I've always been a bit wary of testimonies. It conjures up images of evangelical meetings where member after member stands up to confesses that they too were sinners but have now seen the light! Followed by raucous applause and cries of hallelujah! But I recognise that it serves a purpose. Both for the individual and the reader.
I was born and grew up in the United States. My parents are both Arab. I have been a practising Muslim all my life - apart from my teenage years. I know Muslims find it hard to believe that any 'true' Muslim would leave Islam and so the usual accusation against any Muslim brave enough to 'come out' is that "Oh you were never a 'real Muslim!
Well I was. I not only practised it personally, praying all my prayers, learning the Qur'an and studying Islam. I preached it and worked for more than one Muslim organisation that promoted Islam. I was one of those Muslims who tried to present Islam as a tolerant and peaceful religion. I know many on this forum have little time for such people, but for obvious reasons I am not so hard on them. I know that's what they genuinely believe Islam to be.
So yes! I was a 'true' Muslim. I practised it, believed it, preached it and worked for it. I came to practise Islam because of the good things I was taught about Islam. My parents never taught me the other things. But as the years went by I discovered more and more that made me feel deeply uncomfortable. I couldn't square some of the teachings with my faith in the values of peace and tolerance and love. But I felt trapped. It was as though I had signed a contract in good faith only to have someone unfold the all the small print that had all this stuff about wife beating, taking captives, slavery, chopping off hands etc...
The choice then is either reject the whole thing or make the best of the situation as you can. The thought of rejecting Islam just does not bear contemplating. The concept of the Kafir and Apostate is built up so much that even now I am scared shitless that I am going to be struck down by a bolt of lightening or burnt eternally in the lowest pit of hell for my infidelity. Only a Muslim knows how strong this feeling is. Perhaps it can be likened in some ways to the members of a group I used to hear about called the Moonies who needed long de-programming sessions to re-enter the human race and stop thinking that all the outsiders were evil and brainwashed by the devil and that they would be eternally dammed if they left.
What eventually turned the tide for me? Well it was not really one thing. It was a long process of many things. Perhaps the main factor was that I always clung stubbornly to my humanity no matter what. But certain events certainly worked as a catalyst. Firstly it was Muslims themselves that brought home the futility of my attempts to show that Islam is a religion of peace, love and toleration. On an intellectual level I was confronted by the 'purists' who constantly refuted my 'peaceful' Islam and they always had the stronger evidence. Secondly, I think living in the west exposes many of the contradictions in Islam. It is easier for the mind to try and justify something inhumane in 'theory' - but it is when you have to apply it in practise to those around you that it is really exposed for what it is. Someone very close to me, who was not a Muslim but was a very good and spiritual person, caused me to question many of the attitudes Muslims have to non-Muslims.
The more uncomfortable I felt the more I questioned. But the more I questioned the more uncomfortable I felt. Rather than finding answers to calm my worst fears, I found those I argued with simply confirmed them. Either it was the Islamists telling it like it is or it was the apologist giving me nonsensical explanations that had very little or no basis in the original texts. It became clearer and clearer to me that the Islamists were right. Their intolerant, harsh and in some cases barbaric version of Islam really was the 'real' Islam.
What worried me more was that some Muslims who were aware of this intolerant and barbaric side of Islam were openly saying that never mind what our 'feelings' are, never mind what our 'mind' or 'heart' tells us we must suppress these in obedience to God and the greater good of our goal.
Well I just couldn't accept that God would want us to achieve things this way and it reminded me of the sort of mentality of the Nazis and other groups that committed great evil in the name of ' the ends justify the means' - I knew then that something here is very wrong.
But I still clung to the belief that these guys were just a crazed minority. A small and ineffectual group who would never be able to amount to anything. But since Sept 11th I have had to admit that this is not true. They are an ever-present force within Islam and they just cannot be opposed, simply because they have all the evidence to back them up.
I grew tired of trying to fight them and spread the image of Islam as a peaceful religion. I grew tired of trying to defend things that, in all sincerity, could not be defended.
That's it! I had just had enough. I was fed up with having this self-imposed barrier between me and the good and decent people who live around me, simply because they don't believe as I do. So what? Let people believe what they want. So long as they don't harm anyone. Let God judge us if that what He wants to do. I do believe in God. But I don't know what that means? I haven't got a clue who God is and what His plan is and why this whole bloody world exists?
