A letter to my former Muslim self
Dear Chista ‘Muslimah’,
A disclaimer: This will change your life.
As I sit in the backyard of a mosque and watch the Eid celebrations, I am writing this letter to you. You are going to hate me for the bitter piece of news I have brought to you, but I strongly encourage you to continue reading this letter with an open mind. I know that you have been often told, “It is okay to keep an open mind, but your brain might just fall off if you open it too much.” Well, that is just plain closed-mindedness.
“Already the word has come into effect upon most of them, so they do not believe. Indeed, We have put shackles on their necks, and they are to their chins, so they are with heads [kept] aloft. And We have put before them a barrier and behind them a barrier and covered them, so they do not see.” (Quran 36: 7-9)
It is a curious thing, Chista, but many Muslims have a rigid mindset (thanks to dogmatic texts like the above) that anyone who do not share their belief system should be branded as ‘bigots, close minded freaks’ and should be dismissed or in extreme and unfortunate cases, disposed.
Stay away from people who try to shut your questions or your thought process. These are the type of people who will discourage you from independent thinking and deny you the opportunity to take control and decisions regarding yourself, your life, your body, and your thoughts. They are the kind of people who have lost their opportunity to experience the incredulity and fragility of life and the universe because of the inventions of cheap myths and wild fantasies. They perfectly exemplify the walking dead who are seemingly alive but are oblivious to the wonders that happen around them.
On this day of Eid that they sacrifice a herd of sheep, I can’t help but think that the real sacrifice people make in the name of Islam is rationality, free thought and moral responsibility. This turns them into sheep themselves, enslaved by cunning and cruel slavemasters whose ambitions lie in power grab and religious martyrdom.
My concern is that you do not grow to up to be like those of apathy or willful ignorance, who take the world we are living in for granted. I will not allow you, of all people, to join the ranks of the indifferent, brainwashed and brain-dead. I want you to have an inquiring mind, for it is better to think wrongly than not being able to think at all. Now, I am well aware that you have a wealth of questions piled up in you but you have relegated them to the furthest of your senses because you fear that backlash you will receive if you were to voice out. We are living in the age of IT – there is no shortage of knowledge. You can seek answers to your questions while maintaining your anonymity. I cannot stress how important it is to tend to your questions and doubts. And no, your doubts are not from “Shaytaan” or “the bad Jinns”, but the rationality that is trying to break free from you.
I know that you must be confused at this point of time but do bear with me.
Firstly, you need to learn how to differentiate between pseudoscience and real science. Many people do confuse the two, but there is a clear distinction between them. One relies on wishful thinking, baseless speculations, and logical fallacies while the other involves pure scientific method, philosophy and concrete thinking. Science is not compatible with religion, especially Islam. You do not need religion or any dogma in order to understand the universe and its workings fully. In fact, religion tends to take away the element of wonder in your experience. Religion stands in the way of science when aspects of both ideas clash with each other. Science flies you to the moon while religion flies you into buildings. Also, reciting those Manzil verses or Quran verses or Asma-ul Husna will not cure you of your depression or your illness. Prayer does not do anything to improve your situation either. Ayatul Kursi has no magical powers either. It is science, therapy and treatments employed on scientific methods that will truly heal you or bring a change in your life and health. Many theologians like to claim that many aspects of Islam are scientific miracles and/or hold medicinal value – but do remember that they are bogus science. They are pathetic ways to try to reconcile the reality with their wishful thinking. Don’t fall into their trap. They are no different from the Hindutvas’ self-proclaimed accurate “Vedic Science” that you so self-righteously sneer at. Both are equally ridiculous.
My advice to you: Hone your critical thinking and argumentative skills, and ensure that you educate yourself on science, classics, philosophy, etc. Not only will they open your minds to the workings of the universe, but also to the plight of human beings and Earthlings in general. This leads me to my next piece of advice for you.
Never put religion before humanity. Never favour ideas instead of people. Free thought, free speech and freedom are our birth right. Islam, especially Islamism, dictates that people who question religion, leave religion, or blaspheme should be put on trial and be executed. Don’t ever defend such totalitarian values as they are pure Taliban/terrorist apologia. Remember, it is the new ideas that constantly shape the world and its future. Never condone primitive ideas as they lead to stagnation, not progress. Realize that people have different sexualities too (LGBTQIA), which is completely natural. Don’t judge them – instead, ask yourself why Abrahamic religions consider sexuality, especially that of women, as something very perverse or controversial. You will discover later about Islam and its false promise of feminism, and it will shake you and leave you completely disappointed. It is also unwise to straddle the line between real choice and the illusion of choice. You place your god on the highest pedestal, but are you aware that he has no regard for you – just because you are a woman? You will soon come to realize the brutal truth: Allah is misogynist and Islam is very male-centric.
Always remember: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” (Article 1 from The Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
I shall leave you to your thoughts. All the best to you.
[Follow me on Twitter @ChistaPantea]