Ex-Muslim feminists?

The comments on this post made me realise something. Where do we place feminists who were Muslim once? They are actively reinterpreting scripture in their own way so in some ways they behave like Muslim women whom I earlier called “Islamic feminist theologians” (the process Wadud calls Islamic Feminism), but these women are not Muslim feminists.  Women like Wafa Sultan, Taslima Nasrin and Ayan Hirsi Ali are extremely important, influential and powerful women. They are braver than the men who leave Islam because they don’t hide behind pseudonyms and they have almost always been victimised by their society in the name of religion.

Furthermore, I don’t know how to argue that what happened to them “was not Islam!” because we also acknowledge that Islam is not monolithic. What happened to Hirsi Ali, for example, is Somalian Islam. To a Yemeni girl who is married off when she turns nine years old – that is Islam. That is not *our* Islam, but then we are not Yemeni either. The Islam Nasrin knows is Bangladeshi. A woman exploited through Mutah in Iran or Misyar in Saudi Arabia experiences the Islam in these two countries. Where do we draw the line? How do we say what is Islam and what these women saw and suffered from was not Islam?

Muslims mostly reject the pain and efforts of these women because they are now outside the Circle, but how should Muslim feminists handle the fragile situation of these women? I do feel that the more we reject these women, the angrier they will become with Islam and Muslims. It is plain psychology. Should we reject their views outright? Can we learn anything from these women?

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46 thoughts on “Ex-Muslim feminists?

  1. susanne430 says:

    Really good question. Metis, do you believe these ladies’ Muslim feminism lead them outside of Islam and this is one reason *some* people find being a Muslimah + a feminist a bad combination? I believe you said someone you talked to called it sinful or something along those lines. Is this a “danger” of Muslim feminism especially for those like the above-mentioned women who experienced their Islam and found it wanting?

    I believe you can learn a number of things from these women. Don’t suffer in silence because the abuse will go on and on and on. Be courageous enough to speak out against injustices even if committed by Muslims. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat.

    Some women have suffered much at the hands of “their” Islam so now they are speaking out against this. I find it good. Islam has always been about justice for the underdog, hasn’t it? So these women are only doing what has been traditionally taught in Islam to an extent.

    • Metis says:

      Thanks Susie. No, I don’t think feminism put them outside the circle. I think what they experienced in the name of Islam did that and I also think that fame encourages them to be bold about their views. I don’t think they would have “found Islam to be wanting” had they been exposed to a sane and liberal Muslim society. There are sadly many *Muslim cultures* that are oppressive and all those cultures use Islam to justify their actions.

  2. sana says:

    There is more culture than Islam. Honour killings for example, mostly aren’t done by muslims alone, but more by Hindus. People have their own version of Islam. Almost every family and clan has their own interpretation. As what Ayaan Hirsi Ali went through, it could have happened to her anywhere. I heard forced marriage was her reason to flee to Netherlands, but blaming Islam for that isn’t fair. see:
    Somali Islam = Bangladeshi/Indian/Yemeni Islam
    therefore Islam= Islam gets cancelled,
    and what remains is ;
    somali= indian/bangladeshi/yemeni.
    I do not like discrimination be it gender or religious or racial.
    I do not think Islam is equal for men and women. we cannot change it from patriarchy to matriarchy just like that. We can surely gain what should rightfully be ours, slowly but surely.
    But what ayaan hirsi ali and wafa sultan and irshad manji do, it will only create more atheists and not muslim feminists. They rejected Islam completely as a religion and the prophet(pbuh) also. They believe it is impossible for someone to grow up to be sane and healthy if he’s been brought by the quranic teachings and hadith. Most of them decide to rather leave the religion and get on with their lives.
    Is it so difficult or nearly impossible to be a feminist and a muslim at the same time? That after a certain limit it may contradict each other?

    • Zuhura says:

      Irshad Manji is still a Muslim.

    • Metis says:

      “Most of them decide to rather leave the religion and get on with their lives.”

      I wish they had! 😀 I think what they are doing is getting along with their lives by abusing Islam. No, I don’t think it is impossible to be a feminist and a Muslim. It is difficult because we find ourselves constantly struggling with patriarchy but not impossible.

