Hi and welcome ateapotist!
Nice intro and cool avatar.
I've changed my avatar again. How's this one? I'm feeling a bit childish right now.
Thanks virav5. You've got a great avatar too.
Thanks kimo, Aurora, Nour etc.
I should clarify that I really do wish the relationship with my parents heals over time, but it's going to be very difficult, I think.
My entire family (parents and siblings) are very, very religious and some are even learned, so there is a lot of honour at stake here for them.
Most of my siblings are even learned in scientific subjects (which is worrying for the future of science!), but because they are so dogmatic by nature, I can't see them leaving their faith. They seem to be incapable of telling the difference between good evidence and bad evidence. I mean, like the Ahmed2010 guy we had the other day, they accept the so called miracles in the Quran as proof that all the dogma in Islam is true. See http://www.councilofexmuslims.com/index.php?topic=9989.0
After I came out of the closet as an Atheist, we had heated debates for days about the evidence for evolution, origin of life, who created God, Quranic (so called) miracles etc. I was well prepared with all of Dawkins' arguments, so I was confident. I was, of course, not claiming that I was ABSOLUTELY 100% sure that God doesn't
exist. I told them that the existence of God is an absurd idea, and as unlikely as the existence of a celestial teapot etc.
I had to be very careful not to hit any raw nerves in terms of insulting the Prophet and God etc. They could easily have stabbed me to death. My mum was so angry with me about my apostasy (because she's terrified of me going to hell), she even once told me angrily she felt like hitting me. But I forgive her. She's been indoctrinated by her parents too, and I can fully understand her anger at my apparent betrayal of all her efforts bringing me up. I wish she could understand my right to a free life of my choice.
I told them I was not asking them to become Atheists too and respected their right to follow their religion. I clearly told them several times that I wanted to maintain good relations with them, but as I had expected, they were not prepared to maintain relations with an apostate. They are staunch Islamists, who unashamedly support the Sharia and all. They symapathise with the Taliban, and Islamists fighting for Islam around the world. It's very worrying for the future of the West, I know.
Personally, I was never comfortable with Sharia law--it seemed barbaric--even when I was a Muslim, but I ignored my cognitive dissonance and concentrated on my studies and work etc. I preferred instead to rant about western foreign policy and injustices against oppressed people, just like the Stop the War Coalition like to do. I was also aware that Sharia law is not fixed for every time and place according to many scholars, it's flexible.
I will now try to live my own life without my parents support, although I really hope there comes a time when apostasy is socially acceptable among Muslims in the UK, and we can finally be friends again.
That would be a great ending indeed.