Here we talk with the Administrator of “Ex-Muslim Memes” about ex-Muslims, memes in a colloquial sense, and online community building.
*Preamble: “I’ll try to keep this as short as possible… and I speak for myself, I don’t know how things are for other ex-Muslims and their community…”*
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: In terms of the ex-Muslim community, what do they tend to find funny or amusing about Islam after leaving it?
Administrator, “Ex-Muslim Memes”: It’s funny how my friends and family value my opinion when buying a new car, computer, mobile phone or when it comes to carrier and other problems, but suddenly my opinion does not matter when it comes to religion. They say that I should be a scholar before my opinion starts counting.
Jacobsen: How does this sensibility differ with the types of Islam that some ex-Muslims may be coming from?
Administrator, “Ex-Muslim Memes”: There are two types of Islam. One that allows rational thinking and forces us to form our own opinion about God, Quran, existence, and heaven and hell: we can not come to the conclusion that these do not exist in any way.
Another one is that does not allow any rational thinking and we must accept God, heaven, hell, reward, punishment, etc. Any doubts that arrive in our mind is the work of Satan.
Ex-Muslims coming from any of these backgrounds have one thing in common that they like to think and rationally assess all the religious matters.
However, most often the former does not hold it against Islam that it stopped us from thinking, but the latter blame it on religion for stopping us thinking.
Jacobsen: Why was “Ex-Muslim Memes” founded in the first place?
Administrator, “Ex-Muslim Memes”: It was founded for entertainment purposes. Also, the fact that most of the Islamic teachings are spread by meme; not on the internet but in real life.
We should have our own way of presenting our views and have our own culture. For example; most Muslims don’t need to say anything against gays.
They just refer to the story of prophet LOT, if a husband follows the wishes of a wife or they like to make major decisions together; other people will spread the word that he is being “رن مرید” “follower of women.”
It is alarming because Allah has made men in charge/leaders and women the follower, and so on.
Jacobsen: How has this page grown over time?
Administrator, “Ex-Muslim Memes”: It has grown slowly. Because I could not ask for help from my friends and family.
My identity as a creator of this page is unknown to anyone I know. So, it’s mostly people who liked our posts shared the content and it’s growing because of that.
Jacobsen: What has been the feedback from the online Muslims about the page?
Administrator, “Ex-Muslim Memes”: The feedback of online ex-Muslims. Usually, ex-Muslims from my country do not interact with the page or the post because by interacting they may reveal their identity.
Although, in my country, leaving religion is not a capital crime, but sharing/speaking something against religion, prophet, religious figure, or Quran can be considered as blasphemy, which is a capital crime and can be punished as life imprisonment or death.
Jacobsen: Any recommended pages, writers, thinkers, or books on leaving Islam?
Administrator, “Ex-Muslim Memes”: “Pakistani freethinkers” is a good group to join on Facebook groups. Usually, posters use an alias to protect their identity, but their content is good quality. Also, “Satanic Verses” by Salman Rushdie is a great book.
Jacobsen: How can others becoming involved in supporting the ex-Muslim community?
Administrator, “Ex-Muslim Memes”: It depends on which ex-Muslim community you are talking about. Ex-Muslims in Islamic countries cannot reveal their identity, or leave fundamentalist Islam. As long as you believe in Allah and the Quran to be the word of Allah, nothing will happen.
In some Muslims countries, we can get persecuted for revealing that we have left Islam or think Islam is not the religion of God. In some Islamic countries, you can leave Islam without any consequences, but being vocal against Islam can get you in trouble.
Jacobsen: Any final feelings or thoughts in conclusion based on the conversation today?
Administrator, “Ex-Muslim Memes”: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to express my feelings and opinion.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-books, free or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.
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Other Resources: Recovering From Religion.