I am meant to be working rather than blogging right now (it’s getting addictive). But I just got this email, which of course I must share with you.

makahar@gmail.com on behalf of getmak@gmail.com writes:

I was just wondering how it feels that despite all your propaganda on Islam, tens of thousands of people (especially Christian women!!) convert to the faith every year??

I guess we can just sit back and relax whilst watching your labour bear no fruition, ahhhh 🙂

As I’ve said before in my speech on the Islamic Inquisition, Islam matters to us today because we are living through an Islamic inquisition and not because it is becoming more ‘popular’ as its proponents like to argue. They call it the fastest growing religion. I’d personally like a count of how many people are leaving it, or would like to leave if they could without being killed. I can’t begin to tell you the numbers of men and women, including wearing the hijab or burka, I have met who are closet atheists…

And by the way whoever you are, their leaving Islam in their multitudes (even if not publicly) has nothing to do with my labours (though I would be happy to take credit for it if you like).

It has everything to do with Islam and Islamism.

The sooner we get rid of Islamism, the sooner you will be able to save Islam from its rubble.



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  2. What I want to know is, what about that guy who denounced Islam and then was put through “re-education”, to make him denounce his unbelief? I’m certain “re-education” means mental torture so extreme that if one survives it, they become Muslim again, only this time, due to the mental torture, religious belief becomes extreme. Or at least, that is my concern about the mental torture they put people through to make them stay in Islam and if the mental torture does not convince them, they, like that man, face death. He had no choice but to say, “OK I believe. I’m sorry I said there is no god.” I forget who the man was, but it was fairly recent. I don’t know, I might have chose death, because that sounds more appealing than the abuse religion dishes out to people. Whatever the case, the man tried to leave by coming out of the closet as an atheist and some religious court forced him to recant his unbelief, which IMO is not fair to the individual. Xianity can be almost as bad, except we aren’t threatened with death, unless we recant, anymore.

  3. what is religion ? is that a religion when we beleif that there is someone up in the sky who is our saviour , who is more stronger than us, who can cure all the diseases , and will solve all our problem ? is this kind of beleif is a religion ?
    praying five times a day ,or on sunday , is that religion ? these buildings which we call churches or mosques , or these so called holy books , is that all this nonsense a religion ? please find out yourself what is religion what a religion actually is ?
    all beleif systems are dividing mankind , they are the cause of hate among us , leave these beleifs on a side then we will see we are all same and having same problems of living , we all have worries, anxiety , depression,miseries, relationship problems, uncertainity , insecurity , fear , we need to do lots of work for human being to have a happy life on this earth ,

    1. Many thanks! And sorry for cluttering up with duplication. Is it possible to remove the duplicates? Thanks if you can.

  4. I think it is time to come out as fully as I can. I have posted this in as many places as I could and I hope my friends will translate it into Bahasa Indonesia.

    I don’t know how much torture you have to undergo in Indonesian jails or police cells to make you want to recite the kalima again after you know how much bollocks it is. Let me say it loud and clear so everyone can hear it.




    I am writing this in capitals because I want to try to make sure that the Polisi Negara Indonesia can hear it. They can find me easily enough. You know my name, I do not hide it, and you know where I live. If my words do not constitute blasphemy then they are certainly intended to. I am deliberately breaking the law of the country in which I reside. I used to call myself a Muslim and I used to recite the kalima. I am proud to be an ex-Muslim, an apostate, an infidel and an enthusiastic blasphemer.

    I am ready to march to jail with my head held high. I will fight this stupid and unjust law until you break every bone in my body and snuff out my life. It is worth fighting. If because of human weakness I give under the pain of torture and beg to be let in again under the fold of Islam and theism then let me declare now, while I am at liberty, that it would only be because of unbearable pain and not my free will that I would accept such patent absurdity.

    I ask my Indonesian friends to kindly translate my words accurately and help me to publish them so that the authorities cannot ignore them.

    I also ask as many people as possible to show that they are not afraid and do the same thing. It is possible I may be deported rather than jailed. That is of no consequence even though this is my beloved home. I will fight for the freedom of the Indonesian people wherever I am and for as long as I live.

