Mmm, Frost.
Loving a Monster

The Marathon of My Life


I left Islam because of the reaction to 9/11 among Muslims. I read a lot about Muhammad, sharia, politics and current events for three years afterwards -- the increased knowledge reinforced my decision.

I started blogging in December of 2004 to share my experience and thoughts. Finally on September 11, 2005, I wrote about my apostasy.

Soon, I came to realize that my freedom was only temporary. You see, I am a citizen of Pakistan and my residence in Canada was based on a study permit. Eventually I would have to go back.

Could I say that Islam is the Greatest Thing EverTM; lie about my core beliefs; follow the religious rituals blindly without believing in them; praise Muhammad at every opportunity -- in essence, could I not rock the boat in Pakistan?

Yes, I could live as a slave but I didn't want to. In April 2006, I became a refugee claimant in Canada. I naively decided on a DIY approach. I filled out the forms, did the research and provided numerous supporting documents.

Then, in August 2006, I received a letter which asked for my attendance at the Immigration and Refugee Board, so that the time for the hearing could be set. (See this post for the details about that atrocious day.)

Right after I posted about my experience, many of my friends in the Blogosphere brought attention to my situation; numerous bloggers linked to my case; a donation button was set up; online supporters narrowed down legal help in my area; within a week I had made an appointment with a lawyer and in less than two months enough money was donated for the legal fees.

I removed the donation image but for many days afterwards folks still came over asking how they could help!


There were a few meetings with my lawyer in late 2006. He would ask me questions to get me ready for the hearing.

"Who do you fear in Pakistan?"

The Pakistani state and the public.


Because of the writings on my blog.

"But no-one knows who you are. You've used a pseudonym."

That assumes that I can go back and keep my beliefs to myself. Government forms (for example, the passport application) specifically ask for one's religion. And religion is woven in as a serious and integral part of society. Five prayers a day, fasting and worshiping Muhammad are part of normal life. When such matters come up, I will not lie.

"Why not?"

Excuse me.

"You can write your thoughts on the blog as Isaac Schrödinger and not worry about Islamic fundamentalists in real life."

So, you're saying that I continuously lie in my real life to get along.

"Sure, why not?"

My dad worked in Saudi Arabia for many decades. Every time he filled out application forms from Pakistan, he fibbed. He is an Ahmadi. Yet on every occasion, he refused to identify himself as one. There is no dignity in that.

And so on it went.

I had been sick in late December. My energy levels were close to zero on Christmas day. Fortunately by January 1, 2007 my physical strength had returned.


It was 4 a.m. on January 4. I had trouble sleeping. My brain was crunching horrible "What if?" scenarios. I told myself to not think about anything. After a few minutes, I was disturbed by the fact that I wasn't thinking about anything.

Somehow around 5 a.m. I did get to sleep. I woke up at 9 a.m. and started to get ready. I put on my suit, saw myself in the mirror and morbidly laughed. It looked like I was going to a funeral.

Along my route was a Church which had a big clock. 11 a.m. struck as I was passing by it. "Great, a soundtrack for my situation." The sounds did add an eerie touch. I looked up at the Church. "What beautiful weather! I can look up." I spent over ten years in Saudi Arabia where, because of the searing sunlight, I kept my head down.

Soon, I was in the hearing room in the heart of Toronto. The judge and I sat on the opposite sides of the room; in the middle-right was my lawyer; on my middle-left was a Refugee Protection Officer (RPO) and an RPO-in-training. The hearing started shortly after 1 p.m.

I stood up, raised my right hand, took an oath to tell the truth and said my full, real, name.

My lawyer started the questioning. We went over my history and how I came upon asking for protection in Canada.

The judge stopped us and asked, "What's a blog?"

I explained the whole concept. After a few minutes, it was time for the RPO to cross-examine me.

The judge, my lawyer, and the RPO all had copies of my applications and supporting documents. I was to answer questions without anything in front of me.

The RPO was establishing a timeline and so questions of a simple nature were initially asked. "When did you come to Canada?", "When was the last time you were in Pakistan?" and so on.

"I see here that you were asked to name your relatives and you didn't list your parents. Why is that?"

Uh-oh. I asked, "Where did I not list my parents?"

"Here in question four, it says list your relatives, in part iii. it asks for father and mother. Why didn't you list them?"

My mind started scolding could I forget such a simple thing...we've just scratched the surface and already I am being perceived as an incompetent buffoon... but, wait, I had photocopied the blank application, filled out the copy, double-checked it and then completed the real form!

My lawyer had opened the same page. After asking permission, I looked at the form. "4. List your relatives, ... iii. Father, mother and any guardian if you are under 18 years of age."

