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Why she left Islam

Ishina left Islam.

She is telling us why she is not a Muslim.

”There are many reasons to leave a religion.

There are many reasons to disbelieve in gods. Doing either doesn’t necessarily mean one will jump straight into bed with a replacement. It can also be liberating life experience. It doesn’t have to leave a religion shaped hole that needs filling. It can set you free to just explore yourself and the universe and take it as it comes. To expand and breathe life unchained.

Some people don’t even have any kind of emotional attachments to religion, instead having practical or social attachments. Any of these kinds of attachments can be replaced. But you’re not going to put much thought into finding a replacement if they are still holding your attention.

Islam never really held my attention.

I always found myself out of synch with it. Praying was boring, fasting was uncomfortable, the structured rule set was frustrating and claustrophobic, often ridiculously arbitrary.

When I asked questions, my curiosity was met with trite answers that left me unsatisfied, left me wanting, left me cold. Programmed platitudes, clichés and canards that rang insincere and hollow to me. And that was on a good day when the answers were somewhat constructive.

It was more often than not a harsh, impatient and stifling condemnation of the mere idea of questioning such things.

The divine directives just didn’t sit right with me either. I saw the abuses and injustices that were a manifest result of them, not only to me but to others, and this vexed me. Like a splinter in my brain.

All this was compounded by the overbearing masculinity of Islam. This is a man’s religion. This last point troubled my conscience perhaps most of all. Long before I actually did any reading or investigation into the rationale of how things came to be this way for me.

I wouldn’t describe my deconversion as an emotional expulsion of religion. I think it was a practical, sensual thing. Islam smelled like bullshit and the trail of evidence pointed away from Islam. You start doubting one thing and it starts a chain reaction. It’s like a game of Jenga – you start removing blocks and eventually the little tower becomes so unstable that it collapses. I was an unbeliever even before I realised what one was, simply by ongoing practical deduction. But there was no “Eureka!” moment. There was no BOOM! I am an Atheist! It was a complete non-event – the end of an organic, gradual process. The result of largely an unconscious effort. A by-product of being a student of life. Of being curious. Of being unwilling to stop thinking.

Some people are just not born to be Muslim. Some people have a wilder lust for the world and an animal ‘fear of the trap’ that makes resistance to systems of life like Islam part of their very being. And that’s perhaps more typical of adolescence than adulthood. Maybe I got out just in time, before I made a terrible compromise to my existence. I can’t really speak for emotional attachments in this case, but I can maybe explain why Islam is not even remotely attractive to me except maybe as a chew toy when I’m bored.

First, the theological claims of Islam have been proven to be false again and again by people much more informed and eloquent than me. Simply by its own internal inconsistencies and fallacies as a work of literature, the Quran is self-refuting. Poorly written, poorly structured, profoundly lacking in original insight and depth, contradictory to the point of needing its own ad hoc system of abrogation, it is a featherweight compared to equivalent works in other traditions. Keep in mind that the Quran is allegedly the unaltered words of a god, verbatim. So sure are Muslims of this that they have fetishised the Quran to the point of becoming a self-parody. To the point of having an existential crisis (and sometimes even to the point of violence) if it is defaced or disrespected.

The Quran only makes matters worse for itself by being such an arrogant work. Making bold claims of perfection, challenging its reader to find better; “Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one.” The human authors of Islam painted themselves into a corner by proclaiming it to be no less than the Final Testament from the God of Abraham, and further, that Mohammed was the seal prophet, appointed to confirm, correct, complete and give closure to the prophesies that came before. It’s an incredibly conceited and short-sighted thing to do, but quite understandable when you take into account the apocalyptic doomsayer culture it was born from, authored by those who thought the world would end ages ago, perhaps even in their own lifetime. And of course, it didn’t end. And so, the supposed measure of divine wisdom revealed in the Quran uncannily resembles the superstitious and ignorant views of the men of that period, frozen in time.

The authors of Islam have essentially tied their own hands and, by extension, the hands of future Muslims – trapping them in a rigid narrative prison with only limited source material to draw upon. This is the price to pay for writing the final words of God in the dark ages. Slim pickings indeed.

Hence why so many Muslim careers have been made on spin and mitigation, bogus philosophy and pseudoscience, trying to find or manufacture hidden meaning behind exhausted and defunct lines of text that have simply not aged well, trying to exploit the wiggle room in its more ambiguous verses. We end up with the so-called scientific miracles of the Quran, various strained numerology attempts and desperate pattern seeking. It’s all so forced and contrived.

A sad and pitiful attempt to keep the Quran relevant in a world that’s already moved on.

Maybe millennia ago when books were simply not available the Quran might have stood out as the most profound and pertinent thing heard in that region, but what are people’s excuses these days? You can walk into any library or bookshop and take a random book off of the shelf and prove this point: the Quran has not stood the test of time. It has been outshined, outclassed, outmatched by superior written works. Superseded and even preceded by great poets and orators who have already said any of its meaningful content a thousand times in a thousand ways, and conveyed it more eloquently and succinctly.

