Calling All Closeted Ex-Muslims Forced to Fast During Ramadan

by Kiran Opal, editor of ExMuslimBlogs.com

Are you someone who’s been fasting, pretending to fast, or forced to lie about fasting to your Muslim family and friends? Are you under pressure to stay hungry and thirsty for several hours in the hottest part of the year? Are you someone who doesn’t believe in Islam anymore, but has to remain ‘in the closet’ about it?

If so, I want to hear from you.

I am working on an idea for a blog article to be posted soon for Ramadan on ExMuslimBlogs.com.

Similar to the International Women’s Day post from a few months ago, this one requires participation from as many Exmuslims as possible. I’ve compiled a few questions down below, and if you are a closeted Exmuslim, I’d love to hear your responses to them.

This article will be about the things that closeted Exmuslims go through during Ramadan.

Whether you are fasting because your family keeps a harsh eye on your every move, or you have to sneak around, lie and hide food/water and pretend to fast, this is your chance to finally SPEAK UP.

Before *** July 16 *** , please answer one or more of the following questions. Include as much detail as you can about the ways that you are forced to go hungry and thirsty or forced to lie.

You DO NOT have to and should not give details that are identifying about you. Instead, talk about the mental, emotional and physical toll that being a closeted Exmuslim in Ramadan takes.

I will go over each entry to ensure that your privacy and anonymity is preserved.

The point of this is to show that there are Exmuslims who are currently being subjected to pressure to fast or pretend to fast. Many Muslims will outright dismiss that closeted Exmuslims exist at all. I want to document your voices to show that you do exist and to highlight some of what you go through, especially during Ramadan.

Email me your answers to editor@exmuslimblogs.com

Here are the questions (you can also write an independent piece on your own that discusses your experience in Ramadan as an Exmuslim):

1: What is the atmosphere at home during Ramadan, and what are the expectations that your family and Muslim community members have of you during this month?

2: Are you under pressure to ‘fast’ during Ramadan and if so, how is this pressure put upon you? (What is said to you, what are the things that make you aware that you are supposed to fast?)

3: Who puts the pressure on you? Is there anyone in your immediate family, or in the Muslim community who supports you?

4: How do you cope with being pressured or expected to fast? If you have to pretend-fast, lie, hide food etc., how does that make you feel?

5: How long has this pressure been on you, and how long do you think this pressure will continue to be on you? Do you do anything differently from year to year to cope with the Ramadan pressure?

6: What do you wish your family, relatives and Muslim community members understood and accepted, especially pertaining to Ramadan?

You responses can be as long as you want. You could write a few sentences for one question, and a longer piece for another question, if you’d like. Ideally, it would be nice to have each Ex-Muslim write 150 words or more for each question. But it’s a flexible guideline. If someone wants to write more, please do! If someone wants to just write a few things, please do!

Send in your responses before July 16 to editor@exmuslimblogs.com.

© 2014 Ex-Muslims of North America