Hey all, another Canadian dropping by to say hi!
I found this site while browing the ex-muslim section of reddit and decided to drop by. A little about myself...straight male, mid 20's, born in Canada, a Sunni muslim to Pakistani parents with an extremely large extended family all living in the greater Toronto area. I consider myself a closet agnostic atheist (I've only told a select few irl), so I often have to pretend I am muslim for the most part. I often think of coming out but only see negative repercussions and nothing good.
There are many reasons why I don't come out to family (like many here). I've got a decent relationship with them and I'm close to a lot of my family members, who for the most part are very liberal Muslims (some even drink, do drugs, etc). I know coming out them would break their hearts and I probably would risk being alienated. I also recently graduated uni (only a handful in my family have) but still no career with a crappy job (may consider going back) so I have little to support myself. My father is deeply religious and he worked hard to provide for us, although I never really had much of a relationship with him...plus he always drags me along to Friday prayers whenever he can even though I loathe it.
Anyhow, the more educated I became, the more doubts about Islam (and religion in general) started creeping in. And when I mean more educated, I mean through exposure to the vast information of the internet and access to the wisdom of some of mankind's greatest thinkers.
Growing up as a kid, I was always mindful of what I did because of the Islamic doctrine drilled into my head. I actually would attend a mosque for lessons 2 hours every weekday from kindergarten to grade 8, so naturally I was always mindful of "god" most of the time. I mean telling a young kid that they were going to burn in hell repeatedly for doing or thinking certain things tends to have that affect. Contradictions and unanswered questions would occasionally cause doubts in the back of my mind but I didn't dwell too hard on such matters. Even as I grew older, subjects such as the universe and evolution wouldn't really cause big enough doubt because I simply thought this was man's way of explaining Allah's creations (I guess I wanted religion and science to both be right
What ultimately led me to doubt Islam (and religion) were influences by (and I'm sure a lot of people here are fans of) George Carlin, Richard Dawkins, Carl Sagan and Penn Jillete, to name a few. As I said before, if it weren't for this wonderful thing called the internet that I browsed as a bored teenager I most likely wouldn't have found these free thinkers and what they had to say about the world. I'm glad I live in a time such as this (I know how corny that sounds) because I most likely would have been stuck in a mental prison.
Phew, now that that's out of the way, I'm just glad to be here and hope to make tons of friends with fine like minded individuals. Yay!