Christians Killed Apostates Too

Muhammad Ridzwan Rahmat

The saga of Abdul Rehman’s conversion to Christianity may be over but the aftermath is far from settled. Like a clockwork of hate, the episode has brought upon yet another wave of criticisms against Islam and its record for religious tolerance. But what few would realise is that the West has a history of religious intolerance and persecutions that would put Muslim Afghanistan to shame.

Examine the following verse closely:

“If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying: Let us go and worship other gods, do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people.”1

Despite all the staunch criticisms they make about Islam, that was not a verse from the Quran. In fact, the Quran is void of any instructions to murder apostates.

Instead, the line above has been taken taken from Deuteronomy 13: 6-9 that outlines very vividly, the fate of apostates and followers of other religions. Another verse reads:

“And he should go and worship other gods and bow down to them or to the sun or the moon or all the army of the heavens, …..and you must stone such one with stones and such one must die.” 2

And follow these verses they did.

In May 1096, a group of Crusaders en route to the Holy Land to kill Muslims, stopped by a Rhineland town called Worms between Mannnheim and Mainz, near present day Germany to preach the message of God to its population of Jews. The Crusaders urged them to convert to Christianity, explaining that it is the only path to salvation.

But when the town refused, the Crusaders under the command of Count Emmich of Leiningen, dragged them out of their homes and put up a massacre of every one in the town. 800 people met a bloody death at the edge of a sword for their refusal to convert. Women and children were not spared and many were decapitated as blood flowed through the streets of the town. Some of them were even burnt alive as they took refuge in the very same church that the Crusaders have built and preached from.3

Worms was definitely not the only town that was plundered over the years. Christian preachers storming their way from the West forced the religion upon the locals through threat and terror. In the city of Mainz, 1000 Jews met the same morbid fate when they refused to take up Christianity. Entire families were slaughtered systematically.

The author of Gesta Francorum wrote to describe the mayhem during the incident: “All the streets of the city on every side were full of corpses, so that no one could endure to be there because of the stench, nor could anyone walk along the narrow paths of the city except over the corpses of the dead’. Historians have referred to this obscure incident as the “first holocaust”.

The people of other religion who refused to convert into Christianity were not the only ones who were feverishly persecuted. Christians who were known to opt out of the religion or were seen as heretics, have been mercilessly put to death too over the course of history.

Somewhere around 1200, a new religion emerged in Western France amongst the people of Languedoc called Catharism and was gaining a steady stream of converts from the Christian world. The Cathars, as they are called, abjured marriage and the eating of meat in an effort to obtain purity. The new religion appealed to the Christians in a very refreshing way.

The spread of Catharism alarmed the Christians of Europe greatly and the Church sent in preachers and papals year after year to reverse the situation. In an effort to delegitimise the movement further, Catharism was declared as a heresy and a deviant branch of Christianity. But the religion continued to flourish and threatened to spread to an even greater part of Europe.

The Christians could take it no more and in 1208, the Pope decided to unleash a full-blown crusade against the Cathars, known as the Albigensian Crusade. Thousands of apostates were slaughtered in the ensuing campaign, including 7000 residents of a town called Beziers who were locked and burnt in a church. A horrified onlooker rushed to the papal gates and reminded the crusaders that the some Christians were still trapped in the church together with the Cathars. The officer overseeing the massacre then made a remark that has resounded through the centuries: “Kill them all. God will know his own”.

It would be tempting to list all the other examples of Christians killing apostates in order to answer the growing wave of criticisms from the West against Islam. But that is not the point of this article. Two wrongs do not make one right.

The point is to compare the attitude of Christianity towards apostasy then and now. Christianity today has none of these violent characteristics against apostates. People who leave the religion are not given death threats nor persecuted violently at the edge of a sword ? unlike what happened before during the medieval times. It is now a largely peaceful religion and has taken few qualities of its earlier practitioners from the earlier periods.

