OP Podcast- EP2: Speaking Out on Leaving Islam (Ex-Muslims in Singapore)

Ep Title: Leaving Islam (36:29)

Podcast Link: https://anchor.fm/offbeatperspectives/episodes/EP2–Leaving-Islam-e4ac0t

Ep Synopsis:

Many find comfort, solace and security in their faith, more so when it’s something that they’ve grown up with most of their lives. Also when it comes to organised religions, the believer is situated among people who shares similar beliefs and rituals which breeds familiarity.

To leave or switch faith is equivalent to leaving behind this community. Hence, leaving one’s faith can become a traumatic decision. In some cases, ex-believers experience moral condemnation and risk cutting off ties with their families when they openly declare their decision to do so [1][2][3][4]. 

Why do they still do it despite the cost of doing so? How did they (try) to break the news to their closest ones? How do they then cope with the consequences that follow? OP speaks to two ex-Muslims from Singapore, Mary and Faizi, about their individual experiences leaving Islam.  

[1] https://www.ricemedia.co/6-years-ago-he-left-islam-for-the-streets/
[2]  https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40704990
[3]  https://www.huffpost.com/entry/the-phenomenon-of-the-ame_n_817158
[4]  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-women-religion/no-regrets-says-indian-woman-ostracized-for-defying-hindu-temple-ban-idUSKCN1PO1U1

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Transcript for OP Podcast- Ep 2 (Leaving Islam)

Soundclip from The Economist Interview: The taboo of apostasy is so deep. It’s abit like… it’s abit like being gay. Most gay people grow up in a society where from a very young age they’re told that the norm is a man or a woman, and everybody else is bizarre. Ex-muslims grow up in the same sort of environment where they’re told from a very young age that everyone should be a Muslim anyway, but if you’re born into Islam, you’re essentially born into privilege, so why would you leave?

Ying: Hi listeners, welcome to the second episode of the OP podcast! The last soundbite was from an interview conducted by the Economist with a female Muslim apostate. In our last episode with Muslim interfaith activist Mr. Imran, he brought up that renouncing one’s faith during the medieval times was seen as an act of treason against the state since empires were then divided along religious lines. With religious empires already out of the picture today, apostasy or converting to another faith still nonetheless remains as taboo to speak of in the Muslim community. Afterall, to belong to a faith often means being part of a bigger community and culture, when you share similar beliefs and practice certain rituals when you’re growing up. Then, to challenge status quo certainly brings forth some resistance. For this week on OP, we speak to two Muslim apostates to learn more about their experience leaving Islam.

Cass: First, we speak to Mary, a lady in her late-twenties, brought up in a Malay-Muslim household, left the Muslim faith in 2013, but only officially removed her name from MUIS, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, in 2018. It was a gradual process for Mary after she learnt more about her own faith and that of other religions, alongside personal life factors that led to her eventual choice to fully renounce her faith. She currently identifies as a non-believer in anything and everything. As our interviewee does not want her identity to be known, her pseudo name is Mary and her voice has been edited in this podcast.

[interview starts]

Mary: There was no big thing that led me to leaving it. I guess I had never truly deeply believed, even though I thought I did. I thought I was a pious Muslim, you know, I prayed five times a day for example, and I did the whole month of fasting. But then eventually, I realized that I was trying to find all the loopholes to get out of those things. That made me think that maybe you know, I don’t actually believe, and then I stopped doing all these things. And it started. And then, you know, you just. Well for me, I just started to think more and more about it, and I learnt more about religion. Not just Islam, but and all the other religions in the world or the major ones. And I just concluded that it was just not something I wanted to believe in. That’s how I shed my faith. As in that was the kind of the process, and you know there are other factors contributing to this process, but there was no one big moment where I realized aha I don’t believe anymore.

Cass: How did your family find out about it?

Mary: Well actually, our relationship had been strained for a while already, mainly because I couldn’t conform to the way they wanted me to act you know in a good girl, you know, in a Muslim sense. So I had actually left home, and well, my sister knew because I told her once that I don’t believe. And after I left home, and I suppose I guess my mom was quite upset. And my sister in attempts to, you know, soothe her and explain why. Probably my mom was asking “Oh why is she doing this?” And my sister probably said “Oh it’s because she doesn’t believe in Islam.” So that’s how my mom found out. And I guess she eventually told my father. And then when I saw my brother a few years later, I told him that I just don’t believe, and that’s how the family found out.

