Acknowledging that I no longer believe in a religion that has been part of my life for a number of years came with its share of emotional blows. Depending on a person’s involvement in Islam, apostacy can either be as simple as blinking an eye or a heart-wrenching process. I am a do-or-die type person. I immerse myself completely into a cause if I believe it to be true. I’ve always thought why bother doing something if you are not going to do it well. Which is why I’ve never understood people that change religions like they change their underwear and, as a Muslim, never took them seriously.
However, my commitment to something never overrides justice. Trying to live a just life is one of the many things that caused me many a problem as a Muslim because Islam is loaded with injustices. Islam also attracts, by its nature, people who see all types of opportunities within Islam to commit injustice. Bullying, abusive husbands, fraud, lying, cheating, and a plethora of ways that make wrongdoings seem righteous exists in the deen. Ironically, this is a trait of all religions but there is something about Islam that is a little different.
The first few days after my apostacy were extremely rough so I decided to see what type of information was available for apostates to help me on my course to healing. I found a number of apostate sites and forums that were beneficial in solidifying my decision to leave Islam but I couldn’t find anything dealing with therapy itself. As I read apostate stories, I began to notice the stark contrast between Muhammad and people like Jim Jones. The more I looked at Islam from a new perspective, the more I was inclined to look at it historically and rather than divinely. Once I removed the component of holiness from Islam I began to see it in a new light. This light is termed religious cult.
Calling Islam a cult is sure to ignite fury in alot of people but I am satisfied in my opinion that it is one. If Islam is reduced from its present day status of so-and-so millions of worshippers around the globe to its true historical context and compared to a present day universal definition of a cult*, then it most certainly can be classified as one. All religions have cultish tendencies but what makes Islam different is that it fulfills every condition of a cult and,when limited to 7th century Arabia, is extremely reminiscent of the likes of David Koresh. It is present day enforcement of Islam in some countries, choice of Islam in other countries,and plagarised stories of Isa/Musa/Ibrahim that gives Muslims the false sense of a religion.
While researching it dawned on me that most, if not all, Muslims take all their information about Islam blindly and totally from Islamic sources. I thought to myself “If Islam is true then other people outside of Islamic sources should have encountered Muhammad and have written works about their opinion of him”. There should be no reason why Jewish and other ethnicities during that time shouldn’t have historical literature from a perspective outside of Islam about Muhammad. These works such as “Seeing Islam as Others Saw It” do exist and they also paint the picture that even during Muhammad’s reign people viewed him as a false prophet.
Because of these newfound discoveries I was able to find the help I was looking for by researching cults. Every emotional process of apostacy was covered in the life of a cult member. While going through the exit phases, I constantly wondered how is it that I did not see the warning signs in the first place. How is it that people like Joseph Smith get rational, intelligent people to believe in their nonsense? From that question I decided to start picking apart the pieces of a fledgeling cult that has the ability to attain ‘religion’ status. Thus this post is the original in the series ‘Making of a Deen’ as I attempt to figure out how mastermind politicians like Muhammad build an enourmous following of millions of Muslims globally.
* see page on “Universal Definition of a Cult”