If you ever get the chance to speak with Hassan Radwan, or to read his writings, the first thing that you’ll notice is his sincerity. It is this sincerity which led him to embrace Islam in his search for the truth in his early 20’s. And it is this same sincerity which led him to be open in speaking about his reasons for leaving it almost 30 years later.
Then a strange thing happened: He missed Islam, and came back. Hassan had spent a lifetime as a Muslim. When he prayed, he prayed in the Muslim style. He still looked forward to Muslim holidays. He still drew strength and inspiration from the Qur’an and the Hadith. In other words, Hassan found he could remove himself from Islam, but he could not remove the Islam from himself.
But he insisted- and still insists- on one thing: he is open about his doubts and questions. He is unblinkingly frank about calling out nonsense he hears from Islamic scholars who have anointed themselves as “guardians” of the legacy of God. He questions and criticizes what he sees as the worst parts of Islam with as much ease and comfort as he embraces the best parts.
And it was about time that someone took that approach. His message spread like wildfire. People from all over the world sought out the Facebook group he founded in the summer of 2015, glad to have found a forum to discuss their ideas in an open minded setting. All came with the same message: “We are so glad somebody said these things, we have thought them too, but these are things that we cannot talk about.”
The goal that Hassan set for himself- and the goal that our group follows- is not at all to drive people away from Islam, despite the fact that we openly question many sacred ideas. We love Islam, and we love Muslims. Our group is made up of traditional Muslims, agnostic Muslims, and ex-Muslims, all of whom share one common ideal:
That the future of Islam is in expressing our long held doubts, and asking our toughest questions. And that the path to Islam is not obedience or reverence, but Truth.