But this peaceful nature of Christians towards apostasy took time and a considerable amount of evolution over the centuries. Education, tolerance and enlightenment did not find its way into Christianity overnight. It took an awful part of 2000 years for Christianity to be where it is today.

Islam must be given the same chance. At only 1400 years old, Islam is a relatively young religion when compared to other faiths of revealed scriptures. It is unfair to keep putting Islam to the perpetual ridicule of violence and intolerance, when Christianity has been given a much longer time to evolve in a head start of about 600 years.

Apostasy is still a very touchy subject in much of the Muslim world, similar to Christianity during the times of the crusade. Different interpretations may exist, but Islam is definitely not a religion of violence nor murder towards any group including apostates who leave the religion peacefully and mean no harm.

Already beacons of tolerance and excellence can be seen emerging in a handful of Muslim communities around the world, such as Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom. The rest of the Muslim Ummah must be given that same chance.

Footnotes

  1. Deuteronomy 13: 6-9 []
  2. Deuteronomy 17:3-5 []
  3. Malcolm Billings, The Crusades : Five Centuries of Holy Wars, Sterling Publishing New York, 1996 []

19 Comments

  1. Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    May God’s grace be upon us.
    I read the above comments and like to comment something. Nobody becomes a true Muslim or true Christian by birth. Unless we realize the grace of God in our heart there is no meaning in living. Religion is a way to this realization.

    No religion in this world is the Truth, all are different ways to the Truth. And the Truth is only one. According to different culture and languages we call it using different names.
    It is actually the people who are wrong, not the religion. We can see that the Hindus worshiping idols when they are not supposed to do so. The religion tells that the idol is not God; it is only a instrument for the concentration of the mind. When you reach that level you have to discard the idol and search for the higher truth. Islam tells not to worship anything or anyone other than God (Allah in Arabic). But there are Muslims who pray in front of tombs (one of my Muslim friend told me). Islam forbids the use of magic (black magic) I know Muslim people who do black magic. In Bible it is written not to make (and worship) any idols of any one in earth or in the sea or in the heaven. But we can see Christians worshiping idols. Both Islam and Christianity forbid drinking liquor. But there are Muslims and Christians who drink liquor. There are many examples like these where the people are wrong, not the religion.

    Let me tell you a story which was once told by a great philosopher. There was a frog that was living in a well. He had lived only in the well and its close surroundings. Once a frog from the sea happened to fall in the well. The frog in the well asked “Where are you from?”. The frog from the sea replied, ” I live in the sea”. Then the frog in the well asked, “The sea! Is it bigger than this well?”. The frog from the sea replied, “This well is very small when compared to the sea. The sea is so big that this well is not even comparable with it”. The frog in the well got angry and told ” You are a liar! There is nothing bigger than this well. Can’t you see how much water is there in this?”. He even insulted the other frog. The other frog just smiled and walked away.
    We all are in our own small well. And our aim is to reach the sea and enjoy the bliss in it.
    It is the God who created all of us, not to hate each other but to love each other and realize the love itself. So let us study and practice our scriptures with a heart full of love inclined towards God. So, are you a Christian? Fine, know your religion and practice it in love and with the urge for realization. Are you a Muslim? Fine, know your religion and practice it in love and with the urge for realization.
    First let us all do Crusade and Jihad in our own heart, with our own evil thoughts, bad words and bad deeds and pure our heart.
    Let us stop judging others and arguing, and start working within ourself to reach the Ocean of eternity.

    Salam Wa alaikum. May God Bless us.

  2. Zeno, from the way you speak you seem to be a devious non muslim pretending to be a muslim. If you are such a person i would advise you to get a life. As for Timothy charles and his argument about the prophet thinking he was under demonic influence. I bet he would love for Islam to be a demonic religion, but it’s not. The only demonic influence here is him.

