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Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out

Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out

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 treason ù desertion 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.

Preface

PART 1: THEORY AND PRACTICE OF APOSTASY IN ISLAM

Chapter 1: Apostasy

Chapter 2: Early History of Apostasy in Islam: Zindigs, Atheists, Dualists, Mystics, and Freethinkers

Chapter 3: Al-Rawandi and AI-Razi

Chapter 4: Sufism, or Islamic Mysticism and the Rejection of Islam

Chapter 5: Abu 'I-,Ala' Ahmad b. 'Abd Allah b. Sulayman al-Ma`arri

Chapter 6: The Poet of Doubt: `Umar Khayyam: Medieval and Modern Iranian Freethought

Chapter 7: Apostates of Islam I: Converts to Christianity

Chapter 8: Apostates of Islam II: Converts to Hinduism, Humanism, Deism, Atheism, and Agnosticism

Chapter 9: Apostasy, Human Rights, and Islam

PART 2: TESTIMONIES SUBMITTED TO THE ISIS WEB SITE

Chapter 10: Introduction

Chapter 11: Testimonies from the ISIS Web Site

PART 3: TESTIMONIES OF BORN MUSLIMS: MURTADD FITRI

Chapter 12: Introduction: The Allah That Failed

Chapter 13: Why I Left Islam: My Passage From Faith to Enlightenment

Chapter 14: A Journal of My Escape from the Hell of Islam

Chapter 15: Islamic Terrorism and the Genocide in Bangladesh

Chapter 16: An Iranian Girlhood and Islamic Barbarism

Chapter 17: Leaving Islam and Living Islam

Chapter 18: Thinking for Oneself

Chapter 19: A Rationalist Look at Islam

Chapter 20: Floods, Droughts, Islam, and Other Natural Calamities

Chapter 21: Liberation from Muhammadan Ideology

Chapter 22: A View from the Far East

Chapter 23: An Accidental Critic

Chapter 24: On Being a Woman in Pakistan

Chapter 25: The Lifting of the Veil of Blind Faith

Chapter 26: Autobiography of a Dissident

Chapter 27: Now I Am Guided

Chapter 28: The Wind Blowing through My Hair

Chapter 29: A Philosopher's Rejection of Islam

Chapter 30: My Malaise

Chapter 31: A Nightmare in Tunisia

Chapter 32: An Atheist from Andhra Pradesh

PART 4: TESTIMONIES OF WESTERN CONVERTS: MURTADD MILLI

Chapter 33: From Submitter to Mulhid

Chapter 34: A Spanish Testament: My Experience As a Muslim

Chapter 35: "Forget What Is and Is Not Islam"

Chapter 36: I Married a Muslim

Chapter 37: Dark Comedy

APPENDICES

A. Islam on Trial: The Textual Evidence

B. Ex-Muslims of the World Unite!

C. The Council for Secular Humanism

D. A List of Web Sites Critical of Islam

E. Bibliography of Books Critical of Islam