Debate Magazine

Voices from Inside the Burqa

By Eowyn @DrEowyn


Former Muslim women speak out


“I realised Islam was a fake religion, created only for Arabs (and other similarly-minded people) to gain power. What God would want His creations to be beaten or executed for sinning? It’s in our nature to sin – we’re human beings. What God would clearly state that women are worth half of men? For me, it was obvious that a power-hungry Arab wrote this to control women and society.

I feel that Matthew 7:15-20 describes Islam and Muslims. I am not into proselytism, but could not be happier with my decision.”

– Daena, 18, Iran, now an Orthodox Christian

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” – Matthew 7:15-20 (NIV)

“Although I had had doubts since I was in my teens about the divinity of Islamic teachings, the straw that broke camel’s back was reading about what is really in Quran and what Muhammad did in his Medina stay through websites like and books by Ibn Warraq and Anwar Shaikh. Particularly disgusting was his massacre of all Quraiza tribesmen and taking beautiful Rehana – the wife of the tribe leader – to bed the same night; and sex with 17 year old Safia after killing her husband Kinana and his people in Khyber. Other disturbing revelations were Muhammad’s marriage to 6 year old Ayesha, his sleeping with slave girls and concubines,his assassinations of his critics, the Quran’s declaration of violence against non-Muslims, raping of captive women and slaves & looting of non Muslims as pious act worthy of paradise. That left no doubt in my mind that Islam is not divine, it is a dangerous cult.”

– Ayesha Ahmed, India, now an atheist

“I was a Saudi muslim. I have read and understood the teaching of Islam since elementry school and I have been given high doses of the Quran and ahadith, but I could not be convinced to believe in everything. It is simply because it is against logic and science. Thanks.”

– Shitan, Saudi Arabia

“I was forced into Islam because I was underage and because of my father who thought it can help him in his work. I have longed and wished to be a Christian since I was in Primary school, but I had to wait until I was old enough to decide for myself. My dad never forced me or helped me to learn about the Islamic religion. We never even talked about it. I am disappointed there is still a religion like this forcing apostate to remain as a Muslim. Only God can decide one’s life and only he can decide we live or die. The law is written by people. Shouldn’t we discard what is not applicable to this century instead of killing or forcing people just because of something that is written a long time ago. Cruelty should not be a religion. The world will have no peace if we fight just because of some holy scripts written by our forefathers. Where do we seek help to be a free citizen in Malaysia disregard of what religion and race?”

– Marianne, Malaysia, now a Christian

There are many reasons why I left Islam, but the biggest was the violence and hate! I didn’t realize how much hate was in the Quran until I actually read it page by page! Also I didn’t get any respect, even though I tried my best to be a good Muslim. I lived in Egypt and I saw first hand how the Mullahs in the village mosques were spreading hate! I also couldn’t be proud to call myself a Muslim especially when a lot of child abuse goes on in Islamic countries and hypocrisy!

– Amanda Ueta, United Kingdom, now a Jew

If I believed in God and Satan, I would be sure that Islam is the religion of Satan, and Muslims are devil-worshipers. Of course, most Muslims are not evil by nature. Most of my friends still call themselves Muslims because they identify the religion with their cultural roots. However, they have no clue what the religion is truly about, and will probably never find out as they don’t bother to attend mosque or read the Quran. In the end, these friends are actually apostates like me. They just have never bothered to label themselves as such due to complacency or disinterest. What scares me is not this multitude of quasi-Muslims, but the multitude of real Muslims. They are the one’s that can do the damage. I left Islam after listening to a few of them speak at a CAIR convention. They horrified me with their hatred and bigotry. I went straight home and researched the religious reasoning behind their words. I was shocked to find out that it was these hate-filled monger’s who were following Islam, and not I. So now I am an apostate.

– Fatima, Morocco, now an atheist

I don’t hate Islam – that is a fact. I just couldn’t find peace there. The fact that I was always punished for everything, that I have to pray 5 times a day, that I can’t drink one glass of wine, can’t have a boyfriend, can’t wear what I want; all that just annoyed me and then the fact that most Muslims view other non Muslims as atheists and think that non Muslims will go to hell, this just doesn’t seem right. To be honest, I didn’t officially leave Islam because people here would kill me, but I have cut all relations to Muslims and Islam, I am going to church now, I am happy there, I am waiting till I graduate from university and leave to the states so I can officially convert.

