Interviews

From Muslim to Nonbeliever

Americans raised in a conservative Christian environment know that open rejection of the faith can be difficult, potentially causing painful family conflict and social difficulties. The experience for American Muslims who reject their religion, however, can be even more intense, compounded by several factors: Islamic theology itself, which harshly condemns apostasy; an American culture that has difficulty understanding Islam, let alone those who now wish to shed Muslim beliefs and identity; and severe pressure from family and communities, often of immigrant status, that expect members to maintain cohesion.

These factors and others make Ex-Muslims of North America (link is external) an important resource for those who wish to leave Islam to embrace a non-theistic, secular worldview. In my conversation with the group’s founder, Muhammad Syed, I learned that EXMNA does much more than provide community for those making the difficult transition away from Islam. Its very existence is a reminder to young Muslims that there is an alternative, that freethinking and secularity are indeed options in modern life, and that following a religion is ultimately a decision and not an unalterable fate.

Read more at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201602/muslim-nonbeliever

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