Apostates Leaving Islam


Apostasy means "renouncing the faith." If someone is a Jew or a Hindu or whatever and they decide they don't want to be one anymore, that is apostasy.

The Koran says apostasy from Islam is a crime punishable by death. In many Islamic states, this is enforced by law. You cannot convert out of Islam. Once you're in, you're in for good.

It takes a great deal of courage to leave Islam, and the book, Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out is a collection of first-hand accounts of what happens when a person renounces their belief in Islam. It'll give you an inside view of what it's like to be a Muslim. It makes for some surprising, eye-opening reading.

You can find out, in Leaving Islam, the many different ways Muslims around the world deal with the difficult decision to renounce the religion.

Probably the only way we're going to get a straight story about what Islam is like is by listening to apostates. They have been Muslims and know all about it, and yet they are not apologists for it. They aren't trying to sell you on it. And all the apostates have a very consistent point of view on Islam.

Of course, they are all against the religion's intolerance of apostates, but many of them do not hate Islam itself. But they can still be honest about what it's like to be a Muslim. It's fascinating reading and will give you lots of interesting stories to tell your friends, but Leaving Islam is also a great reference book. Appendix A is a large list of quotes showing the violence, hatred, and intolerance commanded by the Koran. These are what the orthodox Muslims believe in and these are the main reasons the apostates left the religion.

Appendix B is a list of web sites, organizations, and email addresses of groups who are trying to help create a secularization of Islamic societies and groups that promote freedom of thought and freedom of religion in general. Appendix D is a list of web sites critical of Islam. Appendix E is a bibliography of books critical of Islam.

This is a resource you can use.

Below is excerpted from the introduction to Leaving Islam:

There are very useful analogies to be drawn between communism and Islam...As Arthur Koestler said, "You hate our Cassandra cries and resent us as allies, but when all is said, we ex-Communists are the only people on your side who know what it's all about."

Communism has been defeated, at least for the moment; Islamism has not, and unless a reformed, tolerant, liberal kind of Islam emerges soon, perhaps the final battle will be between Islam and Western democracy. And these former Muslims, to echo Koestler's words, on the side of Western democracy are the only ones who know what it's all about, and we would do well to listen to their Cassandra cries.

Below is the description on the hardcover:

In the West, those who abandon their religion (apostates) find it to be a difficult, emotional decision that sometimes carries with it social repercussions, such as physical and psychological isolation from family, friends, and colleagues. However, in culturally diverse societies with a mixture of ethnic groups and various philosophies of life, most people look upon such intellectual shifts of allegiance as a matter of personal choice and the right of the individual. In stark contrast, the socially restricted Muslim world still views apostasy as an unthinkable act, and orthodox Muslims would consider it a crime punishable by death. Renowned scholar of Islamic Studies Bernard Lewis has described the seriousness of leaving the Islamic faith in dire terms: "Apostasy was a crime as well as a sin, and the apostate was damned both in this world and the next. His crime was treason — desertion and betrayal of the community to which he belonged, and to which he owed loyalty; his life and property were forfeit. He was a dead limb to be excised."

Defying the death penalty that all apostates potentially face in the Islamic world, the ex-Muslims represented here feel it is their duty to speak up against their former faith, to tell the truth about the fastest-growing religion in the world.

These former Muslims — some born into the faith; others, Western converts — from all parts of the Islamic world recount how they slowly came to realize that their religion was in many respects unbelievable and sometimes even dangerous.

These memoirs and journals of personal journeys to enlightenment and intellectual freedom make for moving reading and are a courageous signal to other ex-Muslims to openly express their views.


Citizen Warrior 10:54 AM  

The death penalty for apostasy? Not in today's world, right?

Read this story, published in September, 2008:

The Iranian Parliament voted in favor of a bill Tuesday that would punish apostasy with the death penalty, a human rights group reported.

Lawmakers approved the bill with 196 votes in favor, seven against, and two abstentions, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The draft bill seeks to add several crimes to the list of acts that would result in execution, including “establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution, and apostasy.”

CSW advocacy director Alexa Papadouris commented, “It is deeply worrying to hear that just days after Matin-Azad and Basirat have been charged with apostasy at a court in Shiraz, the Iranian Parliament is debating a bill that could codify the death penalty for someone choosing their own religion.”

Mahmoud Mohammad Matin-Azad, 53, and Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat, 40, are Christian-converts from Islam who were charged with apostasy last week at the Public and Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, Iran. They are currently awaiting the court’s verdict and have been detained since May 15, 2008.