Cass: So currently, how are you and your family relations?

Mary: (Sigh) We tried to repair it. But then certain life decisions I had to make, so for example getting married, etc. did not meet with as much enthusiasm as you know, as normal people would usually express. And with those decisions came more expectations for me to turn back, you know, into the right path. And even before all these decisions – during the reparation stages, where we tried to be civil to each other and rebuild this relationship, it was always you know, the underlying message was always “you have to come back home, you have to become a Muslim again for us to be a happy family.” Yes, so our relationship is strained, at best.

Cass: Do you feel the Malay and Muslim identity in Singapore is very enmeshed?

Mary: Yes, unfortunately. It’s definitely bad because I mean, these are completely separate things. One is religion and one is race, or culture however you look at it. And to synonymize these two things is bad because then anybody who wants to break out of it, you can’t because then you lose the other part of your identity. I mean race is you know, something that most of the time you’re just born with, or you grew up in right? And it’s a culture that you choose to participate in, as is religion. Most of the time for Malays, you’re raised in a Muslim environment with expectations to be a Muslim. So when you choose not to do one of these and most of the time, well in this case if you choose to not be a Muslim, then certain things that are cultural, for example – celebrating Hari Raya which is kind of has become cultural, but it is actually a religious thing right? So then you’re just.. is it… do you celebrate this, you know? Because it is part of my culture. You don’t celebrate it for the religious reasons, but you celebrate it for your family. Then there are these questions that arise and nobody has the guts to talk about it and challenge these, you know, cultural norms or expectations or whatever. So yeah, so then nobody can escape.

I am proud to be Malay. I can’t say that you know, I’m the most cultural or traditional person. I mean I don’t cook their stuff, I don’t, you know, I don’t speak it on a daily basis besides with my family. But yeah, I mean I still consider myself Malay. But when I say that… I would, I mean it’s a totally different discussion, I would consider myself Malay when somebody asks. I don’t think, I don’t define myself as Malay because that’s another discussion right? Because you know it’s just easier for people to identify me and put me into a box as Malay when they ask “What are you?,” rather than explain that I’m not you know, I don’t participate in any particular culture but that’s a different story.

Cass: How do you feel about Singapore’s handling of religious affairs? Cause we have lots of different religions and races in Singapore. Do you feel that we are secular, or not so much?

Mary: Well, I think the government tries its best although it could try a bit harder. They do try to promote well..religious harmony. But in doing that, they are simply tiptoeing around religious organizations, and they’re not protecting the individual needs of its citizens. Well, maybe because the majority are part of these organizations. And the ones who want to escape are seen as the “rebels.”

Cass: When you say protecting individual needs, you mean those that would like to leave their organized religion?

Mary: Yeah. Well, in this case it’s specifically people who want to leave the Muslim religion that I know of.

Cass: How do you feel they can better protect Muslims who would like to leave their faith?

Mary: Make it a known thing. For example, you know, don’t hide it because there are people, there are many people who leave, but they’re not shown right? There are many people who convert into different religions, but this is never portrayed. All you ever see are people who convert into Islam. But you never see anybody who’s Malay who has converted into another religion. And that’s if, and they would never do that just because they consider it such a blasphemy. And there would be too much bad response, negative response from the Malay-Muslim community… because you know, because I think they just afraid of what would happen, of what could happen. And maybe it’s not just because of our Malay-Muslim community here? Maybe it’s because of Malaysia and Indonesia that’s around us? It’s a lot bigger.

So yeah, and I know that for example thesis papers – if you want to write these around ex-Muslims specifically or apostasy, it’s such a sensitive topic that people are doctored. Because you know, the government, or you know the the school is not allowed to publish any thesis that is too sensitive in… you kind of have to soften the approach, or soften the angle that you’re writing about. Yeah, and you know cause alot I mean, everybody, most people love their family right? So alot of their reasons I think would stem from these family and community reasons. They don’t want to disappoint their parents and family. They don’t want to deal with you know the rift that will come about if they leave it publicly. They don’t think it’s worth it because they’re happy just living a closeted life, you know, because they still get to do what they want outside of their home, but they just have to pretend and put back their you know, Muslim hat when they come home or in front of their family and friends. So yeah, it’s mostly… there would be yeah there would be no other reason why you would not openly declare this. In Singapore, fortunately we can rule out the fear. I mean some people are obviously afraid but that fortunately, we do not face for now.