In the grander scope of the world stage, the Quran relies almost entirely on its exotic and foreign flavour to lend it any mysterious power. And this exotic allure has been taken hostage by Muslims. God, apparently, only speaks in Classical Arabic now. The Quran cannot be translated. It is no longer the Quran once translated.

The Message for all people and for all time, the perfect and Final Testament of God, that shines clear and evidently true to all, unaltered since its original revelation, on which the fate of our immortal souls rest upon, can only ever be understood in an ancient Middle-Eastern regional dialect. This is layer upon layer of absurdity.

What exactly is the Message? What could be so important that the Grand Architect of the Universe took time out of its schedule to communicate with humanity for the very last time? What’s all the boasting about?

Never before has one boasted so much about so little.

A mediocre oral tradition, at best, which pertains only to a small province of a single planet over a narrow span of time, that cannot even remain relevant in that short timespan without abrogating itself.

Annals of petty local feuds, regional drama, and the defunct tribal taboos of an ignorant culture that thought the earth was flat. Randomly interspersed with reworked myths. Doubling as an instruction manual for holy war and a constitution for the mundane micro-management of a growing empire and future conquest. Marketed primarily to secure the interest and loyalty of fighting men, wherein it divides spoils of war in great detail, blesses the taking of sex slaves, screws women over for eternity, ultimately promising a paradise men’s club for the obedient and diligent, tempting them with superficial material prizes and wealth and, of course, puts a little extra aside for the main player, Mohammed.

Now, I love a good myth. A good saga. Larger than life characters, heroes and villains, champions and monsters, love, honour, bravery, tragedy, deceit, epic swashbuckling human drama. Good old fashioned storytelling really lights me up. In Islam, mythology is a cheap knock off. What the authors of the Quran have managed to do, in the process of plagiarising and cannibalising every tradition that came before, is to ruin great myths. And its biggest crime is surgically removing any modicum of humour from them. Sterilising them to fit in with The Plan.

It has a complete inability to laugh at itself. Islam is where great myths go to die. It is a graveyard of broken myths. One seeking true adventure would do well to follow the trail of breadcrumbs back to the originals it has stolen from. See for yourself the hatchet job those ham-fisted bastards did. This plagiarising is common to its sibling Judeo-Christian religions too. But at least the Christian mythology has the trippy, malaria-fever odyssey of the Book of Revelation. And the Gospel According to John (KJV) kinda reads like a fireside story if you squint your eyes a bit.

What about philosophy in the Quran? Here is what I can write about the philosophy in the Quran: Nothing. There’s nowhere to start. Islam is philosophically sterile. It’s almost as though philosophy didn’t even exist as a great tradition hundreds of years earlier, almost like Islam evolved in a philosophical vacuum. The measure of its failings is revealed when any analysis of the Quran is cross referenced with superior works, some even older. Side by side, we see a child’s finger painting next to the Mona Lisa. It’s almost funny. What a pathetic, infantile stab in the dark at philosophy Islam offers us. What kind of unfortunate and simplistic proto-mind can be satisfied by it? What appetite do I have that otherwise intelligent and respectable Muslims do not? It is a mystery to me. I am literally baffled at the hold these desert fairy tales have over people to this day. How amazing it would be if something so vapid and mundane would placate my wondering mind.

As a system of life Islam takes so much from you. It takes from you and gives back nothing you can’t drink elsewhere from cleaner streams. You’re diving for pearls in poisoned waters. It traps Muslims in a rigid spiritual prison.

A good, subservient, observant Muslim has her or his spiritual journey restricted by the ruleset of Islam. It is not only restricted, but ruthlessly policed by an all seeing eye. There is the overbearing knowledge that you will be judged according to a specific and set standard. You are held back. You are compelled in some cases to fight against your own good conscience, do things no good person should do, for no other reason than: it says so in a book I think is awesome. Like the wise man Jason Bourne once said, “Do you even know why you’re supposed to kill me? Look at what they make you give.”

As an institution, Islam is systematically responsible for some of the worst human rights violations in the world. It is no coincidence. These things don’t just happen to be occurring in Muslim nations. These are the logical conclusions of the directives of Islam, the divine will of a fantasy war god that ancient clerics and superstitious folk decided to name “Allah.”

These things are the cornerstones of its tradition: subdue, suppress, assert, aggress, spread, dehumanise opposition, demonise dissent, sustained by the unwavering and chauvinistic faith in the ascendancy and supremacy of a chosen people. And the sum of all this is vomited out into the world as a political and social movement that opposes democracy and liberal, free-thinking and freedom of expression, with the sole aim of replacing it with an unquestioned and unchallenged totalitarian ideology. This is something I would not want to believe in, support, or swear allegiance to, even if it were miraculously and irrefutably revealed to be of divine behest. Even if Allah himself descended from his throne and wrote proof of his existence across the sky, I’d distance myself from the ponzi scheme as a matter of principle.