But whoever God is - I just don't believe He is going to punish me for not wanting to hurt anyone and standing by that.
American Ex Muslim reverts back to Islam
The following is the email I received from American ex Muslim. Scroll up to read his original testimony.
June 8, 2003
would you mind removing the thread i posted in the testimonies section as americanxmuslim - called 'my story'
i still regard myself as a muslim - in fact i see it as essential that i remain within islam, in order to push for reforms from within - i refuse to let the extremists have it all their own way and abandon the majority of Muslims to their clutches!
i hope u understand
best wishes & peace :-)
Prior to deciding to abandon Islam and help other Muslims to abandon it too, I flirted with the idea of reformation for many years. I finally came to the realization that Islam is not reformable. This truth dawned on me after I read the Quran. I saw that Muhammad was not a prophet but a liar. Then the question is, why keep his lie alive? There have been many reformers and rationalists in Islam. They have all failed because the Quran was against them. The Mo’tazalis are a clear example of that. Moderate Islam is a fallacy. Can you reform Nazism and make it a humane philosophy? You have a better chance to reform Nazism than reforming Islam. Nazism does not claim to have divine origin and therefore it is possible to reform it. By what authority do you propose to reform the Quran?
You are beating a dead horse. You’ll reap nothing but failure and frustration. The movement of Islamic renaissance is marching with strength and is gaining momentum day by day. Be part of this movement instead. The truth about Muhammad and Islam is out. Soon the world will know that this man that you still call a prophet was an evil man. The followers of this evil monster will be engulfed with shame. Your children will be singled out and ridiculed. The tied is changing. Gone are those days that Muslims were protected and insulting Islam was a taboo. More and more people are speaking out against this evil cult and Muslims will find themselves in a very difficult situation. This process cannot be reversed. Islam is a sinking ship. No one can save it.
The question you have to ask yourself is: Was Muhammad a messenger of God or was he a liar? If he was a messenger of God then show me. Prove it to me that I am wrong. Let the world know. I have issued a challenge that should anyone prove that Muhammad was indeed a messenger of God, I’ll remove my site and embrace Islam again. Not a single person has been able to do it and no one will be able to do it because Muhammad was a liar. I have proved my case against Islam. If you think I am wrong, the ball is in your court—show it to me.
If on the other hand you agree that he was a liar, then what is it that you want to reform and save? … A lie? …Why?
If Muhammad was an impostor as I have proven time and again, then by devoting your life to Islam you get no rewards from any God. Your prayers and fasting are worthless. The real God has nothing to do with this impostor. And his mechanical drills devised to brainwash the people will not attract God’s favors. Do you think the followers of Jim Johns who committed mass suicide or the members of Heaven’s Gate will receive any rewards for sacrificing their lives even though they were sincere? It would be foolish to assume so. The same can be said about Muslims. There is no reward for being a Muslim and following an impostor.
Leaving one’s faith has never been easy. It is much easier to keep our eyes closed and pretend nothing has happened. Believe it or not for one year after leaving Islam I kept praying and doing the fast. It took me one full year to stop being a hypocrite. I knew Islam was false yet I feared giving up the rituals that I had grown up with.
I saw a movie. I don’t recall the name (May be it was Shan Shay Redemption or something like that). An old man who had spent all his life in prison was released. He was overtaken by depression and after a few weeks he could not cope with the freedom and hanged himself. The fear of freedom is a psychological condition. Animals who have spent a long time in cage; often do not want to leave it when the cage is opened. To be free requires courage.
Do not beguile yourself. You know too well that Islam cannot be reformed. These are pretexts. You are afraid of freedom. If you think Islam holds any truth, show me. I felt like you for a long time. I was overtaken by fear despite the fact that I knew Islam is a lie. But each time I looked into a mirror I saw a coward and a hypocrite. Finally I decided that is enough of cowardice and hypocrisy. I have known the truth and I am going to spell it out. I won’t let the manipulations of a dead madman control me. There is no doubt that he was an impostor. He was just a cult leader and a brutal one at that. If everything he said about science and this world has proven to be wrong, there is no reason to believe his bogus claims about God, heaven and hell are true. In fact they are ridiculous and it is embarrassing for an educated man to believe in those stupid fear mongering fairy tales.