Cass: What are your thoughts on state – a) enforcing or b) banning of the hijab, maybe in terms of like schools or uniformed occupations, or like, public areas. Like this is an issue faced maybe in Singapore, or even in like the West, in America, in Europe also.

Mary: Yeah, well I think it’s very fair for the government to enforce this because if you say that you are secular and if you are, and if you enter public spaces, or other public institutions – such as schools or you know military or I don’t know civil service officers for example, there are rules and there are uniforms. And it’s not a uniform if you can alter it based on your personal preferences or personal beliefs. So if you say you are secular, then by all means make everyone equal and the same. And, you know, if you have a loophole where you say I believe in a certain ideology and therefore I want to put on this extra piece of clothing, or I do not want to put on this extra piece of clothing, then that’s not very secular anymore is it?

Cass: Yeah I think is quite interesting because different countries have like different approaches. Like in Singapore, the Sikhs, they are allowed to wear their turbans in the uniformed groups, but they say that there are reasons behind that. Different takes on the same issue.

Mary: Yup.

Cass: Have you ever feel pressured to don the hijab or to cover up your body in the past?

Mary: Cover up my body? Yes. Wear the hijab? No. Erm so I was not allowed to wear singlets, for example tank tops, things that reveals your shoulders or your armpits, and things that are too much above the knees.

Cass: Did you try to defy your parents?

Mary: Yes.

Cass: And they…?

Mary: Ah well we got into a lot of arguments for that. I found ways around it. So for example – I would wear these ugly tights that go below the knee when I get out of the house and then you know, in the lift, I would take them off. And coming home, I would put them back on, or put a shawl when I’m leaving the house. But then I would remove it as you know, once I’m out. So yeah, I obviously, I did not obey those rules. But because I was living under their house, under their roof, I had to you know abide by these rules, but there are always ways around.

Cass: What were some loopholes you found that made you question your faith?

Mary: So you know, for example so the loopholes were that if you are menstruating, you don’t need to do these things. And I would just simply say that ahhh my menstruation has not ended, and therefore I didn’t need to do all these things for as long as I could.

Cass: So in the past when you prayed, did you know why you prayed as a young girl, or you just prayed because it was something you became used to in life?

Mary: I did it because I had to, or I thought I had to, because I thought I believed in this religion. And for me if you believe in something, or if you believe in an entity, or an institution , or a way of life – when there are rules, you just do it. So you know, the rules were that you have to pray and you have to do all these things so I just did it.

Cass: Do you feel in Singapore, it’s easier to come out as a Muslim apostate compared to other countries?

Mary: Compared to Malaysia, for example? Yes. There’s a lesser chance of people hunting you down and you know, trying to threaten you and your life for example.

Ying: But compared to the West, like say the US or like the UK?

Mary: It depends on the community you live in. I know that there are communities in the US for example where they are so tight knit, it would still be hard for them to get out. Also in the UK for example – actually I think that the community of ex-Muslims you know probably started in Britain. There, the Muslim communities are so tight that it’s just as good as never having left the original country, so they are very strict on one another. They police one another, so it’s just as hard leaving.

Cass: If you talk to a Malay-Muslim now in Singapore and you happen to tell them that you are no longer a Muslim, how would they usually react?

Mary: The friends that I have who are Malay-Muslims and they know that I’m not a believer, they are perfectly accepting of it. Yeah, nobody questions it.

Cass: Do you feel Islam compared to other faiths, there are more desire by the community to intertwine religion with legal rules?

Mary: I wouldn’t say it’s just Islam. I mean Christianity is very intertwined with a lot of countries’ governments and their law-making, and nobody bats an eye on that. It’s just that Islam is a lot in the spotlight now. So it’s a very sensitive topic. So when people call for Muslim laws or Islamic laws to be applied to, you know, secular or governmental laws or country laws, people are then you know… because of Islamophobia, because of the reaction against Islamophobia. There is a lot of reaction, and there’s a lot of attention on this. Every religion wants to be on top right? So I would not say that the religion itself is at fault, it’s the people.

Cass: What are your thoughts on feminists boycotting Nike and other brands for coming up with Muslim female-friendly clothes like the Hijab sportswear, or the burkini (which is the swimwear which covers your whole body and your hair)?

Mary: Well, I think they’re fighting the wrong people because these businesses are just doing it because there is a demand for it. And if you’re a real feminist, you would believe in the right of everybody to wear whatever they want. Erm so you know, the root of people wanting to put this on if they say that it is oppression, it does not lie with Nike, or Adidas, or these brands. Because these brands are just doing what’s best for their business. So they just, I mean, I understand why they’re doing it, but I just think they have their focus all wrong. Everybody has a right to choose.

