From Cross to Crescent to…

Since removing hijab and apostatizing from Islam, people around me often ask me where I am at spiritually. It seems as if there is some need to put me in a box. If I’m not going to practice Islam, what am I going to do? Return to Christianity? Become an atheist? My family and friends expect me to choose one or the other. Honestly neither option appeals to me.

If I chose to, I could easily transition back into Christianity. It would definitely please my elders and make family events flow better. Socially Christianity is like the default option. It’s comfortable. I can remember visiting a church once when I was still Muslim. Though I had immersed myself in Islam , stepping foot inside a church threw me for a loop. From the time I stepped through the door and heard the sounds of the organ, I immediately felt like I was home. The sense of alienation that I often felt in the masjid wasn’t there. No one glared at me. If I smiled and greeted someone, they returned my greeting. There was no culture shock to deal with, for I was in the lap of the culture that had nurtured me. I could relax and be comfortable.

With that said, that warm fuzzy feeling is not enough to bring me back to the fold of Christendom. The fact remains that I cannot accept fundamental aspects of Christian doctrine(which I intend to elaborate on in a separate post in the future). Going back to church would be the easiest thing to do. But it would be a lie, and I am not going to deceive myself or others.

That brings me to the other belief system that some expect me to convert to: atheism. Since I don’t accept organized religion,the reasoning goes, why not just take it one step further and abandon the idea of God altogether? My answer for that is simple: I can’t. In spite of my issues with the Abrahamic faiths, I actually do believe in the existence of a Supreme Deity and Creator. My faith in God’s existence is incredibly strong and has never wavered. I have been through very painful and difficult times in my life. But throughout it all I can honestly say that I have never doubted that God is there. I have certainly gone through my “Job” moments(like the sudden passing of my Mom at the age of 46 years old), where I am angry and question things. But even at those times, even when I have tearfully raged to the heavens, it still doesn’t cross my mind that no one is there. The thought that there is no God is something I literally cannot conceive.

So what does all of this mean? Where am I going to end up? I cannot say for sure. I know that I am in no rush to label myself and adapt another ideology. I have (very briefly) read about Deism, but have not studied it enough to say I fully believe it.

If there is anything that I learned in my experience with Islam, it is to take my time and to look at ALL sides of the argument. Though Islam had appealed to me for a good eighteen years prior to my conversion, I never paid attention to the criticism leveled at it. I stuck with pro-Islamic sources which painted a rosy view of Islam.

When I converted and people around me-religious and secular-minded alike-tried to warn me, I refused to listen to them. I dismissed all criticism of Islam as “Islamophobia”. I told people they were taking things “out of context”. I told them they couldn’t fully understand the truth of Islam because they couldn’t read classical Arabic. And when I really got pissed off I condescendingly told them that they simply hadn’t been guided by Allah and were blind.I am not going to repeat that episode.

I can’t say where I will end up spiritually. For now I can say that I believe in God. I refuse to pick a team at this point. If my refusal to affix a label to my spirituality irks some folks, they’re simply going to have to get over it.