      Yes, Manji is Muslim like Zuhura pointed out. Sultan is pretty angry with religion and thinks a Muslim “can’t grow sane and healthy.”

  3. unsettledsoul says:

    This is an issue I struggle with, as far as how to view these problems. In regions where genital mutilation or honor killings occur, it happens among all religions. This is how we can see it as cultural, because Christians & Hindus and others are engaging in it also. That would make it geographic, not religious.

    I think these cultures just happen to be majority Muslim, but is what we are witnessing Islam, or would this happen no matter what their religion?

    I personally think Ayann Hirsi Ali is addressing religion, when she should be addressing something else. Tribal values, cultural norms, etc..

    In some parts of Africa mother’s burn their daughters breasts on a daily basis once they reach the age of puberty. It is done to attempt to keep them from growing. It is done because they don’t want men to notice them. Men noticing equals sex, equals getting pregnant, equals leaving school. It is barbaric, but for them it is normal. It is a cultural way of handling a problem in their region. Imagine if they happened to also be Muslim?

    I think religion is used by some cultures in order to enforce their norms, but does it matter what the religion is, or is it the culture we should be addressing?

    BUT, in regions where Christians are performing honor killings, people say they are Christian in religion, yet Muslim in culture. Essentially they are still saying it is Islam’s fault for this happening.

    Is that truth? Is there some verse in the Quran or some Hadith that some Muslims are pulling honor killing and genital mutilation from??? !!!

    • Metis says:

      “I think religion is used by some cultures in order to enforce their norms, but does it matter what the religion is”

      That is what I have noticed in the Arab countries where I have been. I think that people are pretty good at twisting words and scriptures to suit their tribal values. For example, in many Gulf countries a girl’s birth always means she is automatically engaged to her cousin who can ban her from marrying any one else in future. Strangely, everyone thinks this is perfectly Islamic!

  4. Zuhura says:

    I agree that Islam is not monolothic. However, I don’t think we do Islam (or anyone else) any service by referring to a monolithic “Somali Islam” (or any other national/cultural) Islam either, especially if we’re getting most of our information about it from someone like Hirsi Ali. Hers is a personal story, one that has value in and of itself, but cannot be taken to represent her entire country/culture. 13 different languages are spoken in Somalia, by different ethnic groups.

  5. Metis says:

    “I agree that Islam is not monolothic. However, I don’t think we do Islam (or anyone else) any service by referring to a monolithic “Somali Islam””

    I accept that completely although I haven’t been able to understand it, frankly. I mean in India alone 1652 languages are spoken, but an Indian Muslim is an Indian Muslim and just recently someone pointed out to me that most Indians are Hanafis and hence their ideas are “different.” I think we are constantly trying to group people together and hence there is this dangerous side to accepting Hirsi Ali’s story as “typical.”

    “Hers is a personal story, one that has value in and of itself, but cannot be taken to represent her entire country/culture. ” – very well said!

  6. Lat says:

    Very good post! And I’ve not heard of Wafa Sultan.

    There’s plenty we can learn from them but muslims shouldn’t hate them,even if one of them is siding with the Zionists.Afterall as we’ve seen in the Palestinian case,the hating buisness doesn’t solve problems.

    I agree with most of the comments above and just have to say that circumstances do make a person to become who they are.If situations can be changed to make everyone happy,then so be it!

    • Metis says:

      “circumstances do make a person to become who they are.”

      This is put so perfectly, Lat. It is true that we don’t understand what we have never gone through.

  7. kinziblogs says:

    Hello Metis, I found you through Musesphere.

    I’m a Christian American in Jordan long-term who is investing the effort to end dishonor killings . I also work in counseling victims of child sexual abuse, mostly of incest.

    I have often thought about this topic, and have decided that the Muslim Feminist narrative is incomplete without the voices of apostate Muslim women, difficult as it is to hear.

    Also, I am a little perturbed by the idea that since there are some Christians who practice honor killings, that it is an equally occurring phenomenon. It is still a 97% Muslim tragedy. If the number of Muslim women pursuing relationships with Christian men was equal to that of Christian women with Muslim men, we would have a multiplication in the numbers. The social dynamics are not at all equal for a minority religion.