  3. Greetings!

    After reading the various exchanges of comments there seems to be more criticism. I am a muslim and I feel we get more offended and tend to explain our religion by comparing it with other faiths. Why? To blaspheme the prophet is death but to blaspheme Allah is nothing to us. Is’nt Allah greater that the greatest of all? Also as I read that Moses feared when Allah spoke to him,in fact he did not fear, he was awed so was the Mother of Prophet Essa when the Angel appeared to her, they did not feel that they were possessed by the demons, when a heavenly being appears why does one have to feel so terrified. Nor did Angel Gabriel tell him he was a prophet, where did the comment writer get that, i wonder.

  4. No need to argue. Just answer these question

    1) Why in one of the european country, wearing the head scarf is not allow in school? You are not allow/banned from attending school because of wearing it.
    2) If your religion is so good, why allow your leader to kill other people in different country? Isn’t there any guide line to select leader in your holy “book” ?
    3) If you think your religion is soo good, look at Afgahanistan and Iraq? Look at the statistics before and after the war, how many people are muslim and how many are Christian? FYI, Iraq and Afghanistan have their own Christian community before the war. Isn’t that show you that your religion is spread through violence/war. Assume also the case of East Asian country, read the history book, when was your religion start to grow? Before independance (during colonial time), isn’t it? Look at Islam, when they started to grow? I think in Melaka (Malaysia) and Indonesia, Islam reach there not because of war but because of the traders.
    4)You say Muslim countries are bad, so why so many ex-patriate want to go to our countries? Why the American or the European want to INVADE some of the country in the middle east? Why not Venezuela or other countries in Europe (ie Norway)? If oil is the only reason, they can go to these 2 country but I think there is other agenda? Why? Because Iraq and Afgan are Muslim not Christian country.
    If you want to say because of terrorist, why in the earth the US govt don’t allow people from other country (Middle east or Muslim )to investigate the 911 tragedy and made public the report?

  5. Al-salaam alakum,
    You Muslim brothers,are too kind,to these typical christian DEVILS!They and their WHITE POWER,DEMON cult,called “christianity”,are nothing but a continuation of 2,000yrs.of MURDER,RAPE,RACIAL SLAVERY,GEOCIDE & WAR!Their GODLESS BOOK,the bible,supports all these”gifts from SATAN”(deut.7:16;1-2;joshua 10:30;10:40;matt.10:34-35;eph.6:5-7)!They like to play their sick,little game about christianity being about”peace & love”and that EVERYONE who EVER practiced that gutter-religion of theirs,has ALWAYS been GOOD PURE,&HOLY.Christianity has NEVER been about MURDER,SLAVERY,& WAR to those PAGAN BLASPHEMERS,who are a part of it!But if they REALLY served a TRULY MERCIFUL GOD,like we do,why do they continue to lie & slander other people’s faith?Because they serve the SAITAN(SATAN)and his FILTHY apostle,the hypocrite Paul of Tarsus!You don’t have to proove anything to KUFR SCUM,like ALL christians(esp.evangelical christians)are!They should be explaining why they have a EVIL,RACIST story about Canaan being”cursed”by Noah in genesis,and using this IDIOTIC,FALSE MYTH,to ENSLAVE TENS of MILLIONS of AFRICAN &AMERINDIAN men,women,& children!MILLIONS of AFRICAN MUSLIMS where FORCED to accept there EUROPEAN-CENTERD religion!So let ALLAH handle them.ALLAH ALWAYS knows how to take care of HIS & OUR enemies.Usually by putting them where they belong,in HELL!

  6. “Well, as they told you in schools, your first instinct is usually correct. ”

    Nah, not really. You forget that most prophets who receive revelation are scared out of their minds! Moses himself was frightened when he saw the burning bush and heard God’s voice. He was even more frightened when he was given the responsibility to lead his people against Pharaoh. So afraid that he gave excuse after excuse after excuse to get out of it.

