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“Leaving Islam Isn’t A Picnic”

by Abdulrahman Aliyu (Nigeria)  

It's been a very rough journey for me, cause leaving Islam isn't a picnic, especially in a Muslim dominated society like northern Nigeria. One has to fight every teaching received from one’s parent, society and culture. 

Emotional and psychological trauma is how I spent two years of my teenage life. Sometimes I wondered if it was Allah testing or taunting me for a crime I committed unknowingly. Other times I imagined there might be a God, it just couldn't be this sadistic, cruel, bloodthirsty God, like the Allah of Islam. 

I left Islam when I was just 19. I started inching towards Christianity, but I never really subscribed to it because I came across what I call my “enlighten point” - a book written by Professor Richard Dawkins,The God Delusion.

I can sum the factors that led to my atheism as follows;

1. Having brought up in Islamic cleric's home, I was opportune to understand Islam; It is all about dominating the world, with its rigid laws, barbarism, and infringement of human's right activities. 

2. Having enrolled in western school, I became literate, and very addicted to books. I read a lot, because by nature I am a very curious person; this led me to be a free-thinking man. 

3. And lastly some degree of intelligence that I obviously possess. I don't think someone with less than average intelligence can summon the courage to denounce a given religion by his or her parent. 

Those three points transformed my line of reasoning from an ancient, barbaric, and dogmatic thinking view to a freer, scientific and a logical one. However, dumping Islam is very dangerous in a society like northern Nigeria, thus I am still an undercover atheist, for the fear of my life.