The other day, I had an interesting conversation with my brother about religion. He asked me why I left Islam… I don’t usually go into details with other people, let alone a blog on the internet, but I thought, why not? Like many ex-muslims, I’m a little hesitant to publish this article. You see, in some countries, leaving Islam is punishable by death. I personally know many closet ex-Muslims who can’t come out because of fear, not only of death, but also violence, isolation, and even abandonment.
That kind of control and abuse is scary! It’s enough. And it’s not only Islam! The more people that come out with their story of leaving religion, the more it will encourage others to do the same. I want the silence to end. I’m standing along with many fellow freethinkers who have weathered the storm and told their story. The following are my reasons for leaving Islam and religions all together.
1. Religions don’t have a purpose anymore
I don’t believe religions have a purpose for us anymore. We have gone past the times of wondering what caused the light of day and the darkness of night. We have created massive civilizations that thrive through communication. We are more intelligent and have far more capabilities than just believing there is someone watching us everyday judging everything we do and then choosing our punishment or reward. Are we in Kindergarten again? We shouldn’t waste our brain power on old ideologies. We are capable of living together without someone telling us how to live good. There is an innate compassion, love, and community sense in all of us.
2. Mind Control
Religions, not just Islam, have a need for control. It’s not something people notice right away, but when you look at history and the psychological process of religions, you notice that it’s control/power driven. In order to get people to be loyal to you, you need to control the parts of their lives that make them the individuals they are: their free thinking.
So many people are brainwashed to think that their religion provides them the answers to all of the world’s questions. It doesn’t. When people are told that nothing else but religion is correct, it limits their thinking. It’s a scary thought. Someone is telling you what to say or do when you wake up, meet someone, enter a holy place, do business transactions, are around the opposite sex, have children, eat, etc. It’s madness. When you give your life away to some guy who’s dead or an invisible being, you’ve given up your power completely.
One aspect of control that is a big issue to be personally is the control of people’s sexual activities. I don’t understand why religions have to put such an emphasis on being a virgin, saving your virginity for one person, and who you choose to have sex with. This is especially true for girls and homosexuals because most religions are enforced by men (but that’s another # on the list).
Control is control but you don’t notice it until you are free. Religions don’t make you free, they control your life so that you CAN’T be free.
3. Religions hurt more people and cause more harm, then they save or make better
I’m not even talking at the individual level; I’m talking about wars, genocides, massacres. I’m talking about parents who disown or kill their children in the name of religion. I’m talking about people who put a prophet over their own blood. Religions keep you from being open about other ideas and ways of life because you’re always told that your way is better. People don’t get better or “saved” by religion, but by the love and acceptance of other people. That’s one of the very little positive aspects of religion, but we don’t need religion to be good people. Making someone do something good for a reward is a form of training.
4. Religions make me feel inferior as a women
This topic is very personal to me because it has affected me in a profound way. When I was a Muslim, I had to cover my hair and my body. Why? Because my body, and my hair apparently, tempts men. In other words, I had to cover myself because I was seen as a sexual object (the opposite extreme of the western world). There was so much emphasis on my vagina for some odd reason. My parents were afraid to let me do anything by myself because they feared I would lose my virginity. My worth was based on my “pureness”. The fear was so bad that I hardly made friends in school and had little to no confidence.
As a female in the Muslim religion and arabic culture, I was limited to my choices. One of those choices was independence. Growing up, I had to be dependent on my dad for everything. When I reached marriage age, I was expected to want to get married and depend on my husband for everything. In a sense, I understand wanting to take care of the females, but at the same time we don’t need to be taken care of. I felt like a doll, being passed along from my parents to a future husband. And the worse part? I was being trained how to be a good wife and mother…. as a kid.
5. Patriartical superiority
If you really pay attention to it, the Quran was written for the MALE perspective. The language that is used is very masculine and seems to only be speaking and guiding men. Women are referred to as “your women” and there never seems to be a mention of “your men”. Some may argue that it was written/interpreted by a male and that’s why. However, wouldn’t God tell him to use a more inclusive language? Rather than guiding men, it should be a guide to everyone.
Islam seems to give men more benefits and advantages. For instance, males get more of the parents money, more freedom with clothing and attitudes, more voice in matters, etc. There is even a verse allowing men to hit their wives. I don’t care if it’s just a tap or a stick, it’s not acceptable to allow that. There’s no equality no matter how many people say there is. But this isn’t only a religious problem, it’s a society problem.
There you go. I encourage everyone to really think about what they believe and how it benefits them. I encourage you all to keep your mind open to the many ideas out there. You don’t have to look for the truth, but see what other people’s truths are.
Learn from them.
Think for yourself.
Live your own life.