I've been reading up a bit on the reaction to apostasy in the Islamic world, and I must say that I am shocked at how it is dealt with. I can't believe that it's a crime in most Muslim countries, and am absolutely appalled that countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan make it punishable by death! I became interested in the topic after learning of the case of Abdul Rahman, the man who famously faced a death sentence in Afghanistan earlier this year after converting to Christianity. Similarly disheartening to me was the pretty much unanimous show of support for his execution among Muslim clerics from around the world.

As a result of all this, I'm keenly interested in the opinions of the many Muslim visitors to this site. I've seen many posts outlining Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance, and wonder if those good sentiments extend to those who wish to no longer call themselves Muslims. One of the three judges presiding over Rahman's trial stated that " Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, kindness and integrity. That is why we have told [Abdul Rahman] if he regrets what he did, then we will forgive him. If [he] does not repent, you will all be witness to the sort of punishment he will face." I do not understand how someone can claim that their religion has all those qualities, while simultaneously threatening him with death if he does not wish to be a part of it.
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Agree with you YoungCalifornian. The defendant doesn't have the right to choose his own opinion, in better words it would be: if you do not choose what Islam says than all the peace, tolerance, kindness and integrity defended by it will turn over you as a sentence of death; This is not freedom or the so called tolerance, you did not let the poor man choose his own way of living. Could anyone more clarified explain this, Did those three judges misunderstood the Islam or not?
Yes Pidr1nhu, I'm curious to know what exactly the Islamic concept of "tolerance" is. What exactly are those Muslims calling for Rahman's head tolerating? Where is "peace" and "kindness" evident in their belief that he must die?
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Hi there,

I find it a little difficult to me to write a sentence or two or even a long post so as to explain completely and rightfully what I deeply believe in. So if you are really interested in this topic, you can click on the following link and find the answer yourselves. The answer is written by Yusuf Estes (an American Muslim and a former preacher in Christainity)

http://www.islamnewsroom.com/content/view/92/26 /

Hope you got the point. And we can discuss it if you wish and I could.Emotion: smile
Apart from a few of the footnotes, I read the entire page to which you provided the link, Mythical Lady. Frankly, it raised more questions that it answered, and disturbed me more than it pacified me. It seemed like nothing more than propoganda designed to convince the reader that Islam is nothing but a peaceful religion, despite much evidence to the contrary (some present in the article itself). The biggest problem I have with this piece is that it never actually addresses the plight of Abdul Rahman, despite Yusuf Estes's acknowledgement that it is as a result of Rahman's ordeal that the recent questions about apostasy in Islam arose. The author first gives a bunch of background information regarding Islam while failing to demonstrate why it is relevant to the issue of apostasy, and then goes on to give a bunch of examples of how certain types of apostasy were dealt with by Muhammed, most in a somewhat reasonable manner given the times. Never does he bother to categorize Rahman's apostasy despite these examples, nor does he address the reality of how apostates are dealt with in most Islamic countries despite the examples of precedent he provides. Estes then simply ends his response with some historic examples of Jewish and Christian intolerance despite teachings in their doctrine. In short, he completely sidesteps the real issue, and then attempts to deflect negative attention away from Islam by pointing the finger at Jews and Christians. That seems at best ignorant, and at worst deceitful, in my opinion.

Yusuf Estes can cite all the examples from the Koran and hadith that he wants to justify his personal disapproval of violent reactions to apostasy, but the fact remains that the vast majority of Muslims (at least in the Middle East) do not share his views. I want to know why they feel justified killing someone who no longer wishes to be a Muslim. The closest thing to an answer he gives is (what seems to me) an odd analogy. He compares Islam to a country, and its apostates to emigrants. I think that such a comparison and the mindset behind it are dangerous. When religion ceases to be the realm of personal opinion and belief, and instead wanders into the terrority of fraternities and factions, what usually results is an 'Us vs. Them' mentality. This would explain a notion I've heard before regarding apostates, which is that they are traitors to Islam. Unfortunately, this is a sentiment that Estes also echoes in his conclusion:

"Conditions are really what bring about the different rulings on dealing with those who enter Islam and then leave it, with the clear intention of bringing about descention and unrest amongst the people. Also, those who seek to convert people away from Islam into other faiths or to destroy the Islamic government would naturally be considered as traitors and then dealt with as such."

