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Posted June 9, 2003
What Must Be Known
In order to rebut the army of apologists who deliberately deflect attention away from central tenets of Islam, one should read this book, which contains the testimonies, touching and amusing and enraged and always convincing, of those who, having been born into Islam or having at one point converted to it, became appalled by aspects of Islamic teachings and practice -- its misogyny, its anti-scientific dogmatism, its violence (as in Bangladesh in 1971) -- and thereby were led to abandon belief. Above all, the inculcated contempt and hostility for Infidels to which many of these witnesses attest, and which are not tangential but central, in Koran and hadith, in Muslim teachings and in practice toward non-Muslims, helped drive many of these former Muslims out of Islam. Given that apostasy from Islam is punishable by death, some of the testimonies are necessarily anonymous; but many are not. Whether written by the wary, or by the brave, they are all memorable. If you are worried about the flood of Muslim apologetics all over the Western world, and the repetition of those apologetics by many Infidels who have never taken the trouble to actually study the teachings, or closely observe the practice,of Islam. both in time and space, this is the book to buy and distribute to children, family, friends, government officials. This book is indispensable (along with the same author's Why I Am Not a Muslim) not only for the many Infidels who have been fed a steady diet of bromides and platitudes. It is essential as well for those who, either born into Islam, or tempted by some aspect of it, need to be made aware that no belief is inevitable or unavoidable, that even Muslims can dare to exercise freedom of individual conscience -- at least in the Infidel lands -- and that life outside Islam is possible. The testimony of these former Muslims, who in many cases offer precise details about their own intellectual trajectory, is of value both to Infidels, and to those Muslims who may feel they are imprisoned within a system that will never allow them to make their own choice, and who cannot imagine any way out for themselves. This book offers examples of other possibilities.
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