Tuesday, May 06, 2008

On Leaving Islam

I read a good book last week, "Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out." It is a compilation of personal stories of both women and men apostates and why they decided to leave their religion.

Leaving Islam can get you killed, since Islam suffers no lack of excuses for murder. Those who wrote and compiled this book are therefore under some danger; however, they wanted to tell their stories to help other doubters make the right decision, i.e. to leave this violent religion.

The women who write generally speak of violence and abuse at the hands of their husbands or fathers. One woman bore a Muslim man three daughters; upset at the lack of a son, he beat her severely, causing internal injuries that required removal of her uterus. The husband visited her in the hospital to inform her that he was divorcing her since she could not now bear him a son.

Other women had the courage to leave their abusive husbands. One called a taxi cab and fled with her children. She writes of throwing her hijab out the window of the taxi in celebration.

The men who write of their reasons for leaving Islam also follow a common theme: one of morality and humanity. Since the majority of Muslims have never read the Qur'an or the Hadith, they don't really know what their Prophet was like - what he believed or what he did after declaring himself "the messenger of God." Some of the men wrote that they had doubts about the harsh practices of Islam and sought reassurance by turning to their religious texts. Instead of being reassured in the faith, they were shocked and disgusted by what they found. Reading the Qur'an only hastened their departure from Islam. They learned that the Muhammad of the Qur'an and the Hadith was a far different person than the shining example of morality and peace claimed by popular culture.

One of the apostates lauds the internet as an irrepressible medium of educating Muslims as to the truth about their faith. He urges all apostates to create their own blogs or websites. They need not attack Isam, merely let it be known that they are apostates who have rejected Islam. That information alone, he argues, will be enough to open (by a small crack) the minds of many Muslims. It will let them know that it is possible to leave Islam, something they now believe to be impossible. A good example of an apostate's blog is here; a good example of an apostate website is here. If you are a Muslim with growing doubts about your faith, check out these sites. You are not alone.

The book concludes with an afterword by Gregory M. Davis. Davis's conclusions regarding Islam are compelling and expertly argued. He writes:

The hypersensitivity of the West today -- especially in Western Europe -- to anything invocative of national pride or civilizational identity has crippled its ability to assert the legitimacy of its own traditions against those who would destroy them.

The West must awaken to the fact that it is facing nothing less than the resurgence of the greatest war machine in world history: an ideology that holds the killing of others, the plundering of their wealth, the conquering of their lands, the enslavement of their people, and the destruction of their institutions to be among the highest virtues and the stepping stones to salvation.

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