Telling the Truth about Islam? Apostasy Narratives and Representations of Islam on

Author(s) Daniel Enstedt, Göran Larsson
Contact Daniel Enstedt, University of Gothenburg, Box 200, SE 405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 7, Iss. 1, 2013, pp. 64-93
Published May 10, 2013
Type Article
Abstract This article analyses six apostasy narratives published on and examines how Islam is represented and understood in them. The narratives contain self-referential and autobiographical components, and the truth-claims made in them are often based on the narrator’s own experiences as a former Muslim. From the six testimonies it is clear that Islam is presented in a negative and biased way, as summed up in the following three points: (1) Islam is an irrational, illogical way of thought; the beliefs that Islam holds to be true are false; (2) Islam is not about peace, high standards and God; Islam is an evil, self-centered and morally corrupt religion, and Muslims are hypocrites; (3) Islam is an oppressive, misogynist and violent religion, and is negative for its followers, especially women. These views on Islam, expressed in the apostasy narratives, articulate several themes found in islamophobic discourses and the so called New Atheist movement.
Keywords Islam, internet, study of religion, websites, Internet studies, Quran