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Jasmyne Sefton, Nottingham
My name is Jasmyne. I'm a 32 year old single mother of two boys working as a social worker in Nottingham. I was raised as a christian, attending church up until the age of 13 through school and groups such as the Brownies. I have never aligned myself particularly with a faith but it's dogmas were (& to some degree) still affect me. I began questioning religion in my teens and became somewhat of a 'passive atheist' in my 20's. I am now of the firm position of anti theist. I have recently joined the new 'Sunday Assembly' movement and I am disappointed at the lack of diversity of people attending. As much as I support the movement I believe we have to reach out much more to other members of society. I recognise how easy it is for me as a white, middle class working women to denounce religion and that inspires me to want to help others and break down barriers.
Yasmin Sawar, Burnley
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.
I have been an agnostic for quite some time. Living in a northern English town, where the muslim community, like other places around the world, is insular, and very much of the belief, that it is more righteous insofar as religion and virtues go.
I am a rationalist.....religious superstition is not for me. I don't believe in witchcraft and flying horses.
The CEMB Is a rational organisation. It gives non muslims, ex-muslims and agnostics hope and a rationale, that religion can never provide.
muhammad shamoon, glasgow
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
Joining cemb is the choice of people who think freedom and liberty should be for everyone especially for those who oppressed by islamic tyrannous regime. Living within a society where hatred is compulsory and free thinking is a crime necessitates to strive against this ideology and prevent it's spreading to other countries. And for myself and others and I am here to do so.
M Wajid, London
Ex-Muslim, IT professional from Pakistan and looking to meet like minded people around. Active on facebook for the most part under the name of Muhammad Wajid.
Michael Gray, United States of America
I was born and raised in a catholic family. But I discarded those beliefs as early as the age of 14. The more I studied and researched the the more I found it difficult to believe in an invisible creation of people from the Iron Age.
Luckily for me I was born in a country where if one decided they no longer believed in any of the gods of the Abrahamic or HIndu traditions there was no fear or punishment of death, imprisonment or torture. There are many people who will not like you once they find out you are not religious, but our society does not usually kill people for their beliefs or non beliefs.
I would like to be able to talk about atheism and agnosticism with others around the world and give hope to others who do face incredible problems imposed on them by those who mercilessly believe in some invisble creation and believe it is their duty to hurt other who do not share those beliefs.
I am retired.
I hope my participation and contribution will help in some way.
I belong to a religious family from northern Pakistan. Grew up in religion all along. Learned a lot of Islamic literature from the very beginning. Kept pushing under the rug all that didn't make sense. Finally it was enough of nonsense and renounced Islam some three years ago. Was living in Pakistan until I shifted to UK this month (January 2014).
Please include a statement as to why you want to join and the significance of the organisation for you. Any background information would i'm from Muslim background, i just had enough with the fairy tails and myth of religions, i choose to be atheist mainly because of what Islam teaches and its equally stupid with Christians , Jews and any other religion. so i have a point in joining ex Muslim. let Muslim world not be proud of peoples joining Islam based on ignorance , rather than peoples leaving Islam based on science and rationality.
Muhammad Nasir Irshad, London
i dont have any believe in islam even not on any religion, according to me all the religion have some stories not the reality, islamic book dont have any authentic from its written hadith all are establish later 300 years and quran after 10 or more. same in islam shia is claiming some different from the day one. and same in christians night templer is the group how promote it , i have alot of things in mind i definately like to share here whenever i get some time.
Berk Bektas, London & Oxford
I'm originally from Turkey, but my background is Alevi, so my background isn't islamic, although some Alevi's would consider themselves muslim, it's mainly due to ignorance and not ever looking up the religion itself. I'm an Atheist, I'm part Oxford Atheist, Secularists and Humanists and the Brookes equivalent, I'm very anti-Islam so would like to help out in any way possible.
Sara, London, UK
I was brought up in a Muslim household and even received an Islamic arabic education in an independent school in the UK. However I now find myself agnostic in my belief or lack of it. This group is an excellent forum which will allow me to express my thoughts and reflect on a subject I can not discuss elsewhere as I am agnostic in the closet,
Mohammad Aghdam, london
"I do not believe in God and in my opinion anything that cannot be found does not exist. We humans have a brain and we can easily distinguish between good and bad. Fundamentally, God is a delusion and a concept that some people are scared of, and their external actions will be to satisfy their God - or at least to not upset him. I am very pleased to know myself and inescapably come to a land where I am free to explore and be independent. I am my own God and I do not need to greet any devil or bow down to any kiblah. I am only myself, and I will stay myself, and I will die myself. In my opinion, belief in God is a tool for human weakness and he is not a character you can really rely on. The safest people in the world are the infidels; their conscience is their God.
Andrew Moncrieff, Hereford
I fully support atheist causes, particularly ones interested in facing the problems the growing Islamic faith presents for the rest of the world. I also am very interested in mechanisms to protect people who want to leave the Islamic faith without dying for that right.
Malik N Ahmed, London
For the right to freedom of thought and belief. For tolerance and humanism.
I am a 17 year old ex-Muslim. My parents disowned me in April (2013).
