The following is an interview with "OC Apostate," a former UC Irvine student who made the decision to leave Islam and the Muslim Student Union at UCI. Though as OC Apostate describes it, the two decisions were not related.

This interview provides a unique firsthand description of the MSU from an insider's perspective, something usually unavailable to the outside community. As readers will see, OC Apostate did not have an easy time disengaging from the MSU.

Why did you decide to leave Islam and the Muslim Student Union? Were the two decisions related?

My parents were not religious before; they kept the bare minimum. When I was 5, my mother became more religious after meeting a religious teacher. We moved to London to get a better religious education for a year. The Muslim community there is a lot more fundamentalist. No music, avoid non-Muslims, no assimilation, women can't cut their hair, all kinds of rules. That's the brand of Islam that influenced me. We came back; I became very active in the Muslim community. I became involved with my high school MSA.

By that time I had exhausted my parents' supply of religious books, so I began reading secular books and began being exposed to other viewpoints. I soon began to realize that it was not OK to impose my religion on other people.

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