‘Muslim-ish’ - New Group for Questioning and Ex-Muslims, Growing Across America
February 11, 2013
My name is Ibrahim. My parents are Muslim, so as a child I learned that Islam is the one true religion and the way to reach paradise after death.
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 require 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 through which I had put other religions, 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 7th 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—the Quraan—that the creator of the universe had sent other messengers in the past and that they performed 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 God; 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 countries have laws that punish anyone who leaves the faith with death, others with imprisonment.
In May 2012 I started a group in NYC where ex-Muslims and Muslims who have questions about religion or want to take a more objective look at its teachings can come and participate in a free and open discussion without fear of punishment or judgment. The group has grown very fast since and we now have regular meetings in NYC, Detroit, and online. We are also working on starting new meetups in Washington DC and Chicago.
Our February 2013 schedule is:
- Wednesday 2/13: Muslimish of NYC, Midtown Manhattan
- Friday 2/15: Ex-Muslim meeting, Washington DC
- Tuesday 2/19: Muslimish Online, Worldwide
- Friday 2/22: Muslimish Party, NYC
- Wednesday 2/27: Muslimish of NYC, Midtown Manhattan
- Thursday 2/28: Muslimish of Michigan, Dearborn/Detroit
If you or someone you know is an ex-Muslim who is willing to start a meetup in your city or wants to participate in the NYC, Detroit, or online meetings please contact me at email@example.com.
Founder and Organizer of Muslim-ish
About the Author: Sarah Kaiser
Sarah Kaiser is a field organizer for CFI On Campus. Prior to her work at CFI, she got her start in the freethought movement as the co-founder and president of the Secular Alliance at Indiana University, where she helped organize a nationally recognized atheist bus ad campaign and large campus speaking events. As an atheist, a feminist, and a small part of the universe's way of understanding itself, she is thrilled at the chance to help advance CFI's mission. On Twitter: @sarahebkaiser.
The Course of Reason is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
CFI blog entries can be copied or distributed freely, provided:
- Credit is given to the Center for Inquiry and the individual blogger
- Either the entire entry is reproduced or an excerpt that is considered fair use
- The copying/distribution is for noncommercial purposes