Viking Kafira (former Muslim)
Letter to Ali Sina
First of all I would like to tell you how much I have appreciated reading your material, understanding merely fragments of how hard and difficult your work on this field is.
My first knowledge of Islam came from a Muslim man I fell deeply in love with. I have previously been married with a Muslim without the topic of Islam ever coming up, from mine or his side. But we divorced, and years later I met another Muslim. By his request I started reading, pages up and down with Islamic material, worships and praises, but my eyes caught the interest of the www.Islam-qa.com. Gasping with both laughter, surprise and a lot of disgust, an Islam in contradictions with my initial view started to form itself in my head. This is the beginning of my journey in both Islam and the Internet, and I had no sites like yours to support my beliefs and views in, taking my information from Islamic sites. Being a radical lefty with a long history in anti-racist work and a long time member of Amnesty International, I received negative statements from my friends for my views, they felt it as harassment of Muslims. But never have I discriminated against any Muslim, as I have known more Muslims then the lot of them together, married one, and had good friends and colleagues.
But my humanistic view took a blow, but then I read the book of Walid al-Kubaisi, a humanist and a refugee from Iraq, currently settled in my home country Norway. He writes a book of letters to his dad, explaining his disattachment from Islam asking for his father's understanding. And from this book I get support in my view of Islam as an un-humanistic and highly misunderstood religion as you so brilliantly show. Starting to understand Islam leads me to debate it on net in Norway, where the hardships of debating with secularized and not so secularized Muslims and apologetic Norwegianers, makes me realize, but a fragment, of how hard it must be for you. Constantly having to explain that I am not out to hurt Muslims or put them down, pulling in my personal life in a theoretic debate, and defending myself from accusations of racism and bias. I also loose this man that initially directed me to Islam. Still loving him, I have asked him to read your material and Ibn Warraqs book, but the only comment I have had so far, is that he does not see it my way. Realizing that he does not think this way, and wants to instill this religion into his children, we drifted apart. What an irony, a Muslims good intent to show up his religion to his love created a full blown kafir.
Well, I suppose you have better things to do then go over my life story, I will get on to business. In debates the growth of Islam is put up frequently as a proof of its truth. Never is this growth supported with much other than the conversion-stories of the ever reappearing Cat S. and the American wife of Imran Khan. I would like to know more of this subject, and this brings me to the main purpose of this letter, to ask you if you know of any good articles on the subject of western conversion to Islam in particular and of the growth of Islam in general. I have searched the Internet, but can't find much on it, and would be very grateful if you could help me.
I visited http://www.freethoughtmecca this morning, as I wanted some amusement to start my day with, and saw in the guest book that pressure is put on yahoo to close your site. If there is anything or anyone I can write to oppose this I would like to know. I would also like to post a cry for help on the Norwegian sites I debate, as I do have some allies in the fight for free speech, opposed so hard by the cyberUmmah.
Thank you Mr. Sina for your efforts and your firm, humanistic and respectful stand. You make the world a better place.
Response by Ali Sina
Dear Viking Kafira:
You are not the only one who has been turned away from Islam after learning about it. If you read the testimonial of all those who have left Islam you will see that they left it after their knowledge of Islam improved.
Yes I am aware that Muslims use the story of the conversion of the Westerners as the proof of the truth of their religion. However, most of those who become Muslims leave it after they learn the inhumane teachings of Islam. Read the Steep and Deadly Climb and The Sleepless Night. The problem is that those who leave Islam often are reluctant to advertise their apostasy. Some of them may be concerned for their safety and some still have Muslim friends that they do not wish to offend. Therefore a silent withdrawal seems more appropriate. To this equation you must add the phenomenon of thousands of Muslims who after coming to the West decide to become Christians and hundreds of thousands of them who simply turn secular humanists and do not want to do anything with religion. Visit any Iranian club on the net and you will see that the majority of them have not only left Islam but a great number of them are hostile towards that religion.
Muslims also like to say that Islam is the fastest growing religion. This statement is misleading and is badly phrased. The right way of saying it is Muslims are the fastest growing population. The number of Muslims is growing faster because of the disproportionate demographic growth of Islamic countries, and in the West because of the immigration of the Muslims. In reality there are far more Muslims who leave Islam than those who embrace it. And those who convert and become Muslims also leave it soon after they discover its cultish nature. Islam is completely incompatible with reason and human rights. Muhammad's own personal life is far from qualifying him as a good human being let alone a messenger of God and his book, the Quran is a book full of errors. Could possibly the maker of this universe be as ignorant as it appears to be in Quran?
The aim of this website is to encourage people to read the Quran and familiarize them with the history of and life of its founder. We will not publish anything if it is not backed be authentic Islamic sources. I am absolutely confident of the decency of the majority of Muslims and know that no matter how strong is their faith once they see the truth they will side with reason and not blind faith.
Thank you for writing.