Friday, March 30, 2007

About me and My thoughts on Islam

I had these posts on another blog, but decided to make keep that blog personal, and make this blog for more serious posts.

This is my intro post: About me and how I left Islam, and my feelings about it.

I became Muslim in 1992, after reading about it for over a year. After being married to several Muslim men and living in a Muslim country (Jordan), I have come to realize that this isn't something I want in my life or that I want to raise my kids in.

On paper Islam, like many things (communism for example), sounds great. One of the things I liked about it when I was reading about was the rights of women in Islam. They have their own identity; keep their own family name when they get married, keep any money they earn, inherit, etc; can choose who to marry and can initiate a divorce, and on and on.

However, in practice I have realized that men are the ones controlling the rights the women get. Most mosques you go to in the US won't give a Muslim women an Islamic divorce, even if the guy abandoned her or is a wife-beater, until they talk to him and he agrees. Many Muslims believe a woman has to ask her husband's permission to go out of the house. That is not in the Quran at all. They treat women like they are children and too stupid to do anything themselves. In most Muslim countries the woman can't get a divorce if the guy doesn't want one, even if he has another wife. In Egypt if the guy has another wife you can get one, thanks to Jihan's law. Also in Egypt the woman CAN get divorce, but she has to give up all rights to support.

In Islam the woman is respected for bearing the children and taking care of them. But in reality, women are the ones doing all the work with no recognition by the men, and if they divorce the man gets the kids. He's not going to be the one taking care of them. They will be stuck with his mom or sister, or his wife, the latter usually doesn't treat them as her own (blood is thicker than water kind of thing).

So in reality things are not what they seem to be. Yes Islam gave women rights in the 8th century that were unheard of until the late 19th century in many "civilized" countries. But...now they are stuck in the 8th century as far as the rights the women actually HAVE. I don't want to live that way, or my daughter to be raised thinking she is not as good as a boy or man just because she is female. She shouldn't be ruled over by men. I want her to grow up to be independent and be her own person and make her own decisions. That is how I was raised. Yes I choose to be in Islam, but I have chosen to leave it. They have the right to choose what they want for their lives.

The Quran also has some things that are disturbing to me, such as the verse that says you can beat your wife (Quran 4:34). No matter what Muslim apologists say, that is what it says. They usually put (lightly) in there but that's not what the verse says, that is added in the translation to placate non-muslims. Muslims try to counter that in many ways, but it's there in black and white. Do I want to be in a religion that says that, or have my daughter be married to someone who may think he can hit her if he thinks she is disobeying him?

Muhammad's hadith (sayings and doings of the prophet) also said that he Prophet said, "Isn't the witness of a women equal to half that of a man?" The women said "yes". He said "This is because of the deficiency of the women's mind." (Sahih al-Bukhari, volume 3, hadith 826). Well sorry but women are as smart as and in many cases smarter than men! No way I want my daughter growing up believing that, or marrying someone who believes that. When I became Muslim I think I was looking for a community where I could belong, and just looked past things like this or accepted things that Muslims say to "explain this" like that men and women have different roles in life and society, separate but equal kind of thing. NOT! Men and women are different physically and mentally, but that doesn't mean that men are smarter than women or they should be able to tell them what to do or what not to do like they are children.

There are other things that bother me about Islam as well. One is that it is very PC to say that Islam is not a violent religion. But in reality there is a lot of violence in the Quran. The religion was spread by the sword by Muhammad and later generations. It didn't spread slowly by Muslims going to the countries and living there, they took over the countries, killed people, took slaves.

There is a lot of violence in Muslim and Western countries over the infamous cartoons. I don't like them, but being raised in a country based on free speech, I can't take away someone's right to their free speech. Here in the US we make fun of everybody: in cartoons in the newspaper, stand-up comics, late night talk shows. You can make fun of the President, politicians, practically anyone and everyone are targets at one time or another, including religions. Even though I don't like them, and I don't think the newspaper should have printed something that can be viewed as racist, why do they have to be violent about it? There's no excuse for that. To me it's just another example of Muslims being violent and making excuses for it.

Now at their father's house it is a TOTALLY different story! He doesn't think they have a choice. He married a young woman from Egypt about 4 years ago, and they are very "cultural" at his house. They tell my daughter that she will go to hell if she wears skorts (shorts that look like a skirt) or doesn't wear a scarf. He told my son that you can't marry a non-Muslim or you go to hell, but HELLO, did he forget? HE was married to a non-Muslim! What a hypocrite! When my son brought up that little "forgotten" fact he didn't answer of course. Do as I say not as I do! He tells them not to lie, but he lies in court under oath.