– Dima, Palestinian Authority area, now a Christian

I struggled with myself for a few years before leaving Islam. My conscience led me out finally. Islam is a scary religion – often accepted by people with good intentions and a real lack of information. I left basically because I discovered what being a Muslim means. Had I a better understanding when I accepted Islam, I would have NEVER have converted. I believe most converts suffer from great ignorance. Good people who think freely cannot maintain peace of heart and mind in Islam.

Once I left Islam, my Muslim husband starting treating me very differently. Suddenly I didn’t deserve his goodness. He once even told me that he couldn’t look at me because my hair wasn’t covered. Ultimately we divorced.

– Kat, United States, now a Christian

“After reading Surah Al-Nisa (“The women”) in the Quran, I knew that Mohamad was not God’s messenger and I believe that Islam was a religion only for the barbaric Arabs at that time not civilized nations such as Persia.”

– Maryam, Iran, now a Christian

“It all started 6 years ago when I met the man who would become my first husband. Though I respected Islam, I didn’t really want to convert. The local MSA found out and promptly pushed me to “save” myself from sin.

Needless to say, I felt I made a mistake when 2 weeks after my conversion, I was nearly raped by a Muslim man. My first marriage failed and I hastily married another Muslim man who claimed to be a Sufi. As it turns out, he was addicted to pornography and had no respect for women at all. So I came back home after a few months of marriage. Living as a Muslim was hell. I couldn’t find a job because I wore a hijab and 9-11 didn’t make anything easier for me.

I met my current husband a few years ago. We suffered a lot of mistreatment at the hands of the Muslim community. Finally things got so bad we decided to save ourselves – so we left Islam.

We are Buddhists now and much happier. We have learned how to live again.”

– Laughingbuddha, Canada, now a Buddhist

“I have been Muslim by name, but day by day I was growing up and seeing the real face of Islam. Proudly I left it. I don’t want to be a Muslim. Who would be part of some bloody and stupid religion. NO ONE!”

– Nazanin, Iran, now a Humanist

“I converted to Islam some time ago, and been a steadfast observer for four years, in which I spent much of my time extensively reading the Qur’an, and the explanations available, articles from Islamic sites, counsels given by Imams to different people on those sites and discussions between Muslims on forums. I got to know other converts and Muslim people, but slowly, I started to realize that even if i try my best to fit in, I would not be able to.

I browsed for ‘feminist’ Islamic sites and modern-progressive Islamic sites, but they seemed to be a drop in an ocean of misunderstanding and blind following of traditions. Sometimes some explanation given to me to ‘excuse’ something, I would find difficult to digest, it would seem flimsy to me, but I`d just force myself to believe it. But at one moment I stopped and realized that if I could go on like this, it is not the life I would like my children to have, that if I will ever have children.

So I stopped lying to myself, and here I am.

I don`t think Islam is plain wrong, many people find peace and illumination in it, but I just did not find anything better than in my old beliefs, nothing inspiring. So I quit trying.”

– Fatma, Romania, now a Christian

I always had doubts ever since converting to Islam around 2 years ago. However, the turning point was when I began to learn some Judaism and Hebrew. Well, according to Islam, Jews are the enemies, so I got even more interested in the matter. I ended up realizing the illogical nature of Islamic theology, e.g. the Most Merciful G-d burning people forever just because they did not testify the authority of Muhammad. I certainly believed in G-d but when i began to realize how much arrogance, hatred and corruption Islam actually involves, I gradually moved away from my belief that Muhammad is the prophet of G-d. It naturally caused some problems with Muslim friends of mine but it was a step I had to take. I don’t regret being Muslim for 2 years, because I learned a lot, and there was lot of good stuff in there to learn as well. Oh, and that constant labeling of people into kafirs and such. It’s just unbelievable what was going on in my life.

