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Displaying 901 - 925 of 952
|UK||Noshina Fawad|| |
I grew up in a household where my father was an atheist and my mother, a liberal Muslim. We were taught ethics and morality and were raised as Muslims. The more I learnt about Islam, the more I became aware of its many restrictions and how I was totally against them. Islam preaches peace and serenity and yet encourages the murder of \'kafirs\', those who have said anything against it. Islam prohibits listening to music and yet many of the surats and ayats of the Quran are in musical form. Islam conveys equality for both men and women while men are allowed to have four wives, and this liberty is not mutual. Living in Pakistan, I witnessed how women were brainwashed to believe that they only existed to be of service to men, how children were scolded to memorise verses that they didn\'t even understand. Religion limits an individual to a certain way of life; it restricts us to grasp any other possibilities of existence. I believe in justice and freedom and I am proud to say I have renounced religion!
|UK||Oliver Dickinson|| |
The aggressive push by Islam is a threat to me, my family, my friends and everyone else who believes in freedom of speech and human rights. I cannot, in good conscience, turn my head the other way and whistle \'Always look on the bright side of life\' like so many are doing. We need to stand up to this blatantly hostile act, and condemn it for the warmongering, homophobic, sexist, cowardly, barbaric, shit stirring, middle aged hatetalk that it is.
|UK||Omaar Khayaam|| |
I was born into a Sunni Muslim family in a northern city in the UK. The city is home to a large Muslim minority from Pakistan. I come from an educated and broad minded family with middle of the road type of values. Religion was never really a huge issue but I did the usual cultural thing of learning how to read the Quran in Arabic till I was 10 years old. At around the age of 14, I became interested in Islam and joined the Young Muslims UK. This was my first real exposure to practical Islam. We would attend camps and have weekly meetings usually to discuss the Quran and the Hadith of Muhammad. For all intents and purposes everything was going well and my family was happy that I had decided to take it upon my own back to learn about the religion of my ancestors. I remember walking two miles to a shop from school to hire Ahmed Deedat debates and shouting \"Allah-hu-Akbar\" whilst watching other less worthy opponents beaten to a pulp. It gave me a great sense of joy and self-confidence knowing that Islam had the right tools to do the job. I had only just heard of the \"big bang\" and \"evolution\". This was also the first time I had heard of the word \"atheist\". At that age the very notion of people denying the existence of God was very alien to me and I always wondered how and why would someone deny something that seemed so self-evident? It was at around the same time that a thought occurred to me. It was \"If God created the world then who created God?\" and \"Why does he need to be worshiped for doing acts which occur to him naturally?\" This was really the start of a very doubtful journey through Islam which would eventually make me into the person I am today. I would ask the \"naive\" question about who created God and was always told to remember Surah Ikhlas and Ayat-ul-Kursi. This would apparently answer my query. From what I could recall I was told that the question was the wrong type of question to ask and that I had to re-adjust my perspective. That question was never answered.
There was a hiatus in my investigation whilst I concentrated on my exams and did other things that a 16 year in the late 80\'s early 90\'s does. Around this period I met someone a few years older than me who was in this same organisation and was either going through or had already been through the same dilemma as I had been through. It was a fleeting memory for me but I do recall that his friends had shunned him for his doubts and his questions. I think he went to university and I didn\'t have any contact with him for a number of years.
After my GCSE\'s I became a practising Muslim, prayed 5 times a day, fasted during ramadhan and did all the obligatory things that a Muslim is supposed to do. I used to read books by Maududi and Syed Qutb which were more the rather radical and harsher side of Islam. I also got back in touch with this Muslim youth movement and became involved in attending circles and talks etc. I have always been an introvert so never took part in any activities where I would need to speak or become the focus of attention. Again at this point, the same question resurfaced, who created god? and what if all this is just mumbo jumbo?
Whenever these questions would occur I would simply think to myself that Allah likes me and is testing my faith or that Shaytan is whispering doubts into my heart and that given time these doubts would pass. They didn\'t.
