I was asked today, by a Muslim, why I self-identify as an ex-Muslim and not just an atheist. I’ve had the same question posited by fellow atheists as well. Setting aside my impulse to retort with a knee-jerk anthropologists’ argument of “I can call myself whatever I want”, I can see something of a good question hidden in the label-policing.
The simple answer? In the past, Islam was my life, and continues to affect my life, and will never stop affecting who I am. Continue reading “Why I Call Myself an Ex-Muslim”
Recently, the case of Meriam Ibrahim made international headlines. The story was that she, a pregnant Christian woman married to a Christian, was being accused of apostasy and sentenced to death for it. Some but not all of the articles about it mentioned the most troubling fact about the case: she is not even a apostate in that she was a Muslim and then defected from Islam. Instead, her absentee father was a Muslim and, by Sudanese law, this automatically makes her a Muslim, despite being raised a Christian by her Christian mother.
A case of a born and raised Christian being accused of apostasy from Islam and sentenced to death for it shows that anti-apostasy laws are a brutal tool that can be used to enforce tyranny on anyone, whether they are an apostate, a theist of another religion, or a non-apostate atheist.
Continue reading “#TwitterTheocracy: How Anti-Blasphemy Laws Are Tools of Oppression”
I, along with two other former Muslim women (Marwa Berro of Between a Veil and a Dark Place and Reem Abdel-Razek), recently spoke with Valerie Tarico about our experiences with the hijab. This is a cross-post of my interview with her.
Tarico: How long did you wear hijab, and what did it mean to you at the time?
Dadabhoy: I wore hijab for a decade (ages 8 to 18). I started wearing it because I was always a people-pleaser; it seemed like the right thing to do to please my parents, many of my older relatives, my teachers at my religious school (a headscarf was part of the uniform for the Islamic girls’ school I attended in London for a year), and, of course, Allah. I was also a very literal and devout child. I wanted to make sure that I obeyed Allah as much as possible.
Continue reading “Unveiled: A Look Back on the Hijab”