My Response to “You need to Remember Allah.”

When I used to speak to my mother, she would often tell me to be in remembrance of Allah as my life would be so much better. One day I snapped at her.

When I was “in remembrance of Allah”, my life was still destructive, or don’t you recall the many times you dragged me across the floor by my hair and punched me in the face for sleeping in? Do you forget the times when I was a child when you would pack all my clothes and drive me to the middle of nowhere, kick me out of the car and leave me stranded for hours at a time?

You are destroying the lives of all your children in the name of Allah. Why? So you can get some brownie points? Is that what is important to you?
My sisters want to make something of themselves, yet you are stopping them. Why? To control them? To make them reliant upon you?

You are a disgrace as a mother and you should be ashamed of yourself. You are a toxic, vile hypocrite who uses fear and manipulation to bully those you say that you love.

You needn’t have to fear your god. Fear your children.
Because the way you are going, you are going to die a lonely miserable death.

Her response was that it was all in my head and that I was bullying her. 

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Sexuality and sex as an ExMuslim

Sex.
It’s pretty fun, right?
It is also a pretty taboo topic in Muslim households.
I never received any form of sex ed or had The Talk with my parents.
I didn’t know what contraception was.
I didn’t know what an orgasm was.
I didn’t know what masturbation was.

Growing up in a Muslim household, girls don’t really learn much about sex until they are getting married.  Why should they? Sex is not for the pleasure of women, but instead for the pleasure of man and to procreate.  Perhaps they think that if a girl was to know the joys of sex, they may behave wantonly and jump on every penis that walks by?

I hit puberty in the early 00s, a time before we could easily whip our phones out and look up porn or other erotic material but I definitely had what I like to call urges. The strange feeling of pressure down below and this need to find release, but I couldn’t understand where they were coming from or why and I didn’t dare ask my mother.

I was in my mid-teens when I discovered erotic literature. I had often been going to the library as a means of escaping my family and I stumbled across the romance section. I had ignored that area of the library as I didn’t believe in love (to me it was just a fairytale) and I didn’t want to know of something I couldn’t have but the cover of a book intrigued me so I pulled it off the shelf and when I got home I hid it under my bed.

That night I devoured the book and those strange feelings I had had previously intensified as I read through the various sex scenes. I took my cues from the book but the intensity that was building was so foreign to me that I stopped. Obviously looking back I know that I was building to an orgasm but as a young teen who had no idea what one was, my racing heart and choppy breath both scared and confused me.  I returned the book and pushed all those strange thoughts and urges to the side.

What also confused me was my sexuality. I was not only turned on by boys but by girls as well. That made me feel “wrong”. I had been taught that I should only be with a man so having these urges towards girls made me feel dirty and uncomfortable. I knew I wasn’t a lesbian but I knew it wasn’t just boys I liked.

Fast forward a few years and I had embraced the fact that I was destined for a life of sexual servitude to a man. I would hear the advice older women would give to young brides such as  “Just lie there”, “It doesn’t take long” or “The pain goes away quickly” and I believed that sex was not fun perhaps even painful for the woman. I couldn’t understand why people would cheat on their partner for sex, why “western” women would say it was great and enjoyable. Was everything I had been taught a lie? Was I missing out on some big secret? Were Muslim men and women just really bad in bed?

I encountered a few Never Muslims and I was curious about their remarks regarding sex. They told me that sex could be good if your partner knew what they were doing. They said sex could be fun, exciting and exhilarating.  I was intrigued.

By the time I hit my late teens, my parents had begun pushing me to get married. I didn’t want to experience the staid, boring and possibly painful sexual experience that would be my first time, so I contacted my now-partner and asked him to have sex with me. If I could, I would ensure that my first time would be with someone who knew that sex could be enjoyable for both participants.  I was so awkward and had no idea what I was doing, but I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted my first time to be on my own terms, not my parents or potential husband.

Embracing my sexual side has been a journey.  I had terrible body image and found it very hard to express my desires. I have definitely learnt to be more adventurous and I don’t shy away from different things relating to sex and sexuality.

My advice to other ExMuslims is to not push yourself to have sex and only do it when you feel ready. Do not let anyone pressure you into sex. There is nothing wrong with waiting. There is no shame in masturbation or orgasming. You are not dirty, shameful or wrong for doing any of those things. It is completely natural and feels freaking amazing.

Halaly-Walaly rules for sex.

