Cindy D. (former Muslim)
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My Testimony of Leaving Islam
Sept. 11, 2001 was devastating to me. Being an American and being a Muslim at the same time left me with an overwhelming sense of grief. I didn't understand what was happening, and more importantly, I couldn't understand why. I think I was in a state of shock for the first 3 days. My Palestinian husband ordered me to dress in my Islamic dress, i.e. jilbab and hijab, and go outside. I was terrified. Little did I realize at the time, but this man was exploiting me and using me for whatever his cause was. He wanted people to see me, a Muslim woman, in the face of 'the ignorance' as sort of a way of thumbing his nose at them. I resented this. I started having doubts about Islam at that point. He pretty much had left me to study Islam on my own, of which I was relatively glad to do, as I wanted to be the best Muslim I could be because I believed sincerely that it was a peaceful religion and 'the true religion of God'. I learned to read and write Arabic, was memorizing whole chapters of Quran, and reading it in its entirety each month. I read and read daily the hadiths of Muhammad. The more i read, the more concerned I became. I read stories of how some would insult him or reject his teaching of Islam, and he would have them killed in their sleep or when their backs were turned. I couldn't understand why the Quran said that there is no compulsion in religion, yet at the same time they live by the law that says to kill anyone who leaves Islam. This was forced religion in my mind, no matter what you call it.
I read of how upset Aisha, his 9 year old bride, would become when Muhammad would insult her and women in general when he compared them to dogs and donkeys. When I showed my husband these hadiths, he told me, "You are trying to shake my faith, I don't want to see it", and "Maybe the Jews planted that in there". The more I read, the more concerned I became. I searched the Internet to see what people who had left Islam thought and why they thought it. I picked up the book by Ibn Warraq, Why I am Not a Muslim. I was devastated while reading it because I realized that the religion I believed to be the religion of God was a lie and was dangerous.
My husband became more aggressive towards me. He had previously prevented me from leaving numerous times. He showed up at my job to see if I was wearing hijab. He called me when I wasn't at home to ask where I was. He wanted me to go to work and come home and go nowhere else, including even the grocery store. He isolated me from my family and friends. He tried to change my personality. He spied on my email and found an email I had written and received from Nonie Darwish, another apostate. Life became unbearable eventually. I couldn't take it anymore. The day I decided to leave, April, 2004, after many attempts, he threw me in the floor, kicking me in the stomach and the head, then denied it, saying I must have tripped, that this didn't happen.
I call 2004 the year of my FREEDOM. Unfortunately, I know lots of other women who are unable, for whatever reason to leave their situation.
I am still working on my belief system. I trust the real GOD, the loving God, to show me the way.