I became an ex-Muslim at the age of 25, although the process started when I was 10.
I grew up in Medina, the city of Mohammed, birth place of Islam. It is illegal for people of other faiths to enter the city, so I had never encountered a "non-Muslim".
I had always wondered why there were other religions, and why we were kept so segregated from people of other faiths.
It got me thinking. Did I want other human beings to go to hell just because they were not Muslims?
Of course not. So, a part of me started thinking that God was unjust for punishing "non-Muslims" forever since it's not their fault if they were born that way. Then I started wondering: Why would I go to heaven?
According to Islam, the answer is that I was lucky enough to be born a Muslim, but I then realised that all other religions must also see it the same way. They can´t all be right as there are too many contradictions. So either one religion is right and all the others are wrong, or no one is right. For Muslims at least, Islam is right and all other religions are wrong.
I couldn't persuade myself to believe in Jinns (Demons) and Angels, flying up into the heavens. I had a hard time believing in miracles in general. Maybe this was due to my limited rights as a woman? In Islam a woman’s status is equal to that of a dog, donkey or even pus.
"Your prayer will be invalid if a dog, donkey or a woman passes in front of you.." Sahih Muslim Book 4;1038
"Women are deficient in intellect and religion".Sahih al-Bukhari 6;9
"Men are superior to women, and a man is better than a woman." Quran, 4;34
If a husbands body is covered with pus and his wife licks it clean, she still wouldn’t have paid her dues. Imaam Ahmad, 12153; Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7725
Why does god seem to have an aversion to women, and why does he neglect their rights?
Is Allah really the creator, or is it simply the fruit of a (mediocre) poet's imagination inspired by the dry, colourless and lifeless desert ? Perhaps if Mohammed had been surrounded by beautiful rivers and forests the outcome would have been different?
One day, I went on Twitter to see if anyone else had the same questions as I did. Anyone like me. As it turned out I couldn't share my doubts about Islam with anybody. I didn´t even think I could trust one percent of the population of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, not my friends, or even my own family! I then used Twitter anonymously, and it was there I found a group of people voicing similar concerns to mine, so I contacted them right away. That was the first time I heard someone say anything negative about Islam. I was in shock. It was also the first time I heard the word 'atheism'.
I spent the next couple of months watching Richard Dawkins and other prominent atheists make their case, and I tried to see if I could defend my beliefs against their arguments. I came across several anti-Islam arguments that made valid points, although initially I chose to ignore them because I was trying so hard to not become an atheist.
Later, I downloaded The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins from an online friend, and I realised that I didn´t believe in God, and that Islam was no longer part of how I identified myself as a human.
It wasn't until September 2014 that I found an opportunity to run away from Saudi Arabia, from the injustice, to finally be able to exercise my freedom of speech. That's when I really started to openly voice my opinions about Islam.
Now I am just one among millions of other agnostic-atheists who want nothing else but to carry on with life and stand up for the right of other people to a life without dogmatism and the complications created by religion.