Now we all know that sex outside of marriage is a big no no in Islam, but did you know that there are rules to having sex once it is all halaly-waly?

So let’s start with when sexy fun time is flat out forbidden:
Shark Week – I mean hey, I totally understand that one. I don’t want my boyfriend anywhere near me or my lady bits when I am bleeding from my uterus.
During the daytime in Ramadhan – Well, you are pretty dehydrated from not being able to drink, so reasonable I guess

Then we have Makruh which means a disliked or offensive act (literally “detestable” or “abominable”):
During frightful natural occurrences, e.g. hurricane, earthquake. – Because I totally want to get it on when my roof is caving in on me. But hey… there are fetishes for all.
From sunset till Maghrib and from dawn till sunrise
The last three nights of lunar months
Eve of the 15th of every lunar month
Eve of 10th Zil-hijjah
This lot is just plain silly. How on earth am I supposed to keep track of the moon when I can’t keep track of socks?

After becoming junub (impure). So basically, I would be able to have sex once, then I would have to go bathe before I could have sex again. What a mood killer. Boners don’t hang around for long. They are time sensitive.

Did you know in Islam they also have recommended times for sexy fun times?
Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Nights – Tuesday is a no no apparently. I HAVE NO CLUE WHY.
Thursday at noon.

And finally, there is only one time where it is obligatory to have sex.
ONCE every FOUR months – apparently this is one of the rights of a married woman in Islam. A guy can have sex whenever he wants and his wife must oblige him. If she doesn’t, she has committed a major sin. However, if she wants sex, her husband is only obliged once every four months.

No thanks. I like sex anytime, anywhere without any stupid rules.

Interview with my partner, a Never-Muslim

NULLI: We have known each other for a very long time. In fact, you met me whilst I was in full niqab. What was your first impression of me?

THE BOYFRIEND: I thought that well this was different. I had never interacted with a niqabi before. I didn’t know what I was allowed to do, like could I give you a pen was that allowed? It was so foreign. I didn’t know how to interact with you, you were dehumanized hidden behind a cloth. I thought you were one of those crazy terrorist fuckers. 

And when did you realize that I wasn’t a crazy terrorist fucker?

You were hanging around the “bad” (bad according to Muslims) crowd and you often would engage in shit talk and I remember seeing you wearing jeans under your abaya that I thought “Hang on, she’s normal!” No ankles though!

Did it occur to you that I was forced to wear the niqab?

Yes, it did because I found it hard to imagine the person I knew underneath the niqab as being someone who would voluntarily wear one.


You say that the person I was on the inside didn’t match the image I portrayed, could you elaborate?

The more time I spent talking to you, the more I realized you were someone who was being held captive by a belief system they didn’t believe in.


I have mentioned to my followers that you are a vocal atheist, were you an atheist back then?


No. I didn’t know what an atheist was. I guess you would have called me your typical orthodox christian who would celebrate Easter and Christmas but other than that I didn’t really care. 


We lost contact after my mother stopped me from leaving the house until I reached out to you a few months later. Was it a surprise hearing from me?

Yeah, it was. It was like out of all the people that I knew from university, you called me. It was shocking but nice. 

Were you shocked when I propositioned you? 

Oh my god yes.  It was so weird.


You still had no idea what I looked like, so what was it like when you saw me for the first time completely unveiled?


I wasn’t disappointed and yes I know typical male response.


I was still living at home at the time, did you get anxious or worried for my safety?

Oh yeah, all the time. Muslim parents are absolutely fucking crazy when it comes to their daughters.  I would get worried if I hadn’t heard from you in a while given that I knew your parents took your phone and laptop off you at nights. 

I left home a few months later and our relationship grew. How do you remember feeling as I was going through all the abuse my family was giving me?

I was angry. I couldn’t comprehend parents who would disown their child over religion. It was so foreign to me. I also felt helpless. I couldn’t understand the world you had come from. 

What were some of the biggest challenges you think I faced when I first left home?

Everything. You literally left home with just a phone and purse. You didn’t have any legal documents and couldn’t get any government aid. I was on apprentice wages and it frustrated me that I couldn’t do more to help you. 

My parents were constantly harassing me with phone calls, you even spoke to my father at one point. What was that like?