I have not believed in Islam and had been pretending to believe since I was about 12 years old. I do not know anyone in my family that has left Islam and I did not live in an area with a big Muslim population therefore I do not know any ex-Muslims.
I started dating a non-Muslim boy and my parents found out (by reading my texts) in February. They then tried to pull me out of college. I was so scared and I did not know what else to do so I ran away and stayed at my boyfriend's house for a couple of days. My parents harassed me, my boyfriend, my friends and his parents to try and make me come home. Eventually I did after they agreed to not try to pull me out of college (which I realise they couldn't but they could easily stop paying for me to travel to college) and accept the relationship I have with my boyfriend. As soon as I came back, I was criticised. They tried to make me become more religious and kept telling me how I was doing something very wrong by having this relationship. I just couldn't take it anymore. They would make me read Qur'an sometimes twice a day and I wouldn't understand what I was reading. I've always felt detached from Islam. I've never been able to believe in it when I could see it's flaws.
I told my parents that I didn't want to be a Muslim and hadn't wanted to since I was 12. My Dad made me pack (only giving me 5 minutes and I only had my college bag) and then they dropped me off at my boyfriend's house. They told me that they do not want to talk to me until I 'come to my senses' and become a Muslim again and stop dating my boyfriend. This was 4 weeks before my AS exams and they did not let me collect my work for a week.
I have 2 siblings: an older sister and a younger brother, neither of which I have seen since about April. I miss them and occasionally my parents too. All I wanted was to not feel trapped and all Islam did was make me feel trapped. That is why I left but by leaving I have lost my whole family.
I guess I just don't want to feel so alone anymore and finding this group has made me realise I am not.
I am an agnostic atheist.Though I was born in a liberal family where religion was not really talked about but was exposed to Islam quite heavily and I have been unfortunate enough to see the misery Islam can cause to people. I left Islam when I was about 12/13. Islam never made any sense to me, never found the Islamic message convincing at all. I could not reconcile with the god who does not need to be worshiped yet demands to be worshiped and barbecue those who fail to find his message unconvincing. I started reading about Islam, its history and doctrines in details in my early 20s and there was a massive change in perspective. Now I think Abrahamic faith can categorically be disproved. I am not against Islam or any religion but I am against Islam as a political movement since I think political Islam felicitate the violation of basic human rights. I can not stand by and tolerate an ideology which is so pointlessly cruel and sadistic. I simply can not.
Afshan Malik, London
I have only just discovered this organisation. I am a professional woman in my 50s. I grew up in Bradford in a Muslim household but realised that I did not believe in Islam when I was 11 and reading the Quran. I live by my own values and believe you can be a good person without organised religion. I have really had to hide my own beliefs for such a long time, only from Muslims, and I am tired of so called Muslims who are really hypocrites and think that they can judge me or criticise me because I chose to live my life outside of a Muslim set up. I would like to support this organisation if I can.
Umair Evans, London, UK
I am a half Pakistani (and half English/German) American who was raised in Islam in Ohio. I stopped believing when I found the hypocrisy and inherent bigotry to be too much. So many of the tenets of the religion that people cling to are simply instruments of control. Coupling this with the friends and family I have from other religious backgrounds, I just no longer could be part of the charade.
I have had doubts about relegion for a while...despite me trying to gain more knowledge on Islam and.practice it more I fealt that the more . Knew the less I believed. I am now agnostic however not many people can understand why...they think the devil has gotten.to me lol. I only just fiscovered this group today and am so glad there are plenty of others out there that arent brain washed and have thought fr themselves
As a child growing up near London, I remember fearing Allah to some extent and praying to him in times of need (i.e. before exams!). However this demonstration of faith never fully translated into my actions. I got bored whenever my dad dragged me to the mosque, and during Ramadhan would secretly scoff a chocolate bar in the school toilets to keep me going until sunset! I think it's because, even at this young age, I questioned the logic for what I was supposed to be doing rather than blindly accepting what my parents and the rather angry man from the mosque were telling me.
My first day at university was a major turning point. The second my dad pulled out of the car park I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom to be who I wanted to be - or perhaps find out who I actually was. I'm not ashamed to say this initally led me down a somewhat hedonistic path with my newly found friends, however at no point did I feel regret or guilt because I had created my own moral framework which was not being violated. Although I had not internally processed my own position on religion at this stage, there was no turning back from here.
I'm now in my early thirties and in recent years have developed an intellectual curiosity regarding the origins of religion and related topics such as cosmology, philosphy and morality. Dawkins, Hitchens and Krauss have provided an excellent gateway to these conversations through their writings and recorded debates, but I am keen to learn more and hope that the CEMB will help me in this regard. The sharing of common experience is also something I would value highly, as there is little or no other outlet for this in my life. Particular areas of relevance to me would be sensitive handling of family members who remain devout Muslims, especially in the context of finding a partner for marriage and raising chidren in the future.
If anyone thinking of joining the CEMB community is reading this and can relate to it on any level, you have already started your journey and I would urge you to continue it. Even if it leads you back to Islam - your choice will be a more enlightened one.