Righto. Just a quick run-down of my journey so far.
Born to Ethiopian refugee parents whilst living in a refugee camp in Djibouti, in the horn of Africa.
Come here to Australia at aged 10, got used to things in Australia fairly quickly (language, culture, etc) me being a kid and all.
Now, my oldies always considered themselves the educated, liberal type and we were more muslim in the traditional sense back in the camp, as were most of our family friends - it's the same in Ethiopia really, although our somali neighbours were a bit full-on with it.
So we come here and associate quickly with the Ethiopian communit(ies) and notice, over the years, there's a tightening of moral codes, an increase in 'judgement' (sorry, 'advice') and that sort of thing. My mother in particular (bless her) gets absolutely caught up in that sort of trend and makes some very religious friends which rubs off quite nicely on her. Having been born into an Ethio Orthodox xtian family, she felt the need to 'catch up' and 'perfect her deen' and all that.
My old man, having been born into a muslim family in Ethiopia, is more a 'casual' muslim in that it's more of an identity akin to his ethnic group or nationality. The type that is under the impression they, having been raised muslim, know all they need to know - thus without the need to really delve into much more scriptual 'learning' and thus no real insistence on dogma and preaching.
My mum and my older sis were always quite close but grew apart as my mum got caught up in the religious stuff, stopped her from going out, enjoying life. It got to a point where she got kicked out of the house because she was seen out with a guy. Looking back, this would've been a good place to start the questions re Islam.
Anyway, the questions really started last ramadan. Meeting up with my uni's Islamic student org for Iftar & prayers - meeting and chatting with students (mainly middle east & pakistan) really got me thinking. I don't relate to their views....on, like, anything.
I put it down to their 'ignorance' and 'culture' and upbringing. Anything but Islam or it's teachings.
I went home each night reading as much Quran & Hadith (Bukhari & Muslim) as I could, so I could take some notes with me the next time I discussed the deen with these folks. My younger bro, reading along with me, brings to my attention certain ahadith re slavery....it all went downhill from there folks. Couldn't make sense of what I was reading or how that fit in with my own sense of right and wrong.
My younger bro (who I suspect is an ex-muslim already although I can't find a way to broach the subject without giving myself away) requests we have a squiz at the Islamic Q&A on the different topics of query. The answers, we found, just weren't good enough. Allah always seemed to 'know best' but oddly enough always had an issue with the tougher questions.
Younger bro: "Look, if Muhammad (pbuh) was wrong on this, this whole thing (religion) is bullshit"
Me: "Hang on...I'll ask a sheikh"
That's where it ended, or so I thought.
He goes on to bring it up to my super-religious mum who then goes apeshit at me for corrupting his mind and emboldening his nafs...she's like "It came from Allah, the one who created you. Who are you to ask these questions".
I remember feeling sick in the guts at what I was hearing her say....I decided right there and then I wasn't a muslim.
I knew I'd been sold a dud and felt fecking pissed off to be honest....still do.
So there you have it folks.