I honestly don’t think I ever did manage to rationalise the immorality in the Quran. As soon as I actually found out about Mohammed and his sleazy, violent, entitled and indulgent life, the spell was broken. Utterly and irreparably. How anyone with a working conscience, a love of humanity and want for equality and respect can read about the life of Mohammed and remain impressed – or worse, in full awe of the man – is a mystery to me. Especially as a woman. The more I learned about the Prophet, the more I found him repulsive even for a man of his time. That, and reading the Quran itself. So many obscene verses and unjustifiable commands that it’s impossible to remain enchanted once seen. Magnified a thousand times in the context of an abusive environment, experiencing first-hand the fruits of that toxic manual. I don’t think it ever occurred to me to rationalise it, only to dream harder, make plans for my own destiny and escape that physical and emotional prison.

I flirted with Islam again when I was a little older. With the mindset that, while disgusting and polluted and anathema to real humanity, perhaps there is some deeper truth missed by the misogynist, the supremacist, the predator, the charlatan, who use that book to such great effect. This was at a point when I seriously needed spiritual and moral guidance. But there was none to be found in Islam. Spiritual guidance in Islam is only to be found in those unique individual Muslims who have a very generous and selective interpretation of its traditions. Ones who put being a good person first before being a good Muslim. Good despite Islam, not because of it.

So ultimately, I was faced with that choice of being a good person or being a good Muslim. A human being cannot be both in my eyes. These two things are at opposite ends of the scale for me.

To be an obedient, observant Muslim, you must sacrifice your humanity. You must surrender to a divine will, swear honest fealty to it, without doubt, without questioning. To be a good person you must not only renounce many of the central tenets of Islam, but you must also openly oppose them, wherever they manifest in the world. Then, and only then, can you claim to be a good human with me.

Or, you can compromise – live some kind of half-life, a contradictory creature, torn between faith and your own conscience, drifting this way and that amid your own confused and unbalanced inner equilibrium, fooling yourself that you are free, and valued, and precious to non-existent higher power.

You can pretend that you love an unlovable god, pretend that such a hateful god could ever love you, try to salvage some validation and purpose, some salvation from a book that gives you a little and then takes a lot more. All the time harbouring a self-loathing, a deep rooted knowledge that you are a slave to that same higher power, with your mind shackled and your heart held back from true human interaction, under his ever-present gaze and scrutiny.

That’s no life for me. That isn’t living.

The more I pulled away from that hideous Abrahamic concept of a supreme god, the more alive and vital I was in this gorgeous universe. I was free to be me, the person inside, perfect with all my flaws, comfortable in my own skin, no longer a mind-slave to the dark age ideologies imagined up by sadistic and insane monsters of history, no longer led along by the nose like cattle, no longer living according to the dogma spelled out by long-dead fools whose ideas belong in the graveyard of failed human endeavours, throwbacks to the infancy of our species. The umbilical cord that holds back the ascendancy and mastery of our own spirits and minds must be cut. We’ve crawled along on our belly for too long under religion. We should be walking on our own by now, running by now. We could even be flying by now.

There are better role models in this beautiful world than the so-called Prophet. There are better contributions to the knowledge of the world than the cancerous, poisoned chalice known as the Quran. There is better wisdom out there to find, to add to your own spiritual alchemy, better philosophies, better revelations, better discoveries, better poetic and artistic expression, better hopes and dreams to be had, better love and passions, a much richer, fuller existence – all eclipsed while you are under the black cloud of Islam. Better religions, even.

Everything good that is in me is from elsewhere.

There were times when I almost hated Islam for the life it denied me for so long, never knowing my potential as a member of the human race. I know that potential now. I can taste it, feel it, appreciate it like never before. I penetrated that black cloud like the chick breaking out of the egg. It was like opening my eyes for the first time to a whole new alphabet of feeling and emotion. Like seeing in colour after a lifetime of black and white.

I reject Islam wholeheartedly. I made my choice. I chose to try and be a good person instead of trying to be a good Muslim. The main symptom of doing so was feeling the weight lift off as each and every facet of Islam fell away from me. I have learned I no longer have to surrender my body, mind and soul to the god of the Prophet’s desires, dreams and delusions, and I have realised that I wont be punished for made-up crimes in an imaginary afterlife if I choose not to surrender.

I’ll never go back to Islam. Never. I would be a fool to even entertain the idea. I’ve shed my skin already. My journey has only just begun, my journey of life, with new blood running through me, new verve, new growth, new days, and new hope for the first time – true, tangible hope and possibilities. And with Islam in my rear-view mirror, I have no shame for who I am. No pity for myself, no more fears, no more tears and no regrets. Tried, tested, built to last. The sum of my parts.

This journey of life I am forever grateful for and I can’t begin to describe how excited I am. I can only show those close to me, those making the journey with me. And to those who accept me for who I am and what I am, I will share myself; naked, unashamed, with arms wide open.”

Like Ishina, like me, like hundreds of women, all Muslim women should leave Islam. There are hundreds of reasons to leave Islam. There is not a single good reason not to leave it.

Comments

  1. Guy Otten says

    Thanks Taslima for a fine piece about Ishina and leaving Islam. I am in touch with ex Muslims and find they are a thoughtful bunch of folk who have conscientiously wrestled with the issues and come to similar conclusions.

