A few days ago, White Cloud Press published All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim, an amazing collection of personal stories that lets American Muslim men represent themselves. Ourselves. At last. Too often, we're spoken about, or spoken to, and don't claim ownership of our own stories.
I made the difficult decision to tell a story in this book, one I didn't think I ever would: A story of atheism, of lost faith, of anger with God that was impossible to contain. In All American, I share how and why I stopped, for a time, believing in God, because I was overwhelmed, frustrated, and deeply depressed by Islam.
At AltMuslimah, there's an article about the book, which includes this excerpt about my own story:
The individual essays begin with a bang, as Haroon Moghul, a public intellectual, displays a raw honesty about the difficulties of Islam’s central command, to believe in God – how a totalitarian commitment to the “endless tasks assigned by Islam” left him “crumpled in otherworldly exhaustion, ” before he found himself able to accept Islam as a long term journey marked by balance. This vulnerability of belief makes for a fantastic humanizing introduction to the American Muslim man, who is often feared precisely because he is seen as impervious to any religious vacillation.
I told the story, despite a lot of fear and concern about how it would be received, because I felt it to be deeply important to American Muslims--too many of us struggle quietly, and in shame, with our faith. It's also quite important for America more generally, to know that Muslims are humans, and we too struggle with our faith, a rich and complicated tradition that asks a lot, but can also give a lot.
You can buy the book at a great 40% discount from the publisher (it's just $10.17, and you can't beat that kind of price). Trust me: Reading the lineup of contributors, you'll not regret what you've bought. It's definitely worth sharing, too, as a gift, or for friends, libraries, and schools.