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Home > impact on women / resistance > Nort America: Coming Out, Normalizing Dissent

Nort America: Coming Out, Normalizing Dissent

VIDEO: Coming out publicly as both an ex-Ahmadi and an ex-Muslim.

Sunday 4 September 2022, by siawi3


Coming Out

May 4, 2019

by Reason on Faith

In the Spring of 2019, I came out publicly as both an ex-Ahmadi and an ex-Muslim. While I’ve been blogging and commenting for a couple of years on social media under an alias, I’m finally ready to have everyone put a face and a voice to Reason on Faith.

Coming Out

Coming out publicly helps to normalize dissent. It also helps you live a more authentic life.

This post is a companion to my Coming Out series of videos, which you’ll find embedded below.

The Videos

My original intention was to create a single, 10-minute “coming out” video, introducing myself as Reason on Faith. However, there’s so much ground to cover, that what had started out as a single video, has now become a video series with a signature Why I am Leaving Islam and Ahmadiyyat video.

No doubt, there will still be some noteworthy talking points that I will have missed in these videos. I hope to cover more angles and more issues as I open up the dialogue to live conversations with many of you.

My goal with this platform is to talk about philosophy and religion in the areas that interest me, and where I can provide value. Know that I intend to focus on what I deem to be important conversations. I will be ignoring any baiting by whataboutery practitioners—except perhaps when making an example of those who insist on egregious displays of tone-deafness. I do plan to continue to speak out about the religion with which I’m most familiar. Notwithstanding my own stated preferences on topics of focus, I do still reserve the right to have opinions on other topics for which I don’t claim the same degree of familiarity.

For example, I can and I do disagree with the truth claims of Hinduism and Christianity without needing to get into the weeds with their proponents on reincarnation or the doctrine of atonement.

I don’t need to engage with every heckler who believes that they have won and that I am defeated, simply because I have not stepped into the octagon with them over nuanced mediums like Twitter (that previous remark was sarcasm, if you didn’t catch it).

The first video in this series is longer than it should have needed to be. This is because there are some assumptions about decency that we would normally take for granted, but which we no longer can. As a friend once advised, “We live in dumb times.” It is unfortunate that when discussing religion, some basic disclaimers about human dignity and decency even have to be stated so explicitly. Some people mistakenly assume that if you’ve left a religion, then you must secretly harbor hatred in your heart for your former co-religionists.

Consequently, if you criticize an ideology today such as Islam, some of its most ardent proponents will come after you. They’ll suggest that you’re just a hater and a bigot. Not because there’s a shred of evidence in your statements to support such accusations. No. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Some zealous believers do choose to cast dispersions on their former co-religionists in order to discredit anyone who might place their favorite ideology under the microscope of credible critique. In fact, what’s actually at play here, is an innate human tendency to feel attacked when we naively link our identities to our inherited or professed religious ideologies.

I understand this defensiveness, even though I disagree with it. It’s rather predictable. This is why I express and underscore that we have a shared humanity. I emphasize that there’s an important role to be played by benevolence, compassion, and love—even when we disagree on the details. The bottom line is that we must make an effort to humanize others while we critique their ideas, because it matters that we dialogue without hate. It facilitates educating others and in being educated by others. We could all be wrong. All of us. We must of course, walk this path of knowledge with humility.

Nuance matters. Truth matters. We cannot shy away from talking about what is true, simply because a segment of our society feels comforted by centuries and layers of finely-tuned falsehoods.

To close, please remember that this series is only an introduction. It’s my coming out. If you’re looking for a full treatise on my beliefs, then you’ll find that instead, in my writings. See My Beliefs: A Treatise.

My coming out is also not the end of the dialogue. In the future, I do plan to engage in conversations with others to explore related themes, and to go deeper.

The journey has just begun.

Part 1: Why I am Leaving Islam and Ahmadiyyat

This is the first video in my Coming Out series. Beyond putting a real voice and a real face to Reason on Faith, my goal is to give you a broad strokes overview of my journey with respect to religion. In particular, Islam and Ahmadiyyat.

This video touches on how I started questioning Islam many years ago, and in more recent times, how the claims of Islam and the Qur’an have been challenged with increasing effectiveness. I suggest that it’s high time Muslims revisit the Qur’an. I suggest that this time, they do so with a healthy dose of skepticism, disengaging inherited bias in coming to the text and presupposing that it is both holy and divine.

Having been a devoutly religious Ahmadi Muslim once upon a time, there will always be parts of Islam that I find positive and noble. We can leave a religion—dismissing its theological truth claims—while still acknowledging and living those facets of the philosophy and practices which do continue to resonate with us.

In this video, I also introduce you to ex-Muslim support communities that you can join, such as EXMNA and Muslimish. Finally, I hint at what’s next for the post-religion world that we have an opportunity to create.

