When I left Islam in the fall of 2010, transitioning back socially was not a major challenge for me. When I converted I made it a point to hold on to my support system and friends that were in my life prior to my conversion. We remained close and still spent a lot of time together. So when I left Islam I didn’t go through the coldness and isolation that some apostates experience. Honestly, even if I had, I doubted that I would have cared.
However a friend of mine was not as fortunate. When she decided to leave, she was subjected to ridiculous and petty harassment. Her so-called sisters in Islam began calling her incessantly, calling her a whore and a fake(so much for loving for the sake of Allah)! People began to pile on her and attack her on her FB profile. When she asked them why they were bothering her so much, one posted a response along the lines of :”well in Islam doubt and apostasy are taken very seriously so we must discuss it”. Now when I saw that comment, I just lost it. I thought of how badly my friend had been treated by other Muslim females even before she left. I thought of all the blatant racism I saw among Muslims. Doubt and apostasy are to be taken seriously. Allah forbid that you start to think the religion isn’t perfect. But misogyny and violence against women, cultural imperialism and racism are tolerable? I could not let this sisters’ comment slide, nor could I let them continue to attack my friend. So I entered the conversation. In the end nothing was resolved. The muslimahs posting did not respond to any of my points and their message can be summed up as:
- Islam is PERFECT
- Muslims who act bad are not “real” Muslims
However one aspect of that conversation remains with me to this day. It chills me to my bones when I think of it. During this exchange, I brought up the death penalty for apostates and how immoral it was. A fellow convert justified it. This woman is an American, highly educated, progressive-minded and politically liberal type. Yet due to her belief that Islam was perfect, even she could not bring herself to say that the murder of apostates is wrong. That scares me. For if even some progressive-minded Muslims will defend such barbarity, what of the more conservative-minded ones?
For this very reason, I do not share all of my views on Islam on this blog and there are certain topics I will not touch. The knowledge that there are regular folks-living in my own city, walking the same streets that I do-who believe people like me should be murdered is very disturbing.