"I am over 18," I replied. "So, why would I list my parents?"


"No-one has brought that point up," said the judge.

"It's confusingly worded," said my lawyer.

"Let's move on," said the judge.

"Yes, of course, let's," I thought.

The questioning by the RPO can be "energetic" but what followed made the RPO, in essence, a prosecutor.

I often tried to elaborate my answers by a few sentences to provide more complete and accurate responses. However, the RPO was interested in "Yes/No" or a few words. Period.

For example: The RPO asked, "Have you seen a "letter to the editor" that is anti-Islamic fundamentalism in a Pakistani newspaper online?"

"Rarely. The reason fo-"

"Again, you're not answering the question."

"Yes, I've read such letters."

"I think he should be allowed to elaborate," said my lawyer.

The judge agreed.

The RPO asked, "What do you mean by rarely?"

"Once in a blue moon."

I shouldn't have said that, I thought. I added, "Remember that anyone in the world can send a letter to the editor of the online Pakistani newspapers. The sender can use a fake name and/or city, and from what I've seen the writers are often living outside Pakistan."

The RPO, quite unexpectedly, wanted, what seemed to be, an off the record conference without my presence. My lawyer questioned why I had to leave. The RPO had to talk about a credibility issue. I was told to wait outside for a few minutes. My lawyer gave his consent.

I stood in the quiet hallway.

"Credibility issue?" That's what it all comes down to. One person will decide my fate in a few hours.

I looked back over the heavy years: Do I regret starting my blog? Would I take anything back? Hell no!

I thought about the occasion: A birthday like no other.

My lawyer opened the door and let me in.

The RPO started to ask me about a few posts that I had submitted. I went over a comment left by a luminary in Distilled Evil.

I am a Muslim who has seen the truth about the jewish lies, and has realized Qur'an and Sunnah provides a perfect testament against the nature of your people.

Suddenly, I'm Moses.

We also talked about "No Compulsion". The RPO was going over each part methodically. Eventually, the RPO asked, "What's LFG?"

What a great blog, I thought. "That is an acronym for a blog called Little Green Footballs."

Then, I ALMOST blurted out, "You don't know the terrible secret of LFG" to explain why I affectionately use that incorrect short form.

"It's one of the most popular blogs in the world," I only added.

The RPO also asked me about life in Pakistan. "Can't you live in some place in Pakistan where you can be safe?"


"Do you know the word "secular"?"

Hunh. "Yes."

"Can't you live as a secular Muslim in Pakistan?"

"I agree with the first part, the secular part, but I don't agree with the second. I don't want to behave like, and live as, a non-practicing Muslim or a secular Muslim when I'm not a Muslim!"

That was by far my most animated and passionate response.

Then, it came time for the two sides to summarize their views. The RPO provided a mixed and lengthy conclusion. It wasn't completely negative nor positive.

My lawyer, however, provided a most concise and brilliant summary. He mentioned the recent history of Pakistan and Daniel Pearl.

He said that, "Why can't he ask for protection from the Pakistani government? How can he when the state itself criminalizes his views!? Look at Ordinance 295."

He went on to provide numerous examples from human rights reports.

"If he were to go back to Pakistan, then he would be in deep trouble."

There was some humor when once referring to me, my lawyer said, "Mr. Schro-," and then he corrected himself.

The judge asked for a few minutes to go over the evidence. The RPO asked for leave. The RPO-in-training left as well.

It was about 4:44 p.m. We had a 20-minute break at around 3:15 p.m. at which time I grabbed a bite. So, we had been in session for close to three and a half hours. The time had come.

The judge talked about the examples of persecution. The judge was very aware of the horrible conditions in Pakistan. Furthermore when talking about my views, the judge said, "I think these are your core beliefs -- what you say comes from the heart."

Then it hit me. The RPO, the in-effect prosecutor, had been a blessing in disguise. I had been brutally hammered for three hours and instead of falling apart, I held up.

"When deciding upon such cases, we have to look at a minimal level of danger and following the recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Pakistan, I think there is that danger for you."

"Accordingly, you are a Convention Refugee."

I closed and opened my eyes, "Thank you."

The superb lawyer and I exited the room and shook hands.

"Go and celebrate."

"It will be more of an online celebration," I said and then I thanked him.

There was a cool breeze, the hair got untidy, the tie was on my shoulder. My eyes tend to get watery in such circumstances. While crossing the road, I looked to my right and saw the CN Tower -- a solitary tear went down my right cheek.

"Oh, it's the wind."