With that final statement all Estes manages to completely unnavel all the arguments he attempted to make beforehand. Even in his liberal interpretation, Estes essentially says that apostates will only be tolerated as long as they do not seek to openly justify their beliefs or in any way diminish the perceived power of their Islamic brotherhood. How hypocritical when one considers his statement that Islam "always deals with everyone in Justice and Equity."
Hello everyone;

I have just come across this topic and I want to share my limited knowledge and opinions regarding the mattter, as well. Frankly speaking, this matter can vilify the tolerance conception of Islam, at the first sight. However, I think if we are talking about Islam, we must first look at Koran and prophet Mohammed,of course. Then I hope we will find the answers much more easily.

First, I want to say these are only my comments about the matter.So, as a human,I can be wrong on somewhere but I just want to present my understanding.Well, the rules about apostasy comes from the times of our prophet and Islam civlization at that time. Rules were for order of the Islam community and we cannot approach the matter with merely considering today`s conditions. And we cannot put all of these rules into the practice because first we dont have an appropriate Islam state to perform all of those rules. On the other side, I think there is much more than we suppose in the matter. You may think I am too much conspiracy minded. I can be but it is my understanding that he is just a puppet to denigrate the conception of tolerance in Islam.(and I think a Muslim who reads Koran and understands the Islam cannot be converted to any other religion and especially to Christianity,but anyway)

The most defectious fallacy about the approach of world to Islam is most people who dont know anything about our prophet and Koran ,can denigrate it by merely looking the matters from TVs or whatsoever. However, If Islam is the case, I think we must first look at prophet and Koran. Followers can be defectious but answers are always present in Koran and prophet Mohammed. In Islam civilization, community was great and compried a lot of people. Even every country has some rules to keep stability by punishing some who cause trouble to the stabilty of staas te. In Islam community it was so,well.And especially Jews were trying to cause disorder in this Islam communtiy.It can be valid today, too. So the point is it must be regarded as a cause of punishment not only for changing of religion but also a movement to cause disorder in community.Many people in the world who cause disorder in their country are also punished with a capital punishment. By the way, the person who converted to Christianity from Islam doesnt necessarily have to be killed. The rule is that he must abandon the Islam community. Again it shows that it has to do with maintaining order in community. And think about it. Anyone converted to Christianity from Islam why still wants to with Muslim people? And because it is considered as a undermining factor to society, the person is obliged to change his country.The capital punishment is indeed a daunting factor.

On the other side,if we look at the rules and practices in that time we can understand it better.For example, adultery also was a reason for capital punishment. If we look at the practices, there was only two adultery instance at that time.And as a difference example, there were only a few burglary. Think about Arab Peninsula and its ignorance before Islam. Before Prophet Mohammed came, there had been an era of ignorance in Arab peninsula and most of the things which were prohibited by Islam had been considered and performed as ordinary things.(Even before people used to bury their daughters alive as a symbol of shame) However, we can see the difference in such a short time with the understanding of Islam. Also, in my opinion practices are much more important than the rules themselves. Because the rules are implemented in order to deter people from the crimes. For example, when prophet Mohammed went to Taif he was stoned and badly treated by non-Muslims there. When he came back,his foots were in blood and Muslims around him wanted to retaliate and kill who had done that.A religion in which causing disorder is punished so severely, it must be a clear reson for a punishment.However the approach of prophet Mohammed was quite the contrary. He said no, they dont know,if they had known they wouldnt have done. This is the approach of prophet and ensuingly Islam,of course. However,unfortunately, most of the people who talks about Islam are ignorant of Koran and our prophet, people misunderstand the tenets and doctrines of Islam because they look the defects of some followers.

