Khadija, Converts, #(43)

Aug 19, 2014

At the age of 9 I came to the UK only to find out that all of a sudden I had to wear garments in liberal Europe which I didn’t have to wear just a few days before in medieval Afghanistan. When I asked my parents they answered “this is our cultural and religion and the people here are kafirs”, so as a result I not only had to wear the hijab, not only the hijab but also the abaya and even my younger brothers were authorised to instruct, discipline and punish me. When I complained to my mother she said “they are your brothers and whatever they want you give it to them”, every aspect of my life was subject to control not only by my parents but also my all of my brothers without school or university I was not supposed to leave the house and at the age of 18 they already started to make plans to marry me off. I was (physically) forced to 5 daily prayers and regardless how bad I felt during the month of Ramadan there was no way for me to escape that physical torture even though I was 44 kg. It goes without saying that even as an adult I was forbidden by threat of corporal punishment to join twitter, Facebook or any other social media, and when they found out about my Instagram, I was slapped in the face and I had to kneel asking for forgiveness in front of everybody at the same time I was told that next time it would be the belt or worse the wire on bare. I was fortunate they didn’t find out about my twitter account where I met my partner who is Jewish. It’s not hard to imagine my biological family’s views on Jews, he is an atheist and I tried to save him from hell as I told him because I loved him. Building on the doubts I already had and I began to realise that the slavery that I was subject to (my mother did nearly nothing) and apart from school and house work I also had to look after my youngest brother and at the same time poor grades would have resulted in immediate stop of my education and I would have ended as a “bride” either in Pakistan or Afghanistan. To cut a long story short, I realised with David’s help that It was 5 to 12 and I mustered all my strength and courage to buy a train ticket for the euro tunnel to leave very soon in the morning, as usual, for university to never return. David kept pressing me to leave as soon as possible, but I still wanted to pass my last biomedical science exams, a few days before my scheduled departure, my passport was taken in order to be sent to the tax authorities, that was it. I realised it was time to act, I got up 4am, took my passport from my brother’s computer disk (he was sleeping) and left. When I boarded the train I was still paranoid but the first thing, a token of my new freedom and self-determination I trashed my hijab and the abaya. We finally met in France, it took me a few months and many sleepless nights of discussions with David to realise the only thing we can rely on is questioning, reason, and the strict application of sciences’ principles, after nearly 20 years of brainwashing it was hard and David was very patient, but still passionate to make and let me see the bright light of reason, David is Jewish but he rejects and discards religion and tradition relentlessly for he considers them one of the major road blocks to civilisation. I agree. Today I see Islam as Judaism and Christianity, I view them from a purely philosophical viewpoint and the more I think about it the more I feel ashamed that even though I was a science student I closed my eyes and wanted to believe the unbelievable. Early on, he introduced me to your work and today I enjoy watching your videos on youtube and I read your books and follow your tweets. Truth be told I tried to help others to follow me on this path. Until today, we have to be careful to avoid Afghans and Pakistanis because of the (death) (threats) intimidation of my biological family.

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