By the time I spoke with your father, I already hated him. I remembered answering the phone with “Salam” and he hung up the phone. He called back a few minutes later. He wanted me to bring you to him, to leave you because it wasn’t right. He said that I wasn’t Muslim but you were so I should return you. That annoyed me. You weren’t someone’s property that I could pass around.


You still identified as Orthodox for a few years. Did my lack of belief in a god play some part in your own version of apostasy?

You didn’t really speak much about religion. I think you wanted to ignore everything to do with Islam or religion. My culture has always had a particular hatred for Islam so I always knew Islam was bullshit. But it took a long time for me to realize that I had also been raised in a different kind of bullshit.

And have you experienced similar issues as I when it comes to the religious family members?


I have the luxury where I can talk about religion with my family but they won’t disown me. They’ll mutter under their breaths and say that I’m going through a phase. But the difference between my family and yours is that in my family, Family is Family. You don’t kick them out for this shit.


Did my lack of life experience put a strain on our relationship and how do you think we made it through the bad times?
It was both our first real relationship and we were both learning and didn’t know what the fuck was going on. It didn’t help that there was no support network for you beside me. I resented your family.  To get through the bad times, you have to talk to your partner. Communication is vital. Don’t let things bottle up.


What are some changes you have seen me go through?

Well, you had absolutely no social skills. You were like a cavewoman. The niqab was like a force field. It stopped people from interacting with you. You were very uncomfortable around men, swearing, and alcohol.  You had absolutely no confidence or self-esteem. Seeing you experience simple things that I had taken for granted showed me to view the world in a different light. 

Are you proud of me?


Of course, fuck yeah. From leaving home with absolutely fucking nothing to where you are now is amazing. The person I met behind the niqab to the person you have become today is a happier, confident, strong woman. You were always trying to please everyone, even if it left you absolutely miserable. You grew a backbone and you helped me grow mine. 

What do you think of my being involved in the ExMuslim community?

I think it is great! You are helping people escape that terrible unhappy hell. That is what I think of living in a Muslim family or country. Hellish.

We plan on having kids and your family is quite big on interacting with each other, how do you feel about my choice to not allow my family to be a part of our and our future children’s lives?

Oh, it makes sense. Your family is fucking crazy. They are not nice people.


What would you do if one of our future children was to become religious?

I fucking doubt it. Between you and me as parents, we will probably be called to school because our kids will say Jesus isn’t real and break some little christian kid’s heart. 

Your parents drowned you (read: dunked you in holy water) when you were a baby. What if they expect us to do the same?

They won’t. They know me very very well.

What is some advice you can give to the partners of ExMuslims?


PATIENCE. ExMuslims have a lot of shit they need to go through. Sometimes you won’t understand their quirks, like leaving a water bottle in the toilet or only eating with their right hand but at the end of the day, their quirks are what makes them, them.  Also, your life experiences can not enable you to fully comprehend being an ExMuslim.  Being Muslim is an identity and when someone becomes an ExMuslim they need to relearn who they are without the religion. 

And finally, who is your favourite ExMuslim?

Ayan Hersi Ali because she is a survivor. Long before ExMuslim was a known thing she was challenging the Left’s view on Islam despite the murder of her good friend and constant death threats. She is not afraid to speak up. 

Seeing my family after six years

As I mentioned in my previous Post I saw my family for the first time in six years a few months back and the only thing I can say about it is that it was an honest shit show.

I refused to visit her at her house or to go to a neutral location by myself, so we organised to meet at someone’s house and I brought my partner with me.

During the entire ride there I was having anxiety attacks and we sat outside the house for a while before I could muster up the courage to walk through the doors.

It wasn’t fear of being hurt or anything like that, it was just being near my mother. The best way to describe her is narcissistic. The world revolves around her and her feelings. She has absolutely no regard for other people’s feelings or views. In basic terms, she is a Class A Bitch.

A good example was when I walked through the doors.  She walked up to me and goes “I know you don’t like being touched but I am your mother and you must hug me.”
Really, that’s the first thing you say to your daughter you haven’t seen in six years? I remember thinking.

Another instance was when she was asking my partner what he does to relax. His response was that he likes to watch Anime. My sister asked him if he gets invested in the characters and upset when a character dies, he responds in the affirmative.
My mother jumps in going “It’s a cartoon, it’s not real! IT’S NOT REAL!”
Now, my partner is what I would call a militant atheist, he argues with his ageing grandmother about God all the time and I had to grab his knee to stop him from making a snarky comment back at my mother (after we left he said that was going to tell her that her god wasn’t real either! XD).