    • says

      I try to keep stories like this in mind when dealing with the religious (as it mirrors in some ways my own path, raised Christian). It is all too easy to get frustrated and act in ways that work against our own goals.

      Many of the religious, despite outward appearances, are thoughtful and are probably struggling with their ‘faith’. Sometimes, when we do things like display hatred towards them as a person, we push them back into their religious patterns and reinforce their stereotypes of ‘outsiders’. Of course, I’m not saying we cannot speak out against their own hateful speech, but that I generally try to attack the argument/position, rather than the person.

      I’m also not trying to be the tone-police, this is not prescriptive, just introspective.

  2. Vikki says

    Surely, no religion is better than other. If there is truthfulness, there is no need of religion. We do good things because we are afraid of hell.

  3. aquib says

    Taslima when u grow older nd wringles will b on ur face no1 wil value u one who is having u in their laps nw they wil throw u out ur abilities wil b ended so taslima b back on the right path befor the time comes caegwrpqjk value

  4. Hamad Hussain says

    Like most people who leave Islam, this person only offers vague reasons of why she did so and does not provide anything concrete. She asks, what is the point of the Quran and of Islam in particular. The point of the Quran is to show how to live a life that is beneficial to humans. A specific example of this is that Islam prohibits alcohol.A recent study shows that even ONE drink a day can increase your risk of cancer. Don’t take my word for it, this was a study done in America

    http://news.menshealth.com/moderate-drinking-cancer/2013/02/17/.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2278955/Alcohol-responsible-thirty-cancer-deaths-year-just-drink-day-boost-risk-dying-disease-THIRTY-FIVE-percent.html

    • No One says

      “The point of the Quran is to show how to live a life that is beneficial to humans.”

      Indeed. What to do after you fucked that very sexy goat that keeps batting it eyelashes at you:

      ________________

      What is the ruling for animals with which a human being has had sexual intercourse?
      Fatwa, posted 4.22.2010, from Iraq, in:

      * Animals, Purity of –

      Religious Authority:
      Ali al-Sistanti
      Website URL:
      http://www.sistani.org/
      Fatwa Question or Essay Title:
      What is the ruling for animals with which a human being has had sexual intercourse?
      Websites and Institutions:
      The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Al Uzma Seyyid Ali al-Sistani

      If they are animals whose meat is eaten, such as cows, camels, and sheep, their meat, milk, and offspring become absolutely forbidden after the intercourse. They must be slaughtered and burned. If they belong to a person other than him who had sexual intercourse with them, the perpetrator must pay the owner what the animals are worth. If they are animals used for riding, such as horses, donkeys, and mules, these animals should be banished from the country and sold in another country. If the perpetrator is someone other than the owner, he must pay the owner what the animals are worth.

    • dab says

      Because Islam is the only source that has ever advised against consumption of alcohol.

      As the original post implies, you people are having to reach more every day for tenuous supposed vindications of your system. It’s embarrassing to read.

    • says

      Hamad Hussain is a good example of how people who don’t know what they are doing draw false conclusions from partial data.

      The New England Journal of Medicine
      ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION AND MORTALITY AMONG MIDDLE-AGED AND ELDERLY U.S. ADULTS

      Alcohol consumption has both adverse and beneficial effects on survival.

      This prospective study of 490,000 people and 46,000 deaths has three main findings about alcohol
      consumption and mortality from all causes. First, those who consumed up to one or two drinks of alcohol daily had lower overall mortality rates than nondrinkers. Similar findings have been reported previously

      (emphasis added)

      • Hamad Hussain says

        I’ll note your study was from 1997, while the study I cited was from 2013. No problem. The Quran states that there is some good in alcohol, but the bad outweighs the good so stay away from it completely. A drink or two a day can lead to alcoholism. No alcoholic starts off wanting to be an alcoholic, it starts with a couple of drinks. So while some may be strong enough to limit their comsumption to a couple fo drinks per day, others may not. Islam is concernedd with the welafre of every human, hence not one drink is allowed so as to protect anyone from falling into alcoholism.

        • Andrew B. says

          Oh, so if something can be abused, it should be abstained from entirely? Well, since some people can abuse Islam as well, it’s best to just be an atheist, right? I mean, no one joins Islam intending to become a suicide bomber, but some do. Hence, not even the mildest flirtation with Islam should be permitted. Thanks for straightening us out!

  5. gulagulina says

    Great post. How wonderfully eloquent the author is. I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing.

  6. Gopalakrishnan says

    Well written and thought provoking. Ritualism and stringent rules apart which has been laid down by many religions the spiritual aspect is what drives the mature mind. When the right to think and act per ones wish is taken away the religion suffocates. Probably Islam needs this correction to help the weak minded and the strong anyway don’t need it. Well written and praiseworthy.

  7. says

    I always wondered how Islam having having unbalanced the mind some dare to quit Islam. Maybe they were just plain lucky enough to come out of the Satanic cult that turns evil into good. The practitioners are so hopeful that either by foul or terror means Islam will rule the earth one day and every Islamist will be happy. This is a very dangerous perception that bodes ill to the peace of the earth.

