For this episode, I was joined by Juli Jalaluddin who was gracious enough to share her life story with us. Juli was born in 1972 and grew up in Malaysia. In this interview, we covered Juli’s religious background in Malaysia and the role that religion played both in her personal life and that of her family. Juli also recounted how she started having small doubts about Islam that she kept pushing aside until she went to Colorado for further studies. In the US, Juli encountered people from different cultures and religions and her interactions with these people made her question some of the Islamic teachings she grew up receiving.
The conversation then moved to how Juli’s small pilgrimage to Mecca as an agnostic person. We discussed how underwhelming Meccah is and Juli’s experiences in Meccah. We also talked about the safety concerns that a lot of women who have visited Meccah have raised. Juli also shared how this experience further solidified her doubts about Islam and pushed her to become an atheist.
We also talked about how Muslims tried using online doxxing campaigns to force Juli back into Islam and the fallout of those campaigns. Juli also recounted the pressure campaign from her family to try to silence her and how she ended up cutting them off for a while. We also discussed the impact of Islam in politics and the day-to-day lives of people, especially in Juli’s home state.
This was such a laid-back interview with one of the pioneering activists in the ex-Muslim community and I invite you to take a listen!