in·doc·tri·nat·ed, in·doc·tri·nat·ing, in·doc·tri·nates
(1) To instruct in a body of doctrine or principles.
(2) To imbue with a partisan or ideological point of view.
The Prophet Muhammad said, “No babe is born but upon Fitra (as a Muslim). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist.”
(Sahih Muslim, Book 033)
I remember I must have been 4 or 5 years old going to Madressa and being able to read Surah Fatiha perfectly which made the Mu'Alim very happy and my parents very proud. I was able to read all Arabic words and I was content and happy seeing my parents this proud of me. It did not matter that I did not understand what I was reading, I only did it to make my parents happy.
Fast forward 30 odd years and here I am thinking fuck I believed every thing I was told as a kid. I believed in the boogey man under my bed, that till today I sleep with my head covered or with some sort of light entering the room. I was so convinced that there were ghosts etc that I would imagine my bed moving, someone holding me so I cannot breathe. Now I know it is not true and what I experience is called the Placebo Effect.
Why am I writing all of this?
Because from as early as I can remember religion has been drilled into me, if not by my parents sending me to Muslim school and taking me to mosque, then by the teachers that taught me.
Being taught in an Islamic institution is being taught with a whip.
For every false recital there was a beating mostly in the form of falakah (being beaten on the soles of your feet). I remember being beaten with a PVC pipe (the type that electricians use to run wires through) until it broke and blood was pouring from my bottom because I was caught talking to a female.
This is how Islam was drilled into me. This is what I call indoctrination.
Day in and day out you are made to believe that what you are being taught is right and those who do not follow the same are following a set of false doctrines. Yet people who are not 'lucky' enough to be born into Islam are being taught day in and day out that their beliefs are correct and we are following a set of false doctrines.
If you go by the Hadith quoted at the beginning of the post, we are all born Muslim and parents are responsible for giving the kids an alternate religion.
Unfortunately, I can no longer think that that be true, I believe strongly we are born without any religion and our parents, together with our families, educators and communities shape our belief and I refuse to be part of that mould any longer.
No longer am I going to force my child to go to an religious institution so she can be indoctrinated. She will learn that there are many religions out there when she is old enough she can choose whether she will follow her parents faith. She will learn to be a moral citizen.
You are going to get the apologist out there that says, I follow (insert religion) because I want to not because it was the way I was brought up, the way I was brought up has no bearing on the religion I am following now.
Yeah right, the way you were brought up defines every fibre of you and your belief.
Lets say, if you brought up in a different religion, can you honestly say you would be following your current religion? If yes, I applaud you.
The inspiration for this post was something I read on another blog*:
"Islamic apologists say there is no compulsion in Islam. However, if you’re a child born to Muslim parents and in to a strict culture with Islamic ideology, the religion is compulsory for you because your situation demands it. You have no choice but to accept it. It is compulsory because if you refuse it, you become an outcast. You will face resistance from your parents and then from the community. This resistance can even take shape in the form of real physical abuse and threat."
*Quote from Thinking Smurf -A Culturally Inherited Faith
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