My mother is a staunch supporter of the niqab, in fact, she put it on not long after she converted to Islam. She believes that the wearing of the niqab is fard or compulsory.
Growing up I was a tomboy, climbing up trees or pretending to be Magneto from X-Men. or a Ninja Turtle. My mother hated it and was always forcing me into skirts and telling me to behave like a good girl.
When I was seven and had just started wearing the hijab, she gleefully put me in abayas and hijabs. Shortly afterwards she started asking me when I would start wearing the niqab. It wasn’t a question of if I wanted to or not. It was what was expected of me. So I responded saying that I would wear it when I had grown up, thinking that was a very very long time away. Little did I know my mother interpreted that as being when I got my first period and only 6 years away.
When I discovered that girls normally get their periods in their early tweens, I began to dread getting my period. My mother had made it public knowledge that when I got my period, I would be a woman and marriageable.
I can remember the moment I realised that I had had my first period. I sat on the toilet and cried for an hour whilst staring at my stained underwear.
Putting the niqab on was the end of my childhood.
The niqab deprived me of life’s smallest pleasures such as feeling the summer sun on my face. I felt like a monster when small children would cower and whimper at the sight of me. I felt alone when I wouldn’t be able to go and play with friends.
One time I decided to not give a fuck and started playing with my friends at a community BBQ. I was about fourteen at the time and I overheard some Muslim comment on how I would make a good wife since I was good with children and one made a joke saying how I would make a good second wife for him.
I felt horrified. I was a child and hearing a grown man, a father of one of my friends talk about me in such a way scared me. I told my mother and she responded saying that I had embarrassed her by acting like a child, that I was a woman now and must act like one.
No one could tell I was a child under the niqab. I was covered from head to toe in dark dreary colours with just my eyes showing. I would have people yell slurs at me, stalk me and tell me to go blow myself up. I hated leaving the house and would often beg my mother to let me remove the niqab. I promised to wear a bigger hijab, to get married, anything that I thought would convince her to let me remove it. She only let me remove it once when I was going to a friend’s house and when I returned home, she told me to get out of her sight as I looked like a naked sharmoota or whore.
After that, I put it back on.
Many Muslim women claim the niqab helps men treat them like individuals because they aren’t being judged on their looks but I call bullshit. I started receiving proposals at fifteen from grown men who wanted a perfectly untouched and unseen child bride that no man had set eyes on. I was nothing more than a prized cow. These men didn’t care about my intellect. They wanted a virginal broodmare. They wanted to own me.
The night I left home, I left without wearing a niqab or hijab. It was the first time in thirteen years that I had stepped foot outside my home with nothing covering my hair.
I was liberated.
I am often asked my opinion of the niqab.
I believe the niqab is pointless and I wholeheartedly believe it needs to be banned. There is absolutely no need to wear it in this day and age.
It is dehumanizing.
It is isolating.
I hate it.
Moderate Muslims are dangerous because they refuse to acknowledge the atrocities being committed in the name of Allah, Muhammad and Islam. Moderate Muslims are dangerous because they are the most vocal when it comes to silencing the victims of Islam. Moderate Muslims are dangerous because they refuse to see that everything they have been taught is a lie. Moderate Muslims are dangerous because they think Islam is perfect.
With every death caused by those wielding the banner of Islam, moderate Muslims are the first to stand up and shout that “it has nothing to do with Islam”.This is a very dangerous sentence because it almost instantly absolves Islam of any wrongdoing in the eyes of the world. What these Muslims fail to understand is that organisations like ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram are not pulling their ideas from thin air, they are getting them from the Quran and Sunnah which are the very foundations of Islam. It is where all Muslim obtain their guidance and laws from. If Islam is an all-encompassing way of life that has remained unchanged since its inception over 1400 years ago as many Muslims claim, wouldn’t it stand to reason that there are archaic and barbaric laws within it?
Since the creation of Islam, ExMuslims have existed. Individuals who lived under Islamic rule were forced to convert or pay Jizyah to save their own lives. In the Quran it clearly states “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold forbidden that which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizyah with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (At-Taubah 9:29). Many moderate Muslims claim that the fact that Islam orders NonMuslims to pay Jizyah is proof that Islam is tolerant and peaceful. Fast forward to the 21st century and with the rise in social media, ExMuslims are able to speak up about the untainted truth of Islam even if some of them have to do so anonymously. A question that needs to be asked is if Islam is as peaceful and tolerant as is claimed, why do some ExMuslims need to remain anonymous? According to the Four (Five if you count Ja’fari) Madhabs (Jurisprudence), any individual who renounces Islam is to either face indefinite imprisonment only to be released when they repent, enslavement or death. In some cases, an individual must repent within 3-15 days before they are put to death. Does that sound like a religion of peace and tolerance?