– Shimon, United Kingdom, now a Jew

Why I left Islam? Simple, I read the Koran and Sira of Mohammad for the first time in my life and realized that this cult is an insult to the dignity of all human life and intelligence. One does not have to be a scholar or an intellectual to understand that this religion is based in fear, stupidity, and bigotry. We just have to look at Islamic countries to see this. Three other members of my family have also apostatized for the same reasons and we are working on the remaining members by encouraging discussion and raising questions about Islamic practices and by critiquing the personality of Mohammad and his sahaba. I’ve seen that this helps sew the seed of doubt in people and induce further research on the subject by them who would other wise rely on so called Ulema to answer questions for them.

– Saba Khan, United Kingdom, now an agnostic

As Muslims use to say: I was born as muslim among a religious and traditional family. But I grew up in a western country and at young age and progressivly I got interested in the real and true issues of life and sciences that I couldn’t bear the darkness, hatred and cruelty neither of Islam nor any other religion. All religions are manmade because humans need something to rely on due to their fears and disability to rely on their own and on rationality. As a woman I had the “delightful honour” to experience the peaceableness and justice teached by Islam and it’s devotees. Advice to muslim readers: the last sentence contains irony.

– Lily, Germany, now an atheist

My parents tried to force this religion on me, but what I saw of their religious dedication was a radical and mean-spirited fanaticism that did not embody any attributes that I would ever aspire to. I never embraced Islam and have felt much pain from my parents as a result. My parents threatened to have my friends killed, they have beaten and abused me, threatened my friends and have held guns to my little sister’s head when they found that she had a boyfriend. This religion is divisive and dangerous.

– NYCGIRL, United States, now an agnostic

I believed my life was made into a lie by the religious rules which makes nothing of me real. I found that religion had provided very little space for individualism and vast majority of the practicing Muslims were too suffocating with their need to impose their views on others. I found the religion suppressive to my level of intellectual capacity apart from devaluing my existence as a woman. I also felt there was very little room for discussions at an equal level which allows healthy respect for differences amongst Muslims when it comes to rules of God. I found the rules of God very contrived and very often lack common sense. I believe God has nothing to do with Islam, and Islam is purely one of those political ideologies which originated in the Middle East with strong Middle Eastern values which are not 100% applicable on others especially in these day and age.

– Ninetta, Malaysia, now an agnostic

Getting married to a strict Muslim man made me think and leave Islam. There is a hadith that wives must be available to her husband whenever the mood struck him. “I asked my husband and he told me that this was true.” I realized that I could get raped because it was allowed in the Koran. I could not leave the house without my husbands permission. When I married I was forty-three years old and had a five year old son and before I became a Muslim I was independent, and I was not going to let some man tell me what I could or could not do. I decided that there was a lot of misogyny (female hatred) in Islam and I was not going to be controlled and told what and how to think by my husband or any religion. God gave me a mind to think and I feel that being a Muslim makes one stop thinking.

– Awake, United States

I entered Islam several years ago in the belief that it was a peaceful religion. Had I known it was the HOTEL CALIFORNIA. You can check in anytime you want but you can never leave. I NEVER WOULD HAVE REVERTED. I was abused by a Muslim man and lost myself inside this insipid religion. I am happy to be out and although I lost a big support network of so called friends, I found myself again..

If you are a Muslim wanting to get out you can do it. You need to start building a Christian network of friends and talking about it with Christians and other non Muslims. Go slow and take your time.

But take precautions..They especially hate former Muslims when they speak out big time traitors I guess. HAPPY TO BE GONE.

– Margaret, United States, now a Christian

I cannot trust that God would send a book that is racist and sexist if he created us all. God should not be jealous and mean if he has power over all things. He should not change his mind to please a mere human (Mohammad) so on and so forth. This is not a religion but a cult based on fear.

– Clara, Canada, now a Christian

I reject this religion of injustice, only made for men, of aillor. I never chose my religion. One imposes it on us at our birth. It is a religion of violence and of non-comprehension. In any case, the Islamic religion is being rejected more and more by all categories of people. I am happy in my new religion.

