Converts, Wed, Jan 30 2013 #(1119)

Jan 30, 2013

It is only now i realise i am not so alone in my views on theism. My loss of beleif came very early as my indoctrination of islam began so early. From the age of 4 at the same time i began school i was made to attend a mosque, the ritual of which was to go to school then to go home, change clothes and go to mosque for 3 hours every weeekday and 2.5 hours every weekend. I as most children beleived everything i was told. “One should behave and not question islam to be even better thought of “, was told to me by my mother and father in the vaguest sense whenever my siblings and I had a question. I carried this with me thinking my ignorance made me a better and more pious muslim. Even at the tender age of 6 I wondered what i was reading as I had started with a 'Qaidda' which is the starting point by which you learn the arabic alphabet onto the progressing books before finally reading the Quran. At that point the many many hours I had spent kneeling on the floor rocking my head as I read this book that was still alien to me even though I had read it 5 times by the time I was 8. I stopped reading and just looked around to see everyone elese around me and thought none of these actually know what they are reading. As far as i could tell there wasn't a single arabic or middle eastern child in the room. So who actually new what was being read? Did the mullah know what we were reading? All he was concerned with was that he got paid by every child weekly for attendance of the mosque. The only guidance was that you read the scriptures beautifully otherwise you got the cord. The cord was a means of issuing discipline as well as being made to squat with your arms placed behind and under your legs so you could hold your own ears for a period of an hour at a time. At least that as what it felt like.

I began to grumble more often about having to go mosque and would find ways to avoid having to go, all of which were futile as wherever I went or hid I was found and sent on my way. During this period it had now become part of our routine to read the Quran at home every sunday. Sundays' were designated for what my father would call reading and writing time. This i enjoyed as from the age of 3 I was tought to read, write and basic arithmetic from thereon I had progressed on my own with the help of my local library which at that time was a 5 minute walk away.

It must be that I had the luxury of having a taste of real education that I soon just went to mosqu to maintain the statusquo and the futility of trying to avoid it. I realised that the mullah didn't have much of an education or even that of an understanding of what he was preaching as it wast most improbable for a southern-asian man to actually be capable of understanding arabic, as this is not his first, second or even third language. The same could be said for my parents and millions of others.

I tried to rebel and speak to others of my newfound discovery whenever I then had to go mosque. I would sit quitely as usuall and try to speak to other children next to me. As my siblings were older they went to the upper rooms of the mosque to actually learn to pray. By means of repetition and copying the man infront of you, while the imam prays out aloud. I said to another boy next to me that I could get to the end of the Quran before he does. He returned a bemused look so I just turned my book over to the end and said “finished”. The boy said “you'll get GANNA for that”. Ganna refers to the wrath of god. I told him,” there isn't a god”. I was excited with myself as i had never had the courage to say what I had felt deeply for quite a while. It was more exciting to have said it at the mosque where I new I would probably be beaten for having said what I did. The boy went quite and didn't speak to me I had thought that if he realised aswell that we might become friends who could secretely talk to each other in the mosque.

When I returned to Hanley St Lukes Primary School the next day I couldn't wait to tell my friends what I had realised. this revelation soon reached other asian children. I was greeted by one with a mix of curiosity and contempt, I had might aswell had two heads for the way they looked at me. I soon realised that not everybody would come to the same realisation as me that nobody is watching us. I knew nothing of the big bang theory at the time I just new that some block can't be everywhere and all knowing it just wasn't possible. As the years have gone by few things have changed I have always been treated with contempt by relatives and even my own family. It has caused me to become insular as i have been ostracised more so since i was 15 as i made it a far greater effort to try and educate myself and others around me. I was rather proud that even at the age of 9 i was calling myself a non-beleiver.

As i had no faith i was treated like I was not capable of human feeling such as morality and ethics. All i could say was in then end the maggots will eat you and I and there's nothing anyone can do about it. I have become an altruistic person perhaps as a result of being laballed incapable of morality. I enjoy helping others, giving regularly to charity and baking cakes for friends. I have found that i am incapable of lying as guilt sets in and i have to confess to any such lies. Aswell as not being able to take advantage of another person in life. I am a carpenter and joiner now and even though I have been made redundant and am struggling to get by i am as happy as I have ever been.

I have always thought that I was a minority in my thinking that there is always a rational and logical explanation for what happens in the world and turned away from superstition and ignorance. Until know my only way of rebelling was to fill in atheist in application forms and to always disprove those who beleive in an all powerful being. This has cost me dearly interms of the enforced isolation from my own family, it is only now i have been in contact with them after 4 years. I have come to accept them the way they are and we do not speak of faith at all.

I have just ordered a number of books including those of Richard Dawkins. Having found this site i feel more hopeful for the future and slightly less alone in my views of a better world without ignorances, prejudices and bigotry.

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