I do not own this article, this is from Esha Athena a women who are oppressed by islamic system and in name of freedom of speech i will share this
My mother and father are both active participants and activists in and for the Islamic community. Me – oh me? I am a godless secular humanist atheist. Unfortunately, I am still in the closet for the sake of my life.
I am so sick and tired of pretending to care about & follow Islam.
I am so sick of wearing that stupid hijab on my head. (I asked if I could substitute it for a shawl, only to be called a whore in return.)
I am so sick and tired of being asked to memorize the quran.
I am so sick and tired of NOT being able to express my thoughts.
I am so sick and tired of hearing their racist, sexist, homophobic, bigoted and factually wrong stances.
I am so sick and tired of their learning and spreading of WRONG facts to promote Islam (Neil Armstrong became a Muslim after hearing the Adhaan from Space? LOL!)
I am so sick and tired of their mental, physical, emotional and psychological abuse towards me.
I AM SO SICK AND TIRED OF THEIR FUNDAMENTALISM.
Too bad, I am still financially dependent on them… When I look at my other atheist and humanists friends, they are enjoying their lives to the fullest. They can partake in those atheist events and campaigns. Most of my ex-Muslim friends do not come from fanatical Muslim families like I do. They do not have to wear the hijab OR be forced to go to madrasahs to learn. So it is easier for them to hide their apostasy and express themselves. They can wear whatever they want, go wherever they want, say whatever they want, do whatever they want. Me?
“As long as you are living under our feet, you will do our bidding.” – My parents.
I am living in prison.
My mom beat me in public when she found out I wrote a love poem. She thought I had lost my virginity. Truth is: I have never dated anyone in my life. She warned me that she will not hesitate to skin me alive if I ever do lose my virginity before marriage. I believe that this is the very same mindset that contributes to the culture of honor killings. For these people, it is what the community says and thinks of them that matter, not the welfare of their children.
I have spoken in favor of LGBTQIA rights before, particularly transgender’s rights when they decided to spew transphobic sentiments on me. That was the last time I ever spoke about such things because they threatened to stop my education as it was imparting ‘disgusting and immoral’ values in me. They made many vile remarks about the LGBTQIA community that I do not wish to mention them.
Once, I questioned Islam and its philosophy too much my parents told me that I am to quit school because the ‘secular’ education is corrupting me. They threatened me and said that they would enroll me in a religious school so I could earn a degree in Islamic theology, then they would ship me back to my home country and marry me off to some weird religious fanatic dude and that he would take care of me. But I begged and cried. They eventually came around and ‘forgave’ me. I never questioned Islam in front of them ever since.
Everyday – EVERY FREAKING DAY – I am told how a girl should NOT be liberal; “Being conservative is the best. Old is gold.” Same old shit. I am not allowed out of the house except to go to school or to follow my parents somewhere. They would quote me the Qur’an to justify their bigotry. This is happening in a first world country! There is no escaping this. My aunt told me that the more a girl stays at home, the purer she is. My father told me that if a woman can’t do house work, doesn’t get married and has no kids, she is useless and that her existence is absolutely unnecessary. I didn’t know that the female gentalia is required to do housework.
My parents have openly declared that Islam’s misogyny is justified because women ARE second class citizens. The main reason? “Women are not as strong as or as smart as men.” Excuse me? I didn’t know that every country elects its leaders based on physical fitness test. I didn’t know a person’s worth and rights are determined by his/her physical strength. And what about women like Hillary Clinton, Fawzia Koofi, Malala Yousufzai, Ada Lovelace, Hedy Lamarr, Grace Hopper, Marie Curie, Hypatia of Alexandria, Frida Kahlo, Judith Butler, Chandra Mohanty and Bernadette Devlin? These women revolutionized the world too!
