Sweetness and Sufferings (former Muslim)
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Testimony of Leaving Islam
I am a 25 years old girl born in Singapore. My parents are both Singaporean, but very strict Muslim followers.
As I grew their strictness started to go out of hand as they started disciplining me in just about everything. Pointing out to me things that I should do and forcing me to be something I don’t want to be. I was allowed no freedom outside as well as within the house for the most stupid reason. My room door should not be locked and even though there was nothing really I could do in my room, they believe that locking up myself is not right, and do not wish to give me further reasons when I press for it. I’m the type of girl who like to be by myself at times, just reading book and away from any disturbances. It was for that reason I prefer locking my room door.
My parents also refrained me from going out that much and even when I want to they would result in asking a million question as to where I’m going and what for I’m going and what time I will be back. And when I was allowed, my mother would send me several messages on my mobile phone asking what I’m doing and what time I be back, again and again. As a result, even my friends started teasing me about my parents’ attitude. I dispersed that uneasy feeling, thinking that they were being concern towards me as I’m their only child.
However they started controlling me further. I was not allowed to speak to the opposite sex but being stubborn, I did just that. When my parents found out, about me talking to a guy, when I was 14, my mother scold me and even called me a prostitute. I cried for hours, her words cutting me deep. When they discovered that I had a boyfriend at the age of 16, who was no other than my far relative, they hit me, scold me, and result to confine me from going out for a few months. I didn’t even attend school as that result. Even at this time, my mother called me prostitute again. When she used the ‘P’ word to me a second time I got really hurt. My heart really felt like it was cut through. The burning pain she left me mentally and emotionally tormented me. Several times over the years I continued asking myself if in anyway by doing what I did, does it mean I was a prostitute.
When I was younger, during my teen, around 13-14, my dad burst into the bathroom and canned me up while I tried to cover my naked body, because I had been showering in the bathroom for quite a longer time. I remembered my parents always keep telling me to not linger in the bathroom, but at those times I was very slow in showering, taking my own sweet time. I wanted to clean myself thoroughly. But the way my dad acted, left me with scars, not only on my body but deep in my heart. Till now I feel ashamed of what my dad did, canning me and seeing me naked. When I asked why one is not suppose to be in the toilet a longer time, they give me another stupid reason, stating that for Muslims the toilet is a ‘dirty’ place and that staying there longer somehow can attract ‘Jinn’ (demon) and they can manipulate me. Of course, whatever they said didn’t make a single sense to me.
They were absolutely over protective. Even when I was trying to talk to a girl friend of mine, they were always nearby wanting to hear what I’m talking about. Once my father took the phone on the other line to listen to what I was talking about with my girl friend. Every time I wanted to go out, my friend had to beg for me before they would finally agree. Very seldom do they agree me to go out when I asked out of my own accord. Probably if they were rich, they would have installed a radar device, detecting everywhere I’m going or install a hidden camera in my room and house and as well as installed a voice recording machine to record what I’m talking about on the phone.
Everything they did, small hurting words scarred me deep and I became depressed. The jagged lines I have left upon my wrists prove how badly I had accepted things, as I reopen wounds. Over the years, it had become the stain of the unfavorable past of mine. At 20, I walked out of Islam, not feeling any connection with it any longer and knowing all the small things they said were coming due to the fact that they were very strict Muslims. I didn’t want to be like them. I don’t want to refrain from learning and exploring things. Without making a mistake, I can never learn from it and yet to my parents every thing I did that they didn’t like was considered a mistake.
The Truth Revealed
My parents didn’t know that I had turned away from Islam and I hid myself well enough, not allowing them to suspect. They are in a particular Islamic group whose leader has the upper hand over all of them. I was aware that he (the leader) owns several places in Malaysia, where he resides. He has places he made into jail to keep all those who revert from Islam as well as those who has committed the biggest sin, in several areas within Malaysia. He even had his own son locked up for committing a sin. I know that if my parents know the truth about me, I would certainly be sent to jail.
For two years I hide myself until the day came that I reveal the truth to my parents and ran away from home. However, my mother lured me back, saying that if I do not return she would starve herself to death. Because of the love I had for my parents, I did but not before I made them promise me that they would not force me to change and be someone I don’t wish to be. After my return, my father refused to talk to me and my mother was very unhappy with me, trying her best to control me but I refused to allow her to do so, only at certain point.
