Join Us ↓
Haroon NAseh Qureshi, Bolton
I am a Pakistani-born ex-Muslim. I became an atheist about 8 years ago due to the irreconcilable differences between Islam and real world. Until recently I was quite content to keep my views to myself, however, with the recent rise in religious fundamentalism I felt it was time to speak up and make a stand for the freedom of speech and for the freedom of thought. The formation of the Ex-Muslim Council of Britain is very timely and much needed and I fully support the manifesto.
I am 18 years old. I'm literally so new to the idea of leaving Islam that I'm still contemplating it, trying to convince myself to believe again. However, I know I'm only lying to myself. Once you realise the truth it's hard to force yourself to continue to believe in something that isn't real. I always try pray, but at the end of my dua I subconsciously say "if you're even there.
I want to clarify that I have no intention of badmouthing Islam, I loved being apart of it; you feel such a sense of solidarity and belonging. But I loved the community more than the religion. I barely knew the religion, but the more I got to know it the more I wish I didn't. Everything that I've stated is my own personal problems with it, I'm not saying everyone should leave the faith. I know there's so many misconceptions and bad media on Muslims, that definitely didn't influence my decision. I know the media is such a manipulative weapon and I would never fall victim to its propaganda.
I was brought up in a moderate Muslim household, culture and religion continuously overlapping. I could ignore aspects of the culture, but religion was not to be altered. I would pray when I was younger but as I got older it would be limited to just Ramadan. Regardless of my lack of outward devotion, I truly believed Islam was the right path and legitimate religion. I would never have seen myself leaving Islam. 90% of my friends and all of my family are Muslim, so I had no 'corrupt' influences to sway my decisions.
My issue didn't particularly begin with Islam, but rather with the whole concept of religion. Studying political ideology at college (which was actually secular) I realised that religion was just a way to control people, to stop them from rebelling and maintain a hierarchy. HeIl planted such a fear that you wouldn't even think of questioning anything. It suddenly became so clear that it was a man-made concept. All Abrahamic religions were so similar, almost a variation from one to another. Many stories and names were practically the same and too mystical to be true.
Then, being a Muslim, I had to turn my analysis on Islam. In Islam, all non-believers go to hell. But what of those that have never even been exposed to Islam, let alone know any of its teachings? Does praying override being a good person? I've been told that everybody should seek knowledge, but if they don't have the resources to do so how will they? It just seemed to unfair and unrealistic. If Islam was the true faith Allah would make it easy to find Islam.
Then being a feminist and a Muslim was almost a contradiction in terms. Even though I didn't wear hijab, I convinced myself that wearing one was for for the sake of Allah not solely as a control mechanism. But why should we cover up because men cannot control their eyes? Why should women always have to put their husband first? Why must we act as the culprits rather than the victims? There's just so many questions I had that couldn't be answered without "oh but the prophet-" I don't care what the prophet did, that was another time, another place. I don't want to idolise a man and follow his way of life. I couldn't get to grips with the idea of polygamy, regardless of whether or not the prophet partook in it. Muslims would try to justify everything by mentioning the prophets name and I would just have to grit my teeth and silently nod because God forbid you ever speak against the prophet! Muslims will deny, as I myself did, that women have a lower place in Islam, but they do. Denying it won't change the truth. We can try to adjust and tweak it verbally but will it still be Islam? There's so much I struggle with as a woman who was brought up a Muslim.
I don't think I'll ever tell my family or friends in a straightforward way that I'm probably not Muslim anymore. It would just lead to tears and arguments. It's enough that I've reached this conclusion. But maybe they'll realise through my lack of interest in praying and participating is Islamic conversations.
But losing my religion has left me lost. I'm not sold on the idea of evolution and the Big Bang theory, and I somewhere believe that there may be a God. The world is too perfectly created to be an accident. But I don't believe that a higher existence created humans to be slaves and constantly worship, there's more to life than that.
I'm glad that I've found this organisation because I can openly express everything that's going through my head, an outlet for all of my religious doubts. I thought that I would find almost nothing on the web, but I'm glad that I'm not alone.
karima lemiere, London
Please include a statement as to why you want to join and the significance of the organisation for you. Any background information would be useful.
iam ex-Muslim and now godless looking to shear my idea people have same my mind and have new friends same me
I honestly don't know what to say...
I am from a strict muslim household, after moving out on my own couple years back I have found different path.
I myself am an atheist. However, I have deep empathy for those Muslims who have left their faith, and are left in the unenviable position of feeling isolated in their community. Indeed, perhaps not only isolated, but having to fully hide their new identities. I graduated recently, receiving a 1st for my dissertation on Islamophobia. The key interest for me whilst researching was the pressures and pains that ex-Muslims go through in these times.
