Dear Ali Sina,
I’m shocked, puzzled and astonished. As I’m writing this, my whole life is going to pieces. I was born in Pakistan and grew up in a very religious family. Now I’m living in the USA but I still go to mosque, pray and lead a very religious life. My wife wears hijab; she’s very religious too. I should have used past tense here.
My whole life was dedicated to Allah and Mohammed. I never thought that it was possible to leave Islam. Of course I was aware of apostates but I considered them a bunch of miserable people who would be burning in Hell for eternity. And a few weeks ago my wife found your site and began to read your articles. She was shocked. I decided to look through your site too as my wife’s behavior seemed really strange to me.
Dear Mr. Sina, I have no words. I can’t express my feelings because it was more than just a shock. I think you must know what I’m feeling. I prayed five times a day, I visited mosque, I didn’t take photos of my daughter and I grew a beard. But today I see the stupidity of all these actions.
Certainly I never thought of murdering apostates or non-believers. I knew that there were some suras about non-believers but I didn’t think that they were so violent. I was ignorant.
Yesterday my wife went to work (she’s an accountant) without her hijab. She said she was able to see the world from a different perspective. She says that hijab was more than just a veil; it was a kind of a wall that protected her from this beautiful world and made her ignorant and narrow-minded. We didn’t go to mosque last Friday and I don’t know what our Imam is thinking.
We’ll have to move to another town or even state but we don’t mind.
Dear Mr. Sina, you changed my whole life. I’m still shocked and can’t understand what is going on but I hope this first shock will pass. Thank you for opening my eyes.
I just have one question. I hope that Bush will do with Iran exactly what he has done with Iraq . It’s the only way to stop stoning and hanging of innocent people. What do you think?
Dear M. L.
Your letter brought so much joy to my heart. Since I have started this campaign, my life has been filled with sacrifices. This is not work really. No one pays me for what I do and yet I spend up to 14 hours every day of the week in front of my computer writing, answering questions, posting articles and trying to spread this message of peace and hope. I had to shrink my lifestyle to the bare minimum. When I think about it rationally I say it is stupid. But when I see how many people suffer, honor killed, stoned, bombed and beheaded on daily bases in the name of Islam, and how life is filled with misery for a billion plus people with no escape, I just can’t stop. I am not an important person. I can’t do much, but this is what I can do and I will do my share.
Several years ago I saw a documentary about honor killing. It showed a 16 year old Pakistani girl who was burned by her much older husband because she was disobedient to him. She was lying on bed in hospital. She could not speak, only moan. She raised her hand and looked into the camera and emitted a noise that sounded more like animal than human. Suddenly I felt she is looking at me and begging me to do something. That image left an indelible effect on me. She died only a few days later. At that very moment, I promised her to do whatever I can, no matter how insignificant it may be, no matter how much it may cost me to stop this madness.
So you can imagine how happy I get when I receive letters such as yours, and realize that in a small way I have made a difference. That my sacrifices are bearing fruit. That most Muslims are decent people filled with humanity and goodness. That there is hope for mankind and one day we will be all united. Unity of Mankind! This is such an august project and it feels so good to be part of it. Since childhood I prayed to be an instrument of peace and now my prayers are being answered. Thank you for the letter.
Yes dear M.L. The shock will go away. I went through the shock and denial too. But unlike you I didn’t become enlightened in weeks. It took me years. The passage from faith to enlightenment was arduous and painful. What I have tried to do is to create a roadmap and as support group so others do not have to grope their way in darkness like I did. So we all can share our experiences and help one another in our struggle to enlightenment.
Welcome to the world of enlightenment and brotherhood of Mankind.
As for Bush invading Iran, I do not think that is a good idea. I don't think American soldiers should die to liberate any country. But America and other countries can help the insurgency within Iran, militarily, strategically and morally. The Mullahs can be overthrown by the Iranians themselves. This is what I wrote on this subject.
permission from Faith