According to some Islamic interpretations, the punishment for apostasy is death. However there are some who are against this rule. This law is deeply harmful to the world and will turn away more people from Islam.
First of all we should ask, for a true religion of God, why does it need to murder those who choose otherwise? If we are wish to propogate our world view and people to convert to it, shouldn’t others be free to convert from ours as well?
Interesting to note the Quran does not seem to discuss apostasy. Scholars such as Abdullah bin Bayyah spoke about it here and Hamza Yusuf as well. They claim that treason was the real reason for apostasy law and thus it no longer applies.
Muhammad was the first one to insult and blaspheme the gods of his forefathers.
Imagine if the Meccans said to Muhammad: “Sorry, we need to kill you. It’s part of our religion. You are speaking out against our idols and people are apostasizing away from our idol worship.” There would be no Islam.
Apostates sometimes return to Islam.
I personally know three individuals online that have returned to Islam after leaving it. Should they have been killed? Of course not
Third, imagine if every religion had such a rule. Would anyone be able to convert and would anyone be left alive today? Is this the type of world you wish to live in, where nobody can choose their own religion (or no religion)?
The merits of an idea can easily be evaluated by doing the thought experiment, “What if everyone adopted this principle?”
But who cares? We don’t have an Islamic State
Bad ideas need to be called out for society to grow. People need to understand that this is a bad idea. Otherwise people may take the law into their own hands and murder others.
In the following discussion on Twitter, I was not able to get a Muslim to admit that killing apostates was wrong:
— Abdullah Sameer (@abdullahadam) April 26, 2017
He finally answered that it’s a complex subject
@ReasonOnFaith @JohnA_SEN @abdullahadam @AzTheBaz @NabeelAzeezDXB complex & nuanced subject. Exactly what part of my morality has been compromised? I think your confusing with Sameer & his empty definitions
— Sabr (@ibnsabeel) April 27, 2017
But I have to ask, why? It’s simple. Killing others for leaving their religion is wrong.
What's so complex? Can you repeat after me?
"Killing others for leaving a religion is wrong" https://t.co/dO0D0WcJya
— Abdullah Sameer (@abdullahadam) April 27, 2017
Let’s make the world a better place
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was drafted after World War 2 stated
Faith in fundamental human rights, and dignity and worth of the human person” and committed all member states to promote “universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion
Nobody should be persecuted for choosing to change their religion, or to have no religion. Everyone has the right to freedom of conscience. Humanity has made progress, we have learned from our mistakes. We must not return to the dark ages now.
Living as a religious Muslim for 15 years in Canada I benefited greatly from this freedom, and spoke about it in my video on “My life as a Muslim in Canada” (4 mins)
The issue with this is that we cannot live on this earth in peace if we all maintain that our idea is best and others must be forced to conform & forfeit their life if they don’t.
Apostasy law creates an environment of hostility and suspicion
When I left Islam and made my first video, I received a whole lot of death threats. Here is one:
Many of them stated that “Islam says you must be killed”. Clearly, a person who leaves Islam gets a lot more threats than someone who leaves Christianity and becomes Muslim. Just look up any video of an ex-Christian such as Yusha Evans and see how many death threats you find in the comments. Hardly any. Now look at the number I received, simply for sharing my thoughts on why I was not Muslim. If Muslims are receiving death threats, this is wrong! We should call a spade a spade.
It is actually dangerous to be a public exmuslim
Here are some recent examples of people killed for leaving Islam or under suspicion of blasphemy:
Mashal Khan, the young university student in Pakistan was murdered by a 3000-person mob after university staff accused him of blasphemy. He called himself a humanist and was a proponent of freedom of religion and equal rights for LGBT individuals. Murdered April 2017
Ahmed Rajib Haider, a prominent atheist writer and blogger was hacked to death in Bangladesh. Murdered in 2013
Salman Taseer, Murdered in Islamabad Pakistan, 2011
Assassinated for his opposition to blasphemy laws. Note he did not even commit blasphemy, he simply questioned the law. He was killed by his bodyguard who received a huge funeral procession and was treated like a hero for what he did.
Al Shamri, Arrested in 2014, Saudi Arabia
An atheist man who has been sentenced to death for uploading videos renouncing Islam and Prophet Muhammad.
Raif Badawi, Saudi Arabia
Sentenced to lashes, heavy fines, and jail time for running a blog against the illiberal and rigid restrictions of the society and government. Imagine if he came out as an apostate?
You put your life in danger if you are in a Muslim country.
In a non-Muslim country you might be safe, but there is still the risk of being harmed as shown in this documentary Rescuing Ex-Muslims Leaving Islam
If you are saying to yourself “They deserved it” and “They shouldn’t have attacked Islam” ask yourself, Didn’t Muhammad do the same thing? Go against the religion of their forefathers and culture? Openly attack and criticize it?
Can the religion of the almighty creator that is on the haqq be threatened by a few weak people criticizing it? Is it worthy to spill blood over a few words?