Cass: What is your view on the term – feminism, and do you identify as a feminist?

Mary: Well, my view on what feminism is kind of similar to what my view on life in general is, which is that everybody has the right to choose. And also, you know there’s equality and whatever but still, it all boils down to personal choice. So where this has to manifest is the protection of personal freedom. So once you have that for women and men, they can all choose to make their own choices whether you know, for example if they want to stay at home and you know be a stay-at-home wife for example. As long as that is a personal choice that they could make 100% by themselves, go for it! As long as the personal choice is protected, for me that’s what feminism and my lifeview is.

Cass: It feels as though you you emphasize a lot on individual freedom, am I right?

Mary: Yeah.

Cass: That’s influenced by your experience after leaving the faith?

Mary: Probably my experience leaving the faith because you know, I’ve had to question a lot on my life my morals, and my life philosophy and my principles, with religion and I see why a lot of, you know, it’s very attractive to many people. It helps you guide your life you know, because there are rules that tells you what you should or should not do. And once you take this away, you kind of have to figure it out on your own you know, cause you know, I can’t come up with that ten constituents for myself to live by so I just, you know, I concluded that as long as we all have our freedom to make our choices, that’s kind of the basis to kind of live by.

Cass: Have you gained or learnt something from your previous Muslim identity which is still with you as of now?

Mary: I think so, I mean, because I spent the bulk of my life as a Muslim, which means that I spent a lot of it using Muslim ideals to live my life by and it’s not, it’s not a terrible religion right because, there are… as with most religions, the stuff that they said are kind of common sense. Erm so now I don’t, I don’t think that I use, I don’t consciously use Muslim rules to live my life by but there are of course a lot of… If you want to find similarities, you could always you know, because I want to be a good person for example. And every religion will say you have to be a good person. So there will oft..there will definitely be similarities but I wouldn’t say that I live by any certain rules that I discovered back in my Muslim days.

Cass: Do you do you have any final thoughts on the whole interview so far, like anything you would like to share but you didn’t get a chance to?

Mary: Yeah, all I maybe if I have to disclaim… I’m not against Islam as a religion or any religion. All I want is the freedom to, you know, which I do have now but I want I want it to be more accepted, to be more normal and not as…for example for the government to hide under the rug and not for people to be embarrassed to talk about it or for people to be offended. For us to talk about this because you know, I mean, probably it’s more okay for me to talk about rather than, for example, you or you to talk about. I just want it to be okay for all of us to participate in this discussion, which I don’t think it is right now. I think it will take a long time. As long as there’s still a lot of Islamophobia, there’s going to be a lot of reaction against it because, there’s going to be a lot of defensiveness. Once that goes, then we can start to celebrate people who leave their religion. So we need to start accepting and celebrating people who leave the religion and probably through… like we say, media, as a start before there can be official support groups for that.

Cass: And one final question, would you have done anything differently nine years back?

Mary: No, I’m happy where I ended up so it’s… I don’t look back and cry over what’s been done.

Cass: Next up, we speak to Faizi, an Indian ex-Muslim in his mid-twenties. As he enjoyed reading growing up, his intellectual curiosity led him to ponder on the validity of his own faith. His religious obligations soon also became a question mark to him. Though he makes it known on his social media pages, he has nonetheless remained a closeted atheist to his family for the past two years, without legally renouncing his faith.

Faizi: I think when I was growing up right, so when I was very young, I had like science, encyclopedia and stuff. But my mother also gave me like Islamic books. Yah I read through them, and then I did my religious duties, but I had the question in my mind… I feel like I never really believed in God. I think I just practice the religion because that’s what I was born into. That’s what my mother taught me to do, and I just kinda go with the flow I guess. So one time when I was praying, I had this thought, like “what if God doesn’t want me to do this?” So I think I stopped praying. Then I learn more about God, and then I realized God, that there’s a possibility that God doesn’t exist.

Cause I see like similarities between religions. I feel like religion is just a man-made thing that people use to explain their lives. Um… and then time went on, I think from that point in the prayer that I had that doubt… okay, there are some good stories in the Quran, in the Bible, like teach you about morality and stuff. But I mean they are largely just stories. Like if you read the Illiad right, it’s the same thing. The Illiad gives you morals, but we don’t say the Illiad came from like Zeus or Jupiter. You know, like what makes the Quran or the Bible come from God? Like how can you say that because there’s no actually evidence in those things?