A friend of mine visited my house during this time and my dad in a fit of anger told my friend to advise me and even started preaching about Islam. My friend was not even a Muslim! He (my dad) raised his voice and said it out loud enough for me to hear, “I am very angry with her! I would have smashed and killed her if not were for her mother!” He even asked my friend what kind of a daughter I am that I could threaten my parents. The ironic thing was, I never threatened my parents, like they were threatening me and moreover, my friend was by my side when I talked to my mother asking her to promise me to not try and force me into doing something I don’t wish to. I was in fact crying on the phone when I plead her to promise me.
After a month of a small amount of freedom allowed, I was locked up in my house. I was not allowed to contact the outside world neither was allowed to leave the house. They placed a new lock on the gate so that I wouldn’t run away again. My mobile phone was taken and the wireless modem and phones in the house were switched off. In the morning during the time I was getting ready to get to work, after shower, I discovered my phone was not around while I remember leaving it to charge. I had another phone secretly to contact ones who are not local, like to contact friends living in the other parts of the country. Even that phone was taken.
I stomped into my mother’s room and demanded where my phone was. She replied as a matter of factly that she had taken it. I demanded it back and told her to stop kidding that I needed to go work and like as if it didn’t matter, she just told me that I did not need to go work and that I can stay at home. I was so furious! I screamed at her, in the verge of tears. I couldn’t believe this was happening. During the time I was screaming at my mom was when my father burst into the room. He was holding a thick walking stick in his hand and he waved it at my face, almost hitting me if he was not stopped by my mother, saying that this was his decision and not my mother’s. He said, ‘You are my daughter and I will do what I want!’
Terrified, I didn’t speak a single word even though I was cursing in my heart. After he left the room, I said to my mother, in a slightly raise voice as I was controlling myself from bursting into tears in front of her, ‘From today onwards, I’m no longer your daughter and neither are you my mother.’ My mother’s face died and she felt very hurt and asked me why I said such a word. I simply told her, I don’t care and walked away, shutting myself in my room. I cried the whole day in my room.
In the afternoon, I tried to find a way out, since my parents were constantly in the living room. I unlock my room door and straight walk to the main door, opening it; I discovered a brand new padlock. The feeling of helpless then grew within me as I staggered back unsure what to do anymore. My dad immediately asked me what I was doing and I just said that I wanted to clean my shoes. It was a lie, yes, but that was the only lie I could think to come up with all morning.
After locking myself once again in my room, I continued crying and crying. My face was swelling from the effect. I didn’t know what else to do and started praying. Somehow I thought of looking out through the window, and I did. I don’t know what happened to me, but I started screaming for help. People, who looked up at me, all thought I was mad, even when I keep waving at them to come near me. I was crying like mad and I had no choice even if they think I’m a crazy chick. No one did come any closer to help me out.
I wrote down on a piece of paper saying I needed help and then I’m stuck. I also said to call the police. I crumpled the paper and waited, but as before every attempt was a failure. No one came the whole afternoon. I wailed and wailed, my tears drenching my cheeks and top. Finally I lay down and fell asleep. Somehow I woke up in the night, around 8 pm. I went straight to my window, wondering if anyone can hear me or see me even.
And then I saw my friend! My friend who came to help me! He must have tried contacting me and seeing that I was not replying to his message and call from both my mobile phones, he came under the block trying to search for me. How happy I was and relieved to see him. I cried seeing him, putting out both my hands as if wanting him to carry me like a child would do when he is getting really sleepy and wants to sleep.
He tried to signal to me and from the fourth floor I tried to understand through his signals. I threw the paper I had initially written in the afternoon and he read them and then asked me where my phone was. I signaled for him to wait and rushed to get a piece of paper and wrote down that my parents are holding me captive and that they are trying to make me to reclaim Islam. My hands were shaking very badly as I wrote this, informing that they took both my phone and crumpling the paper, threw it out of the window. I pressed onto the window grills to see him from the fourth floor.
