Elwathaniyy (former Muslim)
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Testimony of Leaving Islam
Dear Ali, I stumbled on this website last night and have been reading some of the testimonies, until I felt I had to tell you about my own experience with Islam.
Before hearing my story, you must know a few things about myself: I am fluent in Arabic, and master many other languages. I do not wish to boast, but I must admit I have never met someone who knew as much as I do about subjects as diverse as theology, mythology, agriculture, linguistics, history, philosophy, and many others. I do indeed consider myself a knowledgeable person (I do not, however, consider myself as being intellectually superior or more intelligent than any other human being, I know that having a good deal of things in your brain is not the same as having a well-structured one).
Prior to being a Muslim, I was a Jew. Kind of religious, I did celebrate the main Jewish holidays and I did pray regularly. Actually, I was the only person in my family who took interest in this fascinating heritage. I knew quite a deal about Islam and was interested in it at least since I was around 10 to 11 years old. This religion seemed extremely similar to mine on many points and I did wish to have been born a Muslim should I not have been a Jew in this world.
Being fluent in Arabic, I used to laugh at the claim that "Islam" means "peace", mainly because one who said such a thing possibly could not have the slightest knowledge about Arabic whatsoever. I always knew what "Islam" meant, that it came from the verb "aslama" (to submit/he submitted) which itself stemmed from the semitic S-L-M root relating it to "salam", which eventually led to the confusion (or so I thought, naive as I was). No need to say that for an Arabic speaker who actually understands his language, peace implies some sort of submission and vice-versa. A concept far from unknown to Mohammad I may add.
It works kind of the same way in Hebrew: "Shalom" (peace) comes from the root Š-L-M which also gives us "shalam" meaning "paymaster", so peace requires tribute and vice-versa in the Hebrew speaker's mind. I used to think, at the time, that a good Muslim would know this since he has to understand Arabic in order to appreciate the benefits of his religion. If only I'd known how wrong I was back then.
So starts my conversion (or reversion according to the system), it was a night of shabbat, my mind was empty and I suddenly felt the urge to convert. This urge became bigger and annoying, I was having tortured thoughts while walking in the street such as "Should I convert?" "How can I accept this false prophet? A prophet who killed my brothers at Khaybar moreover!?" And you know what? I converted, this may seem illogical but it has a very simple explanation I will expose later on. I went to the local masjid and I spoke to a convert who brought me to the sheikh and they made sure I knew what I was talking about (and, of course, I did convince them since I knew more than them about a good deal of things). I repeated the shahadah and left this place. I felt somehow guilty, because I didn't really believe that Mohammad was a prophet, I knew I would never follow this nightmarish character, that I simply couldn't.I came back home and did Wudhu' as I was instructed: "Reversion" accomplished.
I went back to this masjid many times, attended prayer and got to know Muslims. What astonished me was that a good deal of these were converts, and they were more Arabic than Arabs themselves! When I converted, I thought I knew what Islam was about, the truth is I was wrong and this reality would later slap me in the face. I remember these Muslims explaining me how to wash before prayer. They couldn't even agree on how they had to wash. While one was saying that I can use sand, the other one was saying I should always start with the right hand, the other one said there was no particular order... Rich.
I eventually discovered the hadith, at first I didn't pay much attention to these. Another convert gave me a huge pile of DVDs and a book to indoctrinate me, needless to say I gave these back to him without even having read a page nor listened to one of these DVDs. Later on, another convert (I used to call him "super Muslim") gave me DVDs and I did listen to these, it was quite interesting. They somehow ignited my conscience, particularly due to their disgusting anti-semitic comments.
I was starting to wake up, all along I thought I could have my interpretation of the Qur'an. One day, I went to the mosque and asked if they were of maliki obedience. Clearly, they just didn't get what I was babbling about, didn't know much about schools of thought and told me to read my Qur'an and be a Muslim!
One of the DVDs made many references to hadiths, and I realized what this was all about. After all, it was like oral law in Judaism: A tool designed to manipulate the follower at will, I opened my eyes. I was ashamed. I then was attracted to the Quranist view for the rest of my time as a Muslim, but I got to see the Janus behavior of my brothers in faith.
For example, I found myself introduced to another Muslim who asked me how I had converted and what I was before converting. I told him I was a Jew, the reaction was harsh: "Jews? They are not good." In the same spirit, I went on a trip with one of my Muslim friends, we talked about the Hajj. I told him how Jewish converts were being stopped by Saudi authorities who would check if they really were Muslim. His reaction? Perfectly normal, since Jews are a de facto threat to Muslim holy places and this being due to their treacherous nature.
On the same day, I spoke to another Muslim, the janus behavior came out once more. More hatred, more stupidity (by the way, two of these didn't even know Arabic).
Last time I went to the mosque, a convert came to me and talked about how Turks were fake Muslims, that they used to speak Arabic but now changed their language and so on. I was shocked, his ignorance was abyssal.
Regarding the Shi'a, hatred was also expressed, the Palestinian "cause" was served to us daily, some converts asked me what Jews think about Muslims. They didn't listen to my answer and asked me if I had been involved in polytheistic rituals: They seriously thought we are polytheists! Worse: After learning I was a Jew before converting, these ignorants tried making fun of members of my family behind my back, treating me as a brother while despising my family in the meantime.
Another thing I want to speak of is how Islam turned me into a violent person. Indeed Islam made me boil from within with hatred and I was fighting with my own family for the most trivial reasons, my body keeps signs of these fights.