I asked my parents once if I can wear the shawl in place of a hijab or not wear it at all. They responded by saying that I have to choose between the wearing the hijab or dropping out from school. I am forced to pray five times a day and fast during Ramadan. Worst of all, I have to do Islamic worksheets and memorize the Qur’an. But I became an atheist BECAUSE I am a feminist. When I first read the English translation of the Qur’an, I couldn’t help but feel depressed on the way it is filled with misogyny, sexism, homophobia, racism and bigotry. There was absolutely no use of circumventing the translations of the various Qur’anic and Hadith texts as I understood the Arabic meaning itself. That is the first reason why I left Islam. It later dawned upon me that the science and philosophy Islam taught was also stupid.
Do you know what will happen if they find out about the real me, my aspirations, my ideas, my thoughts?
1) Stop my education
2) Marry me off!
I really, really yearn to just say I am an atheist loud and proud. That’s all. To just wear what I want to wear. To say what I am dying to say. That is out of the question of course – they would slut shame me whenever I wear make-up, or wear ‘tight clothing’, or talk to boys. “Which boy are you serving tonight?” they would ask. For goodness’ sake! I don’t live, eat, dress or exist for men! I want to look good and boost my confidence. I want to take control of my life without getting threats or insults from them. I wanted to date someone but stopped because of my family. I have wanted to do so many things but I am stopped by my family. Just because I am a GIRL, I must be protected, I must be conservative, I must be silent and unheard. I feel that human beings are the only species that raise their daughters deliberately weak and reliant on their male counterparts, whereas the other living beings raise their offspring, regardless of their biological sex, to be as resilient as possible to ensure that they are among the survival of the fittest.
Where was #MuslimahPride when Muslim women like Malala Yousufzai were silenced and oppressed? Why won’t they talk about these daunting realities? Years ago, I would have sided with #MuslimahPride but today, my mind is free and I am no longer suffering from Stockholm Syndrome like they are. I am more aware than them, more cognizant of realities than they are.
Yet, we have #MuslimahPride who claim to speak for women like me. In one of their open letters, they claimed that FEMEN is full of white supremacist liberal feminist. The last time I checked, I am a woman of colour. No, #MuslimahPride do not represent me and do not speak for me. The more I analyze their politics, the more illogical and contradictory their rhetoric seems. They make over-generalizations and sweeping statements. There are many women like me, Amina Tyler, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Maryam Namazie, Taslima Nasrin and Ayaan Ali Hirsi who have broken the shackles of Islam and are claiming back our liberty and human rights. Do not ever try to silence us because there are many more Muslim women who are trapped in the system and want to speak up but cannot. Matters like reading a book, surfing a website, or choosing not to wear a hijab can be a matter of life or death in many Muslim majority countries. People are detained, tortured and killed for simply trying to live 21st century lives. Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for heresy. People TODAY continue to be put to death for blasphemy. #MuslimahPride, how do you have the heart to ignore these tragedies that are happening in front of our very eyes and claim to speak for women like us?
Nudity is not oppression. Nudity is an expression – expression of freedom! Nudity is a metaphor for emancipation from the social constructs and freedom from the imposed limits of thought and performance. This is beautifully encapsulated in a quote of Mona Eltahawy: “When a woman is the sum total of her headscarf and hymen – that is, what’s on her head and what is between her legs – then nakedness and sex become weapons of political resistance.” Human beings must be the only living things that are ashamed of their own bodies. One who finds nudity offensive has a poor grasp of art, history and culture.
#MuslimahPride is an insult to women like me who are oppressed by Islam itself. Their ‘activism’ is alarmingly similar to Jewish Nazi apologia or that of the Anti-suffragists women of the 1910s who would had a belief that women had the right to complete freedom within the home and would say, ‘its our choice not to vote.’ This is pure Stockholm Syndrome and sheer ignorance on their part.
Sure, you might have had the ‘freedom’ to choose to don the hijab, like I did, but I do not have the very same freedom to choose to take it off without being slut-shamed or threatened. Are my experiences unwarranted? Why the hypocrisy and double standards?
I swear once I am free, I will give all I can to stand up against these stupid ideologies. No matter what they put me through, I will not be destroyed. I am not your typical daughter who will conform to your bigoted traditions. No body has the rights to take my liberty from me. I am godless but I am not voiceless. I will rise! I will fight! Fuck this – I will start NOW!