Schrödinger's Army of Davids: Members of the Blogosphere, the folks who opened their wallets to help a total stranger, the netizens who tracked down legal help, my lawyer and finally the countless Westerners who wrote many words of support.

Special thanks to these blogs:

I have been granted something very precious and for this I'm grateful.


Perry de Havilland

Outstanding. Several of us at Samizdata have drunk to your health and liberty.

Bill Faith

Best news I've heard in weeks.

David Boxenhorn

Happy Birthday!


God bless you, Isaac. You'd be a credit to any country, but a shrewd judge has ensured that Canada has that honor. I'm super proud of you and incredibly happy to read this account. I was thrilling at every twist and turn, even though I knew the outcome in advance. You have a gift of conveying your inner state in such a way that it becomes the reader's.

Fantastic! Argh. I...words are completely inadequate to express the totality of it.



Isaac Schrödinger

Perry de Havilland: Excellent. The more infidelicious activities, the merrier.

Bill Faith: Thank you for the moral support and for bringing attention to my case at your blog.

David Boxenhorn: Thanks. I'm so old. *Sniff*

Evariste: Thank you for the compliments.

I had trouble expressing my feelings in words as well.

Software Nerd: Thank you.


Never heard of you till I linked to this post from Michelle Malkin's site. I cried when I read it. I wish I could have helped - I'm very, very happy for you! Congratulations!


Riveting story... with a very happy ending. Congratulations. Not only are you deserving of a new home, but your home is deserving of you.


I cried after reading your entry. In America we take our religious freedom for granted, and don't realize how lucky we are every day to have that freedom.

God Bless you, and good luck in your new home.


Wonderful! I'm so glad (and relieved).
Best to you :)


Wow! (linked here thanks to a treacherous Zion-Pig over at LGF)




I just found this story from Michelle Malkin's blog as well. Congratulations!


Wonderful news!




How inspiring! God bless.

Ma Sands

Isaac, are you Hazan? do you know him? of him?
Will you contact me? my nic is blue, over at lgf...
Thank you. :) (so happy for you)

sincerely, Ma Sands

Isaac Schrödinger

Ma Sands: No, I'm not Hazan.

Yes, I do know of him.

Isaac Schrödinger

Michelle Malkin Readers:

Thank you for your kind words.

Ma Sands

(Can you help us find him? :)

Isaac Schrödinger

Ma Sands: I don't see how I can. Sorry.

(It's a tricky situation. If bloggers were to bring attention to his case, then his life would be in more danger because he's still in Pakistan.)

He disappeared from the Internet two months ago and since then no one has heard from him. I found out about him via LFG.

I do hope he's alright and that he didn't take action on what he mentioned in his last post.


Hi there Isaac...

I hope you don't think I'm intruding... but I found this wonderful post through a friend of mine on LJ, and I am just amazed. I'm *so* happy that you found peace and justice, and I hope that you will have a good life.

If it's ok, I'd like to review through some of your writings about your adventures. :D Anyone who's seen and been through as much as you have must be a truly unique and amazing person!

With love,



Congratulations! Now for the big question: does your Canadian status allow you to visit the US?


I found this blog via LiveJournal and I just wanted to congradulate you on your victory!

I'm glad you're able to stay on this side of the Curtain instead of being forced to return to Pakistan.

Isaac Schrödinger

Jhohanna: "If it's ok, I'd like to review through some of your writings about your adventures."

Look through the category "My Writings" to get access to some of my heavy stuff.

Mitch: "...does your Canadian status allow you to visit the US?"

As part of the immigration process, I can't leave Canada for some years. So, I can't visit the US right away but in the future I'll certainly be able to.

The last time I was in the US was in January 2000. It has been seven long years.


Congratulations! What wonderful news. This must be the greatest feeling. Like starting all over, like complete and total freedom to be the real you.

I agree with several others who have stated you would be an asset to any country.

Now, I did some sleuthing but I still do not understand the LFG reference. I keep thinking it's a misspelling!

Josh Scholar

The judge's words and your reaction brought a tear to my eye.

It also made me homesick for Canada, it reminded me how humane the place is. I grew up in Canada, but never got a citzenship (you didn't used to be able to hold dual citizenship with the US).

Isaac Schrödinger


From the LGF dictionary:
"LFG - An inversion of the acronym LGF, mistakenly first used by a deranged commenter who was speculating on LGF's sinister powers. It was immortalized in a cartoon by Cox & Forkum (notice the shoulder patches), and is now used mockingly by lizardoids when sarcastically play-acting as moonbats."

However, I use "LFG" to show that I'm a long-time reader of the blog -- started in the summer of 2002!


Thanks for that. That's great.

And congratulations again.