I finally woke up, the sun was shining high in the sky, I had thought for a long time: So that's what "Islam" is all about? Why do I feel so alien to these people if I am supposed to be one of them? I've had all the evidence I asked for, I know where I stand. I went out to see my family and announced them I was no longer a Muslim. That I had in fact never been one in my whole life! I had been a Muslim for four months, and this short period of time was enough to put me off.
What do I retain from this experience?
First that conversion to Islam is not due to attraction but only to lack of thought: He (or She) who converts is not using his brain, but in a secondary state (probably thinking about something else at the same time, which is why so many conversions are due to love). It made me grow up, I now know who I am facing. I found pride in my roots, more than ever, I am proud to be what I am.
As for Islam, here is my view:
Amongst all religions, Islam is the most dangerous for it is the best culture destroyer, its aim is quite simple... That is replacing any kind of knowledge or cultural practice with research regarding the acts and words of a man who died in the 7th century!
If I wanted to destroy a culture, I would just send Muslims in the country hosting this culture. Skeptical? Just look at the good job they already did in Arabia, Iraq, Iran (and this is where I feel the most for you, Ali. Iran has a rich history and one of the richest cultures in the region, but what do Islamic authorities aspire to? Replacing Persian with Arabic while erasing the country's pre-islamic past!), the Caucasus, India, Central Asia, Africa and so on.
One must never forget that Islam's ultimate goal is Arabization, which is why you will always find extensive Arabic loans in Turkish (merhaba, selam aleküm), Chechen (Salam aleykum), Kazak (Sälem), Persian (Salaam), Urdu (assalam 'aleykum) [I have to add, urdu is interesting since it is practically similar to its Hindi counterpart except on two points: 1. The name of the language is totally foreign, Zaban-e Urdu-e Muallah 2. While Hindi forms new words from Sanskrit roots, Urdu would rather go fishing in Arabic or Persian.] and so on.
As a culture destroyer, Islam qualifies pre-Islamic Arabians as victims of "jahiliyah" (ignorance) but Arabia was much more advanced under the Nabateans, Sabeans or the Himyarite kingdoms than under the caliphate. Let me explain you why:
When the Islamic ignoramuses want to make it clear that the Western world wouldn't be exactly the same without Islamic inventors and scientists, they forget one thing, all of these scientists were anything but good Muslims; Ibn Sina went to prison and feared for his life, Ibn Rushd was exiled amongst Jews to calm the ulemas (big humiliation as you may guess) and Ibn Khaldun was thrown three time to jail. The Caliphate bursted under internal division, not external threat.
Also, a good way of spotting the Janus character of Islam is its attitude towards slavery. Many times, Tuaregs hunted down Muslim men in Africa and sold them to other Muslim men! So much for the "ummah". Should I even mention the fact that many people mysteriously disappear during their pilgrimage to Mecca?
If anything, Islam is a political system designed to adapt to the situation it faces in order to legitimize its position, I find the case for "Palestine" to be quite revealing regarding this issue.
"يَا قَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الْأَرْضَ الْمُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِي كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَىٰ أَدْبَارِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ"
This is from elma'ida, 5:21. It translates as "O my people [Israel] ! enter the holy land which Allah has prescribed for you and turn not on your backs for then you will turn back losers."
How do muslims then justify their presence in the holy land? By creating hadiths about dajjal and other plagiarized episodes regarding the land. And as you all know, "Jerusalem" isn't even once mentioned by name in the whole Qur'an.
This experience did much more than change my understanding of Islam, it also challenged my understanding of religion as a whole. I am now more moderate in my faith and do not reject the existence of other Deities (Judaism hints to the existence of other Gods [why say Elohim instead of Eloh? I used to believe in the respect plural but not anymore. The Sh'ma Israel also hints to other deities" existence and the Shahadah is also similar on this point], yet demands that only one be worshiped, that's called monolatrism).
You know, I've been thinking lately, and even if Judaism and Christianity have their ways to control the faithful's mind, the difference is the goal is random in effect, unlike Islam which makes murder an obligation along with deception and proselytism.
I now think religion makes people backwards to some extent, that is, if they cannot make a package out of their beliefs and are overwhelmed by these. I don't believe that morals have to be entertained through religion anymore, I think the carving of a moral personality can be achieved through education and knowledge yet I still think children should be taught religion since I've witnessed gobsmackingly dangerous ignorance regarding religion.
I've been interested in religions since I was a kid, and I can affirm without the shadow of a doubt: Islam is a political system disguised as a religion. Sooner or later, you'll meet deception, you have my word (and if you don't, then you obviously deserve what you get, as most of us do. What goes around comes around after all!).
Dear Ali Sina, I agree with you about Muslims being the principal victims of Islam, yet there is one point you didn't seem to grasp: Some Muslims, when confronted to the truth about Islam, do not reject it but actually feel proud about the fact they have been brainwashed. Their explanation? "It must've been for a good reason."
Muslims stand high above the others as n°1 on my list of most hypocritical people in the universe. I even used to know a Muslim who was bisexual and who did all five prayers a day, all at the mosque. No compulsion in religion as they say. I guess that's also the reason why Arab countries were amongst the only ones on earth to have male-only brothels. Seems Muslims condemn homosexuality, as long as it suits their needs of course.
So once more, believe me, Islam is much more vicious than what you may think: It perverts the individual in such a way that it literally replaces the individual himself, thus sickness is holiness. No more judgment, no more intelligence, no more brightness, no more taste. Just a plague: Islam.
One last thing, I have no fear of Muslims whatsoever, they are not bright enough to pose a real threat in my humble opinion. That is, if you don't count the leftists, liberals and apologists into the equation! If you want my advice, these people are extremely dangerous and they do scare me a lot more than the sheikhs and their toy boys do.