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Daniel Henry, Leicester
I'm not an ex-Muslim myself.
I rejected the religion I was "born into" in favour of my own beliefs.
I've been lucky enough to be able to do this without reprecussions from my friends, family and social circles.
I'm joining to provide full support and solidarity to those who have not enjoyed this freedom.
Zeeshan Arshed, London
Born and raised in a Muslim family I've always adhered to what was expected of me but in my mind I was relentlessly questioning and eventually it all became sense that one does not need religion to be happy in life.
You can cherry-pick every aspect of every culture and religion as you see fit, to live the life you see fit.
I had a rather peaceful transition to Atheism but I know of many who have suffered immensely and because of that I've strived to offer my support and guidance to those who may want it. At the same time I have been relentless in my criticism of the issues within Islam and religions themselves with the aim of improving them.
Now after my university experience and a professional career ahead of me I feel I have the opportunity to offer reinforcement and the courage to help others pursue the life they want.
This organisation is appealing to be because I was brought up in a very strict Shia Muslim family and I found myself lying to myself pretending to believe in this and thought that I could never leave this "religion of peace" . Once I found the CEMB and felt connected and not the only person who didn't believe in this fairytale I decided to join it.
Z G, London
Born in the UK, into an Asian-East African Shia household, I was taught the Quran from an early age, made to attend the Mosque on Saturdays for "education". It was at age 15 when my views changed, it was around the time of the "graphic" cartoons of Muhammed, when I questioned my faith. For a long period of time I'd only accepted Islam, given that it was hard to believe over a billion people being wrong.
I then questioned many of my madressah school teachers, and recieved inadequate responses. Often, they accused me of disbelief - to avoid answering my questions.
In my experience, heavy anti-jewish sentiment is rife in my community; ignorant "aunts and uncles" accusing Jews of the worlds woes.
The activities of many "religious" muslims in my community further seperated me from believing in Islam. Many would have girlfriends, drink, smoke etc. I found hypocrisy common.
The hypocrisy of hearing "muslim" voices about UK foreign policy. But not wanting to hear freedom of speech when it suits them. The habit of picking and choosing aspects of Islam is idiocy.
By 16, I'd stopped praying, fasting and only attended mosque if there was a wedding or death. I find it hard to be friends with Muslims, due to my apostacy; very few are accepting. My sister has also abandonded the religon, which is interesting given we both disbeliebed in private, and have only openly done so whilst at University.
I have also faced discrimination, my current girlfriend's mother (of Hindu-Indian heritage ), believes that I will try to convert her, and that I haven't really left the religion - and to never trust a muslim boy. It angers me that people still associate me with a religion, any religion for that matter - and discriminate. I'd rather be discriminated for what I am ( an atheist ), than what I'm not, a muslim.
A M, birmingham
Hi.my name is ....i lived in birmingham for almost 4 years.i was a muslim.when i came to uk my thoughts start changing.i m atheist.i been married with non muslim girl..recently my younger brother he been living in uk. told my family back in pak about me nd my thought.drinking nd eating non halal food.and they didnt like it.my family is strict muslims.my dad nd my brothers threat me to deth.my dad refused me as son.i dont tell my friends or other peoples becuse most of them r muslims.
Mohamed Hegazy, Bradford
I was forced and to have beliefs and practices against my will, like practicing a religion I never believed in let alone the fact of believing itself, I am also being prepared for a forced marriage in few years , my only escape was fleeing the country I lived in; convincing my parents that I am going as a student and it will just an education phase of my life; In my society back home I am the only one who knows about my atheism, none of my family and friends know as I can predict the consequences and it will basically ruin my life both emotionally and financially.
Salwa Elsaeed, London ? Chelsea
I originally came from Sudan, with a background of a Muslim family, extended and nuclear. Personally, I have never believed in Islam or have been a practicing Muslim, although Muslims in general consider any person in their society a Muslim by birth. That is the reason why I have never applied before to the membership of the EX-Muslims Council. I am an scholar who has been studying both Islam and Christianity for several years and ended up in being an atheist. I have written, and published online, several articles about the teachings of the Quran. Also I have presented many lectures on many aspects of the Sharia Laws at many venues from radically and comprehensively analytical and critical standpoint towards the teachings of Islam.