VIDEO here 2:36:02

This is my coming out message where I reveal my identity and try to touch upon my views and my goals. My emphasis is on believing what is true, and not merely what is convenient or useful. return to image

Part 2: My Religious Past & Questioning Islam

This is the second video in my Coming Out series. I cover many of the same themes as my first video, with an attempt to go deeper. I explain how I originally dealt with my doubts and even returned to Islam for a few years, having craved community. I was desperately attempting to numb my mind back into belief. Unbeknownst to me, I was following Blaise Pascal’s advice on using habit and ritual to manufacture belief where none was present.

I also explain that ex-Muslim is just a synonym for former Muslim. It does not mean anti-Muslim. The term ‘ex-Muslim’ is provocative, yes. It is so, however, for a very good reason: to help questioning Muslims know that people can and do leave Islam. While this shouldn’t need to be said, sadly, we’re not there yet. You can read more about the need for the ex-Muslim label in my treatise.

In this video, I go into more details about building bridges in discourse with Muslims. I also introduce you to more of the project I call Religion Minus the Bullshit.™

Finally, I close with a message addressing those Muslims—especially Ahmadi Muslims—who feel that they have been selected by Allah Himself, to perform an intervention on me. Do you know anyone who feels that they hath been anointed for such a holy mission? Sigh. Send them this video.

The second video

The second video goes a little deeper into my religious past, why I left, and an appreciation for where I’ve come from. I also provide a glimpse of my future plans with activism, which go beyond the critique of religion. reveal video

Part 3: Website Tour and Resources

This is the third video in my Coming Out series. Here, I take you on a tour through some key articles from my website, There’s a special focus on My Beliefs: A Treatise. That article provides a very detailed picture into how I approach matters related to religious belief, labels and co-existence. There are more details in my written treatise than any video could reasonably cover.

If you really want to understand my message, my thoughts, and my most powerful arguments for why Islam isn’t the ultimate truth, then you’ll also want to familiarize yourself with the other long-form articles from my website, notably, My Beliefs: A Treatise.

I close this third video with a tour of some external resources that you can explore if you’re questioning religion generally, or even just Islam and Ahmadiyyat specifically.

The third video

This third video is a tour of my website and key articles I’ve written. I also suggest resources you can explore if you’re new to questioning religion, Islam, or Ahmadiyyat. reveal video


This section is a companion to the videos in my Coming Out series. You’ll find a subset of this same information in the description box for each of the videos in the series, amalgamated here for your convenience.

For enhanced readability, I’ve also reformatted the information from how you’d see them in them in plaintext in the video description boxes.

The Coming Out Series

These are the videos the comprise this series. I have also embedded them above, so that you can play them inline.

Part 1: Why I am Leaving Islam and Ahmadiyyat
Part 2: My Religious Past and Questioning Islam: coming soon
Part 3: Website Tour and Resources: coming soon

My Articles

Here are the key articles referenced in my Coming Out series. There are of course, other articles on my formal blog in addition to those listed here.

My Beliefs: A Treatise:
The Postulates:
The Things We Think:
Lessons Learned on Community and Dissent:

On the Microblog

Muhammad Smashes the Idols and the Freedom of Religion along with It

My Book

My book is entitled, The Things We Think but are too Afraid to Say. It is described in my post, The Things We Think, where you also have the option to download it as a PDF.

Topical Video Playlists

I’ve created and from time to time, continue to build out topical playlists for subjects I find important to the dialogue, or which or often misunderstood by those who promote classical theism.

Scientific Inaccuracies in the Qur’an
The Islamic Concept of Hell
The Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA)

Verses Cited

Below are the links to the English translations of those verses of the Qur’an mentioned in my videos by chapter and verse identifier.

In each case, I include both a mainstream Muslim translation (using Sahih International), as well as the Ahmadi Muslim translation of the same, since I anticipate my audience is a mixture of mainstream Muslims and Ahmadi Muslims. Note that Ahmadi Muslim translations count Bismillah as the first verse, so they are typically numbered one verse higher than you’ll find in a Sunni or Shia translation of the Qur’an.

Qur’an 5:33

Mentions crucifixion for corruption in the land.

Sahih International translation
Ahmadi Muslim translation, numbered as 5:34

Qur’an 37:1-4

The verses cited by a passage in My Ordeal with the Qur’an as having no real meaning.

Sahih International translation
Ahmadi Muslim translation, numbered as 37:2-5

Qur’an 109:6

The famous verse indicating for you is your religion, and for me, is my religion.

Sahih International translation
Ahmadi Muslim translation, numbered as 109:7

Qur’an 11:77-83

The story of Prophet Lot, and how Allah rained down stones of layered hard clay on a town of people engaging in homosexual relations.