    If Alexander can no longer bear the struggle I salute him and declare that I am ready to take the baton from his hand. I will not be the last. We shall triumph. We shall triumph. We shall triumph. Freedom for all the oppressed people of the world!

    This is in response to the apparent news that Alexander Aan is getting ready to give up the struggle. Jakarta Globe: Alexander Aan to renounce atheism and embrace Islam – Police

  5. Uzoozy:

    Lady Namaze,

    -Who is this ‘Lady Namaze’? I suspect you’re referring to Maryam, but misspelling her name is disrespectful.

    Please stop your anti-Islam crusade you will only get money for it.

    -Why should she stop? The benefits to humanity {in continuing her work} are immense. To aid others in developing the critical thinking skills necessary to reject all religious claims is a goal worth fighting for.

    It will not lead you anywhere.

    -Perhaps nowhere you want to go, but it’s her life, not yours. She is free to choose whatever path she wants.

    In every religion people are leaving(like you) and joining.

    -I’m shocked. This is something we agree upon. Of course agreeing on something this obvious is no different than agreeing that fire is hot.

    Over 1000,000 British became muslims(mainly women) on their own now wear hijab and pray 5 times a day.

    -I am still waiting on you to cite any source for this 100K figure. While I’m sure there are many people that convert to Islam, it boggles my mind *why* any woman
    would want to convert to a religion that so actively oppresses them.

    You can say what you like but people will treat you as a false witness.

    -I’m sure Maryam is doing backflips now that you’ve given her permission to say what she wants. I’d say that all followers of Islam (and all other religions) are the ones that ‘bear false witness’.

    false witness – a person who deliberately gives false testimony; perjurer liar, prevaricator – a person who has lied or who lies repeatedly

    -given that there has never been anything supernatural in the history of the world, and that all gods have been invented by humans, any individual who perpetuates the idea that a deity exists ‘bears false witness’; i.e. they lie. To stop lying a believer must provide evidence that their deity is real. No such proof has ever been found.

    1. It is worse than that, Tony. The Muslim shahadat, which is recited in the Adhan and in every prayer, says, “I bear witness that there is no god except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” Both of those statements are so manifestly impossible that they go beyond a lie. A lie should at least be plausible. It creates an inherent culture of the most extreme sort of double-think and inbuilt dishonesty.

      That most ridiculous and contradictory of creeds, dreamed up by Constantine at Nicaea probably before he actually formally converted to Christianity, is a statement of belief – it doesn’t require each and every adherent to affirm that they are actually personal witnesses to the tosh it spouts.

      The Muslim creed does not state that the person reciting it believes it, or, having examined the arguments or evidence reckons that it is, on balance, probably true. No. It says that the person is a witness, damn it. It confuses the role of judge with that of witness. Muslims must recite the kalima. It is the essence of Islam. Once that falls, everything falls. To be a Muslim you must believe firmly in the shahadat. That is logically impossible. By definition, then, no one is or can be a Muslim. Everyone who claims to be one is a hypocrite. Islam is the exact and precise definition of double-think:

      The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them….To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

      George Orwell 1984

    1. Don’t worry, Mriana. Probably there will always be someone left, as there are still people that believe in a flat earth, but the tipping point will come and suddenly it will no longer be fashionable in the same way that Stalinism, the NSAPD and homophobia are no longer mainstream. I don’t know whether we will see it, but it will happen.

      1. I wish we could see that day, but like you, I don’t think we are going to see it. I think we are going to see it get worse before it gets better, but like Maryam, I would like to know how many are closeted atheists.

  6. Lady Namaze,
    Please stop your anti-Islam crusade you will only get money for it.
    It will not lead you anywhere.
    In every religion people are leaving(like you) and joining.
    Over 1000,000 British became muslims(mainly women) on their own now wear hijab and pray 5 times a day.
    Your story is like the fox that had his tail cut off in a trap after which he used to say that a fox looks better without the tail.
    You can say what you like but people will treat you as a false witness.
    Take care.