Now instead of being a fool, I am enlightened. I am part of the Islamic renaissance. My life has meaning and I feel invigorated. Islam is losing while our renaissance is gaining momentum. Do not be part of the losers. The truth is in our camp and victory is ours. Islam is doomed because truth is more powerful than all lies as light is more potent than darkness. Do not take this call lightly. If still you think Islam is a true religion prove it. If you can’t, then leave it. But whatever you do don’t be a hypocrite. You live only once. Live with dignity and prove that you are not a sheep but a man of courage and understanding.
Give it a couple of days and think about it. However I hope this letter will make you ponder and give you the courage to stand for the truth.
Your brother as always
June 9, 2003
To be honest absolute truths like was muhammad a prophet or not, no longer troubles me. Nor am I interested in defending beliefs in absolute truths. What concerns me is that I do something good and positive to help others without hurting anyone in the best way as I see it. Whoever and whatever God is or isn't - I am sure he will accept my efforts - even if they are misguided. I doubt that there is any such thing as the absolute right way.
But I'm sure you will agree - we have to follow our own light - our own conscience. Just as you must follow yours - I must follow mine.
I do not see it as winning or losing. I doubt very much that there are any winners or losers.
Only players - the best of whome are those who follow their heart and mind sincerely.
I would like my testimony removed - because it no longer reflects my thoughts. However I will not ask you again.
Best wishes Ali,
You are right. Truth is relative and we may never be able to find it. Everyday we discover a new reality that pushes our understanding of the truth further. However this does not signify that falsehood also is a probable truth. For thousands of years everyone thought that the Earth is flat. One guy came by and challenged that universal belief. Now we know that the Earth is not flat. Since then our notion of the Earth has been changing. We keep discovering new realities everyday. Everyday new mysteries about our planet is revealed. What we know today will be challenged tomorrow. But do you think there is a chance that one day we discover that the Earth to be flat? Do you see the absurdity of your reasoning? You say since truth is relative, Islam also could be true! Yes truth is relative, but we have proven Islam to be false. That argument is closed. There is not a chance that Islam could be true. The relativity of the truth does not imply that falsehood also could be true. Once we have proven something is false that is an absolute. Our lack of understanding the whole truth does not make something that is proven to be false a probable true. Do you think that there could be any chance that there could be two headed dragons, that Santa is real or that Jinns exist? A false thing is never going to be true. Period.
You say that the truth about Muhammad being a prophet or not does not bother you. That what concerns you is that you do something good and positive to help others. What if a member of KKK claim the same thing? Would yoiu think he is honest? If he really wants to do good, why he is a member of KKK? Doesn't that sound hypocritical? This is absurd. Islam is a gigantic terrorist organization founded by a terrorist. By being part it you are promoting it. You hold an evil monster as a prophet. A man who massacred thousands of innocent people, invaded civilians without any warning, killed unarmed men, looted their belongings, enslaved and raped their wives and children. How dare you speak of “doing good” and not hurting anyone when you follow a murderer? It is a shame to see an otherwise intelligent man confesses that he has no regard for truth, does not care that the man who he wants to emulate was a monster and pretends to be a good man doing good things and not hurting anyone. How can you not hurt anyone if you are part of a terrorist organization and support it? How credible would be a member of the Nazi party if he claims that all he wants to do is do good and not hurt anyone when he is supporting an organization that promotes hate and systematically murders innocent people?
So you think that as long as you have clear conscience God will accept your efforts even if they are misguided? That is (pardon my language but I could not find a more expressive way to say it) BULLSHIT. What a stupid thing to say. Do you think that all the mean cults that promote hate and their followers who commit crimes will all be accepted by God because they are sincere in their misguided ways? The "Aum Supreme Truth" cultists in Japan poisoned a dozen of innocent commuters in Tokyo Subways to "liberate" them from the cycle of sin. They were sincere and had "good" motives. Do you think they will be forgiven? What about the other members of this cult that did not participate in these mass murders but believe Shoko Asahara, the lunatic leader of this cult is a divine being? Would God forgive them? People do crime in the name of religion because they are brainwashed and they do it with clearest conscience. The hasshashin, the followers of Hassan Sabbah used to assassin their victims and stayed in the scene of crime to be captured and faced their own death with smiles. Conscience can be manipulated. It is the most unreliable tool to find the truth. What can guide you is reason and not your twisted conscience. If you are brainwashed your conscience is flawed. Your conscience will make you do evil things just as the conscience of the Islamic terrorists makes them commit so much crime so cheerfully. Don't rely on your misguided conscience because that will lead you to hell.