I got married fairly young and soon got into the routine of married life and not giving a second thought to my doubts. Pretty soon I seemed to have had an epiphany and thought about all the usual things such as why are we here? where do we go? Etc... I was around 25 at this point and said to myself that I\'ve gotta take this seriously if I\'m going to bring up a healthy Muslim family. But guess what those questions and doubts just kept coming back. I really thought that I was suffering from OCD and would try to drown out the questions by doing more prophetic sunnah\'s. I was told that my good deeds, actions and imitating of the prophet would increase my iman. Earlier I had been to Pakistan and had spoken to a cousin of mine whom I really respected and who is sadly no longer with us. I spoke to him about my doubts and concerns and he frankly told me that he was an atheist and knew what I was going through. The conversation didn\'t end with any conclusion but the advice he gave me was valuable. He told me to keep investigating and never to accept an answer that sounded as though it was evading the initial question. I never saw him again because soon afterwards he died. At the same time I was aware that someone very close to me showed scepticism towards religion. We would obviously meet at family gatherings and I would try my best not to bring up religion into the conversation but somehow it would always come up. Ironically the very same scepticism that he was posing was the very same questions I had but was trying to cover up. The only difference was, was that he had been through the whole thing 15 years before me and the only reason he raised it again was out of concern for me. I know that when he reads this, he will know that it is him to whom I\'m referring. What I also did was in the disguise of this relative I would email questions to very well known and respected Muslim scholars in the west. So in a way I was trying to alleviate my doubts in a covert way. Sometimes they would respond and sometimes they wouldn\'t. I even went out to see the scholars thinking that if I saw the best of them my doubts would be resolved. What I did find in the answering technique was that I was either told that the premise of the question was incorrect and that I was using the wrong terminology such as being \"objective\" or that my questioning had no basis in reality and that the questions that I was posing were really questions to which \"I\" knew there were no answers to, or better still my questions were circumvented and instead rather than answering the question directly, I was answered with a question to go back and ask my relative. I would humbly go away feeling numb and empty thinking that I\'d been snubbed but nevertheless giving the scholar the benefit of the doubt. I also started reading and listening to scholars such as Hamza Yusuf and others like him hoping that my answers would be in their writing and talks.
I did realise soon enough that their writing and talks were fairly much preaching to the choir.
I started taking a different angle this time and started reading intelligent design material by people like Harun Yahya and others. I got a slight boost from it but it was still empty because it just wasn\'t answering my basic question, which was the very existence of God on which all these assumptions depended. The mistake I made at this time was shutting out material evolution and all the arguments and books against the existence of God because I didn\'t want anymore doubt to penetrate and do more damage. I wanted to resolve the issue and be able to believe. I concentrated on Islamic sources and it was there that I found that Islam was not as water tight as what I was led to believe. There were two things I found and it was the scholars were always doing apologetics and squaring the circle to justify the absurdities written in the hadith and the events in the sura. This was also coupled with the possibility that the hadith and sura literature had the possibility of being back projected to make sense of the Quran. This suspicion was raised due to the amount of time that had passed between the events recalled in the 7th century and the time it was written down. There seemed to be a sudden surge of when all this collection of hadith and sura was being written down. I was told that there was oral tradition etc, but again this was coming through the hadith and sura literature.
The science of isnad was shown to me as a method of supporting it. But it still wasn\'t good enough due to the huge lapse in time, not to mention that shia and sunni sources were at odds with each other and how on earth were you to falsify them against each other. There were also issues of abrogation and technicalities which for a religion that was claiming to be the \"final\" and unalterable word of God was posing more questions for me than it was answering. There were many other things regarding Islam that were simply left unanswered. My friends thought that I was barking up the wrong tree and that I should \"trust\" the scholars\' hard work and piety. This just didn\'t answer the question and I immediately thought that this is the same excuse that the Christians use, so why should I take this excuse from the Muslims? Using excuses like Imam Bukhari prayed before adding the hadith into his collection was simply begging the question and thinking along those lines didn\'t cut it in the academic world.