    1. False witness, eh? I haven’t seen that Muhammad is the messenger of God,I didn’t see God give him any message. I didn’t go searching through the universe to look for any other gods (which are, being gods, invisible and undetectable) except one of them called Allah. And yet Muslim say that they bear witness to these impossible to witness things several times a day.

      That’s one tale (sic. tail) I think we would all be better off without.

      1. He’s just a troll, Rafiq Mahmood. Ignore him, but hopefully any woman stupid enough to join Islam gets smart before she is killed.

        1. He raised an interesting point, though, so it’s worth answering. The Muslim kalima is the most bizarrely impossible of all declarations – and yet most people can’t, or don’t want to, see it.

          1. Well, they certainly can’t live life and see reality if they are too busy praying 5x’s a day, saying fictional things about some illiterate messenger, Hanuman could drop his mountain on him, at least my version of the story, and talking about the Wizard of Oz, who they call Ah-yah… er, yeah, whatever. Interesting, now that you mention it… Seems to me our troll is the one baring false witness. Thank you for “reminding” me Rafiq. 😉

    2. That would be 100,000 in the last ten years, and not all of them are particularly observant, though many are.

      And so what?

  7. The emailer makes much of “tens of thousands each year” (if that number is accurate) but what does it mean in a population of 7 billions?

    As for the reasons one converts to Islam: I’ve read that in rich Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia or the Emirates, migrant workers who are not Muslims are strongly encouraged, if not pressured, to convert. So their numbers are duly tabulated. But they usually don’t get much in the way of religion education and, once back in their country of origin, will often return quietly to their former religion, if they can.

    One more way by which Islamism and its thought police causes collateral damage even to the religion it pretends to defend: shallow conversions, tensions between communities, and a blurring of the lines between faith, culture and politics. What a mess.

    1. And, of course, there are “marriage conversions”. In Indonesia you cannot marry someone of a different religion. And people who do not have one of the six approved religions cannot officially exist, let alone marry. You can’t leave Islam (well you can, but the social and family cost is enormous) but leaving another religion is alright. If you are non-Muslim you have to have two marriage ceremonies, if you are Muslim, only one. There are, of course, a lot of ex-pats married to locals. And since the majority of locals are Muslim they all had to sign up to the Prophet and his side-kick, Allah. Especially before the bulge starts showing.

      1. I’m especially interested in the subject of marriage conversions- given that my brother is marrying a Muslim woman this summer.

        I find that it is hard to find good resources on what I should expect, both at the ceremony and after the fact. I have been reading the Qur’an in an effort to understand the religion better- and have been looking for online resources.

        My brothers fiancee is a progressive Muslim- but she is definitely a practicing one. I feel as though my ignorance of the process is driving my opinion of it.

        Any suggestions?

  8. (especially Christian women!!) convert to the faith every year??

    Well there are so few serial killers to marry these days.

  9. I doubt that this person’s comments are as true as they’d like for them to be but at the same time I don’t doubt there are people converting.

    Here’s the reason why: people who live their lives as dictated by a book created by a magical fairy-man in the sky tend to be easily swayed. They already believe that if they’re good they’ll go to a happy place in the clouds. Is it really such a rewarding thought that they believe the lies and propaganda they’re being fed?

    You can have ’em, Makahar, buddy. Take ’em. The sooner they realize the horrible mistake they’ve made the better. Let’s just hope they can convert back without having to worry about being murdered.

    1. Keep dreaming.
      1.5 billion muslims in the world.
      Islam is a great and real religion.
      Over 100000 persons converted to Islam in UK mostly women who wear the scarf and pray 5 times a day.
      God bless you in whatever you do. May the LORD guide you to the straight path

      1. Uzoozy:

        Keep dreaming.
        1.5 billion muslims in the world.

        -That means…what exactly? That number doesn’t mean much when children are indoctrinated into that vile religion from birth. If your religion were not dishonest, adherents would wait until an individual becomes an adult before attempting to brainwash them.

        Over 100000 persons converted to Islam in UK mostly women who wear the scarf and pray 5 times a day.

        -I’d ask for a citation from you on this, but I think the Mayan calendar apocalypse has a greater chance of happening.

