An Ex-Muslim Writes About What Must Change in the Middle East

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about “Marwa,” an ex-Muslim woman from Lebanon, who moved to the United States a year ago. She had written a beautiful post about what the transition to America was like.

It turns out a lot of people read Marwa’s post. She has responded by writing about what she’s up against and why she’s not giving up anytime soon:

I am unnerved because I now know that the responsibility I face is not one of mere intellectual integrity — as if that were not a hefty enough responsibility to carry. The responsibility I face is one of justice to other people and the hope and thought they give me.

I have a fear, because not all of the responses, emails, and testimonials I received were of empathy and mercy. Because some of them were reactionary, lashings-out of pain and affront because my experience, on the face of it, delegitimatizes other experiences, different experiences, experiences of vibrancy, hope, life, and joy as proud Muslims, as citizens of Muslim-majority countries. Experiences, too, of those who are hated and misunderstood despite all that. Because they have good lives, and they try to spread this good. Because they are tired, too, of their value as human beings being discounted because of the name ‘Muslim’.

I will continue to tell these stories, because they are powerful.

Because it is true that many Muslim families are progressive and non-restrictive, and it is true that they are able to find self-actualization even under oppressive laws through support and mutual understanding. But it is true, deep, important, grave, that women, men, and children are denied basic rights, are pressured and socialized in oppressive ways, are discriminated against unjustly, harshly, reactively, and suffer beyond imagining.

Just as before, you’ll want to read the full post because it’s just that amazing.

(image via Shutterstock)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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