And Islam is a religion of tolerance because Islam is against any compulsory in beliefs. As is written in Koran "Let there be no complusion in the religioin" In Islam no Muslim is obliged to convert anyone to Islam (though everyone is accountable to tell their religion in the right way) And in Islam there is no one between God and individual. One can only pray to God and beg the things from him.There is not any absolution by anyone except Allah. Islam is the religion of equality because it is written in Koran that one can only be superior to one another in faith.(again at the first sight to most Islam can be seen as a religion where womans are derogated. However, in Islam there is no difference between an Arab, a Turkish, a Black or a women whatever.) Islam is the religion of honesty because a real Muslim knows the the biggest sin in Islam is to hinder someone from his rights. Again people can be deficious but Islam is a perfect religion.

Turning back to the case of AbdulRahman, of course he wont be killed. Because he already has become a star in the eyes of world and they achieved to attract attention of the most, what they had already wanted in this case. And I think,as a Muslim, people must first tell Islam to the world and then should struggle for the details. In a world where most people and even many Muslim are not aware of the doctrines of Koran, some can be misunderstood as is happened in this case.

Regards
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Young Californian, either you misunderstand the content of the answer (whish is unlikely) or you read the topic on the purpose of opposing ,not getting much understanding about it. Instead of asking questions that were raised in your mind, you keep attacking and giving negative attitudes towards Islam.(Is this a new way of learning?).

Yet I am trying my best to clarify the matter for you and for whosever read your posts.

First, let me tell about a basic rule in Islam we as Muslims have always been taught, never ever give arbitrary judgments about any case merely after hearing about it, unless you know the very conditions surrounding the circumstances, refer to both our reliable sources of knowledge which are the Quran and Hadeeth. Besides it's not me nor Jan. nor any Muslim can give Fatwah but as Estes explains the meaning of Fatwah "Fatwah Findings in Law and their subsequent rulings, by jurists and Islamic scholars who have memorized the Quran and are experts in the classical Arabic language and have correct knowledge of the meaning of the revelation of Quran and the hadeeth. " For sure you understand the meaning of hadeeth from the introduction which you claim irrelevant to the topic.

So the real question here is why Estes didn't give his Fatwah regarding the case although he is one of the Muslim scholars?? He answers "To begin, there is not a hard and fast rule concerning this subject because there are perhaps as many reasons why people do what they do as there are people in the world. The answer must be based on each individual situation, as it depends largely on the person, his or her knowledge, intention and understanding as well as the conditions surrounding the circumstances. " He is not included among the jurists so he doesn't know the very conditions of the case. And rulings differ according to the situations. Furthermore, Fatwa h is a very serious and dangerous matter. And if any jurist misjudge anyone, he is exposing himself to a hard reckoning in the hereafter.

You said "It seemed like nothing more than propoganda designed to convince the reader that Islam is nothing but a peaceful religion,"

I know the meaning of propaganda implies a bad sense. What you believe as a propaganda is very true in Islam. If you don't see this, it's your problem. (greatly due to your ignorance about the essence and teachings of Islam).

"it never actually addresses the plight of Abdul Rahman, despite Yusuf Estes's acknowledgement that it is as a result of Rahman's ordeal that the recent questions about apostasy in Islam arose. The author first gives a bunch of background information regarding Islam while failing to demonstrate why it is relevant to the issue of apostasy" "Never does he bother to categorize Rahman's apostasy despite these examples, nor does he address the reality of how apostates are dealt with in most Islamic countries despite the examples of precedent he provides."

Obviously Estes states the way apostasy is dealt with in Islam. The reason he begins by giving "the bunch of background information regarding Islam" is for readers not to misunderstand terms used in the article and to reveal what Islam is really about. About the case of Abdul Rahaman , he expresses his views by saying"The story presented in the news media these days is one of about an Afghani man who has been a Christian for over 16 years. This means he was a Christian throughout the entire time the Taliban were running the country there and obviously no one did anything to him throughout this time. Only now, with the western backed regime in place, are we hearing about this "problem." It does make a person wonder what is really going on there." Then he shed light on Islam's point of view citing examples of how the prophet dealt with the matter and his teachings about it (i.e hadeeth). And that's what scholars and jurists do referring to Quran and hadeeth in order to give Fatwah. And the reasons why Estes avoids giving Fatwah are stated earlier.