  8. peterfran says

    Dear Ishina:
    “Some people don’t even have any kind of emotional attachments to religion, instead having practical or social attachments”.
    Actually, MANY people are attached to religion for practical & social reasons: jobs, spouses, education, commercial and political clout. And unfortunately these kinds of attachments CANNOT be readily replaced, especially for blue-collar women with children. The more limited a person’s resources, the more they are trapped by tradition.
    Furthermore, it’s the good people of religious institutions that are providing food, shelter, and clothing to poor families here in Spokane WA. So be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water. There is much wisdom in other religious scripture.
    Shalom

    • says

      Only the religious, eh? Then please explain this…

      http://www.meetup.com/spokanesecularists/messages/boards/thread/30227512/

      I name you a bearer of false witness, either out of willful ignorance making a claim you clearly have no business making or deceit. You can tell us which one it was.

      Another furthermore, this is a wonderful little scam people have going — fight against taxes, fight against secular assistance programs and them proclaim yourself as the ones giving aide to the needy. Meanwhile, people in real need are suffering.

      Guess what, the reason government assistance programs exist was because religious Charity had failed.

      http://www.allthingsdemocrat.com/2012/08/atlas-debunked-private-charity-vs-government-assistance/

      Guess who has denied aid to gay couples? Religious Charities

      Guess who has denied aid to a single-mother because she was divorced, *gasp*? Religious Charities

      and so on, and so forth. Anyone they don’t happen to LIKE, they can and have refused to help.

      Catholics refuse to allow gay couples to adopt despite taking federal funding AND being illegally tax exempt (I say illegally because to qualify for the tax exemptions religions must explicitly refrain from being involved in politics which the Catholic Church most decidedly has not).

      Secular assistance programs run by the government have both anti-discrimination and transparency requirements. Where exactly can go I to find the income and costs for the Catholic Church operating in the United States?

  9. says

    Quran supports religionless people as it says it alllows changes what a believer wants it also says this book is nothing but an advice book, so I do not see any problem to leave Islam.Islam wants a believer only.

  10. kraut says

    I have attempted t read the quran and failed. I have read the bible, where teachings are embedded in stories and ask for thinking about those stories and the messages contained.
    By comparison the quran is boring beyond belief, it is nothing but a collection of prescription of how to and how not to, contradictory, nasty and brutish, void of the beauty of language contained in the bible or the baghavadgita or the creation myths of native americans, it is humourless and unreasonable tripe.

  11. Thorne says

    Wonderful article! I can only hope that there will be some way for this to be seen by those most in need of it.

    @ #6 Hamad Hussain:

    A specific example of this is that Islam prohibits alcohol.

    You don’t need religion to avoid things which are bad for you! Intelligence and education work far better, and without all of the idiocy of ancient dogma. Religions, especially dogmatic ones, are only of use to control people, not to save them.

    • says

      Thanks. I posted your beautiful lines ‘You don’t need religion to avoid things which are bad for you! Intelligence and education work far better, and without all of the idiocy of ancient dogma.’ on Twitter. I hope you it is OK.

      • Thorne says

        I’m honored! I don’t know that I would call them beautiful. They just seem normal to me.

        Thank you for the compliment.

    • Hamad Hussain says

      Actually, for some things you do need religion to guide you. I would agree for things like murder,lying,rape,etc you don’t need religion to tell you it’s wrong. However, for something like alcohol you do. In a society where alcohol is not prohibited, even if an individual does not drink, he/she can still suffer. Alcohol leads to domestic abuse, rape,drunk driving,and not to mention health costs for society as a whole. Another example is male circumcision.Did people magically figure out that it was good for you, or was there divine guidance? Here is another study done on the positive health effects of male circumcision.

      http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/27/health/aap-circumcision-recommendation

      • Pablo says

        Dude, what is your obsession with alcohol? I´m an atheist and I don´t drink, smoke or take drugs of any kind. And – surprise, surprise – i didn´t need religion to keep me away from any of that. Zilch. Nada. Zero cheap superstitions used as a crutch. It was all me. My desicion. I tasted – as you must in order to make an informed desicion; otherwise you are just a prejudice ignorant – didnt like it, move on and that was that. What a shock¡¡ Humans can think for themselves and take desicions for themselves. Maybe you should too. Peace.

      • No One says

        Here’s a thought… why would a “divine being” make humans with a foreskin and associated diseases to begin with? More than likely there is no god, and foreskins with their associated “health risks” are a product of evolution.

      • Thorne says

        Pablo and No One have answered along the same lines as I would have, but I would like to add a bit.

        Alcohol leads to domestic abuse, rape,drunk driving,and not to mention health costs for society as a whole.

        All of this is true. But why do you think that religion is required to stop the abuse of alcohol, or drugs? Medical science has shown us the problems which alcohol can cause in our bodies, and there have also been studies which show that some alcohol consumption can be beneficial for certain ailments. And society itself condemns domestic abuse, rape and drunk driving. Some religions actually condone domestic abuse, specifically wife beating and spousal rape. How does that make religion better? Or necessary? YOUR religion only punishes WOMEN who are raped. We rarely, if ever, see the rapist being condemned for his actions. How is that better than humanism?