Everything here is my own opinion. If you don't like my view, you are certainly entitled to your own opinion and your own blog. This is my view on a religion I was involved in for 12 years, and that I choose to leave. If it's right for someone else, then more power to them, but it's not right for me, and I will not raise my children in it.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Chickpea said...

Just stopping by to leave you a comment since you were sweet enough to leave a few on mine. I am sorry that things aren't the greatest with your ex-husband, but I am sure that you will provide the balance that your children will definitely need.

I've had to deal with the whole "you can't wear shorts, skorts, or skirts that are above your calf, it is haraam," and I can certainly attest to the lasting impact it has had on me. It was only in the past few years that I really embraced wearing skirts and even now if sometimes when I wear shorts or something thats short (above my knee), I find myself feeling a bit naked and out of place.

I really have to commend you for being strong enough to raise your children with an open mind, and even more so for sharing your story with others!!!

I'll be a frequent reader!

March 30, 2007 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger A. said...

Thanks for the support Chickpea! I'll be a frequent reader on yours too.

Hugs!

A., your former "neighbor" in NJ

March 31, 2007 at 11:57 AM  
Anonymous Anna Belle said...

I love your new blog. I feel so ignorant about Islam, and you will help fill a void for me. Many thanks and keep up the good work.

April 7, 2007 at 2:39 PM  
Blogger A. said...

Thanks Anna Belle! I'm glad I could be of help to anyone who doesn't know about Islam.

Hugs!

A.

April 7, 2007 at 5:06 PM  
Blogger Safiya said...

I notice that you mentioned a lot about Muslims, a bit about Islam, but nothing about God.

May 1, 2007 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger A. said...

Safiya,

Honestly, I am kinda agnostic about God, after being in 2 very different religions that shoved him down my throat for most of my life. I am not sure that there is a God, and if there is, I think that he or she just wants us to be good people and treat others the way we want to be treated and help better the planet.

Thanks for your comments and reading my blog.

A.

May 1, 2007 at 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am really sorry that you have had a bad experience whilst being a muslim. I fully appreciate that these are your opinions and value them.
One thing that really saddens me is when islam is criticised because of the injustice's that the men are carrying out. People cant seem to seperate the crime from the religion. For example, there are alot of domestic violence that happens in the west - and we put them down to the violent husband, no-one seems to say that its christianity that encourages this.

May 7, 2007 at 12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like you had a really lousy experience with Muslims - I'm so sorry to hear that... As a Muslim (convert) myself, I certainly have come up against all the issues you mention... and then again I've also found Muslims who are some of the kindest, most generous, most embodying of the best principles of the religion as well... But I am most sorry to hear that you're feeling alienated from God because of all you've been through. I hope that however you approach Him, you are able to find your way to a relationship with Him again, one that nourishes you and that you find comfort in...

sarah

June 16, 2007 at 11:29 PM  
Blogger Not Muslim Anymore said...

Sarah, Thanks for visiting my blog!

Honestly I don't know if I want a relationship with God, if there is one. You need to realize that everyone makes their own path, and it's not necessarily one that you want for them.

Take care!

June 17, 2007 at 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Ibn Sa'd said...

Regarding your comments about the Danish cartoons:
A publisher wished to have some pictures of Mohammed included in a book about Mohammed. He asked a number of artists, all of whom refused. The Newspaper Jylandsposten wrote an article about the incident, and as part of the article included some very inoffensive sketches which they "offered" to the publisher. Some Imams took the pictures, faked some additional pictures which were highly offensive to Muslims brought them to Islamic countries and the rest is history.

You still appear to be listening to Islamic propaganda. I hope your visit to the Councilofexmuslims.com will prove useful

January 7, 2008 at 3:48 PM  
Anonymous exmuz said...

I think you should read Ali Sina' definition of a CULT. Islam fits the definition perfectly

January 29, 2008 at 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sad to see that you have left Islam because of the reasons you mentioned. I can identify with some of the reasons... I think it was Bernard Shaw that once said that Islam is the best of religions with the worst of followers.

I have to be honest, I don't like the majority of muslims myself because they don't practise what they preach.

But the basic principles of Islam is beautiful and one does not have to go the extremes. Keep the 5 pillars and that is the minimum.

Just wondered what religion you are following now?

February 1, 2008 at 5:55 AM  
Anonymous Also not a muslim anymore (though I still look like one) said...

It's sad that you are not keeping up with this blog...
I definitely need to hear from someone who shares (shared) my struggles...
Thanks for this!

April 9, 2012 at 7:38 PM  

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