Ibn Warraq is the highly acclaimed author of Why I Am Not a Muslim, Virgins? What Virgins?, and Defending the West. He is also the editor of The Origins of the Koran, What the Koran Really Says, Leaving Islam, The Quest for the Historical Muhammad, and Which Koran?.
Leaving Islamby Ibn Warraq
In the West abandoning one's religion (apostasy) can be a difficult, emotional decision, which sometimes has social repercussions. However, in culturally diverse societies where there is a mixture of ethnic groups and various philosophies of life, most people look upon such shifts in intellectual allegiance as a matter of personal choice and individual right. By
In the West abandoning one's religion (apostasy) can be a difficult, emotional decision, which sometimes has social repercussions. However, in culturally diverse societies where there is a mixture of ethnic groups and various philosophies of life, most people look upon such shifts in intellectual allegiance as a matter of personal choice and individual right. By contrast, in Islam apostasy is still viewed as an almost unthinkable act, and in orthodox circles it is considered a crime punishable by death. Renowned scholar of Islamic Studies Bernard Lewis described the seriousness of leaving the Islamic faith in the following 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 treasondesertion 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 applicable to all apostates in Islam, the ex-Muslims who are here represented 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, from all parts of the Islamic world, recount how they slowly came to realize that the religion into which they were born was in many respects unbelievable and sometimes even dangerous.
These memoirs of personal journeys to enlightenment and intellectual freedom make for moving reading and are a courageous signal to other ex-Muslims to come out of the closet.
- Prometheus Books
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- 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
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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.