    Using this idea to prompt the idea that it is merely cultural practice is wrong. It also seems that religion as an influencing factor is a completely discounted. Owning the male (and female) mis-use of Islam is integral to gaining ground for Muslim feminists. Breaking denial is the first step toward authentic change, as we say in abuse recovery.

    I am quite proud of you all, as you have redefined feminism outside the Western man-hating narrative. Very refreshing.

    • Metis says:

      Welcome to Metis Kinzi and thank you very much for your comment. I really enjoyed reading what you have to say and learned a lot from it too.

      You said “The social dynamics are not at all equal for a minority religion.” That is so true! For example in Muslim majority countries, non-Muslims easily and fluently use Muslim words to greet and praise each other and over a couple of generations even use Muslim cultural traditions. Similarly, Muslims in India have incorporated a lot of Hindu traditions in their festivals etc. So, I think social dynamics are actually influenced by the majority religion. Would you say I am right in thinking like this?

      • kinziblogs says:

        Yes Metis, right indeed. Some of these aspects are very fun, I enjoy Eid visiting and making the special dishes. Conversely, I have been surprised to the Muslim majority adopt the Christian Christmas tradition of outdoor strings of lights for Ramadan.

        Thank you for the manner of conversation you set for your blog commenters. There is a much respect, even among those who disagree.

        • Metis says:

          Well, I love Christmas!

          “Thank you for the manner of conversation you set for your blog commenters.”

          I am grateful to everyone for their respectful behaviour. I am very lucky indeed.

  8. mariam says:

    salam 🙂
    I was reading a UN paper about behaviour of UN aid workers confronting female genital mutilation in Africa, one of Authores say : we should not go there and say you are dumb,dumb,stupid and your traditions are dumb,dumb,stupid.we want to replace your dumb traditions with our modern ideas.this method dont work at all.we should be friend with them,understand their believes and concerns and work with them to eliminate abusive traditions .
    I never reject their past and have no problem with what they personaly think about Islam, but they cant help muslim women, simply because they use first method that Author of UN paper talked about.those UN workers who make zero noise have more benefit for muslim women and can teach many valuable lessons to muslim feminists than ex muslim feminists like Ayan Hirsi Ali .
    if I want to see and learn about situation of muslim women ,I can go to a court or prison of women in my city,there is no need to stories of these women, if one day I want to become a celebrity then these women will be good teachers for me.
    mariam-Iran

    • Metis says:

      “about.those UN workers who make zero noise have more benefit for muslim women and can teach many valuable lessons to muslim feminists than ex muslim feminists like Ayan Hirsi Ali .”

      I agree with you completely! I think what is happening is these women are super angry with religion and in the process they are making Muslims very angry with them. The only people who listen to them are the Islamophobes and personally I think that is not helpful at all.

  9. Seema Rehan says:

    Hello Metis. I have been a silent reader for a few days but this post made me want to speak up. I am a 48 year old ex-Muslim. My family was and still is strictly Muslim. I was married to my father’s cousin at a very young age, a little before my 15th birthday. My husband was 32 years old at that time. I was so young that my decision didn’t matter not only to my parents but also to me. Let me tell everyone reading this blog that a child cannot make a decision as big as marriage in any mature way. But my marriage was religiously acceptable even if illegal in many parts of the world.

    I have five children and it seemed that is all I was married for because my husband had another wife with who he didn’t have children but he loved her a lot. He was ‘just’ in spending on both his wives but she got all his love and affection while I was the baby making machine. By the end of 15 years of marriage I looked older than his first wife and was always depressed. He used to visit me for occasional sex and to meet his children. If I protested he beat me which was never too hard but I was slapped around many times like the ‘rest of the children.’

    After 5 more years I decided I wanted a divorce because once my husband turned 48 he became diabetic and began abusing me a lot. It took me another 10 years to get rid of him and even then he didn’t divorce me but died from bad gangrene. He left me nothing. In his will he left all his property for his wife and left his ancestral house for my three sons. My daughters are already married so they also got nothing. If I hadn’t finished my studies while waiting for a divorce, I would have had to beg for food.