"justify his personal disapproval"

He is not justifying anything. He doesn't even mention his personal opinion. What he writes is ISLAMIC opinion particularly when it goes along with examples from both Quran and Hadeeth

"the fact remains that the vast majority of Muslims (at least in the Middle East) do not share his views."

Again these aren't his views but rather Islamic views. Yet I don't know why you haven't got the point and why you just keep accusing us (particularly Muslims of Middle East" Have you ever done a kind of a questionnaire through which you know the opinions of Muslims of Middle East??

"This would explain a notion I've heard before regarding apostates, which is that they are traitors to Islam."

Estes mentions the condition in which apostates deserve capital punishment in Shar'iah " Over the centuries since the inception of Islam, we can find cases of people leaving Islam and what was their example and what the pervailing jurists decided in their particular situation. Most all of these were not punished except in the cases of treason, other acts of viloence or for propagating corruption, dissention and promoting evil along with their apostasy. Those who were found to be causing sedition or of being enemy spies during times of war or advocating the overthrow of Islamic government could understandably be courtmartialed and executed."

"In short, he completely sidesteps the real issue"

Estes begins with expressing his attempt to learn about the topic of apostasy regarding his case and expresses his attitude towards the case of Abdul Rahman. Then he gives some basic information about Islam seeking better understanding. After that, he discusses the subject of how Islam views the one who leaves Islam giving examples all along. Finally he compares the treatment of apostasy with other civilizations. Yet you say he "sidesteps the real issue". I figure that you post at first to get more knowledge about apostasy in Islam. I thought that one sentence or two or even a long post wouldn't be a satisfatctory answer to your question but still no a long article elaborating the article could be so.

"How hypocritical when one considers his statement that Islam "always deals with everyone in Justice and Equity.""

I don't know how you could give absolute judgments about something clearly you don't know much about or at least to some reasonable extent. You just give me an example of the product of western media.

To Janissary, you wrote"I think a Muslim who reads Koran and understands the Islam cannot be converted to any other religion and especially to Christianity"

This is very true. No Muslim can convert to any other religion if and only if he understands deeply and rightfully the true essence of his/her religion. Most of those who converted are Muslims just by identity. I think they don't even perform the least requirements of Islam such as prayers, zakah, fasting.. etc, so they just think why we don't convert to a religion which doesn't ask for more duties to be done. As a matter of fact and in the whole history of Islam, no scholar (who has deep knowledge of Islam) has ever converted to any other religion. On the contrary, we are still hearing about priests and preachers (those who have deep knowledge of Christianity) convert to Islam.
Well, the rules about apostasy comes from the times of our prophet and Islam civlization at that time. Rules were for order of the Islam community and we cannot approach the matter with merely considering today`s conditions. And we cannot put all of these rules into the practice because first we dont have an appropriate Islam state to perform all of those rules.
I can accept that times were different when Islam was founded. I would also concede that it's unfair to judge the actions of Muhammed and early Muslims by modern standards of morality. However, what I cannot accept is when the morality and ethics of the 7th century are applied today. Christians, and member of other religions, have been equally harsh in their treatment of non-believers and converts at various points in history. The difference is that modern Christians do not look to the actions of those historic Christians as an examples of how they should behave in the 21st century. In essence, elements of their beliefs have evolved with the times. In contrast, it seems that many, if not most, Muslims look to those early followers of Muhammed as role models for how they should live their lives today. I find that very disturbing considering many of their violent actions which, again, were not entirely unjustified or unusual in the age they were committed, but which are wholly inappropriate in the 21st century.

