An Atheist living in a Muslim Society.
The Holy Land.
A Lonely Guy.
Hassan has been my roommate for almost 2 years in the university even though I am a practicing Muslim but I have quiet liberal views towards other people, for the 1st year of being his friend I had no idea he was skeptical of religion and I don't blame him because even the slight allegation of a person rejecting Islam is enough to show him the way towards his grave, unlike other Muslim countries, Pakistan's constitution doesn't give a death sentence to an atheist but it does have a strong punishment for Blasphemy which for many is the same if a Muslim goes away from his religion so there isn't much of a free speech when it comes towards an atheist.
Countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia officially consider Atheist as terrorists but a recent survey of Gallup has shown about 5% youth of Saudi Arabia recognize themselves as atheist, even though nobody is going to come out under the bed because everyone wants their head on the shoulder but the growing number of atheist in the holy land is a fact that the government can’t keep them out of the mainstream for long, with the growing internet availability to every person no matter which status and giving them a hidden voice on the web makes them more open minded which slowly drives them away from harsh rules and at the end completely abandoning their forefathers religion.
Coming back to Pakistan some metropolitan cities where generally people are more liberal but when a person starts to question religious beliefs they view them with a harsh eye and less importance, even their relatives start to think he is driving insane, so a wise man would keep his mouth shut in order to live among the same society.
You have to do the daily rituals which are mostly related to religion like Muslim pray in the middle of the day on Friday even though its mandatory for them to pray five times daily but very few how obey that command but the Friday prayers is a must and it’s a very strong myth if you didn't pray 3 times straight on Friday your heart will turn black and the guidance of Lord will never be upon you. Another ritual is for a complete month and it is Ramadan (The Holy Month), in Ramadan you have to fast for the whole month daily from dawn to dusk you can't drink or eat anything. In Pakistan it’s a crime to eat openly you could be imprisoned for 3 months and you have to pay a heavy fine as well.
So basically you have to live a hypocritical life when it comes to an atheist it’s not like in the west where you tell your parents that u=you have lost faith and they will be okay about it. Muslim parents aren't so open minded when it comes to religion even the people who are liberal enough to accept this will come under the wrath of the society so basically they have to disconnect with you in order to live peacefully in the society.
You have literally few people to open up about your faith which could be infuriating on some occasions in the upcoming article I would be discussing how a university student was lynched for just being a liberal in Pakistan by his own university fellows, Yes its wasn't some ISIS but university students, let that sink in for a while.
© 2019 Haider Ali Khan