Life Inside An Islamic Boarding School

After the Secular Of The Year Award, Aaliyah told me her experience of an Islamic Boarding School. Do read her Times article I have reblogged recounting. Glad that she feels comfortable to be publicly recognised. It took me awhile to step out of the shadows of Homo economicus – but I have never regretted that decision as it made it easier to communicate my experiences.


I wrote this article back in November 2014 for the Times. I was still going through the difficult journey of coming out openly as an apostate and decided to write this piece under the pseudonym ‘Laylah Hussain’. I was afraid of what kind of reaction I would receive for speaking out about my negative experiences in an Islamic school in Britain, and revealing that I have left Islam. Since then I have become much more comfortable about revealing my identity, and I have decided to re-claim this article with my own name. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

Life Inside An Islamic Boarding School

Laylah Hussain was 11 when she became a pupil at Jamia Al-Hudaa, a faith school in Nottingham. This is her account of the five years she spent there – a period, she says, that stunted her education and stifled her freedom

My mother…

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