governs us all: We all die. And he did, in fact, die as a result of being poisoned. He died a quite ordinary death.
Compare Muhammad to Jesus: Jesus got no wife, no home, no guarantee of daily bread or lodging, and, in the end, he even gave up his life. He did not even get to grow old, as Muhammad did. And no one has been able to match the miracles Jesus performed. Above all, Jesus is the only one who broke the rule: He conquered death. And by showing us that through him this rule can be broken, he offers the same to us all if we just believe.
Now that I've reached this point, i.e., become a closet Christian, I am debating what I should do about my present situation. I will admit that I am weak and perhaps a little frightened of what might happen to me if I reveal my true beliefs to my husband. As a Christian, though, I would like to try to make this work by praying for a miracle that my husband should find the right path, perhaps try to find a time when I can approach him carefully with some ideas.
And you, out there, what do you think I should do? I am not interested in any Muslims who try to slander me (if I see such commentary here, rest assured that I will ignore it, especially if it contains vile language). I ask this of non-Muslims who might be able to offer suggestions. And, certainly, I also welcome that any Christian out there add me to their prayers that my husband finds the truth. I love and pray for you all.
I could not remain a Muslim because Islam hates women. I think I always knew this, but as I got older that knowledge became more acute. Islam wants women to cover themselves, to stay indoors, to obey men, however stupid those men are. Islam says that women are inferior in every way. Islam distorted my father's feelings. He did not want us, his own daughters, to be happy or fulfilled. He only wanted us to be good Muslims and for daughters this means to be suffering Muslims. What sort of religion forces fathers to make their daughters suffer? What sort of father thinks that his daughter's hair is shameful? What sort of father tells her she cannot sing and dance when she is happy? A Muslim father.
This is why I am not a Muslim. My children, boys and girls, will be able to feel the wind in their hair. They will not be ashamed. They can sing and dance as much as they like. Nothing they do will shame me, as long as it is done with life and joy. Islam has no joy. Islam is a cult of tears and death.
Dear ISIS, I thank god for finding your site. Oops! How can I thank god when I do not believe in one? It is hard to break and old habit of language. Anyway, I want to thank your organization for providing a forum for those of us who, out of no choice of our own, were born into an Islamic family. I am so glad to find likeminded folks who not only share my nonreligious ethos but also share my Islamic heritage of birth. I never knew in my lifetime I would find a forum of ex-Muslims. When I get a chance to collect my thoughts I will share my testimonial. Until then accept my deep gratitude for providing this service.
I was just browsing the net after a local radio station aired a news item about Dr. Yunis Shaikh. Up until this point I wasn't even aware of an atheist movement in Pakistan! It didn't take long to find this excellent site, and to be quite honest I feel like this is the best thing that has ever happend to me!
Born to into a Muslim family, I was the typical religious fundamentalist, trapped in my own world of consipiracies; the Jews were behind everything. I took on the cause of the Palestinian people as something personal. I became heavily involved with a group of Muslims going under the name "Young Muslims UK"-boy oh boy! This organization single-handedly managed to convert me from a Koran-quoting nutcase into a fully fledged atheist.
Having been brought up in an area where there weren't any other Muslims, I hadn't previously met anyone of the same background as me. When my father decided it was time for me to get involved with some other Pakistani Muslims, that is when I realized how stupid the whole thing was.
Prior to joining this organization I hadn't read the Koran in English, instead I read it in Arabic (believing that this would bring me Swaab-blessings). When I did read it for the first time I became very worried by the amount of violence in it. Subsequent late-night sessions with the Koran convinced me that I was reading a guide to war.
When I asked "Where did Allah come from?" in one of the weekly circles I was told that this question was inspired by the devil. As I had thought of this question, I took this personally! Well that was the start of my intense hatred for all organized religion. However, most of my family and Pakistani friends think I am a confused Muslim. I prefer it like this as it allows me to ask awkward questions and see them get mad.
Well I am glad I have found this site and I am going to be doing a bit of online and telephone campaigning on behalf of Dr. Yunis Shaikh. Let's use this as an opportunity to bring the world's focus on the babarism that is tolerated under the banner of "cultural differences." Human life is human life in all cultures. To the people behind this site ... you have done an excellent job!