My academic background is that of an architect-town planner. I have the privilege of speaking, reading and writing Arabic fluently as a mother-tongue language, which indeed helped me in reading and understanding, and therefore knowledgeably interpreting the original manuscripts of Islam.
I am absolutely convinced that the teachings of Islam represent a serious threat to humanity at large, particularly as it is practiced by extremist Islamist organizations such as ISIS and al-Qaeda.
I would like to apply to the membership of the council to contribute positively to the ultimate eradication of such madness.
I was born into 'muslim' family and was abused and beaten in the name of Islam and I thought I was the only one so I would like to find people with similar experience.
I was raised in a fairly strict Muslim family and 'community', but I've always been an independent thinker with an enquiring mind. Religion didn't make sense to me. It took many years of mental struggle with myself, my supposed 'beliefs', and my background to finally break free from the shackles. Since I have limited social contact, this group gives me an opportunity to join a new community of people like me that I can relate to and not hide from.
Tony Smith, North West
Hello. My name is Tony Smith and I am an Atheist. I have never been a Muslim but I would like to give my support to ex-Muslims wherever possible, even if it is just to lend an ear.
We only get one life, and on the adventure that is your own life, may you find the freedom, peace and contentment that you deserve.
Best wishes to all of you.
I 'm 25 years old and born in Iran , I never believe in any religion in my whole life , unfortunately our country is very religious country , we were always force to follow the Muslim roles and deny our beliefs . It is very dangers to not having belief in a Religious government ( Especially the Islamic state ), government will not forgive people who criticizing the religion . why we can't be free in our country . If people and society could face religion as a simple issue we will not experience this tragedy and will reach Modern Democracy and Civil Society . In Iran we should study Islamic principals in school and universities , no matter who you are what you believe , because you born in Islamic country that government try to embedded every thing in your mind by force . We want society to stop labeling and treating all its members equally and fairly.
Danny Afzal, London
I was born into a Muslim family in a Muslim commuity here in the UK. As a boy I was schooled at the mosque with the teachings of the Quran and the Sufi would beat it into us with a chair leg with a nail in the end of it. It was then as a young boy that I began to question the teachings of Islam. Needless to say, me and my two younger brothers were banned from the mosque and eventually we were not allowed to attened any mosques in our community.
As a teenager I spent two years travelling accross Pakistan and I saw Christians and Hindus persecuted by Muslims because of their religions. They had no legal rights and were abused incessantly and I was dismayed by this and I tried to help them and was admonished for doing so. I did not see religious boundries: I saw human beings.
I studied the Hadiths and the Koran further, I studied the Biblical texts, the Torah and the Bhagvad Gita and other religious texts and scholars looking for answers and for a forgiving, helpful and loving God but found only division and hatred between religious peoples.
As an history acadmic, I went back to the origins of religious belief, looking for answers in ancient Eygptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Native American and Aborigional texts and found striking similarities and clear connections to Abrahamic religions and practices, again looking for answers to a higer power which could unite human kind as one in life and death as some of these pre-Abrahamic faiths practiced and still practice today.
Suprisingly, I actually found something I could beleive in and an un-shakable faith...IN ME! Yes, I know it sounds selfish and my ideas have caused me much pain from others but I have never lost faith in myself to be a good human being to other human beings and I do not need a book, a prophet, a building or a doctrine to tell me that.
The universe is not as big as you think and if you wanted to, and you can think it, you can travel to places you can only imagine but that doesn't mean its not real.
Peace be with you (in the name of humanityand huwomanty).