As for your comments regarding "an appropriate Islam state", I find them a bit disturbing, but I must also make clear that I am a firm believer in the separation of church and state. Theocracies of all kinds have rarely, if ever, been very tolerant of minority religions. Islamic goverments, with their traditions of dhimmi laws, have been no exception.
On the other side, I think there is much more than we suppose in the matter. You may think I am too much conspiracy minded. I can be but it is my understanding that he is just a puppet to denigrate the conception of tolerance in Islam.
That may be, although I don't know who exactly you would expect is trying to denigrate Islam in the case of Abdul Rahman. Still, even if someone had set up this situation to make Muslims look bad, it is still the Muslims themselves who are demonstrating the intolerance. Whatever the motivations of Rahman, it doesn't change the fact that he was going to be executed simply for converting to another religion. Any designs to make Muslims look bad wouldn't have worked if they were simply more tolerant. Even if it was a trap, they still took the bait.
In Islam civilization, community was great and compried a lot of people. Even every country has some rules to keep stability by punishing some who cause trouble to the stabilty of staas te. In Islam community it was so,well.And especially Jews were trying to cause disorder in this Islam communtiy.It can be valid today, too. So the point is it must be regarded as a cause of punishment not only for changing of religion but also a movement to cause disorder in community.
These sentiments which you've expressed seem to align with the previous ones I mentioned suggesting that Muslims view themselves as a collective nation. I will again state my belief that to do so is to tread on dangerous ground. I think it's unhealthy to view religion in such a way. Religious belief should be the realm of individuals, not whole communities. Furthermore, religion should not be mixed with politics. Everyone has the right to believe what they want, and to share those beliefs if they so choose. The disorder and instability within the Islamic community that you and others speak of would seem to be thoughts, ideas, or actions which challenge the supremacy of Islam over other religions. If Islam will not tolerate these actions, then Islam simply isn't a tolerant religion.
By the way, the person who converted to Christianity from Islam doesnt necessarily have to be killed. The rule is that he must abandon the Islam community. Again it shows that it has to do with maintaining order in community. And think about it. Anyone converted to Christianity from Islam why still wants to with Muslim people? And because it is considered as a undermining factor to society, the person is obliged to change his country.The capital punishment is indeed a daunting factor.
Well I'm glad that a person who converts to Christianity doesn't necessarilyhave to be killed... Emotion: sad

Anyway, another problem with the politicization of Islam as you've outlined it is that same 'Us vs. Them' mentality. Why would a person who converts to Christianity want to live in a Muslim community? Probably because it is still their homeland and although they have a different belief regarding the nature of the universe than their neighbors, they still feel a kinship to their people. Do you really want to live in a world were people are totally defined and divided up by their religious affiliations? It's hard for me to believe a Muslim living in a historically Christian country like Germany would think like that.
And Islam is a religion of tolerance because Islam is against any compulsory in beliefs. As is written in Koran "Let there be no complusion in the religioin" In Islam no Muslim is obliged to convert anyone to Islam (though everyone is accountable to tell their religion in the right way)

