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The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:37 am
by Exene
It all began in June 2007, with Hamas' coup d'etat in the Gaza Strip. I picked up a newspaper with a photo of a machine-gun and Quran-wielding militant atop a Fatah desk on the front page, and I knew that I wanted to read and know everything about them. So I picked up all the library books I could on the Palestinian struggle, then on Iraq, Afghanistan, the Iranian Revolution - I read it all. Islam was mentioned again and again, and I thought it was necessary to read the Quran, too, to understand the region's religious background and see if - and how accurately - the Quran was being used as an inspiration by militants. So I got a free copy, read the intro where it said to read it with clean hands and an open heart, and headed out to a nearby riverside to do so.

I read a sura that asked how a person could not believe in God when the proof was all around them, and at that moment I looked up as the sun was setting over the water, past the sand littered with empty beer cans, and something inside me just clicked. After more than a decade of staunch atheism, I cracked and thought there must be a creator because the universe really was beautiful.

Who needed tafsirs and obscure hadith tucked deeply inside 500-page volumes that were translated with Western sensibilities in mind? I didn't even know they existed. I went home and watched a youtube video of an azan from Mecca and cried. It felt like somebody was calling me back home.

So I researched and dug deeper, or at least as deep as a Westerner could while browsing websites carefully edited and catered to speak about "women's rights" and "freedom of religion." Then along came a man I met online who gave me the extra nudge I needed to say the shahada. I thought he was such a good man that what he believed could only also be pure good.

The doubt was always there. Not in God, but in the rationale of beating women or punishing criminals by stoning or lashing. For every absurdity there was a watered-down and false explanation: women could only be beat if the husband caught them cheating, Shariah would only be implemented in the far-distant future in which humans would live in a utopia where no such punishment was necessary. I met good people, felt the family spirit of iftars, found easy explanations online to funny problems, and life went on.

I saw the Kaaba and cried, because I felt such intense love and protection at that moment that I knew something had to be watching over us, and that something was kind and beautiful. I still believe in God, but it was just a coincidence that we met in Mecca.

Then I kissed a Muslim man, and we both felt sorry. Days later he said: "Well you know, the Quran mentions women first." I cried and thought how men so often twist a beautiful religion to serve their selfish needs. Or maybe deep inside I realised he was probably right, and that despite reassurances to the contrary the Adam and Eve story was the same in Islam? So many years struggling to leave Christianity, and had it come to this again? Was it all just the same crap?

I had stumbled upon "anti-Islam websites" before during Google searches, but I dismissed them as racist ramblings of Islamophobic Westerners and Zionists. Could I have bothered to check that the founder of this website was Iranian? How would I explain his apostasy then, could I have possibly told myself that he just "hated Muslims?"

A few weeks after that stupid kiss, I started talking with an Arab atheist online. He wasn't pro-Israeli, nor was he a European right-wing fanatic. How could I shrug off what he told me?

So I thought I'd forget the hadith and just go with the Quran, then I thought I'd just go with the nice parts of the Quran and be a Sufi mystic. Then I read about Sawda and I thought... enough. Maybe meditation, or Buddhism? Maybe later, I thought, because now I don't want "to be" anything but just human.

My faith died so quickly that I realised the seed of doubt had always been there, and I just needed somebody to water it at just the right moment for it to blossom into the flower of apostasy and freedom. After three or four years of feeling guilty for never waking up for fajr, of being too tired and hungry to understand the Bukhari hadiths I read during Ramadan, of ignoring those pesky issued that I had no energy to Google and find watered-down excuses for... it was finally over. I was back to myself, back to how I was born and always will be - human.

I am not angry or disappointed, perhaps because I wasn't a born Muslim and the faith was never forced upon me. I see it all as a journey now, and a reminder to myself that no matter how educated or how much of a feminist I am, I am not immune from making excuse upon excuse to justify something that I felt could be loved.

