Leaving Islam – Unlearning and Relearning
“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. ”
— Alvin Toffler
Before I start, I should let you know that I am still a closet Ex Muslim. I am still financially dependent and I fear what my family will do to me when they find out. That being said, I still do try to bring up discussions that subtly hint that their long-held traditional and fundamentalist views have no place in this world. Or at least I tried to, until things turned out to be nasty. Some of my family members would threaten me; some would yell at me; many would simply dismiss me. “You are still young. You are just going through a phase, like many young adults,” they would say. Basically, I am just an insane, raving madwoman who should not be taken very seriously.
When I first left Islam, I knew I could never turn to any of them to deal with my paradigm shift. But I wasn’t too unfortunate. The fact that I was lied to my whole life was overwhelming and depressing (to this day), but the knowledge I had that I was about to embark a journey of unlearning and relearning was more exhilarating and enticing. This was the period where I met many heroes and heroines like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss and Hypatia of Alexandria, who have helped me by enlightening me, shaping my worldview, and honing my critical thinking skills. Most importantly, they have illuminated the shadows of ignorance left behind by the pathetic lies spawn by religion and my culture. At the same time, this journey is very dangerous and risky. My family members, at all times, must never find out about my apostasy and my anti-theism stance. They are the type of people who would go all lengths to protect their ideologies, even if it entails ruining people’s lives. These are the type of people who put ideology before people, the very same mentality that motivates terrorists to carry out their crimes against humanity.
Now now, I am well aware that not all Muslims hold the views (as shown above in the picture). I know many ‘moderate’ Muslims who are much smarter and much more moral than Islam itself. But I am very certain that there are some Muslims who are very ignorant. I personally know many supporters of Zakir Naik and Hamza Tzortzis. They are, in my opinion, the very definition of what we mean by pseudoscience and intellectual bankruptcy. It boggles my mind when I think about how these fraudulent conmen receive immense support when we live in the information age. I mean, who needs DNA testing when you can rape nine year olds and get away scott free right? Once, my uncle and I got into a heated debate about the validity of Zakir Naik’s speeches. He shoved an entire Zakir Naik CD collection and his books into my arms. However, when I showed him a video (25 mistakes in 5 minutes) that aimed to expose Naik’s lies, he refused to watch it. He refused to listen to a single word I say.
See how close-minded and insecure Islamists are! This was the point where I totally gave up talking to many Islamists because they are not going to bother listening to any stances that opposes their views. If you could reason with these people, they won’t be Muslims in the first place.
I am very thankful that we live in a world where we have education and information at our disposal. I am grateful that we have amazing institutions like Coursera, Edx, and even libraries for free. My hope is that we take advantage of these resources to educate ourselves and no longer rely on ancient myths for guidance. Here’s to a better, more informed, and a religion-free world!
[Follow me on Twitter @ChistaPantea]