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Letter


Dear Mom and Dad,

I live in fear of your discovering that I no longer believe what you taught me. I still perform all my duties, I offer the Fajr every morning faithfully, but only as a way to keep you from suspecting. I wish I had the courage to tell you the truth. And maybe one day I will. But what will you say then? Will you still love me? Or will you cast me out? I can't bear the thought of that. But I also can't bear the lie I am living. Whatever happens know that I love you. #inthecloset

Anonymous

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My son,

I have wanted to send you this letter every day. But I fear the consequences if anyone at home found out. I want to be cast out myself no more than I ever wanted to cast you out. I want you to know that even though they call you murtadd, I do not think of you as a murtadd. I think of you as my son, whom I love and whom I miss dearly.

Your father
Dear Daughter,

I know that you have struggled since we moved to this country; to remain faithful and strong to the choices you made to wear hijab. I know it has been nothing short of difficult to stand out so boldly in junior high and high school among the bare headed and bodied girls around you, especially during a time in your life when desperately you wanted to fit in. I have struggled, too. I watched as you cried every night because no one wanted to be friends with "a freak," and how you debated in your head whether or not you would continue to wear it, continue to be a Muslima.

My fear has always been that you would give up on Islam and all that you believe. I am so proud that you decided to search within your deen for the answers to your questions, rather than turning to outside sources who may not understand Islam and therefore judge it and us from a place of ignorance. Thank you, daughter, for showing me such courage and strength in facing your daily jihad (struggle) and embracing your beliefs. And thank you for trusting me with your doubts and talking with me throughout. I do not know that I could have been as brave as you were. But I am so grateful that you were. Because I saw the difficulty of your life as an American-raised Muslima and all the challenges that come with it. And I appreciate your daily jihad and you for sharing it with me and allowing me to advocate for you when your baba did not understand your doubts.

There is always hope. I will always love you.
Mama
Dear world,

I wish I could come out to you as an ex muslim. Announce it like it was my wedding and have you celebrate it like it was pride in a western world. But sadly, I cannot. Not yet. I have too many eyes on me and too many expectations holding me down as the good girl.

I so wish to not constantly think about my identity and how I could wear it without getting shunned for it. Thankfully, I live in a safer space where people may not kill me for my non religiosity but my parents, they're going to be so broken if they ever get to know.

But I can't help myself. I cant live a lie even if it means that it would keep the peace within family but I'm far too broken and hurt and I need to find my peace.

I wish I could scream my identity out and I will someday. But until then, I'll just keep whispering here and telling you, I'm an ex Muslim and I'm so glad I left my religion. You should celebrate with me.
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