From Elsewhere: Why I left Islam- another heartfelt statement from an Ex-Muslim.

Although this piece is well over a year old that does not and should not reduce its power nor its appeal. Here is a person who has seen Islamic society for the oppressive and narrow-minded cult which it is. It is from the forum of the Council of Ex Muslims of Britain and is one of the major organisations that provide support for those who are leaving Islam and choosing atheism.

The writer, Ishina, said:

Why I left Islam

There are many reasons to leave a religion. 

There are many reasons to disbelieve in gods. Doing either doesn’t necessarily mean one will jump straight into bed with a replacement. It can also be liberating life experience. It doesn’t have to leave a religion shaped hole that needs filling. It can set you free to just explore yourself and the universe and take it as it comes. To expand and breathe life unchained. 

Some people don’t even have any kind of emotional attachments to religion, instead having practical or social attachments. Any of these kinds of attachments can be replaced. But you’re not going to put much thought into finding a replacement if they are still holding your attention. 

Islam never really held my attention. 

I always found myself out of synch with it. Praying was boring, fasting was uncomfortable, the structured rule set was frustrating and claustrophobic, often ridiculously arbitrary.

When I asked questions, my curiosity was met with trite answers that left me unsatisfied, left me wanting, left me cold. Programmed platitudes, clichés and canards that rang insincere and hollow to me. And that was on a good day when the answers were somewhat constructive. 

It was more often than not a harsh, impatient and stifling condemnation of the mere idea of questioning such things. 

The divine directives just didn’t sit right with me either. I saw the abuses and injustices that were a manifest result of them, not only to me but to others, and this vexed me. Like a splinter in my brain. 

All this was compounded by the overbearing masculinity of Islam. This is a man’s religion. This last point troubled my conscience perhaps most of all. Long before I actually did any reading or investigation into the rationale of how things came to be this way for me. 

I wouldn’t describe my deconversion as an emotional expulsion of religion. I think it was a practical, sensual thing. Islam smelled like bullshit and the trail of evidence pointed away from Islam. You start doubting one thing and it starts a chain reaction. It’s like a game of Jenga – you start removing blocks and eventually the little tower becomes so unstable that it collapses. I was an unbeliever even before I realised what one was, simply by ongoing practical deduction. But there was no “Eureka!” moment. There was no BOOM! I am an Atheist! It was a complete non-event – the end of an organic, gradual process. The result of largely an unconscious effort. A by-product of being a student of life. Of being curious. Of being unwilling to stop thinking. 

Some people are just not born to be Muslim. Some people have a wilder lust for the world and an animal ‘fear of the trap’ that makes resistance to systems of life like Islam part of their very being. And that’s perhaps more typical of adolescence than adulthood. Maybe I got out just in time, before I made a terrible compromise to my existence. I can’t really speak for emotional attachments in this case, but I can maybe explain why Islam is not even remotely attractive to me except maybe as a chew toy when I’m bored.

First, the theological claims of Islam have been proven to be false again and again by people much more informed and eloquent than me. Simply by its own internal inconsistencies and fallacies as a work of literature, the Quran is self-refuting. Poorly written, poorly structured, profoundly lacking in original insight and depth, contradictory to the point of needing its own ad hoc system of abrogation, it is a featherweight compared to equivalent works in other traditions. Keep in mind that the Quran is allegedly the unaltered words of a god, verbatim. So sure are Muslims of this that they have fetishised the Quran to the point of becoming a self-parody. To the point of having an existential crisis (and sometimes even to the point of violence) if it is defaced or disrespected. 

The Quran only makes matters worse for itself by being such an arrogant work. Making bold claims of perfection, challenging its reader to find better; “Whoever denies it, let him produce a similar one.” The human authors of Islam painted themselves into a corner by proclaiming it to be no less than the Final Testament from the God of Abraham, and further, that Mohammed was the seal prophet, appointed to confirm, correct, complete and give closure to the prophesies that came before. It’s an incredibly conceited and short-sighted thing to do, but quite understandable when you take into account the apocalyptic doomsayer culture it was born from, authored by those who thought the world would end ages ago, perhaps even in their own lifetime. And of course, it didn’t end. And so, the supposed measure of divine wisdom revealed in the Quran uncannily resembles the superstitious and ignorant views of the men of that period, frozen in time. 

The authors of Islam have essentially tied their own hands and, by extension, the hands of future Muslims – trapping them in a rigid narrative prison with only limited source material to draw upon. This is the price to pay for writing the final words of God in the dark ages. Slim pickings indeed. 

Hence why so many Muslim careers have been made on spin and mitigation, bogus philosophy and pseudoscience, trying to find or manufacture hidden meaning behind exhausted and defunct lines of text that have simply not aged well, trying to exploit the wiggle room in its more ambiguous verses. We end up with the so-called scientific miracles of the Quran, various strained numerology attempts and desperate pattern seeking. It’s all so forced and contrived. 

A sad and pitiful attempt to keep the Quran relevant in a world that’s already moved on.

Read the rest of this excellent piece here:

I disagree with the writer about there being problems with all Abrahamic religions, the other two, Judaism and Christianity, have accepted to a large extent the growth in knowledge, both scientific and theological, that has occurred over the last few centuries. Religion and faith are not totally bad things even though some atheists may believe they are. It is very possible to love the God of the Jews and the Christians because man’s conception of Jehovah/Hashem has changed as society has changed. A Christian or a Jew can stick to the Commandments of the Bible whatever number of commandments they see whether that be 1,2, 7,10 or 613. However, the Allah of the Koran is still a violent, intolerant tribal deity and this is violence and intolerance is reflected in the sorts of societies that Islam creates.

Praise must go to the writer of this piece who has broken the slave-chains of Islam and who has moved forward in freedom.