All throughout the agonizing three hours we were there she was constantly picking on my weight, what I was wearing, how I was sitting and I began to fill like the pathetic weak teenager I had been at home.

After being with my partner for many years we have developed a silent language and we both signaled our desire to leave. We abruptly stood up and said we were leaving and walked out.

I felt nauseous the entire time. I was miserable every second I was there but I learned a very important lesson. My mother does not and will not accept my choices. She will never be happy for me and I am okay with that as I do not need her acceptance or happiness for me.

Why I don’t keep in contact with my family.

Saying my mother went ballistic when I left home is an understatement.
Screaming, abusing, crying, manipulating, if you can think of any negative reaction she did it.
Conversations would start off with “I miss you, please come home” and quickly progress to “You are a whore, a traitor” and end on “I am so disappointed in you, what am I supposed to tell the Muslim community?”
My stepfather didn’t really react much besides telling me to seek repentance from Allah and sending me ayats and hadeeth.

A few weeks after I left home it was Eid. I went to the festival because I missed my siblings.  When I found my family, my siblings were so excited and happy to see me. The only person who didn’t want to have anything to do with me was my mother. She basically told me that I wasn’t allowed to speak to anyone in my family and I had to leave immediately.

Fast forward 6 years and the relationship between my parents and I is nonexistent. 

At one stage I did have my mother and siblings on Facebook, and I only interacted with her when I felt like it.  Anytime she mentioned Islam, put my partner down or how I lived my life, I would cut her off completely.

Recently my mother reached out to me because she and my siblings needed my help. Given that I am not a cruel person, I helped them. I even went so far as to visit them but I’ll leave that encounter for another post.

Now I have removed all family members from my social media. I was constantly battling them and the anxiety and stress of continuously seeing pro-Islamic propaganda, particularly pro-Sharia, pro-Islamic State posts pushed me to the brink.

I decided to give my mother one last chance. I sent her a very long and confronting email covering everything from the child abuse she allowed and even encouraged to forcing me into niqab and depriving me of an education. She denied all of it, saying it was all in my head. The last thing I said to her was that she has lost me as a daughter and that if she doesn’t want to die alone, she needs to change.

With my siblings, it is a bit of a mixed bag. One sister is what I would call a Denialist Muslim. She says all the bads things about Islam are people just twisting it to suit their desires. When I pointed out that I would be killed for being an apostate as is justified in the Quran, she shrugged and said don’t go to a Muslim country.  My other sister is so deeply brainwashed that she sincerely believes that she doesn’t need to go to school and that she will just get married and have her husband provide for her.

My brothers are also differing on their opinions of me. The eldest of them treats me with cold disregard. I think it may have to do with the fact that I managed to ‘escape’ whilst he couldn’t. He is now married and has two children that I have never met. My second brother told me that I am a whore that deserved to be raped and murdered because I am a traitor. He said this to me when he was just fourteen. He believes that women are to serve men and believes in Jihad as a righteous cause.  He lords over my mother calling himself the Amir of the house and controls all my sisters with a tight leash. I have often remarked that if I hear of him dying in a suicide bombing I would not be surprised.

I have not cut my family off. They still have my number and can call me at any time, but I did choose to remove them from my social media and do not actively seek them out as they do not bring any positivity to my life.

Does it suck not having a mother I can call for advice? Yes.
Is it hard seeing other people having healthy relationships with their family? Yes.

But I have learnt that I can build my own family and I have done that. I am surrounded by amazing and positive people constantly and I love each and every one of them more than I thought I could be capable of.

The first time I bumped into a Muslim I knew from before.

The first time I bumped into a Muslim girl I knew after I left was a terrible experience.

I had severely injured myself and was waiting at the doctor’s clinic when I recognized the name of one of the patients called. It didn’t bother me too much however just as she was leaving my doctor called my name and she just stopped and stared at me. I hobbled my way into my doctor’s office and spent about 15 minutes hoping that she would have left by the time I was done.

I was wrong.