        And, just to reiterate No One’s comment (because it’s just too good NOT to), why would your god have created men with foreskins if he only wanted them to be chopped off? Or, since your god is all-powerful, why doesn’t he just magically make them disappear from the males born to his chosen people, rather than forcing a child to endure a painful, and dangerous, procedure. And, just as importantly, why would your god create women with an instrument of pleasure (clitoris) and then require that it be destroyed in some magical ritual? If your god didn’t want women to enjoy sex, he simply had to make them so that they wouldn’t enjoy it, right?

        “Religion poisons everything.” – Christopher Hitchens.

      • Hamad Hussain says

        Like I said, even if a person does not consume alcohol they can still be affected if society as a whole does not outlaw it. Do alcoholics only cause domestic abuse to other alcoholics? Do alcoholics who rape only rape people who don’t drink? Do drunk drivers only get into accidents with other alcoholics? This is the beauty of religion, not only does it provide information, but then takes practical steps to make sure EVERYONE benefits.

        As for why would God have males born uncircumcised (note: only male babies are required by Islam to have any procedure done, not required or a must for women). One can go on and on asking questions. Why do humans have to sleep, why did God not give eternal life in this world, why did God not make everyone the same colour,etc,etc. God alone has the answers to some questions.The important thing is to first determine whether or not you believe in God. I believe I have logically come to the conclusion that there must be a God, I don’t need every single aspect of life answered.

        • No One says

          Your obfuscation is noted. We ask questions because the answers matter. That’s how we get to the moon. Positing that a supernatural entity has all the answers is exactly what I would expect of a human who has surrendered to authoritarian dogma in order to not have to think for itself. But hey… you end up with 72 virgins, and I get tortured… sounds like your “divine being” is a narcissistic psychopath. But since the is no evidence for gods, I’m left with thinking it’s all you my friend.

        • Thorne says

          Hamad,

          The US did try to outlaw alcohol, in the late 1920’s and ’30’s. Didn’t work out so well. And, as noted elsewhere above, moderate consumption of alcohol does have some health benefits. Of course, there are some who can’t stop at moderate. Just as there are some coffee drinkers who can’t stop at moderate. Or drug users. Or thrill seekers.

          And you are right that alcohol drinkers aren’t the only ones who commit violent crimes. Which is why those crimes are prosecuted against all, or at least should be. But they are secular laws, not religious. Ideally, those laws apply to everyone equally, not only to those the priests/rabbis/imams don’t happen to like.

          One can go on and on asking questions.

          Yes, we can, and do, go on and on asking questions. Why would you want to stop only with the same answer: “Because God wills it so”? Aren’t you the least bit curious about whether there are natural explanations for why we sleep? For why we aren’t immortal? For why we enjoy sex? But then, just the fact that there ARE natural explanations diminishes the need for gods, doesn’t it?

          The important thing is to first determine whether or not you believe in God.

          No, the important thing is to first determine the truth! Then decide whether a belief in a god is consistent with that truth. I have decided that such a belief is not consistent with truth.

          I believe I have logically come to the conclusion that there must be a God, I don’t need every single aspect of life answered.

          From my view it would be impossible to logically come to such a conclusion unless you were already a believer to begin with. And even then I would say that there is a flaw in your logic. Because logic, and an honest search for the truth, will always bring us to the conclusion that there is no evidence for gods, or any other supernatural beings. Certainly, the evidence shows that the gods of humanity’s religions, all of them, do not, and can not, exist as described by those religions. You would do well to recheck your logic.

          • Hamad Hussain says

            I’m not saying one shouldn’t be curious and want to explore life. What I am saying is the fact that we don’t have all the answers does not prove that there is no God. Also, when I talk of belief in God I do not mean blind belief, whih is what you seem to be hinting at towards me. I was not a religious person growing up until I started to research different ways of life, including Islam. For me personally, no alcohol, interest on money,no pornography,the absolute requirement of donating to charity,and everything Islam commands appeals to me.The fact there is so much order in the universe , for example, the amount of sunlight isn’t 8 hrs on a particular date one year, and then totally different for the same date the following year.IIf everything was a random occurence, we could have all been born speaking totally different languages and unable to communicate with another. We could all have had lives where we are in constant pain but we never die. Or the food we eat would have tasted horrible but we’re forced to eat it to survive. For me personally, there is too much order and too many benefits lined up for humans to just call everything one big accident. If you feel differently, that’s fine. However, don’t assume that all believers are just blindly following and have not pondered anything.

          • Thorne says

            What you are saying here is a typical fallacy we hear all of the time. You make the assumption that the world, indeed the whole universe, is tailored to suit our needs, rather than that we have evolved to fit into our world. Look into astronomy and see how disordered, and dangerous, the universe is. The amount of sunlight we get is based solely on the random movements of gases and dust in the early solar system. If the Earth were closer to the sun, or further, or turning faster, things would be far different. And so would any life, if it could form.