I continued crying as he called the police, since that was what I told him to do so. It was a mistake. I forgot to mention that half the population of the police were Muslims themselves. The police that arrived at my door step was two Muslim guys. One, and Indian Muslim like I am and another, Malay. I cried to him, asking him to please help me. He stopped me before I could say anything further and told me to listen to him instead and so I did. He then told me that he had sent away my friend and that told him to never contact me. My face fell then. My hopes previously like a big balloon just popped like a needle pricked at it.
He told me to listen to my parents and pray and be good. He didn’t stand to hear me out. He told me to forget about all this love and listen to my parents. I was so frustrated knowing my parents twisted the story to a crazy girl wanting to run away because of love even though I wrote it out clearly in the damn letter that my parents are doing this cause of religious issue. The only thing the Policemen asked me was if I was OK. I told him straight flat NO. It’s like he didn’t hear me out and just go on telling me that I should be good and happy and listen to my parents. I was so frustrated seeing how blind he was. He even got the guts to mention that my parents are very pious and that I have to listen to them. How could he not see that I’m not happy at all! He was bloody blind!
I knew then it was no use trying to even explain as he doesn’t even seem to want to listen at the first place. I gave up. I notice one thing about the dark skinned policemen. His name was Md Amin. I will never forget his name and if in any case I die, I want the law to blame him for the cause of my death, because as a policemen he refused to protect me instead was so blind due to wanting to protect his fellow Muslim, who are nothing more than terrorists, rapists and murderers.
The Medicine Woman
After this incident I was kept at home the whole day with my mother sleeping beside me. Somehow I got to be able to contact my friend, every time I manage to get online without my parents knowledge. During the time I was held captive, my parents brought me to go see this particular medicine woman of their own group (Jemaah). What happened there not only pissed me off but humiliated me. She called me an animal after she found out that I lose my virginity to a man before marriage and she called my friend the devil, saying he would make me do prostitution. I was so pissed that she could be talking to me about a guy she never met, neither seen.
She told me that if I was her daughter she would have kicked me real hard. She mentioned this several times, even in front of my parents. She made me to seek forgiveness to both my parents and seeing that I do not have a choice, even though I was not totally at fault, I did what was asked. And immediately I cried, seeing the face of my parents. I love these two dearly and to think I must have hurt them so bad hurts me and that’s how I started crying profusely. It was she who told my parents to send me to the ‘Jail’. I cried hard knowing that once I enter, I might not even return home, for truly I didn’t want to change my faith. I didn’t want to be a Muslim and was only agreeing to her to be one when she asked me if I want to because I wanted to be free and not be in any danger.
However after I returned home, my mother didn’t have the heart to send me off to that ‘Jail’. I confided in her that I don’t wish to be sent to the jail either and then somehow we got into the talk about sending me to my aunty’s place in Malaysia, also one of the place where the area or the village is owned by their leader. It took almost two months before they sent me to Malaysia and during those two months, I left my own beliefs because I was forced to. I started to embrace Islam and hoping that by doing so I could find freedom. I did and what I found was far from freedom.
My Discovery about Islam
I left for Malaysia to my aunty place and there somehow I was able to contact my friend in the phone and we talked about hours. He had gone to an Islamic class to learn more about Islam. But everything he learnt was against his beliefs. I was sad at first. After returning back to Singapore I read through his letters that he had emailed me for two weeks that I was gone and through his mails he sent about the faults discovered in Islam. This is also how I came across apostates and that was when it hit me that my father’s threat about killing me was not just out of anger but that he will do it, since he love God more than me.
I started discovering a whole lot more of faults, something which all human would feel disgusted about. Islam became a non-pure religion; instead it was a religion that teaches lust and rape, terrorism and murders. There was no true respect for the women and everything I found surprises me more and more. And ever since I returned home from Malaysia, instead of becoming a better Muslim, I became an apostate, hating Islam, exactly what I had told my mother that I didn’t want to feel towards Islam, three months ago. I had officially grown hatred towards the religion.
It was only after I returned did I know about Honor Killing and that I too would become a victim of such practice. Once my mother revealed to me how happy she would be to tie me up and whip me. She even had the cheek to comment that her leader would be very happy upon seeing me being whipped, clapping his hands as well and complimenting her that she has proven herself as a mother. It only made me think that if such a violent act is permissible and also something proud for my own mother, then perhaps the whole religion is corrupted, encouraging violence against your own family members.