At this stage I would have considered myself an agnostic but still hopelessly clinging onto Islam in the delusion that at least it was more watertight than any other ebrahimi religions. I never considered any other religion. I eventually realised that my real problem was the existence of God which I quickly addressed and read all the old and new arguments for and against the existence. I found that by reading works by Bertrand Russell and David Hume. Also reading the new stuff like Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris. There were also other more technical works by people like Victor Steinger, George Smith and Michael Martin. I found that the arguments for God\'s non existence were far more coherent and could also point out the incoherence of the opposing argument. I also read books on evolution and went out to museums etc to look at the evidence myself. Evolution really was self evident and destroyed any creation myths I had. I still read works like this and other ideas now that I have freed myself from Islam. Hope this wasn\'t too long a rant. My journey was a very long and difficult one, but I\'m glad I went through it. It was the only way I could be made certain of my atheism.
I would like to join as I think there is a lot of work to be done to prevent the religious from imposing on the liberties and freedoms of the non religious. As an ex Muslim who was raised in a Muslim community I understand a little too well how judgemental, condemning and hateful the religious community can be. Not only do they maintain their prejudices but preach that they have God\'s endorsement. I have become convinced of the falsehood of religion through reading about the topic from different perspectives. The work of Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins was particularly enlightening. That\'s not to say I was indoctrinated (in the same way as I was with Islam as a child) but rather I took many years to reflect and debate and wrestle with different ideas. My own personal experience has highlighted to me how judgemental, condemning and hateful the religious can be. That\'s not to say all Muslims or theists for that matter are that way inclined but religion doesn\'t recommend or advise, it dictates and threatens great punishment for non submission. And many of its dictations are simply put, barbaric. Having escaped this tyrannical doctrine I want to now help support others who may be in a similar situation and to promote an alternative viewpoint. Based on empathy, compassion and human kindness and to demonstrate that atheism and nihilism are not one and the same.
|UK||Parsa Karimi|| |
I am happy I can publicly renounce Islam. I despise its violations of innumerable rights including freedom of expression. I hope that with the Council of Ex-Muslims I can promote free expression and though and push back political Islam\'s role in human society. I believe people are born once and have the right to enjoy life.
As a teacher I encounter young Asian people every day who are far removed from the fanaticism we see on our screens. They celebrate their cultural heritage, as I celebrate mine, but like me they are horrified by events they see on the news perpetrated in the name of Islam. They are people who could be like you - fully fledged citizens of the 21st century world, part of the family of humankind and not willing to be enslaved by dogma. A stand like yours is difficult for members of any predominantly religious community (bible belt USA for example) but a stand against Islam is currently the bravest of all. In the eyes of fundamentalists you are apostates but in the future you will be recognised as heroes. Well done.
I was raised in a Christian fundamentalist household to treat others not of my persuasion with contempt and to hold a certain amount of guilt. After I left home I worked for several multi-national companies and was exposed to a wide variety of different cultures. I am naturally curious and found myself in a lot of theological conversations exploring questions I\'d had since my Grandfathers death when I was 13. What I found was that no-one seemed to have all the answers and as I have sought to discover deeper meaning in many of the worlds largest organised religions I have only found that there is no place for those that question and that in many cases there are co-ordinated efforts to disguise glaring truths and discourage independent thought. I work in the ISP/Telecoms industry and value freedom of speech. I am saddened to watch as it is being stripped away in so many \'civilised\' countries today.
I would like to join as an ex-Muslim, having been born into it without a choice just doesn\'t sit right with me. The constraints on me to follow that path has made me unhappy...all I want to be is a happy human being, to enjoy life like all my friends rather than being tied down by rules i dont understand or want to follow. I want to be free.
It\'s been 12 years since I stopped believing in Islam. I\'m of Pakistani origin and I believe Ex-Muslim Council of Britain is doing a great job giving a hope to people who want to leave Islam.