            Languages? Really? A totally artificial construct. We are TAUGHT to speak different languages, we are not born knowing them! We learn from our parents, and from others around us. Offhand I would say that there are at least several hundred different languages, either current or extinct. And yet, we still manage to communicate.

            There are people who live their lives in constant pain, who honestly wish they COULD die. How can you reconcile that with a beneficent god? Just look into any pediatric cancer ward and see the pain, the desperation. Yet there is hope and laughter, too. Because of people, not because of gods.

            The food? This is what I mean when I say you need to learn about truth, rather than faith. We like the tastes of different foods because they are what our bodies need to survive! The food was not made to satisfy our taste buds. Our tastes have evolved to meet the demands of our bodies.

            No, Hamad, the world was not designed to suit us. We have evolved to fit into our niche in the world. The universe is a very hostile place. As of right now there is only one planet on which we know we can survive. And we can’t even do that on all of the planet. More than 70% of Earth is covered by oceans, and we cannot survive there without technology. Even on those places which are not underwater, there are many places where people just cannot survive. Because, contrary to religious beliefs, the world was not made for us. We have grown to suit the world. And even that is a tenuous relationship, one which can be irrevocably changed by the next large asteroid to collide with us, or with a nearby star exploding, or perhaps a wandering black hole disrupting the so-called order of the solar system.

            And aside from all of that, if you are giving up alcohol, or not eating certain foods, or giving to charity only because some priest tells you it’s what his god wants you to do, so you can go to heaven, then I would say you are probably not a good person. A good person will do such things to benefit himself and others, without expecting some nebulous reward for which we have no proof. Your religion, ALL religions, are con games, designed to benefit the ruling classes (especially the priests) at the expense of the common people.

            Learn the truths of the universe, Hamad. Without filtering everything through religion. Take off the blinders and see the terrible beauty of our local star, which will destroy the Earth in a few billion years. Look to the heavens and see the horrific beauty of galaxies colliding, and gaze at the awesome beauty of the Andromeda Galaxy which will collide with our galaxy in a few billion years. Learn just how many ways this so-called ordered universe of ours can destroy our lives, our civilizations, or our planet. And realize that all the prayer, and all the gods in humanity’s pantheons, cannot change any of them.

          • Hamad Hussain says

            What I said is that there is not a wild, random variation day to day, year to year. One day 4 hrs of sunlight, the next day 9 hrs,the day after that 2 hrs,etc etc with no pattern. Just pure random length of day and night with no way to measure. As I said, too much order for me to believe that there is no Creator.

          • Rudolf Root says

            @Hamad

            “too much order” — for what?
            For life on earth as we know it to exist?

            Reminds me of Voltaire’s Dr Pangloss in “Candide”, who explains that noses were made to support glasses and legs to wear trousers.

          • No One says

            @ Rudolf Root

            or Douglas Adam’s puddle:

            “This is rather as if you imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in — an interesting hole I find myself in — fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.”

            Yeah the days are getting longer…

  12. Grace Ghunaim says

    although I felt it was not an objective piece, but I enjoyed reading it as it is full of honest emotions that many religious people struggle with (all religions and not just Islam in my opinion)!!!

    • dab says

      >although I felt it was not an objective piece

      Obviously not. It’s an account of someone – i.e. a subjective being – leaving a religion. And what religion has any valid claim to even an ounce of objectivity? Right: none. That’s kinda part of the definition. Belief without evidence.

  13. Guido Fawkes says

    Islam is philosophically sterile? What about Ibn Rushd, Al-Ghazalli, Shorawardi, Ibn Arabi, Ibn Sina?

  14. Duke Eligor says

    This is one of the best “leaving Islam” explanations I’ve ever read. No stereotypes, no orientalist mantra, no “dear muslima” nonsense; just pure experience taking on the realities of modern Islam. There are a lot of reasons to reject Islam, and Ishina hits all the right ones. Not always “historically accurate” for my history-nerd tastes, but touches all the right intellectual and empathetic spots. In dry terms it’s a subjective piece of evidence, but that’s paramount in the human sciences. We can’t reasonably understand humanity without being human, after all.

    But as one correcting (yet confirming) point: In my (and many others’) opinion, the Quran is one of the most elequent books composed in any language, and the Arabic is absolutely brilliant and mesmerizing, even to an atheist like myself. It really is linguistically clever on even a mathematical level. The content on the other hand is… well, much much less. And as far as the challenge of finding a more beautiful poem (a challenge the Quran makes), that’s easy: Imr al-Qais. His mu’allaqat beats the crap out of the Quran in several ways, not the least of which is content. And he did it in the same language. Now to be fair, the dude was one of the best poets who ever lived, if not THE best, so losing out to him is no shame by our standards. But it’s still pretty sad when God loses to a drunken, fornicating bedouin barbarian. Just saying. And that’s not even mentioning the eloquence of Ar-Razi (Persian polymath and world-reknown genius), who wrote to specifically defeat that particular challenge. Well, you get the picture: lovely language, but us humans have it beat soundly. The logic of the argument is absurd, of course, but I’ll challenge any religious nut to produce to me one paragraph as brilliant as any of ar-Razi’s. As a quote of his came down to us about religion: “How can anyone think philosophically while listening to old wives’ tales founded on contradictions, which obdurate ignorance, and dogmatism? Gentility of character, friendliness and purity of mind, are found in those who are capable of thinking profoundly on abstruse matters and scientific minutiae.”

