Shoeshiner (former Muslim)
 Testimony of Leaving Islam
 Part 1
Once was a little boy of seven years of age who was reading a book while lying on the family room couch. In comes his father who sits opposite him and stares at his young son. The boy looks up from the book and smiles at his father.
”My son, please come and sit beside me.”
The son does as he is told, and takes a seat right next to his father on the couch.
”My son, do you love your father?”
”Yes, of course.” The boy replied.
”Then, you would do as your father wishes?”
”Of course father, anything.” The boy is now growing anxious.
”You are now a man my son, and as a man you must abide by the following rules to ensure that you reach your potential in life.” The father pauses, awaiting a confirmation from his son.
”First, you must respect your parents, and do as you are told”
”Yes, father, as you wish.”
”Second, you must respect your elders for they are wise and have plenty to teach you.”
The boy nods his head in acceptance.
”Third, you must not steal, for it is wrong.”
”Fourth, you must not engage in any physical acts with the opposite sex, until marriage.”
The boy giggles, but quickly hides his naivety after his father gives him a stern look of seriousness.
”Fifth, you must read this book,” The father hands his son a large book and places it onto his lap.
The little boy opens the book and begins to read the first words, which describe how his father is a great father, the only truly loving father, and he must obey him or else be punished.
”Yes father, I will read this book every day.”
”Sixth, you must not eat any food nor drink any liquid while the sun is up in the sky for a total of thirty days, once a year.”
”Lastly, you must kneel, place your forehead to the floor, and recite passages from the book I handed you, and swear that I am the only truly loving father, the greatest father. Do this five times a day, every day, and for the rest of your life.”
”Yes father, I will do as you wish. I love you.”
”I love you too son”.
The father exits the room. The little boy begins to read his father’s book in solitude, while his mother prepares dinner.
 Part 2
The boy is now twelve years of age. He has met a variety of new friends, of differing backgrounds, and cultures. He enrolls in sporting activities, and joins school teams. Through these extra-curricular activities he meets the fathers of his friends. To his surprise, his friends’ fathers were all nice. They seem to be loving of their sons, as much as his own father loves him! How could that be? The boy asks himself, how could my father be the only true loving father when my friends all have loving fathers?
As he visits the homes of his friends, and sits down to dinner among his friends’ families, he observes that his friends do not have to abide by the same rules he does. They do not have to kneel to the floor five times a day, and declare that their fathers are the only truly loving fathers. They do not have to read books about how their fathers are the greatest, and how their fathers will strike down and hurt them if they do not follow the rules. He also observes that their fathers do not force their wives to cover their faces and their skin in front of other men. Their fathers do not tell of stories of war, terror, or how other families do not follow the same lifestyle as ours and hence, must be forced into accepting our values and traditions.
While the boy begins to observe his friends’ families and households, he still loves his father, and believes that his father will not deliberately steer him wrong. He continues to follow the rules; reading the book, kneeling on the floor five times a day, and fasting once a year. He continues to control his gaze so as to not be staring at young females at his school.
 Part 3
The boy is now fifteen years of age. His observations of his friends have left him with many questions. Yet, whenever he happens to ask his father one of those questions, his father answers with the usual, “do you love your father? Then you must trust me, and believe in me. I know that there are many distractions in life my son, but your love for me must be stronger. You must have blind faith. I created you my son. I provided you with food and shelter. Believe in me, and keep your questions at bay, so as not to stir curiosities within our mind and steer your love away from me. Otherwise, I will have no choice but to hurt you, and banish you from this house.”
The boy was startled. Never has he heard his father speak with such a threatening undertone to his voice. His friends’ fathers do not speak this way.
The boy is introduced to the disciplines of science, math, history, philosophy, and other mind opening studies. But the boy is now confused. How could God create the earth in such a short time? How could have God created humans, when it is clear that animals were alive much longer than we were? Why would God create monkeys to look very similar to humans, if the thought of humans evolving from monkeys was so outrageous? Other people have had fathers who acted much like his father many thousand years ago, only to find out that they were no different than others to come after them.
The boy grows more confused every day, but he continues to abide by his father’s rules. He has no choice.
 Part 4
The boy is now a man of twenty-one years of age, and is delving deeper into advanced science and medical studies. He met a woman of the same age, and in the same program of study. He had no choice. They were assigned as a team to investigate the origin of the mitochondria of the cells. These are the power houses of our cells and hence, our bodies, and have features that resemble those of early bacteria.
The man begins to learn about this woman through their meetings at the library. He learns that she has no father, she never met him. Her mother worked to support her. Her mother did not feel constrained by an oppressive relationship, and hence, had the pleasure of achieving success and pursue her own life experiences. This woman was very bright, cheerful, passionate about helping the unfortunate, and very respectful of her elders. The man asks his father one night as they sit to eat along with his mother, “Father, I met a woman recently through my class, and she has no father, yet she has all the qualities that you seek to instill in me! How could this be?”
The father’s eyes grew large, and a frown suddenly materialized upon his face. ”Son, listen to me closely, you are not to speak to this woman at all. Not only might she steer your mind toward the impure and dirty thoughts of physical acts, but she also does not have a father. This makes her an even bigger immoral person than those with fathers of different beliefs.”
”But father, she is very smart, friendly, and we converse as if we both were men. Also, father, I have friends who enter into relationships outside of marriage, some for love and some just for the physical acts of pleasure, yet they all have morals and are of great character!”
The father grew angrier.
”Son, you are betraying your father’s wishes. Go now, leave your dinner, and read my book, and kneel on the floor in your room, and declare that I am the greatest father. I provide for you.”
”No, you do not provide fore me!” The man, surprising himself shouts back, “I provide for myself, I live on my own, and do not have to abide by your rules. I will help the poor because it is an honorable gesture. I will respect not only my elders, but all people, for we are all the same yet all different. I will love whomever I want, whenever I want, and will not be forced into marriage for the sake of satisfying my natural sexual hunger, as long as I do not hurt anyone, whether physically or mentally.”
”If you do not do as I say, then you are banished from this house!”
”I banish myself, for now I know, that if my father is a cruel, ruthless, self-indulging, racist, intolerant ego-maniac then,” The man pauses,
”I have no father!”
With that said, the man runs out of the house, into his car, and drives away to live his own life, free of prejudice, racism, and intolerance of others, and free to satisfy his ever growing curiosity about the world around him.