‘MUSLIM-ISH’ – NEW GROUP FOR QUESTIONING & EX-MUSLIMS, GROWING ROOTS AT RUTGERS

By Ibrahim
Ex-Muslim at Muslim-ish of NYC
muslimishnyc@gmail.com

My name is Ibrahim. My parents are muslims, so they taught me islam as a child.

Around the age of 8 I got annoyed with the idea that I am muslim simply because my parents are muslim.  So I started researching the only other religion I had contact with at the time, christianity, and it sounded so ridiculously stupid that it confirmed my belief that islam is the true path to connect with the creator of the universe and ensure a blissful eternal life after death.

Around the age of 13 I started researching other religions like judaism and eastern religions.  I eliminated them one by one because none of them made any sense to me. This again confirmed my belief that islam is the true path to connect with the creator and ensure a blissful eternal life. I also decided that I will make islam my main guide in distinguishing right from wrong and that I will try to live by its rules even though the country I lived in did not required me to do so.

The idea that all religions, including islam, could be fallible did not cross my mind until I moved out of my Middle-Eastern environment to a Western society where this idea is discussed openly.

Once I put islam through the same scrutiny which I had put other religions through, it appeared to be wrong as well.

My argument against islam is the following:

  • Mohammad ibn Abdallah claimed to be a messenger from the creator of the universe.
  • The 9th century Arabian tribe that he lived among requested proof that he was a messenger from the creator of the universe. They suggested that this proof should be in the form of a miracle since Mohammad claimed in his book -quraan- that the creator of the universe had sent other messengers in the past and that they preformed miracles.
  • In the beginning Mohammad refused to present a miracle. His reason was that other tribes did not believe in their messengers even when they saw miracles with their own eyes. He later claimed that his miracle is the quraan.
  • On examining the quraan today, I can find many numerical, scientific, logical and grammatical mistakes. The quraan repeatedly states that the main moral value a Muslim should have is obedience to allah  this simply doesn’t help one’s moral and spiritual growth in the 21st century. The quraan talks about Mohammad’s marital problem and threatens his wives for him. The quraan repeats the same stories over and over.

I came to a conclusion that I could not ignore that the quraan could not possibly be the words of the creator of the universe.

Islam is the only religion that still punishes anyone who leaves it with death because of Mohammad ibn Abdallah’s saying “Whoever changes his religion, kill him”. Some muslim counties have laws that punish anyone who leaves the faith with death, others with imprisonment.

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I have started a group in NYC where ex-Muslims and muslims who have questions about religion can come and participate in a free and open discussion without fear of punishment or judgment.

I am now starting other groups in cities and universities across the US and Europe.

If you or someone you know is an ex-muslim who is willing to start such a group or wants to participate in the NYC group please contact me at muslimishnyc@gmail.com.

Salam.

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For More Information Also Please See the Recent Center For Inquiry NYC‘s Press Release for the Muslim-ish of NYC group.

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4 Responses to ‘MUSLIM-ISH’ – NEW GROUP FOR QUESTIONING & EX-MUSLIMS, GROWING ROOTS AT RUTGERS

  1. joe says:

    ibrahim, very interesting, and your story brings two questions to mind.

    first, do you vet members to your groups to guarantee safety of the members? considering as you pointed out that islam decrees death for those who leave the religion, are you worried about infiltrators who might be looking to do harm to your group? its terrible that you might have to worry about this.

    second, i wonder about your experience of rejecting other religions. i think, as well as i can remember, that at 8 years old i became an atheist, or at least a questioner, but my experience was seeing all religions as equally ridiculous, and that neither gave a true answer. later on i learned about other religions and became informed, but never embraced them as answers. i wonder why you rejected them all, but still kept your faith in islam, was it simply because you hadn’t looked at it with as critical an eye that you had at the others, or something else? i think all religions inform us with moral codes of both good and bad behaviors, and humanity can take from them rules that make their actions good or bad, and in a way its the role of humanism to take the best of those moral codes to make the world better.

    good luck!

  2. Ibrahim says:

    Joe- Thank you for your questions.

    Yes, I personally screen all new members before giving them the meeting location.

    As the group has grown I have had to take stricter measure to ensure the safety and anonymity of members. All members understand that safety has got to be taken seriously because “We are dealing with muslims”.

    And although the majority of the NYC group members still call themselves muslims, I am looking for ex-muslims, not questioning muslims, to start new groups in new cities because in my view only someone who can call themselves ex-muslim can start such a group.

    Yes, I anticipate infiltrations attempts. All I had to filter out so far was a couple of angry muslims and a whole lot of naive muslims who thought the group was some cozy little muslim meet-up where everyone nods their head and agrees with whatever bullshit is being said without questioning. I am working with some activists in the atheist community to find better ways to screen members.

  3. Ibrahim says:

    Your second question is harder to answer. I think I kept my faith in islam because the question I was trying to answer was “Which religion is the right religion?”. The idea that all religions are wrong and that there might not be a creator to the universe who had a purpose for his creation never crossed my mind until I heard other people talk about it. That idea is simply not discussed in muslim countries or in muslim communities in the west.

    So yea, I never put islam through the scrutiny I had put other religions to… until I did.

  4. Pingback: ‘MUSLIM-ISH’ – NEW GROUP FOR QUESTIONING & EX-MUSLIMS, GROWING ROOTS AT RUTGERS | MUSLIMISH

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