Sahih International translation
Ahmadi Muslim translation, numbered as 11:78-84

Qur’an 7:84

Repeats the story of a rain of stones being levied on the people of Lot for their preference of approaching men, instead of women, with desire.

Sahih International translation
Ahmadi Muslim translation, numbered as 7:85

Qur’an 4:34

The famous verse where Allah places men as guardians over women, and instructs men to beat their wives should the first two stages of escalation fail, when husbands fear disobedience from their wives.

Sahih International translation
Ahmadi Muslim translation, numbered as 4:35

Qur’an 27:17-18

The story of Solomon and the ants warning their fellow ants to head to their homes to avoid being crushed by Solomon’s soldiers who might accidentally crush them.

Sahih International translation
Ahmadi Muslim translation, numbered as 27:18-19

Qur’an 3:49

Recounts some miracles of Prophet Jesus, breathing life into a clay bird, giving life to the dead, sight to the leper, etc.

Sahih International translation
Ahmadi Muslim translation, numbered as 3:50

Three Issues from My Beliefs: A Treatise

These three counter-apologetic topics are covered in the section Exegesis: When it can mean anything, it means nothing.

The Ant-Men of Chapter 27 of the Qur’an
Miraculous Metaphor: Jesus in the Qur’an
Permission to Beat One’s Wife and Qur’an 4:34

Disputing Science in the Qur’an Claims

The topic of scientific miracles in the Qur’an had come up in this series. Here are the resources I alluded to in my videos, to get you started on this exploration.

Video: The Book of Signs: There are no scientific miracles in the Qur’an. This was produced by the Global Dawah Movement (GDM) which included famous Muslim preacher, Hamza Tzortzis.
Video: World famous embryologist PZ Myers proves the Quran is man made. This was produced by The Rationalizer, who makes videos critiquing the claims of the Qur’an. Here, he shows a clip of famous Muslim preachers arguing embryology in the Qur’an with embryologist PZ Meyers.
Video Playlist: Scientific Inaccuracies in the Qur’an. Each of these videos is brilliant in its own right. The video Muhammad’s Flat Earth, is especially devastating.

On Religious Indoctrination

Here’s a small sampling of content directly or indirectly referenced in my Coming Out series of videos.

Video: Why do you believe your religion is true? by the CEMB Forum.
Video: Grooming Minds by Theramin Trees.
Post: The Uncaused Cause, Prayer and Commitment Cycles by Reason on Faith. This is from my microblog of shorter, more informal posts.

Stoning to Death

Viewer discretion is advised. These videos are graphic and disturbing. Of course, that is the reason you should see them, if you support a God who sanctioned such cruelty—whether today, or even “just” in the past. Watch the two videos from Live Leak, if you don’t fully grasp the gravity of stoning a person to death.

Video: A woman in Afghanistan is stoned to death.
Video: A Somali woman in is stoned to death.
Video: A dramatization (7 min) from the movie based on a true story, the Stoning of Soraya M.

Following My Work

You can find my work on various social media platforms, as well as my website, housing my formal blog.
Formal Blog

The Reddit link is to a forum catered to ex-Muslim ex-Ahmadis, as well as those believing Ahmadi Muslims who are questioning both Islam and Ahmadiyyat. The forum’s name is Questioning Islam/Ahmadiyya.

I also have a secondary YouTube channel called Reason on Faith Clips, where I post interesting excerpts from other videos or short commentary of my own.
Support Communities

If you’re in North America, you’ve got some active organizations you can join to meet fellow non-believers in person. For the rest of the world, see Aisha Akbar’s excellent directory for other organizations you can reach out to.

EXMNA: This is The Ex-Muslims of North America. It’s strictly for people who’ve done their research and know that they have definitively, left Islam.
Muslimish: Accepts questioning Muslims in addition to ex-Muslims.
Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain:
Faith to Faithless: Co-founded by two ex-Muslims in Britain. Today, Faith to Faithless is a programme within Humanists UK, the national charity for the non-religious.
EMSNA: ExMuslim Support Network of Australia. This is a new and vocal ex-Muslim group down under.
World Directory:

The world directory is a blog post from Aisha Akbar’s Free Muslims blog. Do some research before you contact any small or obscure organization, to ensure it’s legit and not some trap trying to lure ex-Muslims.
Licensed Media

“I Don’t See the Branches, I See the Leaves” by Chris Zabriskie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license. Featured in segment 8.0, Support Communities.


Other music, sound effects, images, and video clips licensed from a combination of Deposit Photos and Envato Elements.

Deposit Photos Profile ID: 11833488
Envato Elements: Licensee: ’ReasonOnFaith’, Registered Project Name: ’Coming Out Part 1: Leaving Islam, Leaving Ahmadiyyat’