NameAstrid Davenport

I was raised in a Muslim family, and since I can remember Islam has been a dark shadow shrouding my life. It stifled my ability for self expression and ability to build a life that was authentic to myself.

I was sent to Madrasa from the age of 3, pulled out of a secular primary school at 6 and put in a Muslim primary school where Islamic studies was a daily activity. Even at a young age, I would ask the Sheikhs questions about Islam and I was met with ´because the Quran said so´. It never sat right with me. I knew there was something just not right.

At 11, I went back to a state school and it was the first time free thinking was allowed. I started to realise that Islam was a theology did not align with me and I lived in fear daily knowing that coming out to my family would end badly. In this time, I discovered that I was queer and desperately wanted to remove the hijab and live a ´normal´ life, but the threat was always there.

At 19 I left Islam, after reading authentic Sahih hadith and finding shockingly disturbing, sexist, homophobic and violent verses in the Quran. It was as if a veil lifted and I was finally free of all the heaviness that was brought on to be by a religion I did not feel aligned with since I could remember.