And the words that the Quran uses right, are very vague in a lot of places, and it’s very repetitive. That’s when I decided that Islam is definitely not… I mean in fact, there’s very little chance that God exists. Since then I’ve been reading more about like religions and God, and even about science. If you want to understand the world, you have to read widely. So I try to do that as much as possible. Yup.

Cass: And then, sometimes when like an individual choose to criticize on some religious ideas, it might be perceived as being Islamophobic. Do you have any thoughts on this?

Faizi: So, the first thing that people need to realize right is that you cannot take your ideas err personally because your ideas actually came from somewhere. The truth is that criticizing ideas right – is actually the safe thing to do. Like when ideas are not criticized then you have like dangerous things, like radicalism. Phobia I guess it’s largely justified. The reason is because I mean in the news like, you see alot of like terrorism and I mean most of them are Muslims. The reason is because some people say that Islam is young religion. When Christianity was young, it also prosecuted people and so you know, Islam is just going through that phase.

But, you see the reason why like religion has to be criticized is because religion actually forces you to accept a set of beliefs as like dog(matism)… so like it encourages adherence to dogmatism but you know when as society… I guess as society progresses, as in terms of knowledge actually, then you realized that you know what you once held as normal is not, is not actually good. Like for example slavery. In the past, slavery is normal but then you know a few hundred years ago, then like people realized that you know slavery is evil. And today, it’s mostly illegal. The reason is because criticism of ideas is allowed. But religions in general right, you cannot criticize the ideas because it’s from God. But in truth… if you want to believe in God whatever, but like do you have any evidence for God? And if you just give like fallacious reasoning, and then you believe in God you know for some emotional reason, then that’s your personal problem. Why do you have to impose on others your religion? You know, why do you why do you have to defend your religion? Because if it has to be defended right, that means there’s things wrong with it.

Cass: Then you were mentioning about them defending on their ideas, meaning to say?

Faizi: I mean like apologetics..they try to come up with arguments to make their religion be sustainable in the modern world but… so a lot of the arguments that they use, they cherry-pick, which cherry-picking is something that a lot of religious people do. I mean, in fact like even when they’re practicing religion, not just arguing for it, they cherry-pick.

I think that religion enforces a set of rules, so if you want society to behave in a certain way then you know then you can say that like we all came from God who created the earth and heavens. And if you do bad things, you’ll go to hell after you die. This feeds, preys on people’s fears because humans are afraid of the unknown definitely. So I guess religion is a way to explain the unknown. So when that happens, when you have an explanation of the unknown, then you can like control people and..whether that is good or bad yeah, that’s one huge argument by itself.

Cass: You consider yourself a closeted ex-Muslim?

Faizi: Yah actually I do publicly say like on my social media but I don’t tell my family because, or some of the Muslims I know because… Actually I once told my mom and then she just like cry and then like say some… like she tell me to say like the Shahada, so Shahada is like the first pillar of Islam. So when you say the Shahada, it’s a testament that, it’s like an allegiance to your religion. Like to God and Mohammed. Er yah, so I just said that. When people grow up with an idea that “Okay, this is how the world works. Like God created us, like Mohammed is the final prophet of God.” Not just for Islam but for any idea I guess. When you’re so personally attached that you spend a lot of your time doing, like thinking, and behaving in a way that you think that that’s what God wants you to do, it’s very hard for you to accept that you know the idea that God doesn’t exist. I mean even for me, I think that was quite hard.

Cass: What were some barriers that you faced when you tried to leave your faith? Or was it very smooth?

Faizi: Okay, so I didn’t really legally renounce Islam in Singapore because like the government gives you benefits for being a Muslim. I mean it’s like if you are Chinese then you get funding from CDC. If you’re Indian, I think there’s SINDA, then for Muslims, there’s like MENDAKI. So I mean if I’m not a Muslim, I cannot get funding from MENDAKI. I cannot continue my studies so that’s why I never legally renounced Islam. I mean I don’t really care. I mean whatever the law says… I mean if you take me as a Muslim or non-Muslim, I don’t care. So I do like enjoy those I guess benefits.