– Khadija Leben, Algeria, now a Christian

Islam is nothing but a headache and a biased, disrespectful, unequal religion that leaves women out, and is only beneficial for Muslim men. Why the hell should we women cover ourselves if the men cannot control themselves? Why is it that women get the death penalty when they have made a mistake or been raped, and men get away with marrying 4 women and having sexual intercourse with 4 different women at the same time? How does this make things equal between men and women? Islam is nothing but a whole load of bull shit (excuse my language). Why do we have religion in the century we are in? Don’t you think people have evolved and have an understanding of what is right and wrong? I totally understand why religion was there before Christ was born, and that was to lead our people to a good way of life and to be good, but why do we need it now? Just be good to each other and not commit a bad deed.

– Unknown1, United Kingdom

My story is long, but I will make it short. I was tired of seeing how the so-called men (brothers) were treating the women (sisters). When the women were divorced too many of them were not maintained like they were supposed to be. I went to help a sister out and she was in such disrepair that I could not allow myself to leave my husband and marry someone else just because they are Muslim, and maybe he may end up and treat me bad like so many other women. The other reason is that there is so much backbiting/slander/fitnah in the communities it just doesn’t even pay to have friends anymore. So this means you are stuck inside your house all day everyday just to avoid drama in your community. What type of life is that? I refuse to let some man do as he wills to me and I’m suppose to just roll over and take it and not complain. Short as I could make it. I left so much out, but these two problems are what ended my Islam for me!

– Na’weh, United States

Hi I left Islam last year because I couldn’t be bothered, and got fed up with praying five times a day, and mosque and all, because I realized it did not benefit me and it was a waste of time. It is boring and I now don’t practice Islam. I asked Mohammed and Allah to help me and they did not, so I am not Muslim now. I’m good and now I have more time to play games and do my schoolwork. I told my parents. They said nothing and so I now do not believe in Mohammed and Allah, unless he helps me. I am now what they call an Atheist and I don’t care if I go to hell because I think there is no hell and when die I just rot and decay and my existence ceases.

– Zezima, now an atheist

The teachings are against my emotions, intelligence, beliefs and needs.

– Paars Ruby, Malaysia, now an atheist

I think the position of women in orthodox form of Islam is not what a true Creator would want, if one exists. Though my feelings are not as strong as Salman Rushdie or Taslima Nasreen, my bonds are so weak that I consider myself more secular than a proper Muslim.

– Khaleda Zia, Bangladesh, now an agnostic

Islam doesn’t agree with my beliefs. The whole dog thing and then the sacrificing. Argh! I can’t handle that! I’m a vegan!

– Sarah, United States, now a Wiccan

“I never was really in to Islam but due to the love for a Muslim I tried my best to see good things in Islam. When I read about the prophet and the marriage with young Aisha I began to understand that this religion can’t be from God. ”

– Peace4u, Germany

“I felt stifled by constantly having to cover up. That may be all right for some Muslim women, but not for me. Also, I felt restless and bored sitting in Mosque, I don’t know Arabic, so why should I sit in Mosque and be bored?”

– Illyria, Canada

“Martial rape, being controlled. Not able to think on your own. Misogyny. hijab. Also more importantly I have a five year old son and I do not want him thinking that everyone who is not a Muslim is a ‘Kuffar’ and should be hated and killed.”

– Vivian

“If you truly follow Islam, that means you must live in fear of hellfire all the time. Even though Islam dictates every aspect of your life, it fails to promote the most important values, like honesty, respect for all of humanity, individual choice and accountability, love, and I could go on. ”

– Eva, United States

“Their teachings goes against many human rights.”

– Elixx

“I learned that according to Islam, non-believers are going to hell no matter what, which is not fair, it is a religion that is hard to follow and time consuming. Plus, as I women I couldn’t accept the need to wear the veil (Q 4:31) and that men can beat women (Q 4:34).”

– Murtad Mama, Canada

Islam has shown me judgment, fear and guilt. No rights as a woman and a coldness… It did not offer the answers I sought…

– Anonymous, United States

I left Islam because my soul was screaming for release, I intuitively knew it wasn’t holy.

– Drak, Australia

I divorced a brother that tried to, if not almost, killed me. And I met someone who is now my husband and knew that it was true love I saw in him.

– Bonuke, United States

I left Islam when it dawned on me that women’s thinking mattered less in the Arab culture. I began to think whether I should accept that way of life. As I began reading Middle Eastern and Western feminists, I realised how irrational Islam is in the context of today’s women. Gradually, after much consideration, I came to the position of an atheist.