To the Imams in the West: we cannot read Arabic, and we are by your definition radical feminists, and perhaps we can be reassured and fooled for a few years. But not forever. We will arrive at the truth sooner or later. I've seen two Muslim convert friends leave before me, and now I follow in their footsteps.

To the Arabs: I still support the Palestinian struggle, and still respect you and still love living among your kind and hospitable people. Take it from me, a former Catholic: every religion has its dark sides that do nothing but hold humanity back from progress. I want nothing to do with mine, just like I want nothing to do with yours.

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:58 pm
by Garudaman
QS. 4:34. Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard. But those [wives] from whom you fear arrogance - [first] advise them; [then if they persist], forsake them in bed; and [finally], strike them. But if they obey you [once more], seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.

that beating, is only allowed after advice & separation from the bed, didn't work, & that's beat to advise (not to punish), but I don't see any reason why beat cheating wife, because normally cheating wife is for be divorced! :wot:

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:27 am
by Exene
that's beat to advise (not to punish)


When you advise someone, it means you're giving them your opinion. There are two options and you think personally that one is better than another -- for example, you think koshari tastes better without onions, so you tell your wife that she should try it that way.

When you punish someone, it means they've done something wrong and it's your right to correct them.

So. You're basically saying a woman can be beat up because she won't listen to how she should have her koshari?

but I don't see any reason why beat cheating wife, because normally cheating wife is for be divorced!


You're right. But I asked a Muslim once why beating is allowed, and he said it's never allowed unless the woman does something really awful like cheat. He didn't know Sunnah very well.

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:47 am
by enceladus
A very nice testimony, Exene. Thank you for giving it.
- enceladus

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:36 am
by Intelligent lad
You should support Isreal against Muslims. The real struggle is by the Jews not Muslims. Ane you may read more on eastern religions. God of Islam is no god at all.
http://agniveer.com/category/best-of-agniveer/

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:30 pm
by Exene
enceladus wrote:A very nice testimony, Exene. Thank you for giving it.
- enceladus


Thanks :) I just hope it helps somebody avoid the mistakes I made.

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:23 am
by Garudaman
Exene wrote:When you advise someone, it means you're giving them your opinion. There are two options and you think personally that one is better than another -- for example, you think koshari tastes better without onions, so you tell your wife that she should try it that way.

When you punish someone, it means they've done something wrong and it's your right to correct them.

So. You're basically saying a woman can be beat up because she won't listen to how she should have her koshari?

QS. 4:19. And live with them in truth. For if you dislike them - perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.

QS. 4:34. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard.


advise, separate from bed, & beat on that verse, is conducted in order to establish the truth, not the husband feeling!

Exene wrote:You're right. But I asked a Muslim once why beating is allowed, and he said it's never allowed unless the woman does something really awful like cheat. He didn't know Sunnah very well.

according QS. 4:34. "...guarding in [the husband's] absence what Allah would have them guard..."
, maybe what he meant cheating is dressing/behave seductive!

Exene wrote:punishing criminals by stoning or lashing

perhaps that one, is the only thing, which really can be called, as the reason you reject Islam!

;)

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:19 pm
by frankie
Garuduman:
When you punish someone, it means they've done something wrong and it's your right to correct them.


I beg to differ.No one has the right to beat another human,in fact it is the right of the wife NOT to be beaten by her husband.

advise, separate from bed, & beat on that verse, is conducted in order to establish the truth, not the husband feeling!

Is that what you've been led to believe? Take another look at the verse where wife beating is advocated,
"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women,because Allah has given the one more strength than the other,and because they support them from their means" ..........

It's got nothing whatever to do with "truth" but more to do with the man's control over his wife.
As a matter of interest,what is the penalty for the husband if he is disobedient,how is "truth" established towards him?

This is what Islamic indoctination does,it dismisses the Golden Rule held within your being,which allows for empathy, compassion and LOVE for each other, which is what marriage is founded upon, and replaces it with the Muslim held belief that it is o.k.to use violence to achieve what you want.