        God bless you in whatever you do. May the LORD guide you to the straight path

        -no one needs a misogynistic, hateful, homophobic, child hating, genocidal, bi-polar, imaginary deity to bless them. That ‘blessing’ is something most could do without. As for guiding anyone, I’m sorry, but the path your religion follows is an abominable one that tramples on human rights.

      2. Yeah I’m not really sure what you mean by this either. I’m not doubting there is converting going on, merely the numbers and basis upon which they’re converting and how likely it is they’ll realize they’ve made the wrong choice.

        Did you read what I wrote??

        And, really? 10,000? You realize that number has no meaning when you don’t give a timeframe for it, right? For all I know that could be a number covering hundreds of years which makes it seem very lame indeed. Or, in the most likely case, it’s a random number that you pulled from your rear. Because we all know that lying, for you, is a sin unless it’s directed to someone like me.

  10. Sometimes, despairing of trying to do something like think my way through my multiple identities & who my in-groupings are, I might get off down the pub for a pint & a game of pool, happenstance play a frame against a pool-playing Catholic, then the next week be querying the nature of this big-banger he claims banged the bang in an amicable non-threatening environ. So that’s a vote for pool tables in more public spaces.

  11. #2, Milpa says:

    “Islam is similar to the Mormon religion when counting members. There are a lot of “Jack” Mormons who have left the religion but are still counted because they are not excommunicated. We need a good name for this type of [non-]Muslim.”

    First, to clarify, if they have indeed left the religion they de-facto are non-muslims, are they not? (in a strictly accounting sense)

    Or are you talking about identifiers to apply to some other ‘prisoners of conscience’-type categories?

    I s’pose Jack Muslims might work, but it doesn’t have any memetic force, even if it makes any sense. ( + I didn’t know the term jack-mormon anyway)

    What is a label to stick on Yasmin-Alibhi-Brown?
    ‘Culturally muslim’ perhaps? (although she self identifies as the [perhaps oxymoron] ‘wine-drinking Muslim’. (which might be considered a self-apostatize)

    I’m undecided about the usefulness of applying RD’s ‘cultural muslim’ term, or wanting it to stand, even though I’ve sometimes self-labelled as a cultural christian athiest.

    It seems to help maintain a ghettoizing force from without as well as the ‘apostacy’ force from within.

    So why do I arrive at some confliction there? something’s alright by me, but not for ‘them’..

    1. ‘Culturally muslim’ perhaps? (although she self identifies as the [perhaps oxymoron] ‘wine-drinking Muslim’. (which might be considered a self-apostatize)

      Merlot Muslims‘ perhaps?

    2. I think the idea is that if their names aren’t removed from the Big List of Muslims, however this might be arrived at, ex-believers are still counted among the faithful. Because they may not be able to publicly declare they are non-believers or converts to another faith, or are essentially disregarded when statistics are given.

      Being a union member, for example, is enough to get you imprisoned, tortured, and/or executed in Iran, because this is an attack on the state. Being among the apostate statistics is likely enough for you to end up as another kind f statistic.

  12. Unfortunately, I think the anonymous mailer is partly right. I’m constantly amazed by thr fact that even one Westerner could be converted to Islam. Case in point: one of the Ahmadi Muslims who debated Maryam. More depressing still:

    Melissa King

    As a convert to the Ahmadiyya Movement within Islam…


    I remember watching some years ago a documentary about Britih converts to Islam. One of them was a professional cellist. The interviewer, after noting the not-too-harmonious relationship between Islam and music, asked him what he’d do if his faith came into conflict with his playing; he pointed to his cello and responded: “Well, that would have to go, wouldn’t it?”

    To my mind, these people are mentally ill. They feel a need to submit, through real or imaginary faults. Embracing Islam is a kind of redemption: “I’m worthless, so I commend my soul to Allah the merciful”.

    Fucking wankers. They need a psychiatrist. Urgently.

    1. Your comments, piero, are not helpful.

      I was a convert to Ahmadiyya Islam as a teenager and remained for forty years. I am not now, nor I believe was I ever, a “fucking wanker”. I am well-educated and intelligent and I defy anyone to say that I am not. Indeed the Ahmadi presentation of Islam appeals directly to those of intelligence. It takes on its opponents in debate and shuns violence. The only Muslim Nobel laureate in the sciences, Abdus Salam, was an Ahmadi.

