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 Topic: I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.

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  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     OP - January 20, 2014, 01:28 PM


    After this article was published in the Independent about Ex-Muslims in the UK, we were sent this powerful personal testimony by a young man living in the north of England.


    +++++++++

    So in today’s Independent, there was an article about Ex-muslims, about people who were once Muslims, but have ‘committed’ apostasy, and how that cuts them off from their respective communities, etc.


    I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an ex-muslim. And I don’t know how to tell my parents.

    I was brought up in northern England as a Muslim. Most of my extended family follow the religion, and it was just the norm. I didn’t really think anything of it, except that one day I would go to heaven for an eternity. That thought scared me.

    Honestly, as a small child, maybe 5 or 6, I would lie awake at night, trying to wrap my head around how you could live in heaven for an eternity! I could not understand that, I remember crying because I couldn’t. And while this confusion did not lead me to question God’s existence, it was certainly something.

    I also remember learning about the Ancient Romans, and how they believed in all their gods, and I remember other children saying how the Romans would go to hell, for not believing in Allah! I did not say anything, but inside, I was thinking how unfair that was. I was only a child, but I knew Islam didn’t exist 2,000 years ago, so how is it the Romans’ fault? That was the first doubt, I guess, but I soon forgot it and got on with my primary school life.

    In June, 2012, a few months before I abandoned Islam, I had a sudden ‘desire’ to start being more religious, to start praying and to stop being a ‘bad person’. For me at the time, I was a ‘bad person’ because I liked girls, and spoke to them, and hung out with them. When I think about that now, I don’t see how anyone could think that doing that, acting as nature intended makes you a bad person, but I thought so.

    I hated that part of me, which just goes to show how powerful religion can be upon people, and how it can convince that they are in need of God, that without His help, they will burn in Hell. So, I wanted to get in God’s ‘good books’ again, I wanted to rid myself of sin, and for a while I tried. I really did. But I couldn’t. If I’m honest, I was just bored of it. Whenever my mum would tell me to go to the local mosque to pray, I would make excuses, or just not go, and if I did go, I would be annoyed by it.

    This lead me to think ‘hang on a minute, why don’t I want to pray?‘. I pondered, does my not wanting to pray affect my life, really? Does it make me a bad person? Some part of me knew that of course it didn’t , prayer doesn’t make an ounce of difference, but that was drowned out by another voice in my head, one that didn’t come from me. And so I believed that I was a bad person because I wanted to be me and not anyone else.

    Ramadan came and went that year, and I did not participate. My parents didn’t really think anything was wrong (or rather, they didn’t voice these thoughts to me), and I just carried on as normal, but still identifying as a Muslim. I couldn’t help having doubts though. The more I looked into Islam, the more I found out about it, the more I disagreed with it, the further I found myself running from it. I disliked its  views, and I guess I was agnostic at this point, only I could not admit it to myself.

    School started again in September that year, and in one of the Religious Studies classes, the teacher was asking us what religions we were a part of (if any), and I found myself deliberately dropping my pen when she asked who was Muslim, so that I wouldn’t be seen as a part of Islam, but also would not be asked why I was not a part of it. That was the first time I admitted, if only to myself, that I was not a Muslim.  I kept quiet about it. When you go to a school where the biggest religious group is Islam, you tend to want to keep things like apostasy to yourself.

    Losing my faith was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I felt a whole spectrum of emotions, from pain to guilt to self-hate, and finally, to peace. And also, I am not ashamed to admit, a sense of relief. Losing God was terrible for me because what if I’d got it wrong? What if this was just the work of the Devil, like I had been made to believe for my whole life?

    I didn’t say anything, not even to my atheist friends because I hated it. I hated not being a Muslim at all, despite knowing that of course it’s not real and how wrong a religion it actually was. It was like pulling off a plaster, I guess. At first it was painful and I was scared to stop being a Muslim, but then the pain was over and I had rid myself of something which had stopped helping me a while back.

    At some point, I ‘came out’ as a non Muslim in school, and while I would like to say that this was stress-free and caused me no problems, I cannot. Because it wasn’t.

