Dealing with a religion and culture that shuns free-thinkers and Atheists alike.

Coming from an Islamic country, where the majority comprises of Muslims, anything that a person questions or doubt about it is quickly shunned or shot down without leaving any room to justify your base of questioning. 

Everytime you question the teachings and the contradictions associated with it, you're met with severe hostility, or ridiculed for your actions, and when you criticize it, you're faced with a lot of threats which leaves a person in a high state of depression as well as a sense of insecurity. 

The most hardest of decisions or trying to come to terms with is how to deal this issue with your close ones, like your family, friends and relatives. I can stand and relate to a lot of people who know how hard it is to talk about renouncing your religion, or criticizing it. Even though you mean no harm, you're ridiculed so much that it leaves you no choice but to act/pretend you're a Muslim when deep down you know you're actually not. I couldn't come to terms with this act of hypocrisy as it makes me feel its really unfair, both for the religious-minded, as well as for what I stand.

My question is, how does one cope up with such a dilemma? We've seen quite a few cases of people who stood up for secularism, freedom of choice, rights and equality for everyone, who've been threatened as well as killed for openly displaying such acts. 

I still haven't told my parents about my renouncing of religion, and I know they'll never understand it (also coupled with the fact that I'd be disowned straight-away the moment I tell them about it)

I'd appreciate the opinions people have over such a topic, or how someone who can relate to me, dealt with such a situation.

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Comment by tom sarbeck on March 10, 2013 at 12:28am

You're right about the hostility and threats. I felt them in the Catholic schools my dad sent his kids to, as did every other kid in the classes those particular nuns taught.

I remember well one often-repeated threat: being told that to doubt was a serious sin. I was in my seat not believing what I was hearing and eventually realized that learning requires doubt. I've told many people that someday the law will treat what happens in Catholic schools--the indoctrination, the teachers' hostility, the threats--as child abuse. it won't happen during my lifetime; American laws protected domestic animals from abuse for a century before such laws protected children.

A prevention?

Walk as you would in a higher crime area: as if you own the ground you're walking on.

I've found the tactic helpful in San Francisco's Tenderloin area. It works better with most christians; they've been taught to fear authority.

The tactic requires some self-confidence, which strangely my dad helped me learn. He sent me to schools whose policies seem directed to preventing kids from becoming self-confident. In work at home he demanded quality performance, which helped me build confidence.

Do well, Zohaib.

Comment by Zohaib Javed on March 9, 2013 at 10:44am

Yes Tom, I recall reading about Catholicism doing the same barbaric acts as well back in the days.

I did manage to come to the UK, but as with all apostates, I too have the fear of going back to my native country for the lack of safety and security one has or feel on the blasphemy laws they so profess there. 

Comment by tom sarbeck on March 8, 2013 at 2:29am

Catholicism once treated Europeans as its property and killed those who quit.

Are you able to leave, for Europe or elsewhere?

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