My mother said she couldn’t do it now since we are living in Singapore, abiding to the rules of the law here. That put me in a frightful stage to know that it won’t take a second for her to lure me to Malaysia and have me killed, and just declare that I had disappeared. Who will know? After all, I was made to sever all ties with the outside world. And it would be my parents’ honor to put me to death painfully the moment they knew I have not changed. I knew that they had given me the last chance and since I am still declaring myself as an apostate, if they find this out, I will no longer be able to breathe air.
Writing for the Apostates of Islam
And so here I start writing my very own blog, just like Amina and Sarah Said, victims of the Honor Killings, writing about themselves on MySpace and Rifqa Bary also in MySpace, an ex-Muslim girl converted to Christianity who is still fighting for her life in the court against her parents in Florida. Just so you all know, I’m still being confined and I have not yet made any escape attempt. My passport and mobile phones are all taken away by my parents. I can’t escape anywhere. The only source of contact I am keeping stealthily is online with my friend, who is helping me posts out everything I write for my blog as I don’t get to stay online long enough.
I hope that I could give you all to the best of my knowledge regarding true Islam. I was a girl who had went to religious school, learning about Islam half my life only to find that I’ve been learning the lies. This blog is not only about me but is about every apostate out there who is living with fear for their life and I dedicate my blog to Rifqa Bary, the seventeen year old girl who is the voice of all apostates around the globe. I write this with fear hoping that someone, someday will find the truth about Islam and will stop them from spreading out like diseases, poisoning the hearts and minds of our little ones.
I'm free! [Nov. 26, 2009]
With all the encouragements from every member of the FFI, I am glad and excited to let you know that I am finally free. I took the best chance I got and ran away from my parents. It was a huge risk, but I had no choice. Once I changed my name and identity, I made my way to another country and found a family who welcomed me.
During my phone calls, my father tried to justify his behaviour for 'punishing' me. He even had the cheek to claim I dressed indecently during the times I was so-called 'free'. In reality, I dressed very decently with long jeans and t-shirts. When after days I still hadn't returned home, he started threatening me that it's either I return home or never at all and that it was my last chance. I laughed thinking how happy I would be if he left me just like that after I hung up.
Anyway the terrible days are over. Right now I'm in a new country with my new family and yes I'm very happy indeed. Even their dog has welcomed me. -Smiles- I have all my thanks go to Ali Sina and all FFI members for supporting and wanting to help me. The encouragement you all gave me during my ordeal times was so necessary to lift my hopes. So thank you so much Ali and all members for your support and encouragement. -Smiles-
[The blog author had since returned to Singapore in order to get married and pursue a career.]
My parents' hatred stems from Islam [Jan. 13, 2010]
Every day I keep hoping to see loving parents. Ones who love their daughter and want her to be happy. Every day that's what I wished for. But like a lightning bolt, it struck me so hard that just like all Muslims out there, my parents are the same. I'm nothing but a burden [to them]. Countless times they made me feel that way, throughout my life. Funny, but true. I've always thought they'd be better without me, because that's how they made me see it. They have never portrayed it by words, but as it is said, action speaks louder that words.
Every time I make a mistake, my parents would be sure to remind me again and again what I did in my past, even if it's something I wish to forget. They made me feel like I've done so much to have hurt them and that is why several times in a row I've been in and out of depression. I've come to the part where I even hate myself. My thoughts were, I'm not a perfect daughter, I do not deserve to be their daughter, and I always hurt them. But as I grew up and as I mixed around, I finally realised something. I realised that I've grown up in a negative way all my life. The mistakes I did was not really mistakes. They were actually stepping stones for me to learn from. Unfortunately, it only hurt me more than teach me anything.
Within years, I have been reduced to nothing and every freedom I demanded was not in my favour. It came till the point of choosing my own mate. When the word fell [on their ears], they were in full pretentious state until the right time approaches, and like I'm the animal, I was seized and held captive in the very place I called 'home'! The pain I went through, not physical but mental, was a torment. Even after I escaped it, the fear within me never recedes and those memories never subsided. Everywhere I go now, the moment I see a padlock, I shiver inside, remembering the huge padlock my father used to lock the main door's gate. I felt violated till now that I spent sleepless nights (like now, for example) crying to myself.