You wrote: “But I'm sure you will agree - we have to follow our own light - our own conscience. Just as you must follow yours - I must follow mine.”
Do you think that Muhammad Atta did not follow his own conscience? Do you think the suicide bombers who blow themselves and a bunch of innocent people up have dirty conscience? No Sir! They have clear conscience, just like you. I said find your own light. I did not say follow the darkness. I said doubt everything, I did not say believe in any stupid things and don’t care whether what you believe is true or not. You have not understood an iota of Buddha’s maxim, “Doubt everything, find your own light”. You fear and you believe in stupidities. Where is the light in this? You follow your own ignorance. This is not light. This is darkness. If anyone had to do what he thinks is right and if that was okay with God then why in the world you believe God sends messengers?
Islam is an evil force that is menacing the world, is killing people, is denigrating women and you want to be part of it. You give validity to this evil force. You energize it. I am not against those Muslims who commit terrorism, murder and die in the process. They are fools and victims of this evil cult. I am against the so-called modernist Muslims who falsify Islam, who want to salvage this evil force. I am not afraid of the Muslims who commit murder in the name of Islam and call spade a spade. I fear the hypocrites who camouflage Islam like a Trojan horse. These people are the real enemies of humanity. These are the ones who strive to maintain Islam alive, masquerade its ugly face and provide legitimacy for it.
If there is a God you can be sure that he despises you more than he despises the suicide bombers. The suicide bombers are honest. You are not. You are a weak man who according to your own admission has no regards for the truth. You don’t give a hoot if Muhammad was a murderer, a criminal, an assassin, a highway rubber or a rapist. You believe since there is no absolute, falsehood also could be true and evil also could be good. What happened to your dignity? What about your humanity and your brain? Who do you think you are fooling? …. God? …. or yourself? Do you think truth is just a joke? Does justice have any meaning for you? How can you face the mirror when you know you have no answer to my charges against Muhammad? Doesn’t it bother you to see a hypocrite in the mirror? Are you this much weak? Are you this much afraid? See how the evil ghost of this man has mesmerized you and taken away your powers that you are unable to distinguish between right and wrong!
So you think as long as you personally do not hurt anyone, God is pleased with you and it does not matter to you that you are upholding a book that tells its followers to -kill the Jews and the Christians if they fail to pay for their protection, beat your wives, murder the pagans, crucify the unbelievers, stone the single mothers and millions of Muslims do just that. Then you come and tell me:
“I refuse to let the extremists have it all their own way and abandon the majority of Muslims to their clutches!”
So what are you gonna do? Are you going to rewrite the Quran? Are you going to tell these “extremists” that they should not follow the Quran of Muhammad and follow your Quran? Don’t you see that these extremists and terrorists get their inspirations from the Quran? On one hand you tell me that you want to remain a Muslim, this means you agree with the crap and the violence of the Quran, it means that you agree that the evil founder of this religion was indeed a messenger of God and all his crimes were okay. Then on the other hand you say you refuse to let the extremists have it all their own way. If this is not hypocrisy I do not know what it is. I have shown that Muhammad was a pervert, a mass murderer, a rapist, a misogynist, a narcissist, a schizophrenic and a liar. You say I don’t care. And at the same time you become a follower of this monster and want to make us believe that you don’t want to hurt anyone. How that works?
I am not going to remove your testimony. I do something better. I publish your declaration that you have reverted to Islam (of course without any reference to your identity). What you go through is proof how devastating Islam is. It shows how otherwise intelligent people succumb under the oppressive domination and mind control of Islam. The world must see how Islam brainwashes its victims and petrifies them with fear. You serve as lesson to others who may be struggling to unshackle themselves from the manacles of Islam.
Despite your weakness one day you too will come to your senses and regret having wasted your life with this cult. You will regret for having contributed to an evil force, for being part of the army of darkness and for being the moral support for the extremists who murder innocent people inspired by the same book of death that you uphold. By being a Muslim you are part of the army of darkness. It makes no difference whether you fight in the front line killing people or serve in the kitchen cooking for the soldiers who kill people. You are part of the same machinery of hate.