      As humans we are pre-eminently social animals. The social appeal of religion is its strongest (and, actually, only) point. Our social nature is something shared by all members of our species and not just “fucking wankers”. As a teenager living in London it was easy to find oneself drawn in by the flattery and apparent acceptance by a group whose whole raison d’être is to gain more members and cultivate thim in a world where no one else wants to listen to you or take you seriously. This was powerful stuff for someone of my age.

      The fact that Ahmadis seemed to value science (“studying the works of God”) and (absolutely vital for me at the time) accepted evolution and the scientific consensus about the age of the universe was reassuring and helped me to overcome my initial hesitations.

      There were, of course, inconsistencies which nagged away at me. Ahmadis are enamoured of Homoeopathy which always seemed silly and no more than elaborate placebo medicine. I remember having a heated discussion in Rabwah, the then headquarters of the movement in Pakistan, with the man who would become the fourth khalifa on the subject. We agreed to disagree. He loved telling me stories of his student days in London and how he enjoyed meeting and talking with other students in the pub. Interesting then, how vigorously the Ahmadi students now object to the Jesus and Mo cartoons and assume that the drink in front of those two characters must be beer when their own most beloved of recent leaders used to do just the same thing nursing a glass of Coke or dandelion and burdock.

      It was easy being a Muslim in the UK. It was like a social club. It was easy to get locked in, especially with family responsibilities. We all have a tendency to compartmentalise and gloss over inconsistencies when the social capital is apparently to us so important. It was only when, being freer of the need for such social support, and living in a Muslim majority country that it really comes home how pernicious and poisonous Islam and all religious doctrine is. But it took time. A very long time. The sudden awareness of the question bubbling up, “What if it is all made up?” in 2008 was extraordinarily shattering. Before 2008 I was the most senior of British converts in Ahmadiyya.

      I look back now with incredulity at why I stayed so long. I was not mentally ill, in the sense that I needed a psychiatrist. I am surrounded by normal people. Life here in Indonesia is, indeed, remarkably normal, except for one strange thing. I look at my colleagues and neighbours and wonder why ordinary people are taken in by it all. Most people have lived their lives accepting the weirdest possible myths generation after generation. I wonder why I was taken in by it all. It certainly is not because I was a “fucking wanker”.

      Of course Ahmadiyya glosses over, and actually lies about, stuff in the Qur’an and the Hadith which are inconsistent with the image it tries to portray of Islam being peace-loving and logical. It is faced with a constant dilemma of trying to present itself as being in solidarity with mainstream Islam to maintain its Islamic credentials by attacking such things as the delightful Mo cartoons and yet speaking out in favour of free speech, the murderous denial of which affects the Ahmadis most directly in Pakistan and Indonesia. It reminds me of John Calvin who demanded toleration and freedom of speech for his followers but did not hesitate to burn Michael Servetus at the stake for his anti-trinitarian views. One wonders how the Ahmadis with their highly authoritarian and centralised structure would behave if they were ever to gain temporal power (which they claim not to want).

      I do agree that religion is a poisonous mental pandemic. Attack the ridiculous doctrines by all means – and I do join in with as much enthusiasm as anyone. Even before my epiphanous “de-conversion” I was writing in favour of the Danish cartoons. But please do not attack the victims. Calling us “fucking wankers” is not going to help us think our way out of the madness that ensnared us.

        1. It seems that my reply to your question has been “frozen” “awaiting moderation” probably because of the number of links. Here is the raw text of my reply without the links in the hope that my original comment will eventually become unfrozen and visible including the links:

          Not as such. You can find some of my older stuff in A Long Night which includes letters to friends and the press and essays, for example a contemporary account of my “epiphany” from Islam here.

          My more recent stuff is in the discussion fora of The Clevelands Freethinkers and the Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio meetup groups.

          In the meantime you can, of course, just google my name and ignore all references to Pakistanis and shopkeepers (not for any other reason than that I am neither).

