Phil Zukerman, Psychology Today, July 6, 2015: Rejecting Islam: The trauma of apostasy in Muslim communities
Dr. Zuckerman's article is of interest for those that try to understand the absolute hold that religion, in this case Islam, holds over people, and how difficult it is to leave the religion.
""Walking away from religion is seldom easy. It can be psychologically difficult to lose one’s faith in God, emotionally painful to doubt the existence of life after death, and existentially trying to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing supernatural out there: no magical realms, no paranormal powers, no divine beings. Just us, this planet, the universe, and the unavoidably mind-blowing mystery of it all.
"However, when it comes to apostasy—the rejection of one’s religion—the personal loss of faith is actually often the least of one’s struggles. Much more worrying, awkward, and potentially damaging is the toll apostasy takes on one’s relationships with others. People who reject their religion often face strained relations—or worse— with spouses, parents, siblings, children, and friends. And this problem is particularly strong among contemporary Muslim communities."
The article is based on his book, The Apostates: When Muslims Leave Islam, and while its focus is on Islam (or a perhaps more accurately, a certain fundamentalist form of Islam), he also cites Hasidic Judaism, fundamentalist Mormonism, fundamentalist Christians, and stalwart Scientologists as examples of religious denominations that also make it extremely difficult for their former followers to leave their faith.
The article is relatively short and has some heart breaking examples of what happens when a young person rejects the faith of their parents. From my own perspective, religious leaders hold sway over much of the flock because of the social pressures. Your social life and your religious institution are one and the same, and to reject one's faith, one also has to walk away from all their friends, but also sadly endure the rejection of the parents and siblings...or in the case of extreme Islam (Sharia Law) face death.
Lest anyone use this as a reason why Christians must see Muslims as the enemy, remember that the Bible too calls for the same harsh punishments for apostates of Christianity...death. The article is worth your time to read...not just my selected extract.
Schmidt, good piece. Indeed it shows why people stick to these things; it is the indoctrination without any thought. That is why people are still in the "animal" world and want to belong to the "herd". If you pump in nonsense for centuries then it becomes a "norm" just like "eating" etc. Due to the fact I was an orphan, I had the chance to think about what is real and what is fantasy; a lot of people don't have that "freedom" because they live in a family who dictates what to belief.