Because I believe that the freedom to opt out of religion is as important as that to opt in.
|UK||Reza Jalilivand||Manchester|| |
If there was a god, there wouldn\'t be so much oppression and cruelty.
|UK||Richard Craig||Bristol|| |
As an atheist I can only admire the internal strength ex-Muslims must have to break free of a religion that demands a death sentence to anyone who renounces Islam. It is you who can speak with the most authority on Islam and I would love to hear what you have to say.
|UK||Richard Johnson|| |
I would like to add my voice to the growing chorus of secularists and humanists, who feel that religion is an outdated and blinkered ideology which should hold no authority whatsoever in a 21st Century judicial and political system. I lend my full support to your manifesto.
|UK||Ronnie Miah|| |
I am from a Bangladeshi family and grew up in a relatively traditional Muslim household. I have always been sceptical about Islam from a young age although at the time I had moderate Muslim opinions. I started losing my faith after seeing the contradictions and inhuman values contained in the Quran. I am now an atheist. I do not believe that there is a God or any supernatural being. I do not believe that Islam as an ideology is compatible with Human Rights, freedom from torture or freedom of expression. I am a lawyer. I would like to be a member as I would like to see this organisation highlight the negative aspects of Islam as an ideology as well as argue against the idea of there being a \'God\' along with other atheist organisations.
|UK||Sad ex-Muslim|| |
I wish to become a member. I have opted to do it through my email as doing it via your website would leave evidence on my computer, which is used by the family. My main reason for wanting to join is to help you fight the growth of Islamic Fundamentalism, which will destroy us all if we do not take any action. I want to live in peace with everybody, regardless of their beliefs and Islam does not offer that. Please keep me posted about any events that you may hold. I want to keep my name and city anonymous.
My name is Saeid and I am an ex-Muslim and I would like to join your community. I am 38 years old and I have a lot of information about Islam and Iran. Most of my friends are ex-Muslims and I guess they will join you pretty soon. With respect and love.
|UK||Saffi ex-Salafi|| |
A normal middle class girl from the Home Counties, my mum a nurse my dad an architect, I converted to Islam at 18 and became a salafi (v. strict). I married an Arab had a child and lived in Arab countries for a while. Over time I saw more and more hatred and suppression in the \'peaceful religion of the one true god\' I was a strict salafi and devoted my time staying at home listening to quran & memorising it, learning Arabic and reading numerous religious books I loved reading hadiths. As I read more and more I found one thing after another that shocked me but as soon as I had these thoughts I would make wudoo and read ayat al Kursi to put it out of my mind. But the thoughts that certain things were wrong kept coming back until one day I read some hadith about what should happen to apostates and just thought a belief system that doesn\'t let you leave it can\'t be right! It\'s been a long hard road to freedom for me and have had death threats etc. Islam has taught me a lot of lessons though and the whole journey has made me who I am, I have not really met anyone who has had a similar experience yet so I\'m hoping through this organisation I won\'t feel like the only one any more. Sorry my statement so long. It\'s a relief to get it off my chest.
I am an ex-Muslim who wishes to join your organisation, I have been an ex-Muslim for about 3 years now, and I was told my another member of your organisation that you might be creating a forum to attach to your site. I think this was be an excellent move; I know many ex-Muslims across the net who feel as if they have nowhere specific to them to go and talk, or to help de-convert completely from Islam and the mental issues that are unique to a leaver of that religion. I for one would be very pleased to be a part of that type of forum. I am based near London in the UK.
|UK||Saif Rahman|| |
I am a 37 year old agnostic humanist born in the UK, and of Indo-Pakistani descent. I don\'t want anyone else to go through the same feelings of guilt and sadness that I experienced during my process of re-evaluation. I hope that it provides the other side of the story in a balanced fashion (see my youtube channel http://www.facebook.com/l/ff2ff;www.youtube.com/ExMuslimUK), and saves others on the years of research that lead me to my present day conclusions. I regularly fasted, used to pray 5 times a day; I even kept a tally on the wall for the kaza prayers I had missed in case I forgot to do them later. All in all I tried my best to remain a good Muslim. However I could never rid myself of my doubts. I felt bad and alone, as I had never come across a Muslim apostate before, there had to be something evil and wrong with me. I kept quiet and became insular and with great sadness, the more I looked into it, the greater my doubts grew. That was right up till the day that my cousin said that I could not keep interpreting Islam to taste. I had to accept everything in the Quran was perfect or face the fact that I was not a Muslim. I decided I could no longer continue this charade, so I accepted it to him, but more importantly to myself. From that day my mind was finally set free from my self-imposed exile.