If you’re not a Muslim and you follow this blog, you’re in luck- I’m done pushing that propaganda as the path to enlightenment. The story is long, and I’m not interested in explaining my personal reasons, nor am I interested in demonizing Islam, but I will offer up these 100 reasons how my life will improve without it.
Just a P.S. here, Christian camps can hold their applause because I wasn’t raised in a Christian household, and while I remain a monotheist, I’m not joining any organized religion anytime soon. Muslims of all walks can still do as they please with my support and without my judgement, though it is definitely not what I am experiencing from other Muslims in light of my recent choice (understandably- point out a religion that doesn’t condemn you to hell for leaving….).
So without further adieu, here are 100 reasons my life will change for the better (Fox News, rejoice):
1. I can take out the trash without putting on an entire other outfit.
2. I can check the mail without putting on an entire outfit.
3. I can load things into the car for charity or a trip without putting on an entire outfit. And sweating my nuts off. (noticing a theme here?)
4. I can answer the door when someone knocks on it, not 5min later after putting on an entire outfit. (Fed Ex guy- take note)
5. I don’t have to pre-cool the car to go somewhere because I’m dressed inappropriately for the weather. (The REAL Saudi oil deal, if you catch my drift)
6. I can shop for clothes for my daughter and I in a regular store instead of the internet or relying on what people drag to America from the East.
7. I can paint my nails. (Can we all just pause for a moment and declare henna for the tacky orange fingernails that it is?)
8. I can style AND DYE my hair. And someone other than my kids will appreciate it.
9. I can date (re: I can justifiably and without permission or shame leave my EXTREMELY ABUSIVE MISOGYNIST RELATIONSHIP)
10. I can visit my family on holidays and exchange gifts.
11. I can have holidays (of my choosing) with family and friends, instead of alone and without so much as an “Eid Mubarak” from the racist Somali, Arab, and Pakistani communities that have perpetually ostracized me for over a decade. Reverse racism- it exists.
12. I can sleep through the night instead of getting up at 4am to worship God, who evidently takes attendance 5 times a day.
13. I can wear earrings.
14. I can get a tattoo or more piercings.
15. I don’t have to memorize things in a second language.
16. I can wear high heels. (Despite popular belief, being sexy or attractive is NOT a crime. But being a pervert is.)
17. I can kill spiders without giving them a 3 day eviction notice.
18. I can say no to sex simply because I don’t want it. (There is a LOT about sex in Islamic documents, which imo is kind of sorted if you ask me…)
19. I can choose never to marry.
20. I can choose not to have more children.
21. I can justifiably take antidepressants if I feel I need them (without criticism even).
22. I can listen to music. Even terrible music.
23. I can MAKE music. (22yrs of violin weren’t for not!)
24. I can hang pictures of my children in my house.
25. I can draw figures. Shit, I could draw NUDE figures ;)
26. I could be in a performance.
27. My daughter can take dance or gymnastics or swim lessons.
28. I can wear a bathing suit to the beach.
29. I can go camping or hiking with ease.
30. I don’t have to be hot in 70 degree weather. (Hijab IS the ideal accessory, but…. It’s a pain in the ass.)
31. I can be friends with Jews and Christians. Contrary to what the Qur’an says, they’re not actually out to get us. They just want us to stop being jerks.
32. I could choose not to breastfeed. I wouldn’t. But I could.
33. I could take a trip alone.
34. I can wear short sleeve, shorts, skirts, jeans, or tank tops out of my house and *maybe*…just *MAYBE* give a toss what latest fashion is.
35. I can leave my shades and curtains open on a sunny day without wearing extra clothing to cover in case someone looks in.
36. I can ride a bike in jeans. Skinny jeans.
37. I can drive down the coast with the wind in my hair.
38. I don’t ever have to kill an animal as long as I live.
39. I could take a mortgage. (if I had a credit score)
40. I could get a credit card. (if I were that stupid)
41. I can watch a sexy movie. (I *might* have already watched the entire Twilight series….)
42. I can have just one wardrobe. Or like. 4 instead of 8. Definitely less dirty laundry.
43. I could go for a cocktail.
44. I could soak in a hot tub.
45. I don’t have to spend my life savings on a trip to the mid-east- instead I could buy a tiny house.
46. I can garden in the heat of the day in weather appropriate clothing.
47. I can put a regular profile picture on Facebook.
48. I can put pictures of me in my house uncovered online.
49. I could carve pumpkins with my kids.
50. I can shop at Victoria Secret without getting stared at.
51. I can go places and quite possibly never get discriminated against again.
52. I will probably stop getting so much hate mail.
53. I don’t ever have to be in a chauvinist relationship again. I live in American, so it’s unlikely, but a girl can dream.
54. I don’t have to put up with my neighbor’s bullshit anymore simply because we’re Muslim. Seriously. Clean up your yard.
