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Wednesday, 24 March 2010 23:16

Why I Left Islam

Written by  Ali Sayed
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[This article was originally published by The Melbourne Atheist Examiner, February 2010 Edition.]

Many atheists come from Christian backgrounds. They more or less struggled through similar experiences. Therefore, it is rare to hear the stories and opinions of those who have come from non-Christian backgrounds. So, it's great to feature an article written by Mr. Ali Sayed. It is refreshing to read the opinions of someone who used to practice Islam about their former religion.

I hope you also find it refreshing and eye-opening. Mr. Sayed must be applauded for his courage and acknowledge his right to express his views and declare once more that Australia is a secular, democratic country that needs freedom of speech.


I was born in a conservative Muslim household in Pakistan. Raised with an all consuming ambition: to live a life for the pleasure of a pre-historic, vengeful and extremely jealous god – Allah. While my faith demanded a complete divorce from reason, I was fortunate to have parents who understood the importance of education, albeit from a materialist viewpoint.

The pursuit for better education is what brought me to Australia, putting me in a close proximity with some very bright and rational infidels. My passion for reading was soon followed by heretical thoughts and a desire to live a more ethical life. I gradually reached that point where faith in a supernatural being, or any other contemporary superstitions, seemed outright repulsive. Whilst I admit that my journey to Atheism was not easy, I take great pride in the knowledge that I am finally free from the tyranny of made-up deities and deluded mammals posing as our saviours.

As an intelligent life-form living in the twenty-first century, the ever-mounting evidence against religion should be impossible to ignore for even the slowest of minds amongst us. But alas, the ridiculous dogmas monotheists and their rationally-blinded minds continuously generating in order to keep their belief remotely relevant is one of the oldest and most poignant tragedy of our specie.

Leaving all aside and focusing on Islam for the sake of this article, let me begin with the key to the unquestionable authenticity of their belief – the miraculous revelation of Koran. The devout believe this to be the end of all arguments; ‘surely, an illiterate Arab could not have come up with something as beautiful and magnificent as the Koran’. As Christopher Hitchens quite astutely puts it, “to Muslims the enunciation of the divine to the person of extreme unlettered simplicity has something of the same value, as the humble vessel of the Virgin Mary has to Christians”. Unless these simpletons see a constant terror and cruelty of an impending judgement as beautiful and magnificent, there is nothing in Koran to warrant their belief.

I have tried really hard with this religion. Squealing, for the best part of my youth, before a made-up egomaniac supreme-being, all the while living under a constant shroud of shame and self-loathing. But here is the sad fact; there is nothing in this vile, plagiarised dribble that could deserve such arrogance and reverence that its monomaniac followers demand from us. This codified doctrine of hatred picks on whatever primitive fears its monotheist predecessors left and invents a whole new level of masochistic, totalitarian theocracy in which it is impossible to know when you have broken a rule. Its totalitarian bounds have no limits to its sickening ambitions, like the previous two Abrahamic imaginations, it sets out with an unfortunate aim of not just controlling our actions but indeed our thoughts.

Koran is filled with contradictions, a Muslim must start every action with the verse, “In the name of Allah the most merciful” and yet this mountain of sadistic immorality contains verses like “If We had so willed, We could have given every soul its guidance, but now My Word is realised—I shall fill Hell with Jinn and men together” (32.32)

It builds on the fatalism of Christianity, championing this tyrannical doctrine of predestination leaving little or no room for free will. You ask a Muslim if he has a choice to think or act as he chooses and you invariably hear that, “No disaster occurs on earth or accident in yourself which was not already recorded in the book before we [Allah] created them” (57.22). This final word of all powerful, omnipotent and omnipresent god is nothing but mind-numbing self-glorification and revolting details of an eternal torment that awaits most of humanity.

For some time now, I have heard the apologists for Islam point to the fact that, unlike Judaism and Christianity, Islam missed out on the reformation that led to these faiths, nay an assault on human reason; change into a somewhat benign, humanistic artefact that could be readily marketed to the politically-correct masses. Maybe someday Islam will get its turn, just as the Arabs got theirs as a chosen nation, after centuries of coexistence with Hebrews within a region plagued with divine revelations.

I seriously doubt this. While I could put several reasons, none is more fundamental to my cynicism than the mere fact: unlike Jewish rabbis and Christian clergy , Muslim clerics don’t need to market a humanistic, new age version of Islam to their followers. In the impoverished, disease-ridden, lawless nations – that Islam has infested for so long –these clerics enjoy full capacity mosques and an unlimited flow of young innocent minds to pollute. To involve even the slightest bit of reason amidst all their hate-ridden spew, would lead to their congregation going home without their weekly fix of revulsion and condescension towards the rest of the world – which left this sorry reminiscence of Bronze Age behind a long time ago. This is the real reason why every time even a remotely secular view is aired; clerics go crazy and stir up their followers with more outrageous fatwa than before. It is the same reason why the Islamic world has been radicalising since the turn of the last century. Where once stood structures that epitomised scientific and literary inquiry, there are now boot camps for jihadists and madrassas for closeted homosexual imams preying on young defenceless kids.

Hence, that disgraceful theory “the clash of civilisations” has become yet another self-fulfilling prophecy. Crusades and Jihads unleashed upon us by the religious, to baptise Earth one more time. If we only cared to look around, even the short-sighted will observe yet another biblical flood is on the way, sadly though it’s the blood of the innocent rather than mythical waters that will drown our civilisation this time. Still worse, this is not the first time nor will it be the last. Religion does one thing better than anything else: it kills!


Ali Sayed was born in a conservative Muslim household in Pakistan. The need for education brought him to Australia. He now considers himself as being free from the tyranny of ‘made-up egocentric deities and deluded mammals posing as our saviours’. He is a co-founder and the current President of Progressive Atheists, an atheist organisation based in Melbourne struggling for secular ideals and social justice.

Last modified on Friday, 05 August 2011 23:08