    In the time when I was desperate to get a divorce I realized that Islam was not as rosy as I had imagined. I was a good Muslim and feared Allah. I used to believe that Islam had raised my status otherwise I would have been buried as an infant. Truth is that in my culture I may not have been buried as an infant. It is true that as a Pakistani woman I could have been abused similarly in any other religion. I may have been married at the same age if I was Hindu or Christian, but being a Muslim didn’t automatically protect me from abuse. Hindus and Christians have not ceased to progress but many Muslims have.

    I disagree that Islam is not cultural. Every culture has its own type of Islam. Maybe many Muslims don’t even realize that Islam is a specific culture in itself. Islam is drenched in Arabic culture. It has its own language and associated Arabic mythology. I will believe that there is no cultural Islam the day Muslims are successful in removing Arabic culture from Islam. This is also the root of most problems because it was Arabic culture that allowed child marriages, wife beating, difficult divorce procedures for women and twisted inheritance laws that were sanctioned under Islam and have become sharia.

    I don’t want to bore you with why I left Islam which is also not the topic here and will not be appreciated anyway by women converting to Islam but thank you for allowing me to make such a long post.

    • Lat says:

      “Every culture has its own type of Islam. Maybe many Muslims don’t even realize that Islam is a specific culture in itself. Islam is drenched in Arabic culture. It has its own language and associated Arabic mythology. I will believe that there is no cultural Islam the day Muslims are successful in removing Arabic culture from Islam.”

      Well said,Seema Rehan! I share this idea of yours.Islam should not be Arabization.We’re meant to live in diversity as evidenced in our creation.Changing this status brings about chaos and disagreements.

      It’s very sad to read about your life but I’m glad you found your way out thru this ordeal.May God bless you much!

    • Metis says:

      Seema, Thank you for your brave comment and welcome to Metis!

      I am so sorry to know what happened to you. I know two women who have suffered like you have and it is the end of their stories that has dictated which path they took. I am not surprised that you felt extreme hurt by what happened to you. I wish people were always kind and sane, but they aren’t, are they?

      Seema, do you think Muslims will listen to women (and even men) who have left Islam if they are not loud like Hirsi Ali or Sultan? Do you think people like you who are respectful even if they have left Islam can make a difference? I am asking because I find it interesting that you supported your Pakistani *culture* (“Truth is that in my culture I may not have been buried as an infant”) but found Islam to be wanting (“divorce I realized that Islam was not as rosy as I had imagined”) while all of us here are attacking culture and supporting Islam.

    • kinziblogs says:

      Seema, my heart breaks for the mis-use of your life and spirit. With your permission, I will pray that God restores the years that have been taken and that your latter years are filled with new joy.

  10. unsettledsoul says:

    Seema Rehan & kinziblogs,

    As a Muslim convert myself, let me just tell you from my heart, you are very much appreciated here.

    I think every comment here so far has some great points, hence, my confusion regarding how to address this issue.. Culture or religion, culture or religion… hmmm… Maybe it is not either-or, maybe it simply is both, and we must accept that Islam allows these atrocities along with cultures that have adapted their own in the name of Islam.

    I am still having a hard time accepting that though.

    I think this would be an excellent topic to research in depth. I hope this post ends up with 150 comments, because I am intrigued by people’s opinions on this.

    • kinziblogs says:

      Unsettled soul, you have a lovely heart from which to speak. Thank you for kindness, as I am so used to harshness that I am surprised by you and Metis.

      I also wish for 150 comments, to hear from each culture represented would be a treat.

      In Christianity we call it ‘syncretism’, how much cultural practices affect the practice (but not doctrine) of the church. In Austria, it was shameful to wear make-up to church but church leaders would have board meetings in a beer garden over a large stein of lager, which offended my California anti-alcohol/pro-fashion sensibilities.

      I wonder if God really allows cultural atrocities to continue in His name? The bloody war chapters of the Torah are a chronicle of the Jewish conquest of Canaan, which God ordered because of His abhorence of their idolatry and child sacrifice (which was a one-in-forever command, never to be repeated or used as an excuse to attack). I think of Jesus Christ talking to the woman at the well, telling her He knew she had been very immoral, but gently corrected and forgave her. Or when He stopped the religious leaders from stoning the adulteress, reminding them of their own adulteries.