    Most people would stop me in corridors or come up to me during classes and ask me 1) if I’m an Exmuslim and 2) why I am an Exmuslim. A lot of people would avoid talking to me, treating me as if I carried some terrible disease when really I had freed myself of one. Some people would try and make me come back to Islam, by literally forcing me to watch ‘Miracles Of Islam’ videos on YouTube, or to read ‘anti-evolution’ articles.

    I’ve had all sorts of violent threats directed at me, I’ve been told to change my name, I’ve had so many rumours being spread about how I’ve been possessed by the Djinn, or the Devil. One guy even went as far as to not return my high five because I was an Exmuslim and he would have to shower. There is even a Muslim teacher in school who warned his tutor to not talk to me in case I turn them against God.  All this just strengthened my opinions on religion. I found myself hating them. And, I guess, hating myself.

    Over a year has passed since I became an ex-muslim, and while the odd person will strike up a debate with me about the ‘flaws of evolution’ or whatever, and there are a few people who just won’t talk to me on account of my lack of muslimness, I just don’t care. What I have found is that there are quite a few others in school ‘coming out’ as ex-muslims, so there are people I can talk to. Others, in the same hole as me. Others, who are discriminated against because of their rejecting Islam.

    One or two of these people have told their parents. I haven’t. I don’t know how. How can I say that they’ve failed in one of the main reasons they believe they live for? How can I tell them that I don’t actually believe in Allah, and that this shouldn’t change anything? Because it shouldn’t. I ‘came out’ as an ex-muslim in a majority muslim school because it shouldn’t matter. I share atheist quotes/pictures on Facebook, with the knowledge that most of the people on my friends list are muslim. And it shouldn’t matter. Yet, having said that, I can’t bring myself to tell my parents, to tell my family.

    The punishment for apostasy under Shari’ah is death, usually. Now, whilst I don’t fear that I will be killed, I fear that I will be abandoned. That I will be disowned like so many others have been. A lot of people fear their parents dying, they can think of nothing worse, but I can. Because having your parents leave you by dying is nothing like having parents who want you to leave them, who want nothing to do with you.

    I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an ex-muslim. And I don’t know how to tell my parents.



  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #1 - January 20, 2014, 02:07 PM

    I am an 18 year old from Singapore and I too,am an ex-muslim.we both share uncanny similarities and I myself have yet to disclose my renunciation of the islamic faith to my parents.I have repudiated my faith in a celestial being 2 years ago.I began to doubt the notions of religion since young but never really had anyone to talk to and my parents,who are deep-seated muslims,would consider it sacrilegious if I were to doubt Allah.

    Only two years ago,with the advent of high speed internet,was I able to enlighten myself with knowledge.Thomas Paine,R.G Ingersoll,Bertrand Russell,Christopher Hitchens and countless others whom i revere.These gentlemen have aided me well in my search for truth.Liberated from the chains i revere,i felt no remorse.No dissonance in my cognitive faculties.

    Yet,I am not prepared for the fallout.The repercussions are simply too much for me bear.I do not want to be disowned by the same parents who cared for me since young.

    i wish you the best of luck.
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #2 - January 20, 2014, 07:20 PM

    Powerful stuff. Welcome aruarian. You're not alone.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #3 - January 21, 2014, 01:31 AM

    thank you.I will try to post more on the forum. Smiley
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #4 - January 21, 2014, 02:06 AM


    I hope this boy finds some friends and some support. He could start here.


    And welcome to you, aruarian!

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #5 - January 21, 2014, 02:15 AM

    Hi aruarian welcome to the forum

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #6 - January 22, 2014, 05:59 PM

    This article describes very well the situation of many of us.
    It is good to hear from others. I really hope the the best for him.
     And Aruarian  welcome here!  parrot
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #7 - January 22, 2014, 09:14 PM

    Welcome Aruarian. I too am a 16 year old English Ex-Muslim. If you don't mind me asking, what part of England are you from?
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #8 - January 24, 2014, 05:49 AM

    Im 18 and Im also an ex-Muslim. I can relate all too well. I think leaving Islam is much more difficult than leaving any other religion. The road away from Islam is definitely a lonely one. I would know. But I am done pretending, im sick and tired of lying to my parents on a daily bases about praying and believing in god. I never planed on leaving my parents before I realized how much pain i would be bringing them if i were to tell them that im an atheist and that I dont want to pray along side them anymore. It wasn't always like this, I used to believe but that faded as I got older. I willfully started wearing the hijab at the age of 14 but at around the age of 17 I realized that the hijab wasn't right. It wasn't what I wanted for myself. Why would a woman have to carry the symbol of Islam while Muslim men could wonder freely in  whatever clothing they wanted to wear. In my eyes hijab is just plain sexist. Anyways, I got stuck in it since the rules in Islam, were that is a woman were to start wearing hijab, she couldn't take it off or else it would mean breaking a promise to god.