Is it wrong to wish for parents who love you and understand you? Islam never lets you go in peace. Never! It shook me more when my mother and uncle assaulted my fiancé and me. How can she claim she loves me? There it was, my fiancé getting beaten up and not letting me go, not even to run for help because he loves me and wants me safe [and doesn't want to lose me]! And there it was, the people claiming they love me but too blind to see the sacrifice that my fiancé is doing for me. People can say maybe perhaps my parents are afraid that my fiancé might hurt me and so they don't want me to marry him. But if he is willing to go through getting beaten for me, will he ever leave me?
If they really love me, they will want my happiness and not my pain. They have only inflicted pain in me and made it worse on the Christmas eve, 24th December 2009. I never knew they would stoop so low. Their focus was to get me! The reason was only clear. Honour of Islam! No child [born in Islam] deserve happiness if honour and Islam has to be traded. I am no longer a Muslim and that hurt them and killed them more than anything.
When I know there was no way they are going to accept my fiancé ever if he converts, I knew there was nothing else [for me] to stay for [in their house]. I was [at first] willing to sacrifice my freedom to get the man I love. But no, to them nothing was ever my choice. My mother said she'd rather kill me that let me be the way I was, which is equal to being free. No daughter would wish to hear her mother cursing her, calling her a prostitute and threatening her with death. But I'm hearing this. I'm going through all these! How hard it was for me to have to file a report against my parents, how hard it was for me to even file for a protection order. Oh God, how hard it was. Only I knew how many times I've cried (without my fiancé's knowledge).
That day I knew, there was no love towards me. In the end, Islam won my parents' hearts than their only daughter, their flesh and blood's love. No daughter would wish to run away. It's only due to their parents that they do. I wish I've had a normal life. I always did. But it is too late. I've been fed with fears. Fear of allah, fear of judgement day, fear of their leader, fear of them (my parents) till the extend when I argued with them that 'love' is the one that will make children respect parents, they [strongly] insisted that 'fear' brings respect. I should've known then. I should've realised, but I was too young to understand, even though I didn't agree with what they said.
Fear was everything to them. Fear = Islam. I am nothing but a burden and shame [to them].
My parents caused my depression [Feb. 2, 2010]
It is hard for me to walk through my life, now that I am free to do what I want. I’m happy, yes. I am extremely happy to be free but deep inside of me, I’m still caged. Caged from the pain I was force to go through and from the wounds that never heal inside of me. Pain from the blows of others and pain because of the blows I gave others.
I am a very simple girl that wishes everyone to be happy. Maybe inside of me I think that making others happy gives me a reason to be happy as well. It is true. I do feel a little happy for that but people don’t remember me for the times I make them smile, they remember me for the times I must have hurt them unintentionally or the times I made mistakes in my life.
Sometimes people expect me to be more than what I can and it pressurizes me. My cousins and my aunts, people that I had once been close with, these people truly never cared about my happiness. Because the moment I make one mistake, they torment me. First they would scream hurtful things at me, then second they would make sure my parents know about it. The worst part is when my parents actually do listen to them and put me in a position to feel sorry for myself, even if it wasn’t my fault.
Everything I do when I was young, always get me wrong. I wanted to help someone but in the end I will end up being blamed for hurting or causing trouble. It has always been that way for me. Till I started thinking that it is 100% sure that every year I will definitely have a huge problem stick to me. Like for instance I’ve been imprisoned in my parents' house because they think I was wrong. Something like this always happens [when I live with my parents], at least once a year. So it makes me think I’m doing something wrong, and yet I know I didn’t really do anything wrong except trying to be me. I can never be me; that’s what everything seems to conclude to.
My parents don’t bother about all the things I am going through. My mother, I always wished to hug her and cry on her shoulders and tell her my problems, but unfortunately I couldn’t. For one, she will definitely take me to be making some sort of mistake, and another she will actually scold me or punish me, which in result makes me wish I didn’t tell her anything at all. I don’t know if I have ever talked to her about stuff before. I might have. But I don’t remember what happened. And in any case, I always refrain from talking to my parents regarding any personal problems I’m going through.
