Rejecting Islam – The trauma of apostasy in Muslim communities – Phil Zuckerman

Walking away from religion is seldom easy. It can be psychologically difficult to lose one’s faith in God, emotionally painful to doubt the existence of life after death, and existentially trying to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing supernatural out there: no magical realms, no paranormal powers, no divine beings. Just us, this planet, the universe, and the unavoidably mind-blowing mystery of it all.

However, when it comes to apostasy—the rejection of one’s religion—the personal loss of faith is actually often the least of one’s struggles. Much more worrying, awkward, and potentially damaging is the toll apostasy takes on one’s relationships with others. People who reject their religion often face strained relations—or worse— with spouses, parents, siblings, children, and friends. And this problem is particularly strong among contemporary Muslim communities (link is external).

In his latest book, The Apostates: When Muslims Leave Islam (link is external), British scholar Simon Cottee details the lived experiences of men and women who were active, believing Muslims but who then—for various reasons—came to lose their faith and reject their Islamic identity. Never mind the cognitive processes involved in their loss of faith, their criticisms of the Qu’ran, their criticsms of Muhammed, or the various reaons and factors which caused them to see Islam as untrue—the most dramatic aspects of their journeys out of Islam often involved the hostile reactions of family and friends.

Read more at https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-secular-life/201507/rejecting-islam

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