    It was difficult telling my parents i wanted to remove it the hijab But it didn't get me anywhere when I told them.
    I still wear it out for their sake. just so they wont pain over me. I don't want to hurt them by rejecting the religion they raised me to believe in. In their eyes Islam is all good everything else is bad. Both my parents are deeply religious, especially my dad. Its his life, he teaches Islam and Quran as his job and his living. It would crush im if I ever told him the truth, if I told him that I am an atheist. I cant stand putting on this fake act of faithfulness towards Islam. I hate fake praying and lying all the time. Im tired of having to wear hijab to school or wherever i know ill see other Muslims from the Islamic community. I don't wear it out when I drive myself anywhere on my own. Its nice to not have to wear it and all the judgment that come along with the hijab.

    Im moving out and breaking away from my parents when I graduate from high school this year. Im not going to stay and become more dependent on them. I feel guilty for not being the daughter they raised me to be. They are the best parents to me, they gave me a car and let me wear my hijab the way I wanted to wear it, they gave me a lot of space and freedom to think for myself. I don't want them to think they made a mistake raising me this way.
    I promised myself to never let them know that im no longer a muslim.
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #9 - January 24, 2014, 05:57 AM

    Welcome littlegreybird. Have a parrot. parrot

    People here understand what you're going through. You're not alone. far away hug

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #10 - January 24, 2014, 01:59 PM

    Thank you. I'm relieved to have found a place like this online.
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #11 - January 24, 2014, 02:24 PM

    Im  (littlegreybird) 18,  and Im also an ex-Muslim. I can relate all too well.

    Oh common ., you are no more littlegreybird ., you are a big bird,  a biggreybird. What else you need girl., You are 18 year old, you have wonderful parents., who are giving you a roof on your head, food on the table, a car to drive  and full support for your education. What else  you need littlegreybird??

    well they are bit of religious folk,  that is not a big deal .,  I don't think hijab   really stops you doing things  what you do or other 18 year olds  do,   atheists or otherwise. If it is a burqa or Niqab, then yes you could say Dad  "STOP IT"  "just preach your Islam  and please don't tell  how a Muslim woman should dress"...

    So is your dad friendly guy? do you discuss things with him? did you cook anything for him??  did he take you to some rides.. some Disney lands?  

    Anyways,  I say Don't tell your parents that you left Islam .. don't break their heart. You can do that after you cross 30. so wait 12 more years..  And welcome to CEMB

    with best wishes and happy new year..
    yeezevee
     

    Do not let silence become your legacy  
    I renounced my faith to become a kafir, 
    the beloved betrayed me and turned in to  a Muslim
     
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #12 - January 24, 2014, 11:55 PM

    Im not ungrateful to my parents or for what they gave me, but I don't feel right living off of them anymore when I know they would never accept me for my beliefs. Haha! I know im no longer a child. But I defiantly still have a lot to learn. I realized this after admitting my lack of faith in a higher power.
    Physically wearing hijab isn't a difficult task, but having wore it for almost 5 years, Iv had to answer many questions and attempt to be a good example of what a muslim should be like. On a few occasions iv been harassed for wearing it.  I live in the U.S so i can freely wear it, but many people are still uneasy about it. I noticed how people would look and speak to me differently when I have it on. Hijab isn't just a scarf or vale that covers the body, its supposed to be a symbol of islam. I can no longer carry it if I no longer believe in what it stands for.

    I know what its like to wear hijab and what its like to not wear hijab. Its a sacrifice im not willing to make for someone other than myself. I don't do things simply because others want me to do it. I guess that's why Im so agitated with my current position. having to pray along side my family like i believe, having to read their holey book that i don't believe in, having so say and do so many things I simply don't believe in. to many people, it might be worth it to just stay in this warm cocoon of my parents love; to just hide myself. I know if I stay with my parents, ill have to keep wearing head scarf and eventually they will want me to marry a muslim man.