Again, the way you yourself characterize Islam, it does not sound like a tolerant religion despite your claims that it is. Not forcing non-believers to convert to your religion is not the same as tolerating them. When Muslims allow them to retain their beliefs but treat them as religious inferiors and second-class citizens, they are not being tolerant. Futhermore, your statement that everyone "is accountable to tell their religion in the right way" suggests that any attempts to characterize their religion in manner opposed to Muslim views of them will be met with resistance. Since when do practitioners of one religion get to define the beliefs of another?
(and I think a Muslim who reads Koran and understands the Islam cannot be converted to any other religion and especially to Christianity,but anyway)
Followers can be defectious but answers are always present in Koran and prophet Mohammed.
Again people can be deficious but Islam is a perfect religion.
I find all these statements both baffling and disturbing. The idea that any religion is perfect or flawless is utterly ridiculous to me. You say that while all Muslims are not perfect, Islam is. To me, the simple fact that all Muslims are indeed far from perfect, and that not all Muslims can agree on interpretations of their religion proves that Islam is imperfect. More than anything else though, I think the fact that most Muslims believe that their religion is flawless is actually its greatest flaw.
Young Californian, either you misunderstand the content of the answer (whish is unlikely) or you read the topic on the purpose of opposing ,not getting much understanding about it. Instead of asking questions that were raised in your mind, you keep attacking and giving negative attitudes towards Islam.(Is this a new way of learning?).
Questioning something has always been the best way to learn about it. If I receive answers to my questions which satisfy me, I will cease to press the issue. If not, I will continue challenging what I hear and read. Just because the answers presented do not satisfy me does not mean that I am not listening nor trying to keep as open a mind as possible. That said, I will state that my mind is already made up in that I believe that to even consider executing Abdul Rahman for apostasy is reprehensible and unjustifiable. If you're going to try and convince me that it is justifiable, I will tell you right now that you're not going to succeed.
So the real question here is why Estes didn't give his Fatwah regarding the case although he is one of the Muslim scholars?? He answers "To begin, there is not a hard and fast rule concerning this subject because there are perhaps as many reasons why people do what they do as there are people in the world. The answer must be based on each individual situation, as it depends largely on the person, his or her knowledge, intention and understanding as well as the conditions surrounding the circumstances. " He is not included among the jurists so he doesn't know the very conditions of the case. And rulings differ according to the situations. Furthermore, Fatwa h is a very serious and dangerous matter. And if any jurist misjudge anyone, he is exposing himself to a hard reckoning in the hereafter.
Obviously Estes states the way apostasy is dealt with in Islam. The reason he begins by giving "the bunch of background information regarding Islam" is for readers not to misunderstand terms used in the article and to reveal what Islam is really about. About the case of Abdul Rahaman , he expresses his views by saying"The story presented in the news media these days is one of about an Afghani man who has been a Christian for over 16 years. This means he was a Christian throughout the entire time the Taliban were running the country there and obviously no one did anything to him throughout this time. Only now, with the western backed regime in place, are we hearing about this "problem." It does make a person wonder what is really going on there." Then he shed light on Islam's point of view citing examples of how the prophet dealt with the matter and his teachings about it (i.e hadeeth). And that's what scholars and jurists do referring to Quran and hadeeth in order to give Fatwah. And the reasons why Estes avoids giving Fatwah are stated earlier.
Okay, I now understand your point that Estes cannot pronounce judgement on Rahman because he is not qualified to outline proper interpretations and judgments regarding the Koran and hadith (as I implied in posts above, I think it a flawed tradition in Islam that individuals are not trusted to make their own interpretations, but that is another matter). The fact that Estes does not feel comfortable in outright condeming the execution of Rahman poses another dilemma. It means he considers it very possible that Islamic scholars will hold that Rahman should have been executed, which is totally unjustifiable and suggests a greater problem in Islamic doctrine.

Regarding the possibility that Rahman had long been a Christian, and that it only came to light after the Taliban was deposed, I consider that largely irrelevant. Whatever his history, the simple fact is that this year he faced the possibility of being executed for apostasy, and likely would have been if not for pressure outside the Islamic world. Still, my understanding is that Rahman's situation came to light when it did because of a custody dispute regarding his daughters. Apparently his ex-wife sought to use his conversion as a means of denying him custody of his children, and his family then reported him to the police in February, who found a Bible in his home and arrested him.
Again these aren't his views but rather Islamic views. Yet I don't know why you haven't got the point and why you just keep accusing us (particularly Muslims of Middle East" Have you ever done a kind of a questionnaire through which you know the opinions of Muslims of Middle East??
While Estes may not feel comfortable in making an outright judgment in the case of Abdul Rahman, his writings clearly imply a belief that an apostate does not deserve death unless he does something else in the manner exemplified by those excerpts. In contrast, every other source I've read on the subject states quite clearly that most Muslim clerics agree that apostates deserve death in all cases. Some examples from hadith presented to support this are:

Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' " --Sahih Bukhari, 4:52:260

Allah's Apostle said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims. --Sahih Bukhari, 9:83:17