      The holiness of God is not diminished by the unholy actions of His people, but they will be called to account for embracing evil practices and calling them His will.

  11. LK says:

    I guess while I was learning about Islam these practices seem to be cultural Supported by being said they are indeed part of Islam. They are, in theory, part of Islam but the way the Qur’an says to go about things and the way people behave are quite different. The countries use Islam to say that these acts are religiously mandated but they often only take a portion of the reading that supports their cause, leaving off the rest. They abuse rulings in the Qur’an about how to treat your wife, marriage, and polygamy. They take the basic idea but forget about all the ground rules. Its a lot of “take what supports your cause and leave the rest”. I think that is where a lot of the problems come from, abuse of a ruling. If it was 100% Islam then no matter where you went in the world every Islamic community would partake in these practices. Not every community does so it must have at least one foot in culture. Other religions do the same, Christians heavily adopted Roman habits, the Jews still use old Israeli customs. These customs then becoming heavily rooted within the religion. Unfortunately, the Arab customs are highly more damaging then the other religion’s customs.

    As far as the outspoken feminist ladies who were Muslim: I’m not sure. I don’t know if they are helping or hurting their own cause. A lot of Muslims aren’t going to listen to them because they left the religion and a lot of non-Muslims can use them to further the hatred of Islam. They have great ideas but I’m just not sure they are going about it in the right way…attacking the religion may not be the best strategy. Attacking the act might be best if they want to get the problem resolved.

    • Metis says:

      “I guess while I was learning about Islam these practices seem to be cultural Supported by being said they are indeed part of Islam. They are, in theory, part of Islam but the way the Qur’an says to go about things and the way people behave are quite different.”

      You hit the nail on its head! That is what confuses me because “the way the Qur’an says to go about things” is also so subjective. We all have our own interpretations. For example, we briefly discussed the verse on “wife beating” on this blog and all of us (even though we are all feminists) had our own interpretation. Hence, my question remains ‘what is Islam and who decides what the Quran says is what it says?’

  12. Sara says:

    I have absolutely NO respect for people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She says she wants to “help Muslim women.” If that were really the case then she would be out there doing something instead of bashing Islam 24/7. Are Muslim women going to listen to your advice when you’re insulting their Prophet, religion, book etc? No. The truth is she’s in it for herself.
    Besides, what happened to her is not Somali Islam. It’s the Islam of the individuals who did what they did to her. We’ve all suffered injustices: do we ascribe them to ENTIRE religions, movements, genders, etc? No. Because we’re grown up and we know that one person’s actions do not represent everyone else’s.

    • Metis says:

      I feel for Hirsi Ali and I am sad for what happened to her. I also like the manner in which she speaks – she is soft spoken even though she is often very angry. But I have some issues about how she is handling her apostasy from Islam. One of my main issues is that she is using a group of people’s actions as representation of ALL Muslims. If, on the one hand, we accept that Islam is not a monolith then on the other hand we can’t say that ALL of Islam is abusive.

  13. Tasmiya says:

    Where do we draw the line? How do we say what is Islam and what these women saw and suffered from was not Islam?

    This is the million dollar question. I often feel the oft touted, “well, those people are not true Muslims, this is not Islam!” is just a convenient way for us Muslims not to ask ourselves the hard questions. Islam DOES have a lot to answer for in the way women are treated.

    This may or may not be related but something I’ve been thinking about recently: My 9 year old is at the age where we need to speak to him about sex (he knows a few things, and maybe a bit of the biology of it) and we want to teach him the beauty of enthusiastic consent, at never taking one’s partner for granted or coercing one’s partner into any activity they are not ready for and the necessity for communication, ALWAYS because this is OUR Islam. Others’ Islam is women cannot refuse and there is not such thing as rape in marriage.

    From the reading I’ve done from Sunnipath to IslamQA to askimam.com the scholars are all for the latter. No disrespect to the scholars but I really like my Islam way better 🙂

    • Metis says:

      “Islam DOES have a lot to answer for in the way women are treated.”

      Tasmiya, do you think we are asking the wrong questions and hence finding the wrong answers? Or do you think we are right and the “real Islam” was lost somewhere right in the begining?