In August, there were five known arrests of Iranian Christians in three cities by authorities, according to the persecution watchdog agency Compass Direct News. Among those arrested was Ramtin Soodmand, who is the son of the last Christian convert to be executed for leaving Islam, on Aug. 21, 2008.

Soodmand’s father, Hossein Soodmand, was an Assemblies of God pastor who was executed by the state in 1990 under the false charge of working as an American spy. Since Soodmand’s death, six other Protestant pastors have been assassinated by unknown assailants....

Citizen Warrior 11:35 AM  

If you'd like to know more about the experiences of those who have left Islam, what they went through, and why they decided to do it, check out Faith Freedom.

Citizen Warrior 11:55 AM  

In case you think this is an historical artifact, read this:

Apostates From Islam by Paul Marshall, a senior fellow at Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom:

It gives recent examples from Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, Mauritania, the Comoros Islands, Iran, Pakistan, the Palestinian areas, Turkey, Nigeria, Indonesia, Somalia, Kenya, Algeria, and Indonesia.

The article is about a Christian, Abdul Rahman, who was tried for apostasy in Afghanistan.

Marshall makes a good point:

"Abdul Rahman's plight is merely the tip of the iceberg. Like the violence over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad, or the Ayatollah Khomeini's demand that Salman Rushdie be killed for blasphemy, it reveals a systematic, worldwide attempt by Islamists to imprison, kill, or otherwise silence anyone who challenges their ideology."

Citizen Warrior 12:31 PM  

Here's another resource: A website called Apostates of Islam.

Damien 9:24 PM  

Citizen Warrior,

Apostasy means "renouncing the faith." If someone is a Jew or a Hindu or whatever and they decide they don't want to be one anymore, that is apostasy.

Yeah, but if you are a Christian, a Jew, or a Hindu, or belong to the vast majority of any other faiths, and your renounce your faith, most likely the people who share the faith you once believed in, won't try to kill you for it. That's true, at least in our modern age. But Islam is different. Even today its most ardent adherents are determined to make the world think and act the way they want, weather they like it or not. The Jihadists see themselves as followers of a religion of peace, yet they are the most intolerant people on the planet today. Among the non Islamic governments of the world, perhaps only North Korea comes close to rivaling the oppression and brutally of an Islamic state like the Taliban.

Traeh 5:45 PM  

The Qur'an itself, if I recall correctly, is a bit vague on the penalty for apostasy. But there are quite a few early reports of Muhammad calling for the death of apostates. And I mean reports that Muslim scholars consider authoritative, such as Sahih Bukhari, the most canonical of hadith collections, in which Muhammad said, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him." Various other authoritative hadiths attest that Muhammad called for death to those who leave Islam. That's why even today all the schools of Islamic law prescribe death for apostasy.

cbget1975 8:29 PM  

the thing is, islam is a cult, the moon god cult of hindu god shiva. basically, it is a sect of hinduism. the abrahamic bits are borrowed,corrupted from jewish and neo-jewish(christian) texts to fit the false prophet of islam - mahomad.

the moon god allah is not the god of christians or jews, the god of abraham,isshac and yakob. this is one of the major secrets about islam which is not often discussed.

it is a terror cult and followers are usually slaves of the cult. only murtads can save muslims from islam. mohammadans must leave islam and embrace christianity or buddhism.

Walter Sieruk 10:15 AM  

One man who was once a Muslim but now a Christian I had heard speak as one of two speakers at a church lecture entitled "Islam:Through the The Lens of Christ" His name is Dr. Daniel Shayesteh and in one of this books ISLAM: THE HOUSE I LEFT BEHIND in it on page 183 as part of his testimony he wrote "As a Muslim I did not have the opportunity to investigate whether my root[Allah] was pure and true.Islam did not allow me to compare it with other religions. Therefore I was ignorant and did not know whether my religion was logical or practical." Further, on page 190 he also wrote "As a Muslim, I was thinking that I was righteous and heading towards more righteousness. Alas, I did not know that the supreme desire of Muhammad and Islam had nothing to do with righteous and spiritual progress. It was all about the world and worldly desires. Jesus have His life for friends and enemies to draw attention to love and holiness, but Muhammad did not let even his friends express themselves in his presence; he slaughtered his oppositions."
Dr, Shayesteh said a lot in those few words . Let the fact of reality be seen be all who are willing to see the truth.

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