I am an Iranian girl who was born and raised Muslim. My relationship with Islam was never strong because the answer to all my questions was "Because that's what God wants" or "Because you are a Muslim".
In Iran, they forced all of us to undergo religious training from a young age to make religion a core part of our identity. Islamic Rules was part of our curriculum in school, and we had to pray every day and read the Quran; the perfect word of God. We were told what is right and what is wrong and if we don't obey these rules, we'll go to hell. This brainwashing process continued till my college years, but as I grew older and my critical thinking developed, the accepted facts about the morality of the "Prophet's" claims and the miracles described in the Quran got harder to swallow. I started to read more about the history of my country that went from one of the greatest empires of the world to a troubled third world country in 21 century. I was wondering what could possibly have such a devastating effect in Iran's history? As I looked further a common chapter in the name of religion appeared where it was used to fool people and take advantage of them. In the name of Islam, they ripped one of the greatest empires of the world apart, denied science, burned books and silenced those who opposed this religion by stoning or beheading. I started to ask questions:
Why there are so many contradictions in this religion?
Why a woman can't divorce in the same way a man can?
Why Muhammad married a 9 years old girl? Isn't it rape?
If the Quran is the holy word of Allah(God), why would we need someone to clarify and update these words?
When someone like Salman Rushdie challenges these in-human beliefs in a storybook, why would they call him Murtadd (meaning someone who "turns his back" on Islam) and order Rushdie's execution?
Why in the name of Islam, they took our country's wealth and spent it on fighting Jews or Christians or spreading hatred?
Why all their values are relative?
Why does Shi’a call non-believers 'Najis'(ritually unclean)?
Why do they reduce the inheritance and legal rights of women, enforce specific ritualistic clothing (Hijab) and practices on women but make them either a choice or non-existent for men? Why banning women from marrying non-Muslims but extend that right to men?
What about human rights?