To Glitnir

Earlier today a fellow convert commented on one of my blogs. Her remarks got me thinking of my first encounter with an ex-Muslim blog. Back in October 2010, when I was still a hijab-clad proud muslimah, I came across the now-defunct blog “Here In Glitnir”. A progressive-minded muslimah and blogger had shared the link to Glitnir on FB. She wasn’t sharing the blog to attack the authors. She was making an appeal for Muslims to take the issues of apostates and their critiques of Islam more seriously. Intrigued, I decided to check it out. I immediately found myself addicted. I was amazed with the experiences of these former muslimahs and how much they mirrored mine.  I wanted to jump in the discussion, but my fears held me back. I already had my own questions, but actually speaking them publicly-even in a semi-anonymous comment on a blog-was a step I was scared to make. Voicing my issues would mean admitting that Islam itself was flawed, and I wasn’t ready for the accountability that would come along with that.  So at first I simply read the posts and the comments. After a few weeks, I started commenting on Glitnir. To my relief, the blog admin, Signy, was incredibly nice and understanding(as were the other ex-Muslim posters). I was able to share my thoughts without being attacked. I wasn’t just written off or told that my iman was weak. No, they actually listened to me. They also didn’t tell me to leave Islam or pressure me to do so in any way, shape or form. I feel it’s important to make this clear, as ex-Muslim bloggers are often accused of being Pied Pipers of the dunya, seeking to entice good Muslims away from Sirat Al-Mustaqeem. Nothing could be farther than the truth!

Here In Glitnir is now gone, along with another fave of mine So Brother A Ran Away With A Stripper. Though I miss the insightful posts of these ladies, I’m incredibly grateful to them for being bold enough to publish their blogs in the first place and for giving “questioning” Muslims a safe place to just be. And to the ex-Muslims who are currently blogging, thank you as well. You provide a much-needed service. Even though you may take a lot of flack and be attacked, don’t underestimate the positive impact that your words may have on someone who really needs it. Cheers to Glitnir and all other ex-Muslim bloggers!

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A native Seattleite and recent East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been. I reside in the suburbs of NYC with my husband, daughter, and our two feisty but deeply loved cats.

11 thoughts on “To Glitnir

  1. hello dimunitivediva 🙂

    i’m so glad I found your blog! I’ve just read a couple of your recent post about how you came to Islam and I found them extremely interesting! Especially the part about viewing western women who convert to Islam with contempt or thinking they are downright stupid. When I was considering my conversion I didn’t want to be perceived as such.
    I look forward to your posts 🙂 take care!

    1. Hello AAM,

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read. I intend to write about the “Female converts are all idiots” mentality in the future, I feel a need to explain and defend myself for some reason. And my sincere congratulations to you for being “almost” a muslimah and not taking the actual steps. You saved yourself a lot of pain!

      1. Thank you Diva 🙂 I look forward to your post because I would like to know motivations of those who do end up converting. I don’t think they are idiots or not very intelligent although I did find myself at times thinking: why on earth would you choose such religion and go on justifying it.
        But I know that the issue is very complex. Props to you for trying to show a different, “less glossy” side of Islam. It’s only fair that people should be allowed to know both sides.

  2. Liberal Muslim bloggers are the ones that really got me thinking. I just took it a step further and threw the religion out altogether 🙂
    I didn’t come across (or didn’t allow myself) blogs like Gltnir and other ex-Muslim sites until I was fairly close to apostacy. By that time, it was just more fuel for my flight out.

  3. Thank you Diva for this post. I want to express my utmost gratitude to Glitnir. Her blog was an eye-opener and It helped me a great deal. I’m sure she had her reasons for closing it off but I sincerely wish she would return to blogging . It’s frustrating enough to see the increasing numbers of muslim blogs deceiving young women and selling them a nice little package as Islam, when the truth is Islam destroyed the life of many women, me included. I feel that blogs like Glitnir’s, Stephanie’s and yours Diva can add some balance and expose the other side of Islam Muslims seldom talk about.

    Thank you all ladies for your words. Women like me find peace and support just by reading them and realizing we are not alone in our struggle .

    1. You’re welcome Jude! While I certainly feel that people should make their own choices, I do hope that my experiences and my blog can help counter the rose-colored image of Islam that is widely sold to potential converts, especially female ones. It would also be nice if more Muslims would admit to and address the issues that we bring up, but I won’t hold my breath waiting for it to happen.

