Leaving Islam: How I became an atheist

“In the afterlife, only Muslims get to enter paradise.”

That was what my Quran tutor told me when I was in fourth grade. The moment she told me that, I was really, really, surprised.

I was raised as a Muslim, and like any other Muslim kid in Indonesia, I had to learn how to recite the Quran. My father hired a Quran tutor for me and I spent a couple of hours 3 days a week with her. I did not only learn how to recite the Quran from her, I also learned about Islam in general, about what Islam (well, at least her version of Islam) teaches us.

One of the things that I learned from her was that entering paradise is a Muslim privilege. No matter how many good things you have done before you kick the bucket, if you are not a Muslim, then bad news for you.