A Malaysian Ex-Muslim (Malaysia)
Before you read my story below, I would like you to know that a lot of details are omitted to prevent people finding out who I am. Some individuals and organizations may use my detailed info to hurt me in some way just because I do not think Islam is right for me.
My parents made Malaysia their permanent home and that is where I was born and raised. By the laws in Malaysia, whoever is Malay or has a Malay ethnic background has to be Muslim. Since my dad is Malay, our whole family in Malaysia was registered as Muslim and had no other choice but to be Muslim
In regular school (from grade I to university), we had to learn Islam over and over. From ages eight to eleven, I was also sent to religious school (every day except weekends) in addition to regular school, which I hated! I hated to wear the veil because it is hot and humid all year long in Malaysia. I recall making fun of the teacher in religious school at the age of eleven because she kept on talking about nonsense (which she seemed to believe in). At least I just went to religious school from ages eight to eleven (other kids go from ages seven to twelve). I probably started late because my parents wanted to see if I could handle regular school alone. And I quit at age eleven because I wanted to do sports and the religious school's headmaster didn't want to let me take leave for sports practice. So, my parents said, "Hey! Quit then," which is good. My siblings had to go up to age twleve. But they were in a religious school that was only three times a week and only two hours a day instead of four to five hours.
In addition to all that, my parents insisted I learn the Koran. I hated that, too, because I hated reading Arabic and I had no idea what it was about. So what was the point of it? My parents just wanted me to be able to do well in religious studies at school and not feel left out among other children in Malaysia. Anyway, I used to make the Koran teachers want to quit coming to our house to teach. My mom has a lot of stories to tell when it comes to me making the Koran teachers want to quit. Later on, my dad would have a cane out (to beat me) to make sure I was learning the Koran and not making the teachers want to quit. This is another thing I used to do: when I changed teachers (because I made them quit by giving them a hard time) I used to flip the pages of the Koran a whole lot (hundreds of pages) and mark the page there as where the last teacher stopped. So the new teacher would start a page, which was hundreds of pages after the one I last read. That way I finished the Koran fast and didn't have to worry about wasting time on nonsense. Sometimes, I would do the same thing even if I didn't change teachers. I would try to trick the same teacher. Anyway, my parents still think I managed to go through the whole book.
Ever since I was young, I was doubtful about this whole Islam thing. With all the bizarre things going on according to the religious teachers and its difficult rituals, Islam was a nightmare to me. I recall one day (probably when I was about eleven years old) the Koran teacher was telling me we should believe in Allah, the prophets, the four books, and so on. I asked him did we only have to "believe" in them without knowing if they exist?! So he must believe in them without knowing if they exist.
In all schools, the teachers used to teach us that all non-Muslims (kafirs) are going to hell. When I told my parents this, they got mad. They said that isn't true. The teachers are not God, to judge who is going to hell or not. I think my parents just think the Koran teaches good things but they don't know themselves what is in there because they didn't study it. During my dad's time, no religious studies were taught in school.
For secondary school, I went to a school that was multiracial and multireligious. I began to make friends with people who were not Muslim. They were very nice people, nicer than the Muslims. They always respected me and never forced me to do anything religionwise. The Muslims were forcing me to practice Islam and giving me a hard time. I finally realized something was wrong with the idea that all Muslims will end up in heaven one day, but never the non-Muslims. So I decided that Islam is nonsense. Why is it that good people go to hell and bad ones go to heaven just because of what religion they follow? Not everyone is given the same chance to learn Islam. I realized my true friends in secondary school were never Muslim.
A factor that contributed toward my leaving Islam is the fact that women have to wear veils. They claim it is so that men don't look at sexy women. It is to protect the women from men staring at them. Well, there are Muslim men that turn me on and get me sexually aroused, and they don't have to wear a veil and cover up! I wish they would so that I could concentrate on other things rather than them. But this isn't in Islam for the men.
When I was in my last year in secondary school, we had to take the national exams. For Islamic education, I had to study about marriage in detail to do well. So I learned all the stuff and got the highest grade anyone can get for Islamic education. And guess what? Because I know it so well, I know that there is a lot of discrimination against women in Islam. Things like a father and grandfather can marry a girl/woman to whomever they want even if the girl/woman doesn't want to marry that person. That is disgusting! A man can beat his wife (after giving her advice and sleeping apart) if she doesn't do whatever he wants her to. That sounds horrible to me, too. I am strongly against corporal punishment on children, because of my own personal experience, and certainly against women! In addition, I learned that women couldn't be witnesses in Syariah courts and things like that.
Since there are parts that are horrible in Islam, I do not accept it as the true religion. Plus, the religion is extremely difficult for me to practice if I want to be comfortable with my lifestyle. So that is why I choose not to be Muslim. This has cost me a lot. I had to give up an education in a better university than the one I am attending now, a guaranteed respectable job, and everything I have in Malaysia to live in a foreign country. This is going to sound crazy, but I actually married another Muslim apostate from Malaysia so that he would help me move to this new home country of mine, as he had the money and in return he could stay here safely. This has disadvantages-like it is hard to get other men to date me if they know I have a "husband." If Malaysian Muslims find out that we are not Muslim, many would torture us in some way. In Malaysia, there are Pusat Pemulihan Akidahs or faith rehabilitation centers, and perhaps even the death penalty (in one or two Malaysian states only) for Muslim apostates. I even gave up my Malaysian citizenship to be safer. The fact that Malaysian Muslims want to hurt us hurts me a lot, because why do they have to hurt us just because we view Islam differently'? We wouldn't have treated them badly or anything. My "husband" said that they know their religion is nonsense. So anyone who tries to reveal this is somehow "changed" or killed to avoid more people knowing that it is nonsense. They are just so insecure about their religion that they have to get rid of people who know the truth about it!
After reading the Faith Freedom International and ISIS Web sites and confirming it by reading a translation of the Koran in English (translated by a Muslim!) and other translations online, I realized that there is more crap in the Koran than I thought-all this killing the nonbelievers, keeping captives (slaves) and having sex with them, and so on. Even the hadith have a lot of inhumane stuff and I don't think they should be considered 100 percent true as they are based on what someone said hundreds of years ago.
Currently, I am a person of no religion. Many Muslim apostates who have been hurt and/or seen people get hurt in the name of Islam think that Islam should be totally destroyed. Of course, it would be great if it is possible. However, all I ask for from Muslims is freedom of religion, as I know that would help reduce the number of people suffering. Plus, if Islam were so great like Muslims claim, people would want to believe in it and practice it anyway without being forced.