Many ExMuslims face abuse from moderate Muslims often being called liars, traitors and islamophobes. In some extreme cases, some ExMuslims have been stalked and many moderate Muslims will call on their friends and family to hurl abuse at and even dox them.
When ExMuslims and others are trying to point out the discrepancies and cruelties that lie in Islam, many moderate Muslims blatantly refuse to accept them even if you show them proof. A good example is women’s rights in Islam. From a young age, Muslims (women in particular), are fed the line that “Islam liberated women before anyone else”, however when you try to get down to the crux of the matters such as inheritance, a woman’s testimony being half that of a man, etc many Muslims will make vague statements such as “That’s not the correct interpretation/context” or “You are cherry picking Islam”.Sadly many moderate Muslims do not realise that they are the ones living the cherry picked version of Islam.
From childhood, Muslims are taught that Islam is perfect and perhaps this is the most dangerous belief of all. When something is believed to be perfect, there is no need to change it and change is what Islam needs. Muslims need to acknowledge that Islam is flawed and corrupt, that it is not the religion of peace and tolerance that has been bludgeoned into their minds. It is this belief of Islam being perfect that fuels ISIS, Al-Qaeda and their many subgroups. ISIS does not care if a few “weak” Muslims accuse them of not being Muslim. Al-Qaeda does not care if imams and sheikhs condemn them. They believe themselves to be the perfect people following a flawless faith and this is why many young Muslims who were believed to be moderate have gone to Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to fight and die in the name of Allah, Muhammad and Islam. So no matter how many times Muslims jump up and down decrying the acts being committed by these organisations, it has no effect.
There is nothing inherently wrong with living as a moderate Muslim, taking only the good parts from the Quran and Sunnah, however, it is vital that Muslims understand that their religion is not perfect, that it forces its views on others and that it clearly condemns those of differing beliefs to an eternity of agony. Muslims need to listen to those who point out the brutality and barbaric practices in Islam, to no longer endeavour to silence them and only then can a proper conversation be had.
I was in the Muslim community for 20 years of my life and only now that I am an ExMuslim have I discovered “real” Islam.
If you are wondering how I discovered real Islam well you have to ask the many Muslims that love telling me:
“You weren’t taught the Real Islam.”
“You weren’t a Real Muslim.”
“That isn’t the Real Islam.”
Oh wait. You can’t. Because not a single Muslim knows what Real Islam is but they are all obsessed with talking about it. Now you would think that given there is about 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, at least one of them would know what Real Islam is.
Muslims often use the Real Islam line when they are trying to preach whether it be telling an ExMuslim that their parents taught them the wrong “version” Islam or disregarding the atrocities that are being committed in the name of Allah, Muhammad and the Quran. Unfortunately Muslims tend to not realise that ExMuslims are the ones who truly understand the Real Islam. They are the ones that have questioned, studied and analysed the very books that Muslims regard as being all holy and unquestionable.
It is almost impossible as an ExMuslim to express your opinion let alone debate with the average Muslim without them using the Real Islam line. It is as though all Muslims are given a handbook on what to say when they can’t think of anything to say.
So what is the Real Islam? Is it the Islam that supports the perpetration against others? Is it the Islam that strips the rights away from individuals? Is it the Islam that allows slavery? Is it the Islam that promotes inequality between the sexes? Is it the Islam that proclaims death to the person who questions Allah’s Words? Is it the Islam that orders the death of a gay person?
Because no matter what way you look at it, all Muslims believe in the Quran. Oh they give fluff about interpretations, translations and a few other ations, but when you are having an ayat that says KAFAR, JAHANAM and JIHAD in the same sentence, I don’t see how you can really screw up the translations.
I have read many different interpretations and translations of the Quran and a good example was when I was reading the Quran in English, I read a few different translations and the meanings are interchangeable between them.
Sahih International: They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.
Pickthall: They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them,
Yusuf Ali: They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;-
WAIT. IS THIS ONE OF THOSE WESTERN SLASH YAHOODI CONSPIRACIES ALL THE MUSLIMS TALK ABOUT?
You want to know what i find ironic, is that when a westerner reads the Quran in English and they become Muslim no one tells them the interpretations, translation or other ations are incorrect.
WHY THE DOUBLE STANDARDS HUH?