Feedback from readers


On sexual abuse of children in Muslim societies

Irfan, an ex-Muslim, wrote the following letter to us explaining his traumatic experience of sexual molestation by an older cousin, when he was a child:

I am writing to you hoping that you might be able to help me....You are the only person i can think of who i can talk to since our believe of islam is about the same. Last year of december i have rebelled from Islam....In many ways i believe Islam has destroyed not only my life bt also many other ppl and what's really sad to me is that there are alot of innocent people out there who are muslims who do not realize what islam is or what its doing to them. Anyways back to the point...i couldn't take more pressure from Islam. Do this or Do that telling me always what to do and how to do it. Can't fall in love with a Christian because she is not a muslim i mean what kinda sanity is that? Love is natural and you can't help if u like or love someone. its part of who you are. Also i have lots of friends who are from different religons some of them are Muslims, Some of them are Christians and some don't even believe in god...i treat all of them the same and matter who they are ill always be there for them i'll treat them how i wanna be treated from thm as long as they are nt hurting any1 in any way...ill alawys have thm close. There are many other reasons why i left islam such as hating the jews...which make no sense since they had done nothing to muslims whn islam was established well i don't wanna do off topic here...since i left islam i've been feeling alot better i do what i think i should do, respect every1 for who they are, and being the best i can be....however i believe i have something in my past that's causing me problems rite new...u c just recently i've been having these wierd blurry images about me being sexually molested by my cousin when i was young....and i dunno what to do....its something that i had no idea of until it appeared in my mind...i can tell exactly what happen tho the image is still a lil blurry...i feel guilty and ashamed thinking that the image in my head is possibly b true...i feel like the freedom i was aiming for is slowly getting taken away...i was doing good and all of a sudden this pops in my head. I know this isn't ur problem bt i feel i need to talk to some1 and i only feel comfortable talking to u about because i do believe its Islam's fault that this happened due to its restrictions on people and also causing to have control over society. its really hard to move on at the moment cuz whatever i do the image pops up and i just can't get past it so if u can give me any advice or help it will all be appreciated deeply....ill be waiting for ur reply thank u for ur time and concern....

Dear Irfan,

Thank you for your email, and we are sorry for the delayed response.

We are delighted that you have rebelled against Islam. Islam does not deserve a place in the life or heart of decent people in our modern world and congratulations on doing the right thing by breaking free. Many of us are ex-Muslims and know well how refreshing it is to break free from the shackle of Islam; it's like being born anew. There is no greater satisfaction for us human beings than being able to embrace our human brethren, irrespective of faith, race or nationality, as our equal partner in humanity. Welcome to the human race.

As concerns your dilemma of your likely being sexually abused/sodomized as a child by your older cousin, it's quite a common story we ex-Muslims (me not excluded), indeed all Muslims, have in the privacy of their heart. As long as we live as Muslim, we take it as normal part of life and social behavior, and go about our business as usual. It only after we leave Islam, and gain the understanding that children deserve protection from sexual abuse by adults, that it starts pricking our conscience. At least that's how it happened with me.

As I see it: What's done cannot undone. Also, since our abusers live in Islamic countries, nothing can be done either about it for various reasons. What we can do best is to learn lesson from it and make efforts in our life that such things does not happen to children in the knowledge of ours, which we could have taken easy had we not been enlightened and left Islam.

So my advice is: try to take it in your stride as much as you can; take lessons from it, but do not let it affect your life experience and aspirations in a big way. Try to live as normal and successful a life as possible. What we can contribute to society is more important than what we suffer in our personal life---that's how I look at life.