Quora Answer: Have You Ever Converted from Your Religion?
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is my answer to a Quora question: “Have you ever converted from your religion?”
I converted from Catholicism to Islam. It was a strictly theological exercise. I took a closer look at Islamic theology, and made the decision that it was more congruent, more subscribable to me. My conversion was never a cultural exercise. I reject any cultural interpretation of the religion, and retain a healthy scepticism of ahadits, prophetic narrations; and the pronouncements of scholars that sound suspiciously like a parody cosplay of 7th century Arabia.
As a Muslim convert, I also reject the historical and cultural baggage of the ummah. I live in Singapore, where the majority of Muslims are Malay. I am firm that I did not change my culture to that of the Malays, or the Arabs, or any other extent ethnic or cultural group. We should retain our own identity instead of adopting a new one. To not retain our cultural identity is to be party to cultural genocide. I do not believe in Islamic finance. I do not care for the hijab. I am not bothered with this excessive need for halal certification.