I am a woman who was born in a supposedly "liberal" Muslim state. However, I learned at a young age that in any Muslim country, women do not count for much. I was told that men were smarter, better, and stronger than women. When I was married, my husband continued to try to reinforce male superiority over me. He continually told me that he was the boss and I was to do what he told me to do. He reminded me that if I wanted to leave the country, I had to have written permission from him. My own parents died shortly after my marriage, but I watched his own parents repeat the cycle of abuse that my husband was pulling me into. My mother-in-law was forced to be a slave of my father-in-law. He would stay out all night at cafes, laughing with his friends and soliciting prostitutes. My mother-in-law was suffering from ill health, but she was scared to leave the house to go see a doctor without permission from her husband. Her husband would always deny permission so that he wouldn't have to pay the doctor the money he wanted to use on entertainment. I learned to detest the religion that had made me and my mother-in-law into slaves. I started to refuse to wear hijab. My husband's beatings did not change my mind. Then I read the Koran for the first time critically. It was a disgusting book full of hatred and intolerance. When my husband and I immigrated to the United States, I bought a copy of Ibn Warraq's Why I am Not a Muslim. As I read the book, I felt like I was being liberated. Thank you, whoever you are, Ibn Warraq. Keep writing!
Congratulations to you brave souls of this Web site! I came close to marrying a Muslim man. I was sent to study Islam and the Koran with a woman authorized by Mecca to teach, and to declare "ashado ina la ila ha ila allah; ashado Muhammad ul-rassul allah." After listening to the rules about exactness of praying, fasting times for the Ramadan month (i.e., if you live in Finland and Ramadan occurs in the summer then you can only eat between 3 A.M. and 4 A.M.), clothing while reading the Koran etc., I asked some more philosophical questions. She replied that I should not ask questions and simply submit to Allah and then I would have peace.
I tried reading the Koran and didn't find anything that gave me peace; on the contrary-once I was in a restaurant in Eygpt, and while waiting for my food to arrive I discovered the copy of a Koran on the bookshelf and took it to read. There was a family sitting close by and the woman suddenly started shouting "haram! haram!" and took her family, and slightly embarrassed husband, out of the restaurant yelling at the manager on her way out that an infidel was dirtying the Koran. I felt sick. There are many other stories about how I came to discover that Islam was in fact a dangerous cult, but have little time and space to tell all. Of course I ended up admitting to my fiance at the time that I now believed that Islam was false and a dangerous delusion. He was very upset and shocked, but something in his eyes told me that there was doubt for him, too, yet he could never bring himself to admit it and would always live a life suppressing the truth. So I will end by asking a question: How can we Westerners from non-Muslim backgrounds, i.e., those of us who would be dismissed as simpy infidels, do something in support of your wonderful cause for the secularization of Islam'?
I was born in the East and moved to the West when I was four. My parents are moderately religious Muslims, though not fundamentalists. My paternal grandfather was a teacher of the Koran, though he only had the luxury to do this because he was wealthy and didn't really need to work. I have been told that my family (paternal) has been Muslim for some six hundred years.
My father is a chemist by trade, and throughout my formative years he spent most of his time in the laboratory. My mother didn't instruct me about religion much, my parents just told me the basics about Muhammad, Islam, and Allah. I knew about Hindus because my parents would make fun of them and say disparaging things, and my mother also told me about Christians when I was six. All in all, I didn't think much about religion until I was eight or so.
I was in the public library one day in third grade when I had an epiphany of sorts (excuse the term). I realized that God didn't really need to exist, from what little I knew of science there didn't seem any direct evidence. Though I was nominally Muslim, I'd always had a somewhat Aristotelian view of God as the Prime Mover. I had stumbled onto Occam's razor and onward toward atheism, without knowing what it really was. For about a year I was very depressed, not understanding that there were other people that didn't believe in God.
The first inkling I had of "others" was when my father's Ph.D. advisor mentioned offhand that he didn't believe in God, that he was an "atheist." It jolted me. The next few years were pretty difficult for me, because I had no familial support and had to keep quiet about it. In sixth grade I had a "conversion" experience, but it lasted maybe six months at the most. Over the next few years I went from being Muslim to deist to Buddhist to agnostic to atheist. I simply didn't seem to be the type of person that had "faith."
During and after college I became involved in freethought organizations and discussions. I am interested in religion from a social perspective, and do a fair amount of reading apologetics and creationist tracts (they call it "intelligent design" now).