    Likewise, when Gabriel told Muhammed that he was a prophet, and that he was to be the leader of an entire nation, he was downright hysterical. He wanted nothing of it. Gabriel then commands him to “Read…in the name of your lord”. Of course, Muhammed was illiterate and responds by saying “I cannot read”. (Just like when Moses says “I am slow of speech and slow of tongue” when God tells him to spread his message)

    At this moment Muhammed cannot bear the magnitude of responsibility any longer so he runs away and tries desperately to explain away the incident as a simple spirit possession. In fact, you could say that he was so frightened of the responsibility that he almost preferred to be possessed; it wasn’t necessarily the case that he actually thought he was possessed. However, just like Moses, he was reassured that he was truly a prophet later on in the day by Gabriel himself.

    That’s all I’ll comment on. The rest of your post sounds like paranoid Christian polemical diatribe — arguements that specifically leave out information to support erreneous beliefs. (such as the oft-repeated “violent” beginning of Islam, but of course there’s a failure to note that the Prophet had hundreds of tribes eager to slit his throat on a day by day basis. You would only infer that violence would result from enemies who want nothing but violence. However, the suprising anecdote is that Prophet still pardoned whole cities that were so vehemently against him in the beginning like Makkah.)

  7. The argument of Christianity having a “600 year head start” is nonsensical. By that logic, we Americans could justify our past sins on the grounds that “the United States is only 230 years old.” One of the most important reasons enlightened man studies history is to avoid the mistakes of earlier generations. Islam may be “only” 1400 years old, but the present reality of the religion is still one of bloodshed and oppression–including slavery of minorities not 150 years ago, but as this is being typed. While it is true that a great number of crimes have been perpetrated in the NAME of Christianity, nobody in their right mind could make the case that the people committing them were acting like Jesus.

    The same is not true with Islam and Muhammad.

    “If you really love muslims, prove islam wrong by fighting a fair fight, not by demolishing it from within.”

    If Islam is worth ANYTHING, it will not be in danger of demolition from within or without. Even without the violence, from the beginning years to the reality of today, just the way Islam began is amusing…..Muhammed, married to a woman fifteen years his senior, is visited by a presence claiming to be the angel Gabriel. Muhammed’s first instinct is to interpret it as a demonic influence, but his wife Kadijah convinces him otherwise.

    Well, as they told you in schools, your first instinct is usually correct.

  8. Christians have killed many people for not converting to their religion or for being heretics. And now they have the cheek to act all good, bloody two faced liers. The only reason christianity has become so civilised now is because their churches no longer have any power. Most western countries that were majority christian chose to secularise their countries and seperate religion from state. Only after secularisation did the christians stop killing people (for heresy, apostasy etc)and that is because they had lost power in the new political make up. It is funny how these christians have a bible teaching things like killing people for suggesting another God to worship and killing people for adultery etc, and now they take credit for the human rights established in the west. Notice how these jews and christians don’t implement the biblical laws found in deutronomy and elsewhere in the bible. That’s because they know a lot of those laws found in the bible will now be considered as barbaric and against human rights.

    Here are a few examples if those two faced christians care to see:

    1) “And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.” — Leviticus 20:10

    2)”He that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.” — Leviticus 24:16

    3)”Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.” — Exodus 31:15

    4)For not being a Virgin on the night of the wedding

    “If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her … and say, I took this woman, and when I came to her, I found her not a maid: Then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel’s virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate…. But if this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die: because she hath wrought folly in Israel, to play the whore in her father’s house: so shalt thou put evil away from among you.” — Deuteronomy 22:13-22

    5) Bible on homosexuals
    “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” — Leviticus 20:13

    I think that is enough, there are more examples but that should suffice. Muslims are more honest in that they admit they have laws with very harsh punishments, some similar to the above i.e. stoning adulterers etc. We know they are considered by people to be barbaric and out of date, but we wont bad mouth people who implement such laws because we believe they are from God.