It’s hard to explain my childhood pain I went through. Most of them I forgot really but yet I feel the pain of it. The pain that it had caused me throughout my life. I don’t know why I feel the pain eventhough I don’t remember things. Maybe I have come to accept the fact that perhaps it’s better to let the images go so that it might be less painful? I don’t know. But it didn’t become any less painful… It hurts a lot.
I have been so lonely all my life. Staying alone all the time, it's very seldom that I get to go out with cousins or friends. And I’m always glad when my cousins stayed over, because it made me feel like there is someone, even for a while. After they were gone, I felt thrown back to normal life. Alone again. The world feeling like a doomed place to live in. Anyway, I guess these loneliness made me feel more depressed than ever.
My parents always didn’t like me being by myself alone in the room. They always yelled when I locked the room door with me in it. They said that while I’m alone, Jinns can disturb me and turn my brain to think of something else. Half of it can be right. Yea, being alone can turn my brain into some other thoughts, but definitely no Jinns are doing those. It’s psychological. And the thing is, I love being alone. I didn’t know why. I thought perhaps it was normal.
The truth is, I was already starting to further myself between my parents and me. I know they don’t understand me and never will. It wasn’t unintentional what I did, it was more intentional. I feel better by myself than with them. They always take things and turn it out around to me. Things like, maybe we are watching a movie together, and you know how dramatic some movies can get. Especially when it is about a teenager’s life. What I will be seeing is the pain the teenagers are going through and how they suffer because of their parents and environment. But what my parents will be seeing is, that I’m behaving just like those children and they will start nagging saying 'oh, children shouldn’t be like that or like this, or because they don’t listen they will suffer…blah blah…
I hated being there with them when they talk about shit like that. Moreover, there’s nothing to do in the damn living room sitting with them and listening to their shit. I prefer sitting in front of the computer playing games. At least it keeps my mind off stuff. Perhaps it's just like every parents' view. Perhaps it's not. Maybe I will understand when I am a parent, but I know I wouldn’t nag or see it the other way round. I mean the movie is clearly pointing it out towards the teenager’s sorrowful life, but somehow, someway, my parents will only see the negative part.
Seriously, ever since I reached my teen life, they always keep thinking what wrong I would do in my life. The way they point out the teenagers in TV proves enough for me to know that they are thinking I might do those stuff. Even after I grow up, they still point out those things to me. And I am already an adult by then. I guess I should have gotten it then. But I didn’t think of it that way. I was only pissed off but I didn’t realize enough to know they are still thinking I’m that shitty teenager girl. Maybe it’s their innocence, maybe it’s not. I really don’t have a clue. But nevertheless I came to the terms knowing that my depression grew because of my parents. Because of them not wanting me to mix around too much, because of them not wanting me to talk to people, share with people my thoughts. That’s what brought me here.
When I was young, I did’t know how to talk about my problems. I didn't know how to start talking either. I didn’t know how to explain the pain. And for a while I suffered in silence. When I grow up, I don’t know how but I started speaking of it. I guess the internet world made me do so. I started opening up and that’s when I also became dependent on people as well. Every time I talk to someone, I hope for them to hold me and tell me it’s ok and that things will be alright. I guess I break down already then. It only took me so long to realize.
And even when I realize this, I couldn’t stop myself from doing things or feeling things another way. I still feel the same, still like doing the same things, even though I know it’s wrong. Like hurting myself. I want to hurt myself, so that the pain in me will go away. I cut my wrist every time because it feel so good to feel that pain that is other than the pain in my heart. As much as it hurts, I have reopened the same wound on my wrist lots of times and I like doing it.
Anyway, the feeling of the blood flowing down my wrist also feels so nice, like as if the blood is my sorrow I’m letting out. Every pain I put upon myself does not hurt me, but actually helps me. That’s what I feel. Maybe I’m feeling mad and pain a whole lot because I couldn’t hurt myself, couldn’t cry my eyes out, couldn’t scream and just scream to the world. I wish to just put myself out of agony and throw away all the pain in my heart. I do. Sometimes, I just don’t wish to live anymore. I just wish to jump down a high building and just end the whole pain I’m going through.
PS: I no longer cut my wrist or inflict pain or hurt on my body. I had stopped doing that since I met my life partner. The accounts are from my past.