Islam is a dangerous religion. I believe that it is the only real competition to the West out there, and it knows it's backed up against a corner. I do not know what is going to happen with all the Islamic minorities in the West, because they are belligerent and quite frankly traitorous in the long term. I only hope to continue my life and enjoy living in a free country.
My "apostasy" against Islam came about through a sustained critical analysis of the fundamental tenets of all religions, thus opening the way toward self-criticism.
Born into a Muslim family and raised in the West, I have experienced firsthand the atavistic savagery of Islamic culture, its antihuman doctrines, and the futility of being a Muslim living in the West. It slowly dawned on me that the Koran was not the infallible, immutable word of God, but a fascist slur on humanity, a human document with little relevance to the modern condition as well as the realization of the countless contradictions, historical inconsistencies, and errors, and some of the most intolerant verses ever written. Islam is perhaps the most intolerant religion on Earth, a proseletyzing ideology that ruthlessly crushes dissent.
My liberation from the fetters of Islamic tradition have allowed me to think more freely and independently, and I am able to pursue my hopes and dreams with an unflinching resolve.
First off all greetings to all ex-Muslims on earth. I'm Mustafa, a secular feminist who is supporting women to face the threat of fundamentalism. The best example is what happened in Aghanistan and what is happening in other countries. Women are equal to men and we cannot accept any legislature that is against this, like the Islamic Sharma. Islam gives men the right to beat women, to prevent them from having an education and work. It gives men the right to marry four women and to veil them with burqas and niqabs and hijabs. So to all women in Islamic countries, fight for your rights, no democracy without secularism and the total blocking of Shari`a laws and banning of Islamic education and veil. At last, I would like to greet the great feminists in the Islamic world, like Tujan Faisal and Khalida Messaoudi and others: We really love you all.
I'm a thirty-year-old male who was born in Pakistan but moved to the West with my family when I was five. I was forced to attend religious training with ignorant and cruel mullahs who whould twist my ear and scold me severely everytime I mispronounced a Koranic recitation. The garbage they would churn out as divine truth was appalling. Needless to say, I developed a deep-seated fear of God and of not obeying his law.
It was very difficult growing up in the West, where I made friends of all races and religions, and had to reconcile that with the fascist, absolutist doctrines of Islam. So I created a mental schizophrenia where I ignored the real barbaric and xenophobic nature of Islam with the reality I was experiencing. In my heart I always felt that the inequality of women was wrong, that non-Muslims were just as equal and human as Muslims, that science provided much more reasonable explanations of the world than the myths of Islam ever did. But I was too paralyzed by fear and by not wanting to upset my family, so I never said anything.
Then puberty hit! When I realized that I was attracted to boys and fell in love with them instead of girls, I had an extremely difficult crisis of the soul. I knew the extreme contempt that Islam had for homosexuality, and I felt that I would suffer the torments of hell for feeling the way I did. I tried committing suicide in college, but was saved by a friend. That was the turning point. I decided I was no longer going to be a slave to a barbaric, fascist, sexist, homophobic, totalitarian, obscurantist, cultlike, joyless, loveless, fear-mongering (should I add more adjectives?), horrible horrible horrible ideology!
Today, free of Islam and religion, I feel more liberated and powerful and in control of my life than I could have ever imagined. My relations with my family are very strained, having come out twice: first as a gay man and then as an atheist/ secular humanist. When it rains it pours! But I have created a family for myself based on people who share my values and who accept and love me for who I am.
I wish all Muslims around the world would have the same opportunities to unchain themselves from the lies they're brainwashed into believing. I realize I'm very privileged in the West where I have the freedom to choose my life's path. I'm so grateful for this Web site, and truly want to bring the message to the 1.3 billion individuals who need to see the light of truth. Peace to all.
1. Muslim, Sahih, trans. Abdul Hamid Siddiqi (New Delhi: Kitab Bhavan, 1997), book 4, Hadith no. 1214, p. 290:
`Aisha reported: There came to me two old women from the old Jewesses of Medina and said: The people of the grave are tormented in their graves. I contradicted them and I did not deem it proper to testify them. They went away and the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) came to me and I said to him: Messenger of Allah! there came to me two old women from the old Jewesses of Medina and asserted that the people of the graves would be tormented therein. He (the Prophet) said: They told the truth; they would be tormented (so much) that the animals would listen to it. She ('Aisha) said: Never did I see him (the Holy Prophet) afterwards but seeking refuge from the torment of the grave in prayer.