      1. Thank you for beautifully expressing this reminder of why we shouldn’t succumb to our in-group/out-group mentality and demonise all religious believers. I’m sick and tired of more-rational-than-thou atheists falling into the smug, self-righteous, irrational trap of crowing, “I’m so smart, religious people are so dumb, hur hur I’m special,” again and again and again.

      2. Social is another area religion hijacks. I forgot about that and as a teenage, that probably appealed to you. It obviously did not take over what you learned, education wise, like some religious sects do.

    2. Well, I think the Westerners who do convert to Islam, probably haven’t been very well educate in other religions and naively become Muslim. Women of any religion get the short of end of the stick on a lot of things, including education. However, I think there is a psychological component too, not just a lack of religious education. Given that religion stunts and/or hijacks various developmental stages, I would say if one is lacking in a developmental stage, religion could easily fulfill this so they don’t have to mature in that developmental stage. Maybe the person feels safer being told rules instead of developing their own morals, ideals, etc, thus religious authorities keep a parent/child relationship with members, esp new members and those who never think for themselves.

      1. I think I need to be clear on this and cite a couple sources concerning what I am referring too. The first pertains to leaving religion and it’s not just Xianity this happens with, but leaving Islam too, as Dr. Marlene Winell has mentioned. I know for a fact she has worked with a couple people who left Islam too.


        The second is a video on YouTube called “Why We Believe in Gods”, a lecture given by Andy Thomson. I would add the link to the video, but you I don’t want headaches with moderation, esp since I think this information concerning leaving a religion, esp the Abrahamic ones is important.

        There is a psychological component to religion, staying and leaving, but it has nothing to do with being “wacked”. Rather it is what religion does to people psychologically and the earlier the indoctrination, the harder it is for people to leave, because it does hijack various developmental stages and takes over one’s social life in order to keep people in the religion. It is part of the reason religious groups want to get people at such a young age. Gee, that does make it sound sort of like drugs, addiction, etc. In some respect, religion is the opiate of the people (John Locke, I think said that, but my memory can be faulty on who said what).

  13. As you know, Alexander Aan is awaiting trial for blasphemy in West Sumatra, Indonesia for daring to say that God doesn’t exist on the Ateis Minang facebook page. He was beaten up outside his offices and then taken into police custody “to protect him”. He faces up to five years in prison.

    It seems that he is being told that if he “becomes a Muslim again” the charges might be dropped. I suspect that they are casting around for excuses because Indonesia is finding itself being exposed to international criticism which it was not expecting.

    Please keep up the pressure.

      1. It seems that my reply to your question has been “frozen” “awaiting moderation” probably because of the number of links. Here is the raw text of my reply without the links in the hope that my original comment will eventually become unfrozen and visible including the links:

        Please see my earlier comment to Maryam’s post In Defence of Alex Aan.

        Please also help to spread awareness of his case by bringing it up at public conferences and discussions. It was, for example, mentioned at Sunday’s discussion of blasphemy laws by Atheist Ireland in Dublin and that has given a great deal of encouragement to atheists and secularists here in Indonesia trying to help Alex and also trying to fight the blasphemy laws.

  14. Organized religion is the same crap no matter what name it calls itself. The catholic church brags about high profile conversions like Tony Blair while ignoring millions leaving the church. Likewise islamists brag about individual conversions to Islam while ignoring the broader public opinion about Islam which remains negative despite all the political correctness concerning “islamophobia”.

    1. Good on all of you who are open minded enough to be truth seekers rather than brainwashed sheep. If it were peaceful, why so many extremists and clerics preaching hate? Praying for more people to see the truth….Bless you

  15. Islam is similar to the Mormon religion when counting members. There are a lot of “Jack” Mormons who have left the religion but are still counted because they are not excommunicated. We need a good name for this type of Muslim.

  16. The emailer, who doth protest too much, methinks, is trying to have it both ways: brag about the numbers of Islam while cooking the books by keeping people in Islam by force.

    When I hear the number of Muslims (or Christians, or Haredi Jews, for that matter), I try to remind myself not to accept it uncritically, because each group contans an unknown number of people who would like to leave but don’t have the option.

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