– Shazna Begum, 28, United Kingdom,
now an atheist

I’ve always questioned Islam as a little girl. I used to pretend that I’ve prayed by arranged the prayer mat in a certain manner to get my parents off my back. When my parents married me off to my religious first cousin at age 18, I started to hate Islam. He opened my eyes to this hate, and I started to reflect my disgust on my cousin-husband especially after he started quoting the Qur’an and the Hadith for his own end. “Oh you don’t sleep with me then angels will descend upon you and curse you until you wake!” I soon got divorced at age 22 and that’s when I started living. I took off the Hijab and I’ve never been happier. My family disowned me but that’s their own loss. I’m living happily with my husband -who’s not a Muslim- in the United States. Wake up people, Islam is a disease!

– An Infidel, 24, Bahrain, now an agnostic

In my country everybody is Muslim but no one really bothers to read Qur’an. They believe in a book but they don’t know what’s written in it. So I read Qur’an it was far more different than what I was expecting. All my life I was thought that Islam was a religion of peace, the more I read it, the better I understood that it was all a lie. I was expecting something like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights but it tells you about wars and that you should die for God, you’ll be in heaven with voluptuous young girls, threatens you with hell if you don’t obey his rules, that women is beneath men and some supernatural stuff.

– Yasemin, 20, Turkey, now an atheist

The main reason was losing my best friend when he became a Salafi. I tried to show him that Salafism is not Islam, that Islam is about peace and loving others. This is when I started reading the Quran with my head, not my heart. I was shocked with the awful truth that islam is really a violent religion which disrespects women. Deep down I hope he realises the same thing, but I know he won’t. Anyway, that’s what religion has done best, destroying lives.

– Serena, 18, Tunisia, current beliefs withheld

I never said the shahada, so I suppose this is an “aborted very serious investigation.”In reality, it came down to female circumcision.

I discussed this with a few people, who started off with “noooo, that is just a regional African thing” but changed their tune once some Hadith on it surfaced. Yeah, it’s just fine, but it is optional (but pleasing).

Yeah…no. I liked praying, I liked the regimentation even, could cover with no problem, but I was easily an angrier person. Gone back to my atheist roots.

Also, there is Mohammed’s pedophilia. Can’t handle that. I would rather worship a zombie than a pedophile who condones beastiality.

– DoNotWant!, 46, United States, now an atheist

Since I was very young, I’ve never liked Islam, and the reason is the way it dictates the men’s treatment of women. They claim to respect women but they don’t. I tried to convince myself that Islam is the right thing, but obviously I’ve failed.

Here are some of my experiences: 1) They say women are not free to wear what they want to wear even if they want to wear something that doesn’t expose much of their bodies. They must wear the Abaya and cover their faces so that men can’t look at them in a sexual way. Well, that’s what I did and I got molested. 2) Women being owned by their guardian such as their father or their husband via the property deed, so Muslim women are someone’s property. They are not free to do what they want to do with their lives. They can’t travel, study, do surgery etc., without their guardian’s approval. That cost me my education and my dream. It can’t be more humiliating. These are just a few hints of how they see\treat women.

Another reason is the way they look at non-Muslims. I mean their points of view about non-Muslims is not peaceful at all, yet they continue to claim Islam is the religion of peace.

– Rossa, 22, Saudi Arabia, now an atheist

trashbagwitheyesIslam attracted me it seemed so dedicated so organised. I practiced Islam for 4 years and finally left due to studying my Quran. I was so dedicated but with each study I grew further away. One quote in the Quran talks of women with big breasts in heaven as a reward for men. Once I saw that, I new this is a man made joke! I studied the Arabic day and night and soon realized the mistakes and contradictions. No God who was clever enough to make this world believes the sun orbits the earth or sperm comes from the ribs. I thank God he led me to Buddhism, what a truly wonderful way of life. It gives me purpose and meaning, it makes me happy not sad. I feel free. I work on my good deeds, not starving myself or calling others kuffar. I now understand why this life is hell and why God is so far. Islam is behind me however. My husband practices and I pray everyday he will realize the man-made hatred of Islam.

– Tila, 29, United Kingdom, now a Buddhist

Food for thought

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog