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Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out

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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ifreet_Mohamed

    This book sucks. I dont know how more plainly I can put it. I dont know why I wasted money on it. It is pretty much a polemic by an unknown author who claims to be an ex-Muslim, nothing wrong with that, but it is so biased and tendentious that it is revolting. Also the pseudo-scholarship and shoddy selective use of sources was quite revealing as to the mind set of this "ibn warraq" (not his real name) character. He calls this a clarion call to the free world about the dangers of Islam from an "i This book sucks. I dont know how more plainly I can put it. I dont know why I wasted money on it. It is pretty much a polemic by an unknown author who claims to be an ex-Muslim, nothing wrong with that, but it is so biased and tendentious that it is revolting. Also the pseudo-scholarship and shoddy selective use of sources was quite revealing as to the mind set of this "ibn warraq" (not his real name) character. He calls this a clarion call to the free world about the dangers of Islam from an "insider." Needless to say this drivel was popular under Bushy and his propaganda War on Terror days, promoted by his Neo-Con masters, but that ship has sailed now idiots.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ann Tonks

    What is heart breaking about these stories is the fear that can be heard in almost every voice. Fear of losing partners; fear of losing family; fear of losing community; fear of losing their life. What sort of religion can be so insecure that it threatens people who sensibly question its tenants with death? What was also revealing was the number of stories where people "learnt to read the Koran" but in fact had no idea of its contents because they read it in Arabic and so could say the words, bu What is heart breaking about these stories is the fear that can be heard in almost every voice. Fear of losing partners; fear of losing family; fear of losing community; fear of losing their life. What sort of religion can be so insecure that it threatens people who sensibly question its tenants with death? What was also revealing was the number of stories where people "learnt to read the Koran" but in fact had no idea of its contents because they read it in Arabic and so could say the words, but not understand their meaning. It's reminiscent of the Catholic Church and the role of Latin but even Catholics have moved on from such illiteracy.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad

    repetitive reasons for leaving islam, also many hadiths are forgeries, I am not here to criticize the context of the book, anyway, its boring and well I thought I'd leave islam after reading this book, but I didnt, I mean Ive seen all the arguments represented and most of them were answered by muslim scholars, but I also have to admit that the muslim society is fucked up which probably drove these people to leave islam, but Islam is actually cool, I mean its a philosophy more than it is laws and repetitive reasons for leaving islam, also many hadiths are forgeries, I am not here to criticize the context of the book, anyway, its boring and well I thought I'd leave islam after reading this book, but I didnt, I mean Ive seen all the arguments represented and most of them were answered by muslim scholars, but I also have to admit that the muslim society is fucked up which probably drove these people to leave islam, but Islam is actually cool, I mean its a philosophy more than it is laws and punishments.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tariq Mahmood

    Some of the reasons why apostates were expelled, stoned, lynched and venerated by their fellow Muslims..... Al-Rawandi All religious dogma is contrary to reason in which case it must be rejected. Koran is inferior piece of work from the literary point of view, since it is neither clear or comprehensible nor of any practical value, therefore certainly not a revealed book. Al-Razi One could live in an orderly society without being terrorized by religious law or coerced by the prophets. Through philosoph Some of the reasons why apostates were expelled, stoned, lynched and venerated by their fellow Muslims..... Al-Rawandi All religious dogma is contrary to reason in which case it must be rejected. Koran is inferior piece of work from the literary point of view, since it is neither clear or comprehensible nor of any practical value, therefore certainly not a revealed book. Al-Razi One could live in an orderly society without being terrorized by religious law or coerced by the prophets. Through philosophy and human reason not through religion can human life be improved. Progress can only be made through scientific and philosophical progress, not following religion. Sufi orders Bektashi order rejected all external ceremonies of Islam and other religions. This order is famous for theor mala-matiya dervaishes who go around naked and inviting contempt upon themselves from the genral populace. There is no heaven or hell. Religion is love and love alone. A little doubt is better than total credulity. (Al Maarri) The majority of Muslims are are trapped in denial. They are unable or unwilling to admit that the Koran is a hoax. They desperately try to explain the unexplainable, to find miracles in it, and are not ashamed to bend all the rules of logic to prove that the Koran is right. Each time they are exposed to a shocking statement in the Koran or a shameful act performed by Muhammad, they retreat in denial. This is what I was doing. Denial is a safe place. It is the comfort zone. In denial you are not going to be hurt, everything is okay; everything is fine. (Ali Sina) The book is filled with stories of modern apostates of Islam who generally cite the treatment of women, vagueness of Koran, dubiousness of Hadith to justify their conversion. It does get pretty monotonous and tedious with the repetition of the same narrative over and over again. The book resembles a collection of blogs against Islam. I think it is an important addition to the sceptic debate within Islam. Trouble is if Muslims are in denial than the apostates are in blame. Both positions seem pretty extreme to me.......

  5. 5 out of 5

    Duane Miller

    Disturbing, but revealing. There are a significant number of typos, and a few references to the Qur'an and the ahadith which need to be referenced. But on the whole, the volume is helpful and shockingly sincere in tone. Disturbing, but revealing. There are a significant number of typos, and a few references to the Qur'an and the ahadith which need to be referenced. But on the whole, the volume is helpful and shockingly sincere in tone.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Rod Horncastle

    Lots of stories from people who left Islam. Some good, some not so good. All Muslim's should read this book for no other reason than: It'll make them think. Its good to think! Lots of stories from people who left Islam. Some good, some not so good. All Muslim's should read this book for no other reason than: It'll make them think. Its good to think!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    Excellent book with a great list of internet sites featuring testimonies of recovering Muslims.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Badger

    Sober sombre tales from those who broke their Islamic chains.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dp4s

    Religion -Islam

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jeff

  11. 5 out of 5

    Arya

  12. 5 out of 5

    Saurabh Mokal

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aniket

  14. 4 out of 5

    Pfloyd

  15. 5 out of 5

    Irene

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michele Davis

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darnell

  18. 5 out of 5

    Abeer Haruni

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ali Tanveer

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristoffer Krafft

  21. 4 out of 5

    Juan

  22. 4 out of 5

    Linus Vieira

  23. 4 out of 5

    Faazy Faiz

  24. 4 out of 5

    ZCM

  25. 4 out of 5

    David

  26. 5 out of 5

    Abhijit

  27. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Crabtree

  28. 4 out of 5

    Garry Alexander

  29. 4 out of 5

    MrE2Me

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mehraj Din

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