I'm an ex-muslim named "Mohamed" and I am tired of being misrepresented. Help!

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ExMoose
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I'm here to ask for some advice as I thought some of you could be of help. I come from a white muslim family and my name is "Mohamed." I'm 17 and have had problems with my name ever since I abandoned the religion. I have no plans of coming out as an ex-muslim to my parents (religious af) anytime soon. I've opened the topic about changing my name to them multiple times but they think of it as absolute blasphemy. My excuse to them is that I don't want to be discriminated against in the Western world and that the name is far too common. I have no idea how to approach them about it. I was born and raised in Australia almost all my life, and I'm planning to go to college in the UK after completing my high school education here in the Middle East (here due to father's work), where any sign of apostasy is a death sentence. I hate feeling misrepresented by my name as I want to distance myself from the faith as far as possible. I feel like bearing an Islamic name will prevent me admittance into a college I like or a place I want to work at in the future.


Should I tell people my unofficial desired name if I wish to introduce myself? Is it worth being disowned by my parents to change my name? Am I rightfully concerned about being discriminated against when it comes to applying to a uni/ for a job? What should I do?
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Legendary Quest
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In Britain, they theoretically won't discriminate you simply because of your name so you could just have an 'informal' name and keep Mohammed on official documents.

I would just keep it for now. You seem unsure. Don't do anything drastic unless you're certain. Perhaps wait until you tell your parents about your apostasy?

If you need any more help then do consider visiting the Ex-Muslim Society: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3156455
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ExMoose
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(Original post by Legendary Quest)
In Britain, they theoretically won't discriminate you simply because of your name so you could just have an 'informal' name and keep Mohammed on official documents.

I would just keep it for now. You seem unsure. Don't do anything drastic unless you're certain. Perhaps wait until you tell your parents about your apostasy?

If you need any more help then do consider visiting the Ex-Muslim Society: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/show....php?t=3156455
Thing is, I don't know the implications of announcing my apostasy to my parents... They're quite unpredictable. It's a matter of whether solving this identity crisis is worth possibly sacrificing the relationship I have with my parents... I just don't know ... I can't live with a name that nowadays leaves a bad taste in people's mouths... disregarding the person I actually am, my character and capabilities.
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Legendary Quest
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(Original post by ExMoose)
Thing is, I don't know the implications of announcing my apostasy to my parents... They're quite unpredictable. It's a matter of whether solving this identity crisis is worth possibly sacrificing the relationship I have with my parents... I just don't know ...
Don't rush into anything. Apostasy is a very serious issue and many parents don't take it lightly, even ones that would otherwise be considered to be 'liberal'. You could test their response by casually saying things like 'I was reading about a guy who left the religion... What do you think about that?' Just try and get a feel of what your parents think about people who leave the religion. That way, you kind figure out a way of handling this situation without potentially putting yourself in a harmful position.

I can't live with a name that nowadays leaves a bad taste in people's mouths... disregarding the person I actually am, my character and capabilities.
Does living as a Muslim bother you or is it simply the name? I think it's fair to say that most people here in the UK don't care about people's name. Don't do this because of other people. If the name doesn't bother you then I don't think you should change it. Doing things for others is usually unwise.
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ExMoose
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(Original post by Legendary Quest)
Does living as a Muslim bother you or is it simply the name?
Both. Of course, ideally, I shouldn't care about what other people think of me... But at the same time I don't want to be overlooked as a person because of a name that I don't even like. When I introduce myself to people, the direct response is almost always "Oh, so you're muslim? You don't look like one." It pains me that people associate my birth name with an ideology I despise. Especially when that ideology is so horrendously and commonly bad-mouthed in any democratic, modern, Western society that I want to be a part of. I feel like with people instantly associating me with the ideology, that I'm automatically also associated with the problematic ,violent, and barbaric threat to society that is Islam.
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Eunomia
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From your other thread:
(Original post by ExMoose)
Thank you for the support . It really is unfortunate that I'd have to work extra hard just to prove that I'm not just a name... But my chief concern is more to do with being fairly considered admittance into a good uni without having to worry about my name underestimating me as an applicant. If I can make it through that without a hitch, then I can worry about changing my name later once I've graduated and am older to really consider the implications a name change would have on me and familial relationships.

Fingers crossed...
Universities in the UK are essentially businesses; they care about how much £££ they can make more than anything. As long as you can meet their criteria and you can pay, I don't think you will face discrimination. They also target international students a lot, so they try to make their campuses diverse. If you get the grades you will be fine with uni, don't worry
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oShahpo
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Do as I will probably will, wait until you finish uni and you're completely separated from your family, then change your name then.
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ExMoose
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(Original post by WBZ144)
From your other thread:


Universities in the UK are essentially businesses; they care about how much £££ they can make more than anything. As long as you can meet their criteria and you can pay, I don't think you will face discrimination. They also target international students a lot, so they try to make their campuses diverse. If you get the grades you will be fine with uni, don't worry
I really do hope that's the case, haha. Knowing all that makes me feel more optimistic and want to invest more of my energy in making myself a better student rather than worry about this now... Thanks a bunch
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Legendary Quest
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(Original post by ExMoose)
Both. Of course, ideally, I shouldn't care about what other people think of me... But at the same time I don't want to be overlooked as a person because of a name that I don't even like. When I introduce myself to people, the direct response is almost always "Oh, so you're muslim? You don't look like one." It pains me that people associate my birth name with an ideology I despise. Especially when that ideology is so horrendously and commonly bad-mouthed in any democratic, modern, Western society that I want to be a part of. I feel like with people instantly associating me with the ideology, that I'm automatically also associated with the problematic ,violent, and barbaric threat to society that is Islam.
Honestly, most people here do not care about your name. I understand you don't want to have any connections with the religion but I do think you should wait. Do it for the right reasons, not because you are worried about what people may think of you. Very few people are going to think you are problematic, violent, barbaric or a threat to society. As I said, people judge you for who you are not the religion they believe you are a part of.

(Original post by WBZ144)
Universities in the UK are essentially businesses; they care about how much £££ they can make more than anything. As long as you can meet their criteria and you can pay, I don't think you will face discrimination. They also target international students a lot, so they try to make their campuses diverse. If you get the grades you will be fine with uni, don't worry
This.

I'm not sure if this has been implemented, but I remember reading about UCAS changing for 2017 intakes. They won't know your name during the admissions process meaning OP really doesn't have anything to worry about.
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~scorpio~
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Just call yourself Mo then!

Btw nothing wrong with the name Mohammed, take a look at Mohammed Ali for instance, his name didn't stop the whole world from mourning him. It's your actions that define you, not your name.
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