Wife beating for any reason whatsoever does not feature within Christian scripture,said to come from the same divine source.Why do you think this is?

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:45 am
by Exene
Hey, why must so many on this site bring up Christianity when arguing against Islam? You think it's any less misogynistic or disrespectful of women? You want to shake up the Muslims on here until they see the light and mercy of Jeeeezus! Who are you kidding, isn't it enough to argue that humans should love and respect each other? Do we need obscure thousand-year old texts to teach us about gender equality?

Christianity doesn't condone wife-beating, nor does it forbid it. I, as a former Muslim, will hardly look towards the Bible, however, as a more respectful religion towards women, because...

New International Version (©2011)
To the woman he said, "I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."


Please enlighten me on how the above is any better than this crap:

"Men are the protectors and maintainers of women,because Allah has given the one more strength than the other,and because they support them from their means" ..........


Empathy, compassion and the Golden Rule...

Corinthians 11:3 "Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God."


"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." (I Corinthians 11:8-9)


"Let the women learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression." (I Timothy 2:11-14)

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24)

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)

"Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart: and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman." (Eccles. 25:13)

"Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die." (Eccles. 25:22)

"If she go not as thou wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh, and give her a bill of divorce, and let her go." (Eccles. 25: 26)


Garuduman is following a misogynistic religion that he should abandon and/or exchange for a more tolerant one based on equality between the sexes. But not for this, not for Christianity for any logical reasons.

So back off, Christians. Not only is your religion just as misogynistic, but also keep in mind that Muslims are far less likely to listen to you when you preach about Jesus because nobody likes to hear how their religion is worse than another. Argue for common sense, modern current-century human rights and values, and leave Christianity out of it, for Christsakes.

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:08 am
by Exene
Just saying, if you as a Christian justify or choose to ignore any of the above, then fine, whatever. But if your intention is to illuminate Muslims as to why Islam is misogynistic, then stick to reasonable arguments based on logic and human values, because defences go way up when Muslims hear you saying how Jesus is better. Just like yours would if they were arguing in support of Muhammed.

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:11 pm
by frankie
Hey, why must so many on this site bring up Christianity when arguing against Islam?


Why are you doing it then?

Christianity doesn't condone wife-beating, nor does it forbid it


Partly my point.No where in Christian teachings does it advocate or condone any violence whatsoever towards anyone,even towards those of a different faith.By stateing it is an Abrahamic faith,Christianity is alluded to be from the same divine source as the Islamic,which clearly it is not.

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:29 pm
by Exene
frankie wrote:
No where in Christian teachings does it advocate or condone any violence whatsoever towards anyone


Except for servants and "fools." (I'm sure you can Google it yourself.)

Re: The seed of doubt, and the flower of apostasy

PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:44 pm
by frankie
Exene wrote:
frankie wrote:
No where in Christian teachings does it advocate or condone any violence whatsoever towards anyone


Except for servants and "fools." (I'm sure you can Google it yourself.)

Exene:
I stand by what I have said.
Jesus was a man of peace,he did not advocate or condone violence towards anyone,his last three year mission was to bring people to a spiritual enlightenment,where they could find an inner peace,that only God can give,which ultimately leads towards a more benefical(peaceful) co-existance between all of humanity; his final command to his followers was to "love everyone,as I have loved you".This "love" is based on service towards your fellow man,with a humility which should be recognised, to bring about this service,which bears fruit for all.

Compare this with the Islamic message,the chasm of difference is staggering. The Islamic god is as ruthless as his "final,false prophet"his rules are based on violence,division,intolerance, fear and control.The human spirit is imprisoned,unable to escape from his teachings, which command him to be violent in words and actions towards his fellow man,until his alleged god and false prophet prevail.Islam is poison to humanity,wherever it is found death and destruction follow,its "kills" the common bond that all humans have within them,and separates Muslims into a different people,who are taught to hate,and ultimately fight those who do not believe as they do.