  9. In the name of Allah most gracious, most merciful.

    I wish to counter a few statements by Mr. Jason which in my opinian is debatable :-

    “how could Christianity ‘evolve’ to a peaceful religion. Jesus Himself on the Cross said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Christianity is about ‘turning the other cheek’, ‘blessing those who curse you’, ‘do good to those who hate you’. Prov 25:21-22 says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.”

    But yet why did US (a predominantly christian nation which has evolved since 1500 ) feed muslims
    in Afghanistan with nepalm bomb and laser guided missles just 2 weeks post Sept 11 2001, and before that deprive innocent Iraqi civilians with trade embargo since 1991 and later invaded Iraq in 2003
    killing more innocent civilians in collateral damage in view of removing Saddam and searching for weapon of mass destruction ( till today not found ). You preached about grace in christianity but the reality is quiet the contrary, you talk of religious freedom uphold by the west but they massacre muslims nation overseas in the name of freedom, terrorism and defence of Democracy.

    ” The early Christians were a peaceful people. Would a hostile people allow themselves to be sent to the lions, to be thrown into prisons, to be crucified in bundles (re: Nero)? Christianity was spread through the lower classes and thrived in persecution.”

    “Islam on the other hand spread through violence. You either had to convert or die and that is why all of North Africa became Muslim, especially early Christian strongholds like Egypt.”

    Do you think only early christians suffer persecution, Muslims in the begining too were tortured, massacred, robbed of their belongings, driven away from their homes and forced to live like refugees
    Even after the Hijrah to Medinah, the persecution still continued.Only then did god allow muslims to fight back in self defense in surah al- Baqarah 190-193: Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you.Drive them out of the places where they have drive you out. For persecution is worse than slaughter.Fight them till persecution is no more and religion is for god.But if they stop, let there be no more war, for god never loved the staters of war.
    The Quran being the final revelation, noted Allah has allowed muslims to fight in self-defence so that peace and justice may prevail over oppresion. It is a rule that every mankind should agree.
    For your information Islam forbids the forced conversion of non-believers, and why are there still
    many Orthodox Christians in Egypt with churches still standing there.

    “We are completely different. Tell me where do you find people in the ‘Christian’ west being murdered for converted to Islam? Tell me where in the ‘Christian’ west is it illegal to set up a mosque. Even in ‘evil’ America and ‘wicked’ Britain there are mosques everywhere. But can you build a church in Saudi Arabia? Can you preach Christianity in the open streets of Pakistan. Of course not. You will be thrown in prison, tortured and killed.”

    Yes there are places that is illegal in Christian West to build mosque, try setting one in Vatican city. And in many other muslim countries, there are many churches being build for example in Indonesia and Malaysia. And for your information there is no “Christian” west since the church lost its influence and secularism was introduced separating church from state. As a result the West and US are Secular Democratic nations. Even in secular Muslims countries like Malaysia, there are
    laws preventing apostasy against muslims but so far no muslims apostate is executed by the law here.
    And yes America and Britain are wicked and evil, in which although through secularism they maintain
    absolute religious freedom they still persecute directly or indirectly foreign muslim nation for becoming Islamic in the name of freedom and democracy.

  10. how could Christianity ‘evolve’ to a peaceful religion. Jesus Himself on the Cross said, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Christianity is about ‘turning the other cheek’, ‘blessing those who curse you’, ‘do good to those who hate you’. Prov 25:21-22 says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; And if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; For so you will heap coals of fire on his head, and the LORD will reward you.”

    The early Christians were a peaceful people. Would a hostile people allow themselves to be sent to the lions, to be thrown into prisons, to be crucified in bundles (re: Nero)? Christianity was spread through the lower classes and thrived in persecution.

    Islam on the other hand spread through violence. You either had to convert or die and that is why all of North Africa became Muslim, especially early Christian strongholds like Egypt.

