Islam Under Scrutiny by Ex-Muslims

Bitter and Frustrating Experience with Islam
by Hamida 23 May, 2007

Dear Editor, I have increasingly had doubts with the idea of a 'perfect' religion in the face of such a vast spiritual tradition around the world which to me often surpasses Islam, and this idea of the Quran being absolutely 'perfect'. My anger lies increasingly with the frustration I often find in talking to Muslims and the frequent methods they use to side step things, then at the same time turn it on me! I have been the victim a lot of subtle pressure and bullying. First of all, a common tactic often used is the way many Muslims twist around questions, in order to fudge a particularly uncomfortable question. I am sure many people can sympathize with me on this point. What I mean is for example ― if a question is asked about, say, wife beating ― then they suddenly jump on about girls being buried etc in pre-Islamic Arabia and what Islam did to help them or about the prophet loving women etc. In this way they get sucked into their own strange terrifying glass ball called Islam in its 'perfectionism', and parrot things out like a robot ― "Islam gave women rights 1400 years ago…!'" In this way they gradually, and through a lot of fiery, passionate, flamethrowing talk, deflect attention away from the first issue that I was talking about! By that time, I am already tired and listless and can't be bothered to speak to them ― psychological warring down to defend the deen! The next time, I see them or people like them, suddenly if there is a discussion about Islam. People look at me almost like they are trying to 'explain' to me about Islam.. do they know meee? ...and at that point I didn't even say anything about Islam…! I find myself the subject of strange rebuttals, almost like they had 'heard' of me beforehand from other. The underlying discourse of 'control' is thereby maintained. Many times I have found myself wondering in a conversation, 'did I say that?'...'what is this person doing, they are commenting about something I did not even say'... I sometimes wonder if Muslims see me or the person they want to see behind me, the ideal scapegoat who is

influenced by the 'West', has trouble 'understanding' the deeper wisdom of it all, and of course, needs to be nudged along a bit ― all in the spirit of Islam of course. Other times an Imam or some older figure sits down and explains to me about the great honor Islam has given to women…etc…like I am stupid and need to be 'told' these things and yet within all the rhetoric they don't deal with the real issues at hand, nor even the questions that I asked them in the first place. I have found Muslims often very covertly aggressive and in many situations the pressure on me to accept their viewpoint occurs, then great cheers that 'I have finally understood… mashallah' …Muslim men have often pushed against me, or harassed me in other subtle ways almost like its all about a battle of power for them and they feel a sense of sick elation when they somehow 'win'. Muslim girls often also 'kiss' me oddly or play me down in very subtle ways to prevent me from speaking. They are very sly, very manipulative. But almost always these people don't face up to the issues at hand ! References to 'context', to 'cherry picking' and 'deeper' meanings behind verses as well as of course certain verses 'canceling' out others has been used. What scares me the most is how much Muslims themselves are the people of their own ignorance and have built up a glass crystal ball which they so meticulously keep together. Its scary to watch them live a lie within themselves, especially when they know subtly coercive and oppressive tactics are used against people. I am sure they feel sad to watch how people are harangued quite a bit and yet the uncomfortable 'gulping' in that occurs is really sad. This is why I am now sick of them, not so much because of things in Islam I disagree with (that's another book !) but because of the gradual suffocation of one's mind that has arisen over time. So many Muslims convince themselves to be convinced even when deep inside, they are not convinced.. and even then they convince themselves of the whisperings of Satan who is the cause of their doubts- they must soldier on against this inner demon!- rather than their own ludicrous attempts to cotton-wool and sugar-coat things… at least save them from themselves! Regards, Hamida

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