    When i meant freedom to do alot of things, that doesnt mean i can just go out without telling them. They wouldnt let me hang out with non muslims or males. I never really cared because most of my friends were and are muslim girls anyway. I just meant that i had more freedom that most muslim girls did. They let me get a job and go to public school. All because i was such a good daughter and muslim and made sure they could see that.

     I know if i remove my hijab my parents will confiscate the car they gave me and probably keep me from going out. When i told them i wanted out of the hijab, my father told me he would not want to have anything to do with me (he said alot of things i knew he probably didn't mean) and promised he would make things very difficult until i changed my mind and my mother told me that i wouldn't be able to go out on my own ever again. My dad made me listen to hour long lectures about islam and constantly tried to shove Islam back into my head on a daily basis for a while.H still makes me watch them till this day and its been months since. It really pains me to see him so afraid for me. He believes ill go to hell if i take it off. My dad is a very kind heated man, but he lacks the ability to see outside the scopes of islam. I tried my best to explain to him that I didn't want to wear it anymore without telling him that i was no longer a faithful believer in god. It was very difficult.
    So basically my hijab is equivalent to their trust in me. if i remove it, all trust is lost.

    Thanks for the welcome! Just felt the need to clarify my situation just a bit more.
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #13 - January 25, 2014, 12:10 AM

     parrot

    Welcome, I am also in the US.

    Don't let Hitler have the street.
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #14 - January 25, 2014, 01:17 AM


    Anyways,  I say Don't tell your parents that you left Islam .. don't break their heart. You can do that after you cross 30. so wait 12 more years..  And welcome to CEMB

    with best wishes and happy new year..
    yeezevee
     


    Isnt that too late? I mean what if she gets married with a Muslim man and have kids. What do you think? Wouldn't be that too hard?

  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #15 - January 26, 2014, 07:55 AM

    Hey jaymac!im from Singapore and its a little country in asia.Nice to meet you all.glad there are more of us,glad im not alone.
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #16 - January 26, 2014, 08:21 AM

    Having WASTED AND LOST my 19-26, best years of my life, having missed SO MUCH because of hijab and Islam, I'd suggest you try to get out of there as soon as possible and start LIVING.

    "The healthiest people I know are those who are the first to label themselves fucked up." - three
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #17 - January 26, 2014, 11:16 AM

    Yup.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #18 - January 26, 2014, 06:12 PM

    Hi

    I find your story very sad, in France the majority of muslim girls have more freedom. Do you come from Pakistan ?
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #19 - January 27, 2014, 01:20 AM

    I plan on moving out soon, though I need to secure a full time job before hand. I cant do that yet since im a senior in high school. Just don't know how Ill tell my parents that I'm planing to move out. In our culture, you don't leave your parents until going to a distant collage or marriage. Problem is the collage im going to after high school is just a few minutes away. So it wont be a valid enough excuse to move out. Ill have to make up another excuse to move out and it has to be pretty damn good if I ever want to live my life the way I want to.

    If I cant do that my very last resort is to just pack up and leave without thier permission. I don't think they would physically try to stop me so it would probably work. But it wont grantee me a smooth departure. My mother would probably tell me to never come back and my father would probably have a heart attack. It would definitely not be a pretty sight.
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #20 - January 27, 2014, 02:09 AM

    Hi

    I find your story very sad, in France the majority of muslim girls have more freedom. Do you come from Pakistan ?

     
     
    Its not much compared to the many very tragic stories I have read on here. Honestly I think I have it easy compared to the many ex-muslims on here.
    But no, I don't come from a Pakistani background. My parents are from Arab countries. 
    I was actually born are raised in the US
  • I am a 16 year old from England, and I am an Ex-muslim.
     Reply #21 - January 27, 2014, 07:10 AM

    Hey jaymac!im from Singapore and its a little country in asia.Nice to meet you all.glad there are more of us,glad im not alone.

    Hello! My father is Sri Lankan and my mother an Indian Kenyan. I was born in the UK and spent pretty much my whole life here though.
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