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 Strange feeling

Fool I was

Hello everyone,

Nine year after my conversion to Islam Iíve decided: Iím leaving.  It feels so strange to say but for years, while saying prayers or repeating Islamic phrases, I felt: "What nonsense!Ē

Iím a Swedish woman from a good family with educated parents. I had a normal upbringing. Although I come from a Christian family, I was uninterested in that religion.  It wasn't exotic to me.  I was looking for something different.  Maybe I wasnít even looking for a religion at all.

Then I met a man.  He was an Arab with hazel eyes and a big heart, or so I thought. I fell in love with him and everything about him. We debated religion. It was hard arguing with him because I knew nothing of Christianity or Islam.  I was an easy target.  By now his mother heard about me and was disgusted by the "Swedish whore who took her little boy.Ē I never showed how hurt I was.  I tried my best to get close to her.  I wanted so badly to be accepted. My new plan was to amaze the whole family with my knowledge.


I got the Koran and read it. I had read about converts who got enlightened and started crying while reading it.  I didnít feel it; I was more confused. Mostly the Koran consisted of rules of what to do and what not to do, different judgments for this and that.  Itís just a lot of hate and punishment. Nor did I find anywhere the sentence "God loves you" without it being followed by "if you are patient or obedient," etc.

Still I was fascinated. It seemed smart to follow a book which had all the answers: How to act, what to say or think.  In the hadiths you also learn how to pray, how to have sex, how to sleep how, to wipe after visiting the toilet, how to eat, how to greet.  You name it.   It was all there. And most importantly I would belong to something.  I would belong to his family and I would be a sister in Islam (at this time I had already met those "amazing" reverts in mosalla).

I took lessons from the local imam. Brainwashed, I became the perfect Muslim. My parents were of course upset, but didnít really know what to do. My husbandís family was happy. Not about me, but about him. He had managed to convert me. Mashallah, what a good son, brother, man he was! And he taught me well. I was, what they call, obedient.

Yes, itís true: love brought me to Islam. This is common among converts. It starts with love. In many cases with men who have little knowledge of Islam and are from cultures where honor and obeeience are big. After divorcing the convert usually gets help from the local Muslim community finding a "real Muslim man." And so it continues. 

Most of the converts I meet who converted before me also left Islam.  In the beginning I considered them false, weak, and fake. Later I found them strong and honest with themselves.

 

Most converts say they were interested in Islam before finding a Muslim man. This is crap. To get a higher status among other Muslims, itís better to say that you studied your way into Islam. Many of them take lessons later, study hard, and become strict. When you first fall in love with the religion, everything is wonderful.  After that you get extreme and you do it "perfectly" with all the details, after that you fall back and start to search for your real identity.

 

Many converts who marry Arabs become more Arab then the Arabs themselves.  Many converts know much more about Islam than born Muslims. I've meet so many Arab Muslims who "know" Islam is right and I've asked them, ďHow do you know?Ē They answered, "It just is." They can hardly pray, have never read the whole Koran, never studied the life of Mohammed or the other prophets, never read about any other religion, still they "know itís right.Ē

 

I helped many girls convert to Islam. My husband used to bring his friendsí Swedish girlfriends to me and my job was to show them "the beauty of Islam.Ē I chose the beautiful ayas about paradise and left out the more horrifying parts. It sounded really beautiful: sisterhood, women's rights in Islam, having a purpose, being seen as a pure woman, not being judged by looks, bla bla bla. Most girls were unloved and did whatever the man asked her. Getting them to say shahada was not that hard after a few months of smiling and taking care of them.

 

The hijab and polygamy were the most difficult subjects. The hijab was a concern but I usually said that itís between the woman and God and that she didn't have to wear it right away. Usually the group pressure was big and the girls became muhajaba after few months. I also said that the girls could write in their marriage contracts that they wouldn't accept their husbands to have a second wife. Hearing this, most girls relaxed. Of course no man agreed to have this put in the contract. Love is what gets women into to Islam; their brains are what get them out.

 

I tried to believe.  I really did.  I cried many times for not "getting it.Ē I did not feel at one with Allah while praying.  I was irritated when Ramadan came, rather than being happy. I hated the hijab and the double standard in Islam.  I also felt like an outsider.

Mostly I feel sick for defending Islam.  I was brainwashed and repeated phrases like: 
"The hijab protects women."
 "Having many wives was not obligatory; it was to help the widows in the time of the prophet."
 "Islam is peace. 
Ē ďWhen we fast we cleanse our bodies and minds.Ē

I was confused. The more I tried to get close to God, the more I felt bad. It was never enough, sunnah prayers, duaīs, cooking food for his friends, reading Koran, learning Arabic, saying bye bye to Christmas, being his private server at home. And still, I didnít "feel it.Ē The more Koran I read, the less I felt.  I cried, convinced I was a bad Muslim. Satan was inside of me. I went to an imam and he said I didnít believe enough. I need to pray more. I prayed night and day, crying, not sleeping and still I didnít feel anything. At Ramadan I always fasted without a problem but the last years I cheated when no one was looking. Then of course I felt so guilty I had to pray all night. I went to an Arabic country to study Koran, stayed for 3 months and still felt nothing. I was knowledgeable, but my brain was empty and so was my heart. I got pregnant. I almost lost my child at birth because my imam was weak, I was told. I became depressed.

But I woke up. Iím so much smarter than this.  I managed to start university again and have finished my bachelors.  I divorced and am now a single mom and finally let it go. I was never convinced. I guess I wasnít that fooled after all, although I was stupid enough to let a man and my love for him make me something I'm not. My child, however, has a Muslim father. Iíll deal with that later. My heart and soul are now free. My father can be proud of me once again.  

Someone asked what I was thinking, "Damn! What was I thinking?Ē The problem is I wasn't thinking.  That is what Islam is all about, not using your own mind, thoughts or desires. If you stray from the road your imam is weak and you start to panic. Itís not easy to find your way back, I left Islam not long ago and I wake up at night, and before I can get myself together, think: I should pray, I'm going to hell! Yeah right, Iím free!

 

 

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