    The problem with Christianity isn’t that it evolved into a peaceful religion but it degraded to a part pagan, part Christian organisation called Catholism that imposed itself on people. Christianity only started to get on back (with the mainstream) in the 1500s. Though I do not agree with Catholicism (which did persecute) they did stop Islam from invading Europe otherwise Europe would have been just like North Africa.

    We are completely different. Tell me where do you find people in the ‘Christian’ west being murdered for converted to Islam? Tell me where in the ‘Christian’ west is it illegal to set up a mosque. Even in ‘evil’ America and ‘wicked’ Britain there are mosques everywhere. But can you build a church in Saudi Arabia? Can you preach Christianity in the open streets of Pakistan. Of course not. You will be thrown in prison, tortured and killed.

    We have different origins and as a result we have different outlooks.

  11. My aunt told me something that interested me.

    Before she became a Christian, the didn’t understand the Bible at all no matter how many times she read it – it just didn’t fit in.

    But after she accept Christ, the Holy Spirit gave her the understanding to His word.

    And that is why you don’t see the Bible as we do.

  12. Good article ,I invite readers to read also

    “Apostasy and Religious Freedom”

    at http://www.islamophobia.org/re.....icle_id=80

  13. to anonymous;

    we would highly appreciate it if you can tell us what was taken out of context from the bible.

  14. To anonymous,

    What context are you referring to? Isn’t the verse quoted in the article in its context? Also, many more have read the Bible and converted out or Christianity and many have read the Bible and not converted. What is your point? Instead of going off on tangents, why don’t you try to explain why the Bible says that apostates shoud have been killed?

  15. you all are interpreting the Bible out of its context, please don’t interpret it by just looking at a small portion, look at the bigger picture, read it all! many have read the Bible and converted. many have tried their best to disprove the Bible but in the end got converted to Christianity themselves. we do not need to do anything for anyone who is against God wil not stand for long. that’s my advise for everyone out there, especially Muslims.

  16. isn’t the bombing of iraq and other Muslims countries a new way of christian compulsion?

  17. i fully agree with you, brother danny.

    while the Beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa salaam) said something to the effect that Muslim judges should actively seek out any way possible to avoid capital punishment, the verse from the bible cited by the writer of the article specifically stated that no mercy should be shown to someone who secretly entices worship of any deity other than the israelite god.

    christians are tolerant nowadays not because of the bible (though admittedly there are verses of compassion and mercy in the bible, possibly unadulterated by the lying pens of the scribes, but Allah knows best) but inspite of the bible.

    regarding apostates in islam, there is generally an agreement that an apostate of legal age (if i remember correctly, in the hanafi madhab, adult women are not included, and of course, children, the lame, and the insane are not included in all 4 madhahib as well. it can be seen that the status of the apostate is clearly identified as an enemy soldier in wartime) should be killed. i once wrestled with my conscience regarding this. if islam is really a tolerant religion, teaching us that there is no compulsion in religion, why that kind of verdict?

    this could be answered if we view the stance of islam towards other religions and the nature of our holy shariah. firstly, the shariah is not a mind-reader. irtiddad or apostasy could only be verified and the life and property of the apostate declared licit (a subtle point, but one to which i may stand to be corrected: licit, not obligatory, in as much as we dont have to kill every enemy soldier in the battelfield but we are PERMITTED to do so) if a public dimension accompanies the person’s denial of his islam, for in that case he would be treated as an enemy combatant in the battlefield. it begs the question: why should someone who left islam publicly announce it, if that person is not hostile towards islam and the islamic community? take note that there is no doctrinal inquisition in islam, and hence, no death penalty could apply, say if a person leaves islam, (Allah forbid!) converts to another religion, and manages to keep it to himself without inciting public attention (such a person becomes a kafir, but not a murtad). no one is questioned about his private beliefs. thus, those who publicly announce their conversion are really hostile, and are fully aware that they are inciting sedition.

