Ex-Muslim: Why I won’t change my name

The following is a guest blog post by Hamza. He is a 17 year old Ex-Muslim agnostic. In his own words: “I’m an anime freak. Love metal, punk, indie, and classical music. I play the guitar and I love pirates and serial killers. And I write poems and songs when I’m bored.” You can find their blog by following the link.

As an Ex-Muslim who lives in Pakistan, a Muslim theocracy state, I get asked everyday to change my name and to stop calling myself an Ex-Muslim. People come to me and say that their religion doesn’t allow apostates to bear a Muslim name and that I’m tarnishing the reputation of their religion by calling myself an Ex-Muslim. I always tell them that my name does not have anything to do with my beliefs. The reason why I won’t change my name and won’t stop calling myself an Ex-Muslim is because I want people to know that Islam is the religion my parents made me follow as a kid and that I no longer believe in this preposterous set of myths.

I grew up in a Muslim majority state and I have cultural ties to this religion. Ever since the day I was born, Islamic books have been shoved in my face and I’ve had Maulvis(Islamic scholars) tell me that I should worship God five times a day and do everything he says or He’ll send me to Hell where I will burn forever. I’ve had to listen to Adhan (Islamic call to worship) my whole life.

Muslims find it hard to believe that there are people out there who don’t follow Islam anymore. They think it’s impossible for a Muslim to leave Islam because it is so perfect. I’ve been given death threats for leaving Islam and the country I live in has a blasphemy law. I can get killed for speaking against Islam in public. Religious people say that atheists are intolerant and like to shove their beliefs down people’s throats, they never talk about countries where most of the laws are based on the ideas of Quran. They never talk about the Muslim rule in Persia during which Persians were forced to convert to Islam. They never talk about the death threats that Ex-Muslims receive.

I won’t stop calling myself an Ex-Muslim or change my name because this is who I am. I’m an Ex-Muslim and I left Islam because I prefer free thinking over unnecessary subservience to a God that doesn’t exist. The idea of there being a divine entity living in a sky, controlling our lives and the laws of nature is absurd to me.

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