By J Z
I was born and raised in a typical Pakistani Muslim family and inherited Islam as my religion. Being a free and rebellious soul since my childhood, i did not like compulsions Islam lays on its followers. I had unanswered questions and thoughts about religion which were ‘sinful’ enough to be asked or expressed. I was told that God (allah) would punish with hell fire in the afterlife and physical disabilities in the present life on the charges of defiance. Unfortunately this could not have any impact on me maybe because I undermined the severity of prescribed penalties.
It actually began when i tricked reading Koran & memorizing Namaz (prayer) at the age of 7-9. We were told by our Islamic studies teacher in early school days that contact with opposite sex must be avoided so much so that even talking to a girl is a sin and is prohibited in Islam. I cannot say about the rest but this claim got stuck in my subconscious and played havoc with my life. Later in life I lived through many adversities coming from Islam solely aimed to restrict my personal choices and freedom. Today I feel I had enormous potential of becoming an iconic entertainer, a dancer, an actor, a thriving director/producer or a musician but the kind of social/religious setup I was brought up with always stigmatized and disapproved such extravaganza.
I considered myself a non-practicing ‘Muslim’ most of my life as it is speculated no matter how much a Muslim is disobedient, he will eventually be forgiven and sent to heaven. It was not before Taliban way of ruling and exhibiting ‘true Islam’ in Afghanistan and then the 9/11 and its aftermaths that made me skeptic of religion (Islam). At first i became a strong advocate to re-interpret Islam as it had been twisted, distorted and misused by the Muslim monarchy for centuries to safeguard their personal interests. But soon I discovered it was not going to happen since religions are of dogmatic nature and reject evolution or change of any kind in the scriptures and the way they are understood. Using my rational faculty I bombard many questions and acquisitions at Islam and did not find any satisfactory answer. Few I would love to share:
If evolution is to be considered a valid theory, how can Mohammad be the last prophet ordained by God?
Islam openly preaches followers of other religions to convert to Islam and extols the newly converted Muslims yet considers it blasphemous for Muslims converting to other religions prescribing them a death penalty.
Muslims enjoy utter lack of belongingness to the world primarily focusing on the ‘afterlife’. The kind of society Islam insists on forming would be a narcissistic closed society, restricting personal freedom to think and speak. Lacking the civilizing influence of music, dance, literature, performing arts coupled with religious obsession and cognitive limitations will constrict scientific/technological advancements, virtually pushing mankind 1400 years back.
Islamic teachings revolve around fear, threat, punishment and bitter consequences with near nonexistent spiritual connection; most Muslim sects heavily rely on business deal with allah – to grant them their wish for uttering a verse certain times. Furthermore Islam is over-obsessed with dreadful trepidation towards the judgement day discouraging every opportunity to amuse one’s self.
Islam gives much less weightage to social life, charity, women rights, human rights and is almost silent about child adoption and the stature of transsexuals/eunuchs in the society; insisting on meager personal salvation that in-turn is exploited by the suicide bombers and other opportunists.
Islam is insensitive about the issues of the day like global warming, population explosion, pollution, extinction of species and natural calamities etc. For most Muslims these are mere sings of world coming to an end and no practical steps need to be taken to address those issues.
There is no progressive Islamic country on the globe and most Muslim countries are facing chaotic situation. Islam is at fault here for not providing a solid and compatible way to govern a state as claimed by Islam being a complete political/social system.
How can a 1400 years old ideology work in the 21st century without devising necessary changes to make it compatible with the new era.
Nature loves diversity as no plant, no human, no species, no race matches the other and even the miniature/microscopic details (DNA, retina formation, fingerprints) within the same species are unidentical but Islam (coming from the creator of nature) disapproves individuality and wants to color the entire globe with one faith!!? In a way, Islam insists on devastating the indigenous cultures, languages, customs and traditions which evolved during centuries.
Are the theists not making a mistake to follow Satan in disguise, as to monotheistic God’s claim of being the ultimate? Logically there must be a superGod who created God and denying the fact, He (God), the real Satan, manipulates us through evil religion!
I see today’s Islam as an exploitative tool to oppress others and to gain power, wealth and authority. Islamists in my country work as a mafia developing a vile nuisance value; they openly rule out diversity, delicacy, sophistication, freedom to think & say and promote blatant insensitivity, hate, violence, myopia and fanaticism. Lacking the intellectual tools to conduct a reasoned debate on the issue of the day, Muslims clings to the rigid dogma, using threat to make a point instead of logic. For anybody who disagrees, murder is the automated default response.
It is hard to express the anguish and grief i went through all these years being Muslim. I am happy for myself that I am enlightened from inside and am no longer following a fascist ideology.