Kahina's story

My story isn't about how or why I left Islam. It's about what happened after I did.

I went from being a liberal feminist muslim to an exmuslim in an excruciatingly long process of over a year. One the one side I had my mother who kept going deeper into Islam and on the other end was me with wild ideas and thoughts that kept getting more radical. My only solution to reconcile the differences with my mum was to reconcile my ideas with my religion. So, naturally, I read the quran.

And I couldn't unread what I read. I couldn't be a woman, comfortable with my Muslim identity when Quran treated me as a second class citizen. When it was okay to beat wives who were men's properties. Who's only mission in life was to serve their husband - their only jihad. Who only got their husbands as reward in paradise. Who's intellect was less than that of men. Who were in larger numbers in hell than men. Who could be concubines or 2nd or 3rd wives. Or child brides. Islam wasn't for me. Mysogyny wasn't for me.

This conflict of what I firmly believed in (feminism) and my birth ascribed identity of a muslimah was a violent one. The language in Quran angered me. I could see the brainwashing. Repeating Allah is merciful and yet I needed to fear him. I could see how if I even questioned this, I'd be a disbeliever "and they are the worst of all creation." I could see so much of hatred in this religion of peace.

All this led me to an identity crisis. Am I a Muslim? Am I not? Am I a sinner? I am hell-bound. I'm terrible to even think wrong of Islam. I'll bring so much hurt to my parents. I'll break my family apart. I'm guilty. I am hate-worthy.

Over months I developed depressiom, anxiety self harming tendencies. The guilt was too much to bear. My parents loved me for who I was not. They were happy with the facade I put up. They cursed people like the real me. People who would blaspheme. I felt truly unwanted, alone and unworthy of the love I recieved from them, simply because I couldn't agree to what I was supposed to believe in.

I eventually took therapy to come to terms with my identity crisis. But what it really took for me to accept myself was a suicide note I came across on the internet. Someone who cited the same reasons as me, decided to end his life and it brought me out of my misery. I did not have to suffer. I am who I am and it's ok if it's not who my parents wanted me to be. I'm not guilty. I am not hate worthy.

All this took a year and in the process I learned to love myself, protect myself, parent myself and accept myself.

I am an exmuslim and someday you'll know to.