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?
The only answer was the religion is a tool in the hands of the government to advance their goals, and wherever needed, in the name of the Fatwa, they changed the rules in their favor, and behind this hypocrite congregation, you can see millions of human beings stuck in the superstition which did not know anything but to follow the clergy.
When I started to ask these questions, people threatened me that I'll burn in Hell. They told me I should never question God or his messenger (Muhammad).
Islam even ruined my marriage, my husband and his family were so strict about Islamic rules like Hijab. He didn't let me get a passport so I can't travel outside of Iran without his permission. I couldn't stand this injustice, so we got separated.
Everything changed for me when one of my friends introduced me to Deism and introduced me to their group. I started to attend their meetings, and I was no longer afraid to ask my questions, and these people answered my questions patiently. I felt like I'm not alone anymore and I can speak my mind without being called a Murtadd. A few months after, I made up my mind and secretly converted from Islam to Deism.
As you probably know, converting from Islam to any other religion or ideology is considered to be an unforgivable sin in Islam, so we were all trying to keep our group and our meetings secret and to be cautious about how we were trying to tell people around us about Deism. Unfortunately, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps(Sepah) found out about our group and struck/raided one of our gatherings, that I was luckily late to, and detained all of my friends. I know that they will come after all members of the group, so I managed to escape the country and came to Canada.
The last couple of months has been really tough for me especially when I found out they Interrogated and threatened my family and imprisoned my friends and forced them to repent and confess that they've been deceived to Deism.
Almost a month ago I decided to continue the work of our group and decided to start a website ( https://iranian-deist.com/ ) and translate books and articles to Farsi to provide a source to Deism for the people of Iran that cannot use the English version of them. (Unfortunately her site irnaina-deist.com is currently offline. I hope she is safe. The editor)