What does this mean long term? Is this like a permanant visa? Does your status expire? Are you on a fast track to citizenship?

I hear from a lot of people here in SoCal about their visas and honestly, it's insane! Of course we need rules, but the red tape and sheer mindlessness of the process boggles me.

Isaac Schrödinger

"What does this mean long term? Is this like a permanant visa? Does your status expire? Are you on a fast track to citizenship?"

Yes, I can stay in the West.

In the near future I'll apply for Landed Immigrant Status in Canada. After this, I'll have to wait a few years and then I'll be able to apply for Canadian citizenship.

I've followed convoluted visa and study permit procedures all my life but what follows for me now seems relatively straightforward.

Umrao Jaan

Congratulations Isaac!!! What a wonderful new year's gift.

I love your blog for its lucid and passionate writing and your blog has been extremely informative. And I look forward to your cricket commentary now that Pak is in SA. My money is on the Proteas inspite of their poor showing (in tests) against us Indians.


Excellent. I imagine you could use some straigtfordwardness!

Just Another Infidel

I just heard about you via Michelle. I'm so happy that you were given protection. Not only are you a shining example of the strength of the Internet, you are why these refugee exeptions to immigration laws were established. Considering what happened when Abdul Rahman decided he no longer wanted to be a Muslim in Afghanistan, you are very brave for simply voicing your opinion--an opinion rafely heard in Muslim-populated parts of the world . There were so many credible--and otherwise-death threats, that he had to go into hiding. I'm an American, not a Canadian, but I think you are a welcome and inspiring addition to North America. I hope you have a long, prosperous and SAFE life here. Congratulations.

Isaac Schrödinger

Just Another Infidel: Thank you for the well wishes.

Aussie Dave

Hi Isaac,

Somehow my original comment seems to have gotten lost.

Congrats and mazal tov! This is fantastic news!!



Congratulations and welcome to the Great White North...officially.

Here's hoping your citizenship follows soon after or you can make it to the land of opportunity, the Great Satan.






Someone on LJ pointed me to your blog. Congratulations! I'm so pleased for you.


Isaac, heartiest congratulations! I am so very glad and relieved you succeeded in your quest for safety. And thanks for the links to the Daily Puppy. It's trivial but it brightens every day.


Welcome home.


I learned about your story indirectly through LGF. Congratulations on maintaining your beliefs and on starting a new life.


Congratulations, and welcome to Canada.


Congratulations Isaac!


Wow! Congratulations Isaac. I've been so swamped that I've barely been able to read anything on any blog anywhere, but I did (finally) get this great news. It really made my day (maybe even my month) that this has turned out well, and that your hard work and courage have been recognized and rewarded rather than punished.

Richard Garcia

A Muslim name for Isaac is Ishaq (is-haak). Ishaq is also a Jewish name (Ishaq Rubin). So there is no real change here. Its good that you converted to Christianity. If I were you, I would have converted to Judaism instead... more money, more celebrity position, quick approval of your permanent residency. When you are desperate, you do everything. A quick solution. Turn against Muslims and you are an instant celebrity. From rags to riches within days, even can become member of parliment so long the 'fact' that you provided to the authorities do not turn out to be a pack of lies. By the way, Muslims do not worship Mohammad.

Isaac Schrödinger

Richard Garcia: "Its good that you converted to Christianity."

It's bad that you can't read. I only left Islam, I didn't join another religion.

"Turn against Muslims and you are an instant celebrity."

I blog under a, how would I encounter this stardom?

"From rags to riches within days, even can become member of parliment so long the 'fact' that you provided to the authorities do not turn out to be a pack of lies."

Rags to riches? How exactly can I do that?

Let me clue you in: the market for blasphemers of Islam ain't very lucrative. If anything, it can be very hazardous for one's health.

"By the way, Muslims do not worship Mohammad."

They worship him as a "perfect" human. Try criticizing any aspect of Muhammad's life in front of a Muslim audience. See what happens.

a abc

i think you need to be corrected.
You in fact never apostated. For instance, if a Christian becomes a Jew, he is not an apostate.

Since you were an ahmadi, you were a kafir anyway, so why play this farce of a story out... well, i guess it got you your residency and if you market it well, you can probably make some $$ too... By the way, we'll make sure everyone is reminded about your ahmadi status if you do try to market yourself.

i feel so much better now knowing that you really probably did better for yourself. I think i much rather prefer christians over ahmadis.


Dear fellow-soul, I read with interest your blog.Despite the obvious Indianness of my blog on Pre-Muhamadh Makkaa do patiently read it.and do leave your comments there.
Thanks.I have a feeling that you and me are part of the same God, whom we also call as, Truth, in India.

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