  15. Leiningen's Ants says

    THIS.

    This is why I keep coming back. I must have read Ishina’s story at least a dozen times since you posted it, happily weeping each time, and each time pumping my fists in the air for Ishina’s triumph. It’s a triumph of humanity, and I can’t thank her and you enough for sharing it. It thaws my heart.

  16. Cary says

    Ishina’s comments are very well written and thought out. Logical and concise and I am honored to have had the oppotunity to read them. Now for my lack of knowledge may I ask who is the eloquent writer. I have never heard of Ishina. So if somebody could tell me more of her I would greatly appreciate it.

  17. Jockaira says

    I believe this is the best essay on personal growth and development I’ve ever seen. The language and communication is superb.

    Ishina has also done a masterful job of explaining why anyone should leave any religion.

  18. skayer lux says

    I bet that your deep awakening is vastly rewarding and liberating. It’s honest, candid, and epic journey.

    Islam in particular makes people “walk on eggshells.” It sort of has a special privilege that seems it is entitled to. It actually leaves me pondering what on earth could that be. Why do we have to walk on eggshells when we express our profound dissatisfaction and disgust over a set of beliefs that thrived in the dark ages and fools long dead to matter?

    It hides under the guise of a religion that is good for mankind and yet systematically in my opinion contributes to moral decadence world wide past, present, and future.

  19. SL says

    Very eloquently written, thank you. I agree fully and am trying to recover from religious trauma. How different Muslims are because of the teachings compared to other religio- cultures. A hate crime serving ‘justice’ to one of my family members was unforgivable…. Other Muslims offered condolences by stating that it was wrong for someone to take justice in their own hands, there is a court procedure to sanction and dispense punishment… These crimes do not go reported and the murderers believe they have secured their place in paradise. It is very sad.

  20. Mackenzi says

    Hi. Interesting post you have. I love the way you wrote, its very unique and entertaining. But I have just one concern to discuss, when you included Judaism/Christianity. I’d like to think that the Quran plagiarized from the Bible, since of course it came after. Also, the Allah and the Jewish God are very different in the sense that the Jewish God’s Will is in fact to do good and be good, not contradicting at all the persons devotion to God. So I don’t think they are really comparable or the same God at all, for that matter. Just to clear that up.

    • Thorne says

      I’d like to think that the Quran plagiarized from the Bible, since of course it came after.

      You’re right, some of the Quran was plagiarized from the Bible. Just as some of the Bible was plagiarized from older texts and traditions. There is little in either of them that is actually original.

      Also, the Allah and the Jewish God are very different in the sense that the Jewish God’s Will is in fact to do good and be good

      Have you ever actually READ the Bible? The Jewish (Old Testament) God is an evil, vile, horrific creature, willing to destroy the innocent along with the guilty, condemning entire generations of people for the minor sins of others, forbidding the eating of shellfish and ham while placidly condoning the beating of slaves (provided you don’t actually kill them!)

      So I don’t think they are really comparable or the same God at all, for that matter.

      You think wrong. There is no doubt that all three religions worship the same nonexistent being. About the only real difference is in who your god allows you to hate.

      Do yourself a favor. Stop praying and start learning. Learn how the Bible, both testaments, and the Quran were actually developed. Learn about the difference between science and belief. Learn how to distinguish between reality and wishful thinking.

  21. Ondo says

    Hope everyone can understand the real meaning of democracy and its utmost benefits to all people. Democracy is for all people, men, women, and children regardless of color and race. With democracy, there is less chaos and trouble among people.

  22. says

    Malays are not Muslims in Malaysia as all conformist want to believe. Some Malays are agnostic free thinker which is acceptable to the social society in modern Malaysia which is considerate a ‘moderate’ Islamic country.

    However, to publicly announce leaving Islam, e.g. converting out of Islam, is not acceptable and is punishable by Syariah law. Malaysia has not imposed the death penalty yet, but that does not stop the internet social media and imam call for the death penalty in their responses.

    An apostate cannot function socially in Malaysia, being not able to marry or have the status of the children legitimized. They may lose their business, property or jobs and suffer ridicule, physical persecution, detention, fine or imprisonment.

  23. ilikegirlsinglasses says

    I love reading articles like this, they are empowering. They make feel glad that I have left Islam and that I am not alone. I just wish that all women (and men) would open their eyes and see how corrupt religion is but sadly they are delusional.

  24. xxxx says

    It’s the same with every religion. To take any religion too seriously is a form of insanity. We don’t need a reason to be good. We don’t need to believe a certain thing, to do the right thing. It doesn’t matter what you believe. It matters what you do.

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