Hi I am 30 year old Ex-Muslim.I find Islam very difficult to believe and follow in this modern age.I felt stranded by Islam.I could not fulfill my dream of being an artist due to Islam.so I finally decided to leave this religion and free my mind.There are too many contradictions in Islam too many sects its very hard to understand.I am free now and happy.
hi i was a muslim but i always think about the behaviour of islam against non muslim which always teach me to hate but when i came here and see the behaviour of non muslims then i realised that non muslims are not bad so i have left islam and now i believe in humanity that all human are equal and the only atheist have respect for all other human?
I am an 18 year old apostate of Islam. Islam was something that I was extremely passionate about and would even try and convey its message to friends and not so religious family members. Being a science lover I was particularly interested in the so called scientific miracles of the Quran which I later discovered were not as impressive as I once thought. The more I looked into Islam from a less biased viewpoint I realised it was no more special than all the other religions of the world except maybe a little more cruel than some. I began to realise that it is a religion which favours men and treats women like second class citizens. I always believed Islam was the religion that truly liberated women and that is what i used to constantly remind my non Muslim and even my less religious Muslim friends who were having doubts. However over time I realised that I would never be able to OBEY a man and isolate myself from the rest of society. I want to be able to achieve great things and I realised Islam is what is holding me back from achieving my dreams. I remember growing up I would constantly pray for my non Muslim friends as I feared they would go to hell. I could never understand why a merciful and compassionate god would create someone he knew would disobey him only to punish them for eternity.The whole concept of hell seemed cruel and unfair. Although I am still in the closet I hope one day I will have the courage to tell more people about my atheism.
Hi, I'm a 22 years old female and though I have disagreed with statements of Islam for a long time (including homosexuality being a sin and the brutal punishments of Sharia Law), I have only recently started to feel accepting of myself feeling this way and considered leaving the religion. I don't feel confident in telling my family however, as it is quite large and strongly religious. I also worry about my close Muslim friends disapproving. I have come to this site to connect with accepting, supportive people and others who feel the same way I do.
Sonia Wahab, UK
This is Sonia Wahab. The current statement is my testimony that I am now an atheist and an apostate of Islam. I am from Pakistan which claims to be an Islamic republic state but really struggling hard to fit the frame of democracy in Islam. I have seen horrors of religion from a closer eye because Jihad is the main spirit behind suicide bombing which takes tolls on life of thousands every year. Islam is a religion of submission and those who do not submit against the power are subject to killing. I testify here that Islam has damaged the core of my being and have taken away some real opportunities to experience the life in free and secure environment. Wherever Islam is there is fear and deadly silence. Although I have left Islam but I think Islam will never leave me. My fight against Islam will never end.I appreciate networking through social media and share my experiences of leaving Islam with other Ex-Muslims, otherwise, it is impossible for me to be my real self in a sick and decayed Islamic system. Islam is a monster of 21st Century and we all have to resist its violence under any fear or threat.
I'm not an ex-Muslim, but an atheist. I'd like to join the CEMB as mark of solidarity and support of your manifesto. I have a tremendous amount of sympathy and respect for those ex-Muslims who have taken the brave step of joining this community, and want to help in whatever way I can. I want to be part of the discussion and engage with like-minded people
Sarah owen, London
i just turned 18 but since a few years ago I began to doubt Islam, I found it difficult to worship God and began to question everything. I was restricting my life to a religion that I began to think was false. I was born in Saudi and came to Britain at 3, my family is very traditional and somewhat religious. With my family culture and religion tend to mix often. I began to hate my life and I grew resentment towards Islam. I just cannot believe I'm the religion no more. But I cannot tell my family.....if I do my life would be in danger. I don't know what to to.
I hope my decision was not a mistake
Aouda 8, london
I am a 16 year old who as of yet hasn't been met with much support on my change from a muslim to athiest. As a young woman in a religious household I have been forced into hiding my identity after it accidentally coming out and - to use the phrase - "shit going down". I have kind of managed to persuade my parents I have 'found the deen' again but feel really lonely and I need to know I am not going crazy and that there are athiest muslims, and perhaps gain advice on how I can get out of here.
I live, and always have, lived in London and am of Algerian descent, although I don't feel any real relation to that and err to my british origins more oft.