      • Tasmiya says:

        I don’t know the answers to these questions, Metis but I am going to check out the rest of these posts on your blog and hope to come up with something one day!

  14. Personally I find it difficult to take Hirsi Ali seriously because I’ve concluded from what I’ve seen and read from her that she’s suffering from what I call colonial mentality. Several Muslims in Africa have a colonial mentality where they worship anything Arab and while Hirsi Ali seems to have escaped that view, she’s subscribed to the other colonial mentality that worships anything “white” Western.

    I think it’s a good idea to listen to the opinions of ex-Muslim feminists but it gets difficult and tiring listening to them when they are so filled with anger even though I may understand why they are angry. I’ve got a few friends who used to be Muslim but they hardly talk about what Islam meant to them.

    • Metis says:

      That is a very nice analysis, Ecc. I see extreme hatred for Islam in Sultan and Hirsi Ali both and that is not helpful to Muslim women at all. I think Hirsi Ali learned very quickly that she will become popular (with the wrong kind of people) if she spews her hatred. She has politicised her hatred like US said.

      “I’ve got a few friends who used to be Muslim but they hardly talk about what Islam meant to them.”

      And such people are always easy to listen to.

      • I think Hirsi Ali learned very quickly that she will become popular (with the wrong kind of people) if she spews her hatred.

        Exactly! To me it doesn’t seem like she is fighting for anything at all. I’d admire her if she lost all the hate even as I can understand where it’s coming from.

        And such people are always easy to listen to.

        I make it a point not to talk about religion with most people. However, I’ve noticed how culture affects religious conversions. I mean reading blogs and profiles of people like Hirsi Ali and Sultan, I get a different view of leaving Islam from what I have seen IRL. First off, most Nigerian families from the region I’m from which is Northern (but we like to call it the “Middle Belt”) are diverse culturally (in terms of ethnic group) and religiously.

        I have Christian aunts and cousins, mostly female, some were raised Christian while others converted. As part of the Muslim “side” of the family I was raised understanding that this happens, people switch religions for various reasons, no need to make a fuss about it. With this background, you can imagine how surprised I was to learn about apostacy in Islam and all that comes with it.

        Speaking with Nigerians who have left Islam, both family and friends, I’ve noticed a trend and this is linked to them recieving something or the other. Please understand that I don’t mean to be condescending. In Nigeria, when bad things happen everyone calls on God but they do it differently. Muslims may say “this happened for a reason and God knows best” and on the other hand Christians may say “this has happened and it is not our portion, God will help us find a way and it’ll be really soon”. To put this in examples, one friend of mine was ill, her Muslim mother thought it’d be a good idea to take her to pastor. This pastor healed her and with that she converted to Christianity. An aunt was unmarried for a long time and while it can only be guessed whether she converted to Christianity before getting married or after, it is obvious to me when I’m with her that she places the fact that she is not married on her newfound religion. Another aunt explained to me that Christianity as practiced in Nigeria places a lot of emphasis on the now, on solving “problems” that are happening now. The things that affect people a lot here and that are qualified as problems are poverty, being single and women with difficulties having children.

        I believe I got carried away and I hope what I’ve written adds to this conversation.

        • Metis says:

          No, you didn’t. That is a very interesting comment. Thanks for sharing with us what you did. I suspect that many first Muslims also converted for the “now” so it makes perfect sense.

  15. unsettledsoul says:

    eccentricyoruba,

    This is how I have seen hirsi ali also. I think she has internalized some self-hatred from the tragedy in her past. It is tragic, but like all survivors of abuse and assault, there has to be a point where we take responsibility for ourselves and stop writhing in bitterness. Her misplaced blame makes her come off as ignorant. I saw her debating with Tariq Ramadan regarding Muslim issues in Europe and she made a complete fool of her self. Her anger and bitterness has betrayed her. She is just as bad as the Islamophobes, and she has become their spokesperson for sure.

    • Oh it can be a very painful experience watching Hirsi Ali debating. Obviously Hirsi Ali’s background and trauma in her past have made her what she is today. Someone who is very outspoken about negative practices Somali culture is Waris Dirie and I happen to really respect and admire her. Anytime she talks, I listen. While I don’t know much on Dirie’s religion I like that she is not sensational but intelligent and smart. Ah, I don’t think I’m being coherent right now, all I can say is I admire Dirie.

