Rovan (former Muslim)
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Testimony of Leaving Islam
I was born in Indonesia, raised by a relatively religious, moderate Muslim couple. They are actually good parents. They have their own quirks, but they're relatively good at taking care of my sister and me. They taught me the Qur'an, while they're not hardcore jihadists, and all that. I'm quite thankful. The quality of my Qur'an studies were nothing to be ashamed of, although it was pretty bland.
So, of course that made me think: "If I'm being taught Islam relatively well, why do I still have a passion for the same sex?". That's the question I've been asking since I was in Middle High. Yes folks, I'm gay and I realized I liked guys since I was in 2nd year elementary school. I'm not camp, though. I know I don't flame and it's enough for my friend to befriend me if they don't know better.
"Oh no, not gay!" you may think. But, actually, that is what made me think further. I knew I had been living a pious life, reading the Qur'an, doing good things and all that. But why did I continue to have wet dreams about guys all the time? My dad never harassed me and mom was not treating me like a baby or anything. And with these doubts, I went to an Islamic High School and dorm, with the hope that I could cure this illness. That didn't work. All the reading, all the religious living, and blending in with the other students at the dorm, didn't help me "straighten up".
I went to college and had my first umra. I prayed and prayed even at the spot which is said to guarantee making your wish come true. It didn't work. My sexual instinct got worse. A couple of months later, I went for umra again and even thought about cutting my testicles off. I calmed myself down and didn't go through with it. A couple of months later, at the 3rd umrah, I was pretty skeptical as I knew my wish would not come true anyway.
I was living my life. Being a very moderate person, I'm not really the kind who lives to party all night. I'm a pretty simple guy. After studying the Qur'an and Hadith, I thought "What is with the torment? What is with the beautiful-eyed virgins? I don't need it!". My questions grew, and not just in regards to the anti-homosexual aspects. I started to think, "This is just the thoughts of a... heterosexual human being, not the words of God, unless it's a homophobic and misogynistic god,". ...especially when I read hadith about Hell being "filled mostly by women". It made me think "Lucky I was born as a man". And then I thought... "Wait a minute, why women?".
With how religion and politics had taken over my country, it made me wonder, "What would happen to the other sects of Islam if out of all 73 sects, only one would make it to heaven?". I politely asked the elders, but their answers were purely dogmatic, or else, "Allah works in mysterious ways". It was really not a satisfying answer. With unanswered questions about my faith hanging over my head, I entered Art College. Meeting various types of people, I thought to myself "Why will all these colorful people be judged solely on the basis of being "Muslim and Non-Muslim; Period!?". And eventually I started losing faith.
Last year, I stopped participated in Friday prayers. And as far as I know, you miss it three times in a row, and you're not considered a Muslim anymore. Neglecting prayers made little difference to my life. Good and bad, my luck remained the same. My parents fell ill, but even without my prayers, they healed. Not due to prayers, but because they were taken care of in hospital. I started neglecting a lot of what a good Muslim should do in that phase. It was quite a way to find out that all the achievements of my prayers were just pure random luck mixed with wishful thinking.
Thanks to the internet, and Faith Freedom International, I found answers to many of the questions I never had the guts to ask. I felt like I was being used by my religion, especially considering the way my people were/are treated in the Middle East, the "center" and birthplace of Islam. And God does not do anything about this. Is this called justice? I started to run out of patience. I remember learning how Muhammad's grandson was killed over who rules Mecca at that time. Conflict between two kinds of Muslims. How the hell did that happen to the religion of peace? If Allah is really Muhammad's god, why did he let it be?
I started being a misotheist and I would become easily ticked off is somebody said good things about my religion. I was full of anger and would make cynical comments just to spark a debate with someone, until whoever it was would be left silent for being unable to answer me. Only recently have I cooled down and am more-or-less an atheist. Reading some shocking hadith opened my eyes. I could have claimed they're "fake" hadith, but I also read some of them when I was a kid, picked by the government.
Whatever I found in the hadith makes sense within the culture of its time, which of course isn't acceptable now. I have tried to defend Islam, but I guess it's useless unless they start to accept criticism in a better, more open manner, which I doubt will happen anytime soon. I don't want to be grouped with this religion anymore, and I have renounced Islam. My dad prefers to cover his ears, and my mom and sis are obviously not supporting my choice. I have a boyfriend now, whose follows a "liberal" Islam. I won't try to force him to atheism. It's his right to have a religion and I won't do as the militant Muslims do. I just need to be that someone who will be there to answer his questions if he ever feels as I did.
In short, I have to say; Yes, I'm out of Islam because of my homosexuality. But being gay opened my mind to other things. I don't do something and hide behind "God's words", I do what I feel is right to do. If God doesn't accept me because of that, well, he is not being a "just" God.
I don't believe in God, but I do not force others to NOT believe in God either.