A man embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism. Mu'adh bin Jabal came and saw the man with Abu Musa. Mu'adh asked, "What is wrong with this (man)?" Abu Musa replied, "He embraced Islam and then reverted back to Judaism." Mu'adh said, "I will not sit down unless you kill him (as it is) the verdict of Allah and His Apostle -- Sahih Bukhari, 9:89:271
Estes mentions the condition in which apostates deserve capital punishment in Shar'iah " Over the centuries since the inception of Islam, we can find cases of people leaving Islam and what was their example and what the pervailing jurists decided in their particular situation. Most all of these were not punished except in the cases of treason, other acts of viloence or for propagating corruption, dissention and promoting evil along with their apostasy. Those who were found to be causing sedition or of being enemy spies during times of war or advocating the overthrow of Islamic government could understandably be courtmartialed and executed."
Yes, but the fact remains that Rahman faced execution for nothing other than peaceful conversion. Nothing he did parallels the accounts of those apostates Muhammed had executed in the examples provided. Furthermore, that doesn't explain the fact that Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Iran make apostasy from Islam, regardless of those conditions presented by Estes, a capital crime. He seems to be ignoring the fact that the view he is espousing clearly is not held by (at least) a sizeable percentage of Muslims.
Estes begins with expressing his attempt to learn about the topic of apostasy regarding his case and expresses his attitude towards the case of Abdul Rahman. Then he gives some basic information about Islam seeking better understanding. After that, he discusses the subject of how Islam views the one who leaves Islam giving examples all along. Finally he compares the treatment of apostasy with other civilizations. Yet you say he "sidesteps the real issue". I figure that you post at first to get more knowledge about apostasy in Islam. I thought that one sentence or two or even a long post wouldn't be a satisfatctory answer to your question but still no a long article elaborating the article could be so.
When I say said he sidestepped the real issue, I was referring specifically to how apostasy is usually dealt with by Muslims in the real world. Estes can present all the theoretical ideas and possible interpretations of Islamic law regarding the issue that he wants, but the fact remains that most Muslim clerics appear to believe that death is the most appropriate punishment for apostasy, regardless of the circumstances surrounding it. He never addresses the reality of the situation within the Islamic world. The views and precedents he presents regarding apostasy seem to conflict with the actuality of how it is dealt with in most Muslim countries, but he never seeks to explain to the difference.
I don't know how you could give absolute judgments about something clearly you don't know much about or at least to some reasonable extent. You just give me an example of the product of western media.
I don't appreciate being so quickly written off. You're beginning to seem like a product of religious indoctrination since a young age, but I'm still willing to hear and respond to your views in a reasonable manner. You don't know me, nor do you have any idea to what extent I've been exposed to Islam. If you're going to isolate yourself from criticism by claiming that anyone who questions Islam must be ignorant of it, you've already lost the debate.
This is very true. No Muslim can convert to any other religion if and only if he understands deeply and rightfully the true essence of his/her religion. Most of those who converted are Muslims just by identity. I think they don't even perform the least requirements of Islam such as prayers, zakah, fasting.. etc, so they just think why we don't convert to a religion which doesn't ask for more duties to be done. As a matter of fact and in the whole history of Islam, no scholar (who has deep knowledge of Islam) has ever converted to any other religion. On the contrary, we are still hearing about priests and preachers (those who have deep knowledge of Christianity) convert to Islam.
Now I have to wonder to what extent you are knowledgable about Christianity. While I consider myself Agnostic, I was raised in a Christian family, and could just as easily state that anyone who converted from Christianity to Islam obviously lacked a real understanding of Christianity. Your statements regarding the respective requirements of Christianity and Islam are laughable at best. It's true that Christians are less concerned with earthly rites than Muslims, but it's woefully ignorant to claim that such rites are the full extent of the religions' requirements. I also highly doubt your assertion that no Islamic scholar (even with the subjective caveat of having "deep knowlege" of their religion) has ever converted from Islam, while many Christians have. If for no other reason, it's silly because the elements of what constitues a learned theologian in each religion are totally different.
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