Zero is no place to be
I am a dissident. Most ex-Muslim stories start at -x, "growing up in a Muslim family", and work through to zero, "leaving Islam". Murtadd to Human is different. This site starts at zero, "leaving Islam", and works through to +x, "human". Hard as it is to get to the point of leaving Islam, it is at this point that the real work begins: recovering the humanity that Islam either denied you or stifled in you. Therefor, that I was once a Muslim is purely incidental. I dissent against an orthodoxy, an anti-human orthodoxy. My aim is to become fully human. I am determined to live before I die.
The faith of a Muslim is tested by belief in the hereafter. One cannot be genuinely Muslim until one believes in the unseen and still to be experienced next life. …It is the true life that every soul should try to reach safely. …This earthly life is too short and worthless, and it is no more than a passage to real life in the hereafter.
— Rafik Berjak in The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia, edited by Oliver Leaman.
At Jihad Watch, a website for which I write and that I would highly recommend for daily feeds on jihad, as well as its opposite, the decline Islam, one commenter responded to a report on the Saudi easing of its notorious "Guardianship" laws:
Jun 17, 2021 at 10:00 am
i am from Saudi Arabia 💔💔 and every second i breath i feel heavy, living here is a challenge, isn’t a fact
everything is gloomy, and sad, people here don’t live the moment, they live to die, an obedient ruthless life to Allah, am 17yo, and i have to say i don’t have any friends. people here are gelatinous organisms, my dream is to be free from this restrictive, I want to learn music, go play, but I am basically unhealthy really, mental, i just hope if people were like funny and lovely…
i feel wasted, horrible life ..
Philosopher Martin Buber, one of the founders of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, along with Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and Chaim Weizman, is quoted as having said:
One cannot in the nature of things expect a little tree that has been turned into a club to put forth leaves.
Indeed, but we do not simply hear and obey the nature of things. We can also influence it, and heal it, and enhance it. Our Saudi friend proclaims, "I want to learn music, go play, but I am basically unhealthy really, mental, i just hope if people were like funny and lovely… i feel wasted, horrible life..." In other words, serialthinker is a tree turned into a club. He is conscious enough to not want to be stunted anymore. He wants to be human, something Islam has taken away from him. It is as simple as that. The prerequisite, of course, is to leave Islam, then must begin the recovery from "basically unhealthy really, mental." Every step in this recovery brings more humanity, puts forth more leaves, until you are able to "live the moment" and be "funny and lovely." This is what Murtadd to Human is all about.
"There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger," means nothing less than, "Everything human is alien to me". To say, "I am no longer a Muslim," is only to enable the first step towards, "Nothing human is alien to me." The journey is harder than one might think, and is fraught with pitfalls at every turn, such as:
Of course, we don't want people to become ex-Muslim. We want people to become believers. We want people to become members of our family. We want people to become Christian.
—Hatun Tash, Christian proselytiser, 24 November 2020.
To not strive for full humanity is to remain in Purgatorio, so to speak, at zero.
My name is Anjuli Pandavar. One Saturday night I walked out of the madrassa, out of Islam, and out of religion. My psyche was seriously damaged. This site is about my recovery from Islam. By that I mean finding my humanity, consolidating myself into a complete being, and integrating with the rest of humankind. The site is a work in progress, as am I. I am recovering from having been a Muslim, and am finding my place in the world, free from the destructive effects of my former religion. Freedom is everything. No one, no group, no ideology will ever control my mind again. Having said all this, there is nothing special about being an ex-Muslim. It is just a particular life experience, albeit an intense one, one in which you are immediately in direct confrontation with your own negation, Islam. The ex-Muslim understands, or ought to understand, what it means to submit. Those who know freedom and chant "We are all Muslims now," or rally to "World Hijab Day," or allow Muslims to practise Shari'a in a free country "to help them feel at home," have no idea what they wish for. Yet they aggressively proselytise that we should all want the same thing: give up our freedom, give up our persons, give up our minds. We are to submit in exchange for the vacuous promise that there is something better than freedom: slavery. This is not a metaphor.
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He died a Dickensian death. He died the death that some of you who have the romantic dream of being writers, which I hope you never give up, may have imagined for yourself: in the garret with no money, but with the beautiful work just in the bottom drawer for someone to find. Don't give up that dream, if you have it. If any of you have ever thought of taking up the craft of writing as a dissident, as an oppositionist, the life I've just been trying to describe is an exemplary one and worth it and will repay your study.
— Christopher Hitchens on George Orwell.