      Another outspoken ex-Muslim who I actually listen to is Kola Boof. Boof may be compared to Hirsi Ali in that she mixes up Sudanese Islamic culture with Islam as whole but she is not affected by colonial mentality at all. I listen to what she has to say because most of the time she speaks the truth. Except when she’s talking about Islam as practiced in Sudan and passing it off as Sunni Islam ^^;

  16. unsettledsoul says:

    Also, I don’t know if anyone knows who Bill Maher is, but he is the host of a political show on HBO here in the states. Anyways, he is quite biased against Muslims, although he is trying hard to educate himself so I give him credit. Anyways, he had hirsi ali on his show to be the “Muslim Voice” (like always even though she isn’t Muslim), and her opinions about Islam were so far off the map that Bill Maher was defending Islam and Muslims against her. Literally she was talking about how the spread of Islam in America needs to be stopped or people will be cutting off heads and wrists in the streets and sharia law will take over America. I wish I was exaggerating about what she was talking about, but I am not.

    She has a seat in Dutch Parliament in the far right political party, and we all know how the far right views Islam and Muslims. She has politicized her hatred and she has quite a powerful voice. Her self-hatred is smothering her.

  17. unsettledsoul says:

    Haha! Yes.. I know… lol

  18. Seema Rehan says:

    No Muslim has been kind to me ever since I left Islam even though I don’t speak against Islam. Thanks very much to Metis, Unsettled Soul, Lat and Kinziblogs for your kind words towards me.

    Metis you asked if Muslims will listen to people who have left Islam if they are not loud. I don’t know. My experience tells me that Muslims don’t want to hear from anyone who has left their religion. I have also experienced that former Muslims who are not loud are also not bothered about Muslims or what Islam is doing to the social fabric of Muslim societies. They don’t care about anyone anymore.

    • susanne430 says:

      Seema,

      You said: “I have also experienced that former Muslims who are not loud are also not bothered about Muslims or what Islam is doing to the social fabric of Muslim societies. They don’t care about anyone anymore.”

      Do you think this is because they have been hurt so they try to bury anything to do with Islam? Or do they feel it’s a hopeless cause so why bother? They are numb? Just don’t care? Don’t want to draw attention to their ‘apostasy’?

      I was really glad you decided to comment although what you had to say was sad. It’s great to have you here and I hope you will continue to find your voice and share your thoughts and opinions on these topics.

      • Seema Rehan says:

        Hello Susanne,

        I can only speak for myself and it is not so much the hurt but that I have become very selfish. Even if I was not abused in the name of Islam, I was still not protected by my religion. There is no “status of women in Islam”. It is only in name and to look good in text books. In the beginning I thought that the Islam practiced by my husband was wrong or was not the “original” Islam, but it was very much the standard Islam. There was nothing wrong about him marrying me as a child and no one frowned when he beat me for being “ungrateful”. I was supposed to worship him for leaving me alone at home for months with five children.

        I don’t care about Muslims anymore. There are enough women in this world who accept it as the best religion so good luck to them. I don’t care. Now my religion is feminism and strictly speaking feminism knows no religion or at least shouldn’t know any religion.

    • kinziblogs says:

      Seema, I think you will find some kind Muslim women here. I am a Christian, but have some American friends in Jordan who left a cultural-form of Christianity to become Muslims. I hear the stories of awful things people have said to them, too.

      We had an interesting experience in Jordan where a pastor’s daughter became a Muslim. It was a tragedy for us in the church, it felt like a huge betrayal as a very small minority in the country. She became very famous, had youtube and TV appearances. Some Christians were very nasty to her.

      This summer, we were all shocked to see her on an Arab Christian TV station claiming she had finally understood who Jesus Christ was, take off her hijab and reunite with her mother, asking for forgiveness and coming back to the faith of her childhood. Now it is the Muslim community who are angry with her, have threatened her life. She fled to America.

      I suppose that those who are left will always feel hurt and angry, as well as sad for the one who left, from either faith or none at all.

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