Sorry for this intellectual slap. I think you deserve it. You must be awakened. This slap serves you right. The army of light is marching ahead with strength and force. We will build the future—a glorious future of freedom and prosperity, of peace and unity. What is your contribution to mankind and to the masses of victimized Muslims? You are a weak man who is afraid to face the truth. You are too weak even to decide what is right and what is not? You are so brainwashed that you lost your ability to seek the truth. Now your mind is numb and you no more care. You don’t give a damn whether your prophet and guru was a murderer. You are a disappointment to human race. I have far more respect for the suicide bomber who at least is convinced in his wrong way. He will defend his belief. But you are unable to defend it and unwilling to think about it. What kind of man you are? I am ashamed of my humanity when I see a fellow species is so boneless. I am saddened, maddened, furious. I am ashamed of my race because of people like you. Are you not ashamed of yourself? If you had told me that you want to revert to Islam because you discovered that Islam is true and everything I say is a lie, I would have accepted it better. Of course I would have asked you to present your proof. But you are a coward. You have no proof. You fear confrontation with me because you know too well you have nothing to show forth, yet despite this you revert to Islam and make stupid excuses that you cannot let the extremists take over. Why don’t you join other criminal cults then? The Nazi extremists also need reform. Why not reform Nazism? I do not know whether I should laugh at this much stupidity or cry. I wish I could laugh. But my heart is aching. The more I think about it the more it aches. You are insignificant. I am crying for mankind. I am crying for a billion victims of this evil cult that like you cannot rid themselves from it despite the fact that they realize it does not provide them with answers. I cry for those Muslims who read this site and like you are unable to decide. This is devastating. We are doomed as people. Soon we will bring death and devastation upon ourselves. I see destruction and death everywhere. People like you are responsible. But who cares anymore who is responsible when most of us are dead.
Now I turn towards the non-Muslims in the West. You can help. All I ask you is to speak out against Islam. Do not let this lie take over your countries. If you hear anyone promote lies about Islam that it is a religion of peace, speak out. Spread the truth about Islam until Muslims feel ashamed for being Muslims. Do not give in to political correctness or you will lose your liberty and may be your life. Let the Muslims feel the embarrassment and shame of following a terrorist. It is better that they become ashamed for what they believe than both of you lose your lives by them exercising their belief. As you see freedom from Islam is not easy. This maniac Muhammad devised a mind control system that is frightening. His description of hell is so terrorizing that most Muslims, brainwashed in this cult are unable to think rationally. We need your help. The Muslims must be pressured. Because the fear that Muhammad has instilled in his followers is overwhelming, we must increase the pressure of shame and humiliation to counter it. Let the Muslims be filled with shame, ridiculed and derided. May be this pressure will force them to think and liberate themselves from Islam. This is a psychological warfare. Muslims are victims of a mind control freak. They must be put under another psychological pressure to react. If they are left alone they will gravitate to Islam because that is the only psychological pressure that they experience. They must be pushed out of their comfort zone and exposed to a stronger psychological force. Emotions are more powerful than reason. Being a Muslim must not be rewarded. It must be stigmatized. Psychological pressure must mount so they are forced to think. They must not feel comfortable but always under the pressure to defend their beliefs. Those who do not want to give up Islam nor have the power to defend it are weak. They should not be left alone. They, more than anyone else need your help. This help will come by ridiculing them and putting them to shame. Since Islam is a complete intellectual flop, eventually the Muslims will break down. Eventually the shame will outweigh their fear. This will liberate them. This is the key to their freedom from their self-imposed prison of conscience. Let the campaign of shaming the Muslims begin. Don't do this out of malice. Do it out of the goodness of your heart. Shame the Muslims so they are forced to open their eyes.
I invite the cartoonists to make fun of the Muslims, Muhammad and Islam. Let those who can write jokes write jokes that make Muslims look like the idiots of the world. Let us emphasize on their fear, on their willingness to believe any idiotic belief, on their pretense to be for peace while supporting the biggest terrorist organization that ever existed. Let the word Muslim become synonymous to idiot, coward, brainwashed, zombie and of course terrorist. Muslims need help and this psychological warfare is the way to help them. If you love Muslims laugh at them, ridicule them and put them to shame.
permission from Faith