55. I can swear. Openly. A lot. (notice I’ve mastered this technique prematurely….)
56. I can admit that other spiritual ideas are thought provoking and maybe even right.
57. I can follow cultural traditions that might have spiritual roots, like celebrating my birthday.
58. I can buy regular marshmallows, candy, fruit snacks, and vanilla extract at the store.
59. I can openly support homosexuality and marriage equality. And I do.
60. I don’t have to participate in gender roles or gender grooming. And I don’t.
61. I can read my horoscope.
62. I can believe that my pets will go to heaven when they die.
63. I can openly admit that the Palestinian conflict is wrong on both sides. Because murder is wrong.
64. I can condemn slavery. AND THE HOLOCAUST.
65. I can condemn marriage before adulthood.
66. I don’t have to make my 12yo do anything. Including praying at the aforementioned 4am and wearing weather inappropriate clothing in 90 degrees. (we’re 10 days in and she’s already banished that nonsense to a tote in the basement)
67. I don’t have to have spend my only 2 holidays driving across town early in the morning to sit at a prayer service alone, that’s in a language I don’t understand
68. People will no longer constantly tell me “You don’t know anything about x” based on a million different manuscripts defining how to live.
69. When someone asks me where my son’s father is, I can officially tell them to FUCK OFF because it’s none of their business.
70. I don’t have to explain why my kids are two different colors. Seriously, why do these people care so much about who I slept with?
71. I don’t have to have a third person ordaining who I can be in a relationship with- I can make my own decision.
72. I can tell people they’re wrong for eating meat because meat is murder and murder is wrong.
73. I can do yoga and call it spiritual practice.
74. I can get a pet and get it fixed. Which is the responsible thing to do, ask Bob Barker.
75. I can spend my money without asking for anyone’s permission.
76. I don’t have to wash my body with dust or water five times a day.
77. I can cut my hair in layers.
78. I can stop explaining jihad and 911. (pst- they were assholes, end of story)
79. I could be a spiritual leader, even though I’m a woman.
80. I can wear perfume outside of the house.
81. I can interpret my dreams.
82. I don’t have to teach my kids the entire daunting ideology of Islam or how to pray and memorize Qur’an in two languages.
83. I can go dancing.
84. I can stop shaving my armpit hairs if I want to.
85. I can be the only person in a decision to take birth control or not.
86. If I ever decide to eat meat again, I could go out to eat or buy my meat at the regular grocery store.
87. I can be ok with my culture as an American, wearing American clothes, speaking English, and eating American foods.
88. I can make friends that have the same lifestyle habits as I do (which are not common in the Islamic community, because if you think the world is going to shit, there’s really no sense in trying to save it).
89. I can give in charity simply because I want to, not because I have to.
90. I could have a pet pig. Or snake. Or giant spider.
91. I can wear makeup without having to wash it off.
92. I don’t have to buy any more Islamic curriculum that my kids cannot follow.
93. I can drink kombucha without speculation.
94. I can accept that I was just born hypoglycemic and I don’t have to “compensate” for not being able to go 19hrs without eating.
95. I can be an organ donor.
96. No more random TSA searches.
97. My spirituality will be personal and not evident by my clothing.
98. I don’t have to think eating on the floor with my hands is a better idea than eating at a table with silverware.
99. I could have a pet dog. And let it sleep in the bed.
100. I can focus my time and energy on perpetuating good and peace in the world instead of being afraid of going to hell.
SO if you’re in shock or disbelief that those things are actual principles of Islam or things that happen to me as a Muslim, I urge you to research it.
And the Muslims are screaming “BUT THESE ARE ALL THINGS FOR THIS LIFE (dunya), THINK ABOUT YOUR NEXT LIFE!”
Um, well, I am. And frankly, the pieces are just no longer fitting together anymore AND I have to actually survive THIS life first. Hello, I’m not currently surviving this. And also, this is true to Islam- this is solid, supported evidence, and you know it. Many things that are abhorrent are permitted in Islam and they’re always justified with “ah, but that doesn’t happen NOW.” But there’s also a convenient argument that is used to explain archaic enforced practices, which is, “Islam is timeless and all Islamic principles are for all times,” but whether or not it’s practiced, it’s STILL PERMITTED (re: How come men can marry 4 women but women cannot even marry outside of Islam? Because…misogyny. I’m supposed to believe in misogyny). No, I cannot explain all the miracles in Islam, nor can I explain them away with any other religion. The best I have to offer is that THESE things are not the truth. They’re not MY truth. They make me feel like crap. And THAT is not how you get closer to God.
My father’s entire family rejected and abandoned me because of my faith as a Muslim, and I’ve lost many many friends for the same reason. Now I am losing even more friends because I am leaving Islam. But I will never take my old friends and family back, because all of those people who turned their back on me are extremely judgmental and will not enrich my life. Islam is a losing battle. We were born imperfect and are supposed to strive for perfection, but if we sin, we are wrong, and are supposed to make perpetual repentance. Imagine what that does to a person’s self-esteem. But what if imperfection is the dance of life? What if we just try really hard to do good and survive in this world and THAT’S GOOD ENOUGH?
What if I’m good enough?
In closing, I’ll say this: If something is making you perpetually unhappy, or someone or something is constantly telling you that you’re not good enough or that you can’t be yourself (not hurting others), it’s time to reconsider. And it doesn’t matter what is at stake, or what other people think, because in the BIG PICTURE, your happiness DOES matter. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you cannot find happiness in something that you desperately want to make you happy, or make sense of something that is SUPPOSED to make sense- what matters is that you sleep at night. We don’t have to have all the answers, but we do have to listen to our hearts and put into our hands what we belief is right and good.
Thank you all for reading- COMMENCE WITH THE APARTMENTSTEADING!!!!!!