The Right To Apostasy

Former Muslims United claim the right to apostasy for American Muslims is in danger:

FMU has asked me to note two corrections that need to be made in the article below:

  • Wafa Sultan is the president of Former Muslims United.
  • The right of apostasy pledge was sent to 111 Muslim leaders, not groups.

In the fall of 2009 FMU sent 111 pledges to Muslim organizations in the United States affirming the right of Muslims to leave Islam and not be punished or killed. (Shari’a, Muslim law, calls on Muslims to kill those who convert or otherwise leave the faith.) The document asked recipients to sign and return the pledge to FMU. Just two groups did.

“You might think the threat is over there in the Middle East,” said Darwish, author of “Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror.” “The problem is, we have books in America teaching that apostates must be killed. … The problems emanate from Muslim leadership in America. They won’t sign any document that says, ‘We are against shari’a.’”

Western governments seem oblivious to the apathy of supposedly legitimate organizations about apostasy killings and the growing ubiquity of fatwa (death warrant) issuances, the panel said.

“A fatwa of death can be issued from any country,” Darwish said, citing the 2008 handing down from the Middle East by Al Qaeda of a fatwa on Dutch parliament member Geert Wilders for an “insulting” film Wilders made about the Koran. “Fatwas are issued on Arab T.V. on a regular basis. … And these fatwas are following us right here in America. Why we are sleeping and not making a big deal about that is beyond me.”

Wafa Sultan is the author of A God Who Hates: The Courageous Woman Who Inflamed the Muslim World Speaks Out Against the Evils of IslamLast December, she debated Daniel Pipes, author of In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power and Militant Islam Reaches America, on the topic, “Moderate Islam: Western Ally or Western Myth?”, which can be seen here.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Capt’n John

    I wonder if there is some connection between a religion’s age and the severity with which they treat apostasy. Christianity treated those who did not accept the Christian god in ways similar to the way that Islam is treating non-believers now during the Dark and Middle ages in Europe.


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