Barriers I think in terms of leaving Islam right… So for a lot of people, religion is like a community. When you go to church, then you meet people. Then when you go to mosque, same thing, you also meet people then maybe you make friends. And then when you leave the, if you leave the religion right, then maybe you know how it’s very hard for you to… in your mind right, think that okay there’s no God or I don’t believe in Mohammed, and then go to the mosque at the same time. You know that, it’s very hard on you and I personally know that. It’s very hard to live in a family that’s strict and they ask you to like pray every time, because prayer is the basic like fundamental of Islam. So it’s very hard to live in the community where everyone is like different from you. And then for people who are thinking of leaving, they will be ostracized by their entire community.

I just took the decision that I don’t really care like even if I am the only person in the world who accepts this idea, then so be it. I try to… I mean the truth right is very elusive for everybody but I try to stay as true to what is reality. Barriers other than that, ostracization from community, legal, I guess legal issues… I think in terms of… so when you’re brought up with an idea all your life and then you know you practice it. For someone like me, I really believed and practiced. So when I want to leave, it was very hard, and then like I had a lot of moments where.. okay basically you just feel depressed. Because you know if something you did all your life and suddenly it comes crashing down on you that okay maybe what you thought was not, you know was not true, there’s like emotional baggage with that.

Cass: Was it somewhat like an identity crisis?

Faizi: Um I don’t think it’s identity crisis. I think it’s just that… I mean I hold these views dearly and then I practice them, but now I realized that it’s different, so what do I do now? You know, maybe like, you know like I mean I even think of committing suicide because this is something that you do all your life. And then you’re exposed to something different and then I am like “Hey you know, maybe this is, this feels right.” Then you don’t feel like living anymore because you don’t know what to do with your life anymore. So, (Cass: Confusion?) yah confusion, and there’s like cognitive dissonance as I had for a few years. So I’m thinking one thing but then my actions like are religious. Like I perform prayers but in my mind, I am like doubtful. Like these Islamic jurisprudence, these some of these laws don’t really make sense. Are these things really from God or are they just like written down by people? But I know I’m still continuing to fast and believe in God at least, continuing to pray. So, cognitive dissonance there.

Cass: What changes do you hope to see for the ex-Muslim community in Singapore?

Faizi: I want to say that, not just in Singapore but all around the world, I want people to understand that teaching your children one form of religion right, like Islam and then like this is how you do it, you know I mean there’s many sects within Islam, so teaching them one sect and then ignoring other points of view like other points of views about the world, there’s Buddhism and then there’s other kinds of philosophy, there’s Christianity… There’s basically a lot of arguments about how the world works. And, you know if you teach them one kind of view right, then you’re oppressing them. You’re actually committing child abuse. Because this is similar to depriving the child of food. Like in that you’re depriving them of knowledge. You’re depriving them of other viewpoints about how the world may work. Erm yah, so I feel that parents should be to teach them multiple… just like how you give, you try to give your child many kinds of food like as possible. You know, like fruits and then vegetables I guess, and then meat, and then things like that. Just, you try to give them happiness like from different sources. If you’re taught one point of view right, then you’re going to grow up thinking that’s correct.

So if I want to see any change in the world, then, I want parents to be more understanding of what is right parenthood. Yah. (Cass: Like exposing their child to different viewpoints to let them form their own thoughts?) Yah, correct. I know that people think that your children are going to hell if they don’t subscribe to your own religion. But how are you so sure right that your religion is right? Have you like even studied like other kinds of viewpoints? So, I mean do you really realized that you have your own biases? You know alot of people don’t realize that. If I were to have a child then if he were to become a Christian, I’ll teach him like you know the kinds of religions I’d know. I’ll try to learn myself and tell him you know “Look, there’s different kinds of people. Some people believe like Jesus died for our sins on the cross, some people believe that Mohammed is like the last messenger of God.” I mean there’s so many kinds of arguments right? As much as possible, you should be giving your child an accurate picture of the world which includes many diverse viewpoints. Yah.

Cass: Then lastly, is there anything you missed about practicing on your Muslim faith in the past?

Faizi: Sometimes I do listen to the Quran because like the recitation of the Quran is nice. I changed the way I live, like I don’t pray five times anymore. I mean it’s a hard thing to do. Yah I don’t really missed it because I mean as I’ve said, I tried to look at the world objectively as much as possible. And you know if something I feel is doubtful, then why should I be, why should I be continuing to practice that kind of thing? You know.

Cass: Thank you Faizi for sharing your thoughts. We hope that you have a great day ahead.

Faizi: Thank you very much.

[Interview ends]

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