At the age of 8, having grown frustrated and tired from elements I can barely remember; I challenged the almighty God prove his existence in the midst of the night. That night ended with the burning thought that "God does NOT exist!" ingrained into the back of my mind.
London is a very multicultural city, there exists many ghetto's, one such ghetto was where I grew up. I was surrounded by many Muslim immigrants and their children. I spent most of my early years hiding my inhibitions due to personal fears and a wider desire to conform, after-all I was still a young teen. The more I tried to conform, the more I delved deeper into the study of Islam, desperately hoping to find salvation. When I left high school I finally accepted that I could and would never bring myself to accept God in its traditional sense. In many ways I thought I was broken.
Being older I began to take a greater interest in geopolitical issues and history. My resentment for religion grew in proportion to my understanding of the world and its past. I was never a patriot but I came to hate the fact that my country, Pakistan, was formed on such an ugly ideology; Islam. Most depressing of all was the Muslim education. For (active) Muslims education primarily refers to knowledge pertaining to religious scriptures, "earthly" education is viewed as a silver medal and in some cases even frowned upon. The number of my relatives leaving school with enough GCSE's to pursue A-Levels is equal to zero. Imagine being told "You wont take your knowledge to the grave!" when advising about the relevance of education.
Education aside, Islam was stifling creativity, drawing/painting is frowned upon, not allowed to indulge in music or film making. It also impedes on curiosity, "God knows best", "Humans are weak", "You will die and that's all that matters". The ugly oppression of women, which painfully they are indoctrinated to believe is the better way of life.
I became tired of pretending and appeasing, I actively began avoiding anything connected to Islam. This caused a rift between me and my family. I began to be honest to my friends, some family and any new relationships I formed. Some people would become curious, most would be shocked and some refused to socialise with me.
Interestingly the punishment for apostasy is death in Islam. While this law is challenged by a small minority of scholars the united consensus is that an apostate of Islam speaking against Islam should be killed. It is not so simple to be an Atheist for Muslims.
I have bouts of depression and there isn't much of a support network for me to rely on, I have become increasingly lonely. I hoped there would be other relatives and friends who like me also disbelieved. But even today I am as lonely as I was at that night when I was 8.
I hoped maybe writing out some of my problems would help my mind calm down.
I guess what I want will never happen.