If you do not have the rights to question and criticize your Government or your Religion, then you are never truly free.
In this day and age, as our reach out in the world expands, the world itself is slowly shrinking as globalization, internet and bad taste in movies and music are bringing the young across the globe together and bridging the gaps of race, religion, nationality and language. It is impossible to live a completely isolated life without interacting with any person from a different race or religion or sexuality. Our generation has learnt to respect those who are different, to accept that does not need be changed and to agree to disagree amicably.
But this is possible only when we are ready to give up our hang ups of our beliefs. When we accept that the truth we know need not be the ‘absolute truth’. When we forgive those who don’t believe in our truth and respect their beliefs for what it is.
It is only possible when we give up the radical, fundamentalist ideologies of our faith in religion and nationalities.
While it might be hard for some to accept and respect people from different faiths having different beliefs. It is much harder to accept one from the same faith who has chosen to reject the fundamentalist ideals.
Sohail Ahmed is one such person who has chosen to rise above radical ideals of his religion and now raises his voice to fight against radical fundamentalism, islamophobia and homophobia. A very tough job considering that more often than not the very people he works hard to defend end up being the next person from whom he needs to defend again.
Sohail Ahmad was born into a practising and very devout Muslim family in East London. Both his parents are fundamental Salafi-Wahhabi Muslims. He describes himself as:
Former Radical Islamist, Gay, Activist, Agnostic Deist, Cultural Muslim.
He is an avid blogger, and very active on social media where he shares his thoughts and engages in conversations to bring about awareness on matters that are important. He was recently featured in PeterTatchellFoundation‘s on-going LGBT-Muslim Solidarity campaign where he tells the story of how he came out gay and rejected superstition and intolerance.
Following are some excerpts quoted from his post:
He speaks on the upbringing he was brought up in and the kind of beliefs he held
He himself held his faith close to heart and was once considered a learned man of his religion even at a very young age
The first time when he felt the need to question his beliefs was when he found out that he himself, despite being the poster boy for absolute piety, was ‘flawed’ by his sexuality.
His journey got worse before it could get better, and his doubts in his religion did not stem from from just his own despair but from a number of his own observations. This questions lead him to doubt his own faith and thus began the cycle of despair and self – doubt that would haunt him for a long time.
He slowly begins to open up his mind to the possibility that religion might not have all the answers. Read about his journey on his own blog here @ Sohailahmedorg.wordpress.com