    a christian may argue that ‘oh, i love muslims, but i hate islam, that’s why im ready to become a martyr for Christ, if that would mean winning many souls to him. so i will publicly blaspheme Allah, Muhammad and islam, so that these muslim souls would be enlightened, even if it means my death. islam is the devil’s religion, and this is proven by the fact that they persecute the believers in christ’. well, this could be answered by saying that, devil’s religion or not, islam is the basis of that nation (assuming that it is an islamic country), and, as brother danny so skillfully puts it, those who wish to leave islam and publicly announce it have the option to leave that islamic country and live with the kuffar. if you really love muslims, prove islam wrong by fighting a fair fight, not by demolishing it from within. would it be God’s work to overthrow the basis of a nation through slander and libel? an apostate can blaspheme islam all they like if they are in a hostile kafir country (dar-ul harb), that way, muslims could respond appropriately to their attacks, since jihad through the tongue, pen,or sword, or against the base desires (nafs) is obligatory (fard).

    let’s have an example. you are a guest in a household, however, your family is hostile to that household. overtime, you are treated as part of the household since you are a peaceful guest. then you find out that the father of the household is a drunkard and immoral man. however, he is still a good host (and the mere fact that islam tolerates other religions within its realm proves that it is a good host). would it be alright for you to say out loud in that immoral man’s house ‘this is an immoral man, do not follow his evil ways, he is not worth following as a father. i myself am disobeying and condemning him,’ all the while you are eating at his table? if you are really disgusted at his evil ways, leave the house immediately, do not eat at his table, do not incite sedition within his household, join his enemies outside his house, condemn him outside his household, that way he can respond. but if you live within his house, and plan to continue living there, it would be better for you to shut up, rather than turn his own family against him in such an unfair way. all of this is assuming that the household (or islam) is really evil. even if it is really evil, there would still be no problem if that household takes measures from being destroyed from the inside, for every household, institution, or community has the right to protect itself. those who would say that that household should just allow itself to be slandered and demolished from within are themselves hostile to that household, in much the same way that those who are against islam’s apostasy and blasphemy laws are just against islam, and are really not for freedom of religion.

    muslim brothers, please correct me if i said anything wrong about our religion. And Allah knows best.

  18. I don’t entirely agree with the assessment of the author. It is not that Christianity “evolved” into a peaceful religion, it’s just that Christians decided not to follow their religion so vehemently any more. Present Europe and America are secular, not Christian. They are peaceful towards apostates, athiests, agnostics and non-Christians not because of Christianity but because of putting Christianity aside and adopting secularism.

    Does that mean we should ditch Islam like the “Christians” have ditched Christianity? Or that Islam also need an “evolution”? No. Although Islam is a much younger religion, it is already far more advanced than Christianity when it comes to dealing with adherents of other faiths and dealing with everyday issues. Islam has a much better record of performance than Christianity. For instance, even though Islam is not a pacifist religion, nonetheless, Muslims have treated minorities far far more humanely than Christians. Not that Muslims have been angels, but Islam gave them enough sense to offer a better treatment towards others and display kindness/mercy. The problem in the current world is that Muslims generally are themselves ignorant of Islam and when anything comes up, they react angrily instead of Islamically.

    Coming to apostasy, although the punishment is death according to most scholars, some prominent scholars insist it is not. So the matter is not so clear. But, for arguments sake, even if we grant that the punishment for apostasy is death, it remains that there are very strict procedures to follow. You cannot just kill an apostate instantly. There are many ways how his life can be spared, as has happened in Afghanistan. Plus, the punishment of apostasy is not metted out at women and children. It is only directed towards the sane male. So we do not wipe off entire communities even if they apostize and if such large numbers do leave Islam, then they are to be left alone. In the case of an individual make, even then, there are many opportunities for him to go free, for instance, given assylum in another land with the guarantee that he would not act against the Islamic state.

    It would be no exagerration to state that Christians have killed more than 10 times the number of apostates ever killed by Muslims.

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