As I was walking out she called after me. I tried to ignore her which just infuriated her. She grabbed my arm and said, “I know it’s you stop ignoring me”. I was cornered and she just went off at me.
“How can you do this?”
“What’s wrong with you?”
“You’ve destroyed your family.”
“How can you live with yourself?”
“Don’t you feel ashamed?”
I begged her to leave me alone. But she wouldn’t stop and I couldn’t get help because of where she had cornered me.
She demanded that I give her my number and address, that I should go with her to the masjid. I just kept saying No NO NO.
I told her that I wasn’t going to give her any information because I don’t trust nor like her.. Man oh man that set her off.
“Look how living like a kafir has changed you!”
“Your heart has become very dark.”
“Jahanam is calling for your soul.”

Finally, I snapped at her and told her to have some fucking decency, that I honestly do not give a fuck about what she has to say and if she would be kind enough to just fuck off.

And she did leave all huffing and puffing.

Throughout this entire ordeal, I was standing there on crutches with partially ruptured muscle in my leg, holding back tears because of the amount of pain I was in. This girl had absolutely no care as she believed she was justified in abusing me for my life choices.

It’s lonely being ExMuslim

Being an ExMuslim is hard regardless if you are open or closeted if you have just left Islam or have been one for many years.  The fears, worries, and isolation can make you feel as though you are completely alone in the world.

I left my family.
I left my community.
I left everything I had known.
I thought I could be strong because this was what I wanted.
I was wrong.

You don’t notice it at first. The loneliness. The quietness.
It hit me a few months after I had left. Up until that moment, I had been constantly surrounded by my housemates and was busy working. I was alone in the house and the eeriness of silence made me long for my family and their chaos. I broke down and started crying. Another time was when I became severely injured and couldn’t walk. I was so used to the community pitching in to help that the hours upon hours I spent alone and in pain, made me long for that community feel.

I found myself becoming increasingly depressed which in turn resulted in isolating myself from others.

I felt like I had shattered into a million pieces and no matter how hard I tried to put myself back together, nothing would work. It was at this point that I started getting back in contact with Muslim who I had grown up with, craving that connection. But it wasn’t long before I realized that I had nothing in common with these Muslims. Every single thing they did was done with praise to Allah. They lived, breathed and defended Islam every time I critiqued it. I knew then that I couldn’t maintain contact with them without losing my mind.

I gathered those shattered pieces of me and slowly started gluing myself back together.

It sucks to lose everything I had known my entire life but I have learned how to love myself. I have built my own little family from all kinds of backgrounds and we all support and love each other.

I have moments where I wish I could just call my mother and ask her for advice, or catch up with my sisters and find out how their days had gone or see my youngest brother attend school for the first time. I have missed out on so much of their lives and they have missed out on so much of my life but Islam is a constant, obvious barrier between us.

Perhaps one day it won’t be.

Emotional Manipulation

Parents are Grandmasters at Emotional Manipulation

The sighs of disappointment. The clutching at their chests. The sobbing. The wailing.

You would think that we had murdered someone by the way they go on about things.

“How can you do this to me?”
“You don’t love me anymore.”
“What will the people say?”

Aaaaannnddd there it is. The real reason your parents are upset.

It is a big no no if you leave Islam and when your child leaves Islam it is a reflection on well…..let’s just say that you are a terrible parent.

When I left home, I didn’t care what my parents said to the community. My choice to leave came down to me wanting to maintain my sanity. However, I do know how vicious the Muslim community can be when someone is seen as being weak. They’ll turn into rabid dogs and tear you to shreds.

So out of respect, I removed myself entirely from the Muslim community.

But even that wasn’t enough. A child disappearing still raises questions. So my parents changed their tactics.

When Emotional Manipulation Tactic A doesn’t work, parents will normally try Tactic B.

This is where they’ll use your siblings or other family members as ammunition.

First, They will ban any contact with you. You are a bad influence after all.

Then they will accuse you of ruining your siblings’ futures.

They will say you don’t love them INFACT they will tell your siblings that you hate them.

And finally, they will turn your siblings against you.

The final tactic, which is where they appear to try. This is the most dangerous tactic. They use your own love and hope against you.

“I love you.”
“I just want the best for you.”
“What are your issues with Islam?”
“We can talk about it.”

I really didn’t want to lose my family, so when my parents appeared to be trying I believed them. I will admit, I fell for this a couple of times.

And once you fall, they destroy you. They try to make you feel foolish and stupid. They treat you as though you are just going through a phase. It is a belittling and heart breaking time.
I am not saying this is what every exmuslim experiences. All of our situations are unique to us. Some parents do eventually come around. A dear exmuslim friend of mine has a great relationship with her family.

But sadly many parents don’t.