I was 8 years old, in 3rd grade at school, in Oslo. I had kind of a blasphemous father.
I was the cause of his questioning and the reason for his doubt. I was the reason he woke up screaming in horror from his sleep at night, with a howling cry of pain and embarrassment. Embarrassment of his prophet. "How could he?!" yelled my father, while nothing could comfort or soothe him. With the fear of social banishment, penalties for blasphemy and horror of hellfire, his painful cries continued. His shame over Muhammed was connected to the prophets marriage with the child Aisha, that I had shockingly learned and asked about. My 9th birthday My father continuously felt this horrible fear that he couldn't do anything to quell. So he would call me a "whore" and beat me up to ensure that I behaved like an hounorable muslim child. He knew that I wasn't a child in the eyes of other men. Muslim men. Their perfect role model would not have granted me my child-like innocence, so I had to be cleansed for any tendency that would attract a gaze. I was not to smile, talk, play or be visible enough to stick out. No attention was to fall upon me. My 9th birthday wasn't celebrated. There was no birthday party. No guests. No presents. No candles to blow out. No congratulations. My mom baked me a chocolate cake, as an attempt to save me from the complete despair and sadness that I was in. But she repeated several times to my father that this wasn't a birthday cake. Everyone else got to celebrate their birthdays. But the prophet spoiled my 9th birthday. I was too young to understand the demons my father was struggling with. I just wanted my birthday the way I was used to. I think that's maybe why birthdays are so important to me. Both mine and everyone else's. Sectarian interpretation When I was close to the age of 11, my father had been in doubt, confusion and almost faithless, for a couple of years. Quite often it was tough to be the reason for his poor mood. He had however settled himself within a sectarian interpretation of islam. One that didn't interpret the quran literally and rejected the hadiths completely. In these interpretations Aisha was 19 when the prophet married her and the marriage was not of a sexual nature. It was an adoption because Aisha needed a provider. Men and women were equals and the individual was at the center of importance. The meaning of life was to perfect the abilities that one already possessed. This was why my father could painlessly continue to be a muslim. My father's resistance towards Muhammed's involvement with children, what we call pedophilia, freed the family from the chains of wahhabism and sharia. Well not practically, but in the terms of understanding. In practice the inferiority of women was an integrated habit, considered to be modest and honourable. In addition we were surrounded by sunni-muslims. Relationships were to be favoured with those who at least identified themselves as muslims while rejecting the infidels.
Life was still a test to improve the quality of one's soul for the life after death. Solved his own problem Growing up, I believed my father's sectarian islam to be the real islam, while Sunni, Shia, wahhabi, Ahamdiya and others misunderstand islam. Every muslim sect believes that their islam is the real islam while all others are fake. This way, oppression of women and forced marriage has nothing to do with "islam". This sectarian islam was built on myths about misinterpretation whenever Allah differs from Jahwe. Another myth is that the Quran was completed as a holy book during Muhammed's life and that it is written in metaphors, and as poetry. And that finding the true message of the quran, is by emphasizing all the prophets rather than just the last one. This form of islam was beautiful, peaceful - and just as much a lie as all the others. A unique and perfect Quran doesn't exist. There are many Qurans. 26 different ones at this point in time. My father however did not question any further since his own problem was solved. The lies I was forced into marriage with a sunni muslim. My "sex-life" was discussed as the property of others. Even though my father's sectarian islam offered me equal rights, we were living among muslims who considered me a sex object. Sexual freedom was unacceptable for both the peaceful and pervert sects. I had to be married, for sexual actions are to commence under a lawful contract/license. To me, the fight against female oppression and forced marriage, was a fight with "false islam" and culture. It had nothing to do with "real islam". In this way I was far more confused than people who grow up in the bigger sects. I refused to acknowledged that my misery came from islam and that the messenger of "my islam" was a bandit, rapist, murderer, slave owner, racist and a warlord. I had to unlearn the doctrine of the "peaceful sectarian islam" in order to distance myself from the Islam that was the source of my troubles. I had to stop believing my father's lies about metaphors, poetry and uniqueness of the quran. I had to learn to trust my own judgement. I had to familiarise myself with Muhammed in the way which he is written, in the quran and hadiths. This was very hard. I had to quit the habit of pulling forth belief in a perfect, merciful, kind and just missionary. I had to stop twisting in opposition and listen to the simple literate translations. These translations that I had a habit of rejecting as misunderstandings and wrong interpretations. This was painful. Every revelation about the falsehood of my father's Islam, made me lose a little more of him. A rebellion against shariaislam was fine, but opposing all Islam was to burn down all bridges of affiliation to my roots. The pieces fell in place This also meant a rebellion against the Norwegians who considered themselves as a salvation army for the weak. But Islam was not weak. Islam was Muhammed. A self proclaimed prophet. A sociopath. One with a bottomless appetite for power I did not want to accept this. I could not make myself want to believe. My heart was unable to stand the grotesqueness and the brutality that I had to imagine. I wanted to censor away the blood on the swords, the screams of the victims and the innocence of the infidels. I tried to comfort myself into thinking that there must have been some sort of justification that is missing from the stories. Still, I had lost my father's peaceful Islam. The one that didn't protect me from forced marriage and rape, while I was still a child. And then I discovered Imran Firasat's film - The Innocent Prophet. All the verses from the quran and the hadiths with translations that I had memorised in school, had been depicted and visualised. Too obvious to be denied, explained away as misunderstandings or rejected. Muhammed's life. There it was, right in front of my eyes. Finally revealed. Finally seen. All the terrors my being refused to imagine, in details before my eyes. All the pieces fell into place. We must not ask questions. We must not draw. We must not see, because we will understand too much to obey. We must cover up women so we don't see their truth. We must cover up Allah so we don't see his lies. We must not see Muhammed because seeing is knowing. But now I had seen him, just the way he was, no longer protected, and I recognized him. "Death penalty for blasphemy and apostasy. Death penalty for seeing Muhammed. Death penalty for revealing the lie". But now I have seen you Muhammed. And now I will neither follow, protect or defend you. I am forever grateful to Imran Firasat for saving me from Islam. Jeanette / The vice leader of Ex-Muslims Of Norway