I am not a ex Muslim I am joining to show my support if anyone in the Bournemouth area needs support I am here .
I was bought up a Catholic but now i follow no religion, it is not needed and causes so much trouble.
Everyone needs to love respect and empower one another
Ayman Sulaiman, Leeds
Khalid Mohamed, Kent
Simply put, I woke up. I come from a strict muslim background. Family originally came from Somalia before arriving to the UK. As a child I never saw the sense of religion or how it could be true. But tried for many years to participate and be part of the family and ritual. After my life experiences and thinking about it all independently post university and military I realized the freedom of truth and thought. The CEMB provides a voice for a part of society, forced to hide due to fear of death and violence or the shame and humiliation of the muslim community and family. It provides a platform for others like myself to not just feel free and comfortable with their opinions, but allows us to constantly remember we are not alone in our struggles
Mirza Abeer uddin Berlas, barking
Atheist originaly from pakistan. living in lodon
Abdulkarim Azizi, Leed, UK
Hi, my name is Abdulkarim, 22YO, from Syria
I was studying Clinical laboratory science when I was in Syria, Member of the editorial team of the Arab Atheist Magazine ( http://www.arabatheistbroadcasting.com ). I left Syria six months ago after receiving death threats from ISIS and some radical muslim groups in FSA, because of my activity as atheist. And, now I live in Leeds UK. And, waiting for the approval of my asylum request.
I have left Islam I find it hard to believe the more i learn Most my friends and family are Muslims its hard to talk to them. I would like to meet like minded people in Birmingham or around England.
I have been an agnostic and humanist for over a decade. I like to meet like-minded people.
I believe that CEMB is doing a great service to ex-believers who are having a hard time coming out with their non-belief and facing the social and sometimes career consequences.
Jafar Al-Zubi, Oxford
Islam brought nothing but destruction to the world. It literally created a whole culture that lives inside the bubble of delusion. A culture that has no future prospects except death and a culture that is very hypocritical yet very blind to it.
I grow up a Muslim but started questioning it when teachers at my school started telling us to hate Jewish people merely for being Jews and that they deserve to die, even children... That was the spark that showed me how evil and bad Islam is to humanity. I wish for nothing more than to help others leave this hate cult and I am willing to do whatever is necessary.
Farbod nejad, Birmingham
I am iranian ex-muslim ,live in the UK and wiling to join the ex-muslim society
I'm 16. I have been an ex-muslim now for approximately 3 months. I've always known that Islam was not for me. As a second-generation British Pakistani it is relatively unheard of for British Pakistanis to have no religion. I was never brought up religious, but I was brought up to have faith, I never prayed as I'm not in one of those religious families. No one in my family acts muslim but I feel that someone in my family has to be open with their views, and I want that someone to be me.
I was deeply religious up until a year ago when I found out the true teachings of my faith and the true teachings of the prophet, countless killings of innocent men, women and children this I could not bare by my nature I rejected this barbaric religion and soon could not pray, coming from an Afghan background from Birmingham I'm looking to meet like minded people.
Sabrynah Ish, London
I was born and raised in the UK. I do not come from a strict muslim background but I have been exposed to it through various members of my family. I grew up in a 'white' area and so was isolated from the asian-muslim community in general and I believe I had a much easier time transitioning from being someone with a muslim identity to one who doesn't.
From a young age, I've always had a creative streak and a love for art of all kinds. This is mainly what led to my questioning of Islam. That and the violence within religions and the idea that one religion is superior to another.
Personally, I consider myself more spiritual. I have naturally gravitated towards a gaia-like outlook on life over the years. I believe we are no different (except for the physical) to plants and animals and each have a place here on earth. I am against speciesism where humans deem themselves superior to other life on this planet. Islam and many other religions have speciesism rooted in them and this was probably the most difficult aspect for me to accept and the decision not to accept it was when I realised I am not muslim.
I do not hate Islam or any other religion. Instead I dislike how 'man' has left their imprint on them. All religions essentially say the same thing - what you are left with is not necessarily bad. This understanding alone has helped me along the way and I encourage others to explore this more.
Considering my journey to no longer identifying as a muslim has been a long one with some dark spells along the way, I can honestly say that I am at peace with it all. I am not 'out the closet' yet when it concerns my family, but tbh, they all know anyway especially when we've had discussions where my views have been made clear. I am happy to offer support to anyone who is struggling with their transition or those who feel isolated and alone.
abdirhaman abdullahi, bristol
i left Islam and i am 14 but i need help because there are so many things i disagree with and i dont know how to tell my perants
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.