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.

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Why I stopped making YouTube videos. 

I recently decided to shut down my YouTube channel and as a result a I have received a number of messages accusing me of being selfish, uncaring and not supportive of the ExMuslim cause. 

This kind of animosity is a factor in why I am removing myself from being as involved in the ExMuslim cause. 

I am not beholden to anyone to make videos, it is not my responsibility to give advice to other ExMuslims. We each have to make our own journeys through life and we should not rely on other people to make that journey with us. 

Then why did you start making videos? 

Well, I thought I could be a voice for ExMuslims. I had the ability to make videos for a group of people that are often silenced and/or ignored. I expected to get hate from Muslims, what I did not expect was the amount of hate I received on an almost constant basis from ExMuslims. 

The “politics” of ExMuslims is confusing and tiring. If you are an ExMuslim and don’t agree with what a prominent ExMuslim says, you must be a fake ExMuslim or a Muslim apologist. Because you don’t agree with calling Muslims “Nazis”, you must be a fake ExMuslim or a Muslim apologist. Because you don’t support a Hijab/Burqa ban, you must be a fake ExMuslim or a Muslim apologist. It never ends. 

I get it. Some ExMuslims are angry, but don’t you ever get tired of being full of so much negativity? As ExMuslims our lives can suck, but only if we let them. I tried to always be positive which leads me to my next factor why I deleted my channel. 

Another reason why I created my channel was because I was constantly hearing depressive stories. ExMuslims who felt as if there was no hope and I wanted to show them that there is hope. That is why I even entered the ExMuslim world in the first place.  Prior to a year ago, I had no idea what an ExMuslim was and to be brutally honest I didn’t care. I had made it out and I had survived. 

I did not set out to be a Da’ee for ExMuslims and as I have previously mentioned being an ExMuslim is a very teeny tiny part of who I am. It is rare for me to have a day where I feel “ExMuslim”. I have built a life for myself outside of the ExMuslim bubble and I had begun to feel as though the ExMuslim label was taking over my life. 

Many people have commented that they appreciate my brutal honesty, it’s one of the main reasons they’ve enjoyed watching my videos. Well here is some brutal honesty. 

I could shut down everything to do with The Nullifidian and never look back. I could return to my ExMuslim free existence and be happy. I would not feel a single bit of guilt or sadness and if that makes you not want to follow me anymore that’s perfectly fine. I don’t live my life to please others and you shouldn’t either. 

Why I hate the Niqab.

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.

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Aged 16

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.

 

Who is The Nullifidian?

I have been an ExMuslim since I was fifteen years old however I have only been open about my apostasy for the past six years. I choose to remain anonymous online because although I live in a Western Country I have endured so much abuse and threats from the Muslim community where I live. I also choose to remain anonymous because I have previously been doxxed by Muslims who went as far as to try and get me fired by contacting my workplace.

I am devoted to the ExMuslim cause because as we are a people whose voices are often silenced or ignored on a global scale. I am here to give a voice to ExMuslims who are unable to speak up.

My family were and still are strict adherents to Islam. I was raised in a culture-free household with the primary objective to raise the next generation of Da’ee and Mujahid. From a young age, I was taught to believe only in Allah and that the evil disbelievers will burn in hell for eternity. At seven I was told to wear the hijab, to pray and to never talk to boys. By the time I was twelve, I could recite any passage for the Quran as well as the correlating meaning and Hadith. When I received my first period, I was ordered to wear the niqab and that I was ready for marriage. My first proposal arrived at fourteen followed by a steady stream of suitors aged between eighteen and thirty-two. I refused to be married and always found excuses to manipulate my parents into holding off.  I had no one to reach out to for help as my mother had removed me from school in a bid to train me to be the perfect wife.
In the early 2000s, many of my parent’s friends were raided and arrested for planning a terror attack in my city. Out of fear of imprisonment, my family moved overseas where I encountered a truly Muslim State. At this time a war was breaking out in the southern provinces and one of my cousins was killed fighting for an offshoot branch of Al-Qaeda. People would walk the streets wearing shirts with Bin Laden’s face on them, nonmuslims would travel everywhere with armoured vehicles and guards. A Christian convert was killed by his own family in the streets. During this time I had begun to question my beliefs and I was terrified.
My family returned back to the West after the raids and sentencing had quietened down but my family had had a taste of what a True Islamic Country was like and so they began to heavily proselytise for Muslims to emigrate to True Islamic Countries.
In my late teens, I had finally convinced my parents to let me attend school to graduate, but I was quickly pulled out as I was in a haram environment with mixing despite being fully covered. It was then that I thought my only way out is through marriage. If only I could find a nonreligious Muslim guy! But my parents wouldn’t agree. I needed to marry a strong man who would guide me and discipline me if needed.
Throughout my childhood, my parents were physically violent and it wasn’t until I was almost twenty, that I started to fight back. I would kick and punch them as they were beating me with belts and cables. One day, after a particularly brutal beating, I told my parents that I would destroy their reputation and that I would call the police if they so much as even threatened to harm me. They must have understood how serious I was as they never touched me again.

Not long after this did I leave home. I knew there was no possibility for me to gather my things and that it would have to be a sudden departure as I shared a room with some of my siblings. You would think being raised in such a household we would be united against my parents but sadly it was everyone for themselves and they would happily throw a sibling under the bus if it meant them getting out of a beating.

The night I left was terrifying yet liberating. I had no idea where I was going, no money, no clothes yet I didn’t care. I would have slept at a bus stop or train station. Thankfully though I had a friend who offered a couch for me to sleep on.

Now I have a job, I live in my own place, I have completed my high school education as well as graduating from a few different courses, I am in a healthy and supportive relationship and I own a beast of a car. Every day I try to experience new things and talk to people from all kinds of backgrounds.  I know how hard it is to leave home and I now offer my couch to ExMuslim who are escaping their families and countries (it is currently taken by a lovely young ExMuslim girl)

It hasn’t been easy to get to the position I am in now, but it’s been worth it. I have grown so much as a person. I am proud of who I am. I am a confident, outspoken woman who doesn’t resemble the timid and terrified girl I was six years ago.
I am free.