  4. Hello DD. Thanks for your kind words about my blog and about me. I have been considering a return to blogging, probably more in the “guest posts and columns” style that it was morphing into than my own personal blog. At the same time, as has been posited on other sites, in all honesty, I have reached a point in my life where Islam no longer rates. I didn’t even know it was Eid until I heard it mentioned in passing. I spent nearly two decades of my life and like Kaleema and countless other women, sacrificed a great deal personally, economically, etc. for Islam. In many ways, having that blog and then dealing with the blowback finally made me ask why I was continuing to give time and energy to this deen when I had fought my way free of it.

    I did not expect the response that the marriage series generated. I was, even after nearly two decades as a “conservo-Muslim,” somewhat taken aback by how much hatred and vitriol those posts generated from Muslims. More than posting Muhammad cartoons, it was Muslim and ex-Muslim women writing about less than blissful marriage experiences and the Muslim community’s part in it that generated death threats and other assorted goodies from “the people of ihsan.”

    I was also terribly dismayed that a third, uninvolved party, was credited with ownership of my blog as well as several other ex-Muslim blogs. Not because I wanted that credit, but because it is my understanding that that individual was subjected to harassment and slander because of it. Life is hard enough for Muslim women who refuse to conform to certain community standards, and I did not want *my* web presence making that woman’s life any harder (if she is indeed still Muslim and if she isn’t, I still didn’t want my blog to be used as an excuse to virtually crucify her).

    1. Hi Signy,

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I am sad to hear of the vitriol and death threats you received for the marriage series. I can’t say I am suprised though.*sighs* Why is it so hard for them to accept that life in Islam simply isn’t perfect for many of us? The women who shared their stories were simply sharing the reality of what they went through. But instead of being ashamed at how their sisters in Islam were abused and mistreated, fellow Muslims chose to respond by attacking you and the women who opened up. It’s disgusting really. Where is the anger towards these Muslim men for beating their wives? Where is the anger towards these husbands who forced their wives into sexual activities they did not want to be a part of? Where was the anger towards the Muslim men who abandoned their wives and children? No, all of the anger and scorn was instead thrown onto those who have already suffered. It is such a shame!

  5. Diva —

    Exactly. I mean, I felt that I knew better from experience that it would result in the River Denial, but you would think that with all the mountains of lip service paid to “Islam is a sheltering peace for women” and all the things they say about a woman’s place of dignity in marriage and so on, that for some of those individuals at least, it would have generated some soul searching for them as people in the community. I think only two or three self-identified Muslim readers responded with sorrow, shock, “how can we change this?’ etc.

    I was somewhat shocked that, near as I can tell, the most hateful stuff came from members of sufi groups and more liberal Zaytuna types of Muslims, not the stereotype of raging salafis. There is lip service given to the dignity of women, but everyday in the Muslim community, there are women (and children) being beaten and even more commonly, being treated like total garbage by their spouses and their spouses’ families, and not only do they get no help in the community, many in the community actively collude with the husbands to further oppress and harm these women.

  6. Signý,

    I’m sorry to hear of all the trouble you’ve gone through by authoring that blog. Although I’ve lived with muslims for a long time their state of denial still amazes me. It’s unbelievable !. I remember several blogs attacking the women in your marriage series claiming that they come from sour grapes, and if they were real muslims they would differentiate between the religion and the followers. What’s really disgusting is that these attacks were from converts women who should have known better. One of them is somone I personally know and know that she’s in a shitty marriage as well yet she chose to attack rather than admit and help.

    But if it makes any difference your blog and the marriage series in particular were the most helpful thing I’ve read in my journey through apostasy and I’m sure there are other women out there who feel the same way too.

    Glad I finally got the chance to thank you in person 🙂

  7. Jude –

    Thanks. I appreciate that. Sometimes I wish there were more / other ways for ex-Muslim women to reach out to one another, but then I think the lack of blogs or message boards or whatever is a sign of progress in some ways. The intent behind those marriage posts wasn’t to convert people away from Islam – although such a thing makes me happy. It was to raise an issue in the minds of ex-Muslims and Muslims alike and give some Muslim women who do NOT have a platform in their own community a place to speak their piece where they would not be disrespected.

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