Islam on Freedom of Religion

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Apostasy, apparently a human rights-related issue, is highly sensitive to the multi-racial and multi-religious character of Malaysia. It tends to be problematic, untenable to some, especially when it deals with conversion into and out of Islam. It is true, the whole question involves certain legal and social implications. At times, its repercussions appear to rattle the social solidarity and religious harmony of our peaceful nation. All these threatening consequences are actually caused by ignorance. This writing is not to incite further dissension. Neither is it intended to sound apologetic. On the contrary it calls for all parties directly or indirectly affected by the subject matter, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, to view it with an open heart guided by wisdom.

Scholars have admitted that Islam is the most misunderstood religion of all world religions. Misrepresentations and misperceptions about it are causing many to hurriedly develop an unjustified Islamophobia. This syndrome is actually a “fear of the unknown” as these people do not really understand what Islam is all about. Many simply accept the many global misrepresentations incessantly put to them via the media.

Seen through the lens of discourse on human rights, apostasy in Islam has been notoriously brought into conflict with the doctrine of human rights in general, and with the notion of freedom of religion in particular. Among the questions raised is, if Islam can easily be embraced, by the same token, why does it not allow Muslims to leave Islam?

It is unquestionable that Islam indeed recognizes human rights, in fact from its very inception, long before these ideas were developed and documented in its modern secular form by the West like the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1948. Islam, as systematically reflected by the Cairo Universal Islamic Declaration of Human Rights, 1981, advocates human rights via shariah. These objectives include the establishment of justice, individual education and preservation of human welfare or interests by protecting and preserving the freedom of thought, worship, rights to property and preservation of the progeny. These constitute the inviolable principles of “human rights”.

What many fail to understand is that Islam is probably the only religion that honors its followers to the utmost. Islam regards its adherents, both originally born Muslim as well as converts, as invaluable assets. Once they come to the fold of Islam, they stand equal. Therefore, the responsibilities, duties and rights of all Muslims are basically the same. Individually, they are equally entitled to achieve success in this world as well as salvation in the hereafter, guided by and within the parameters set up by shariah.

Muslims firmly believe that they are in the territory of truth, the right path. They are bathed in the brightest light. For Muslims, truth is light, falsehood is darkness. Therefore, it is a grave injustice to them if they were to deviate from that truth. Furthermore, the fact that Islam prohibits apostasy reflects the integrity and credibility of the religion. If Islam were to grant permission for Muslims to change religion at will, it would imply it has no dignity, no self-esteem. And people may then question its completeness, truthfulness and perfection.

Echoing the observations of Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, “rights” or huquq in Islam refers to something that is right, true, correct and proper. “Freedom” or ikhtiyar means a choice for the good or better. So it is neither one’s right nor is it freedom to choose something evil, false, wrong, incorrect or imperfect.

Religiously, morally and legally, man has no right to do wrong. Nevertheless, there are feeble, confused Muslims around. They may be the result of improper or inadequate education or the lack of exposure to the more comprehensive teachings of Islam. And due to worldly temptations, this weakness causes their religious foundations to become shaky. Apparently, their common feature is a lack of knowledge and understanding of Islam. So if one insists on adopting the aforementioned wrong conception of “rights” and “freedom”, one is actually exposing one’s shameful ignorance!

For converts, before they become Muslims, no matter for what reason, it is only reasonable that they must have a certain degree of basic knowledge about Islam. They must take efforts to study the fundamentals of the religion first. This is actually their responsibility and duty. Take note that rights do not come out of a vacuum; they are accompanied by certain responsibilities and duties. For example, before one can exercise one’s freedom to buy a car of his choice, one must first obtain a driving licence. Without that document, one will only endanger oneself as well as others. One cannot scream to be given the right or freedom to buy if the requirement of responsibility is not fulfilled beforehand.

Muslims must understand that once they come into the fold of Islam, there is no question of leaving the faith or reverting to their earlier beliefs even if the very reason for one to come to Islam in the first place ceases to exist. One may be a bad or a non-practising Muslim, but there is hardly any room available for one to denounce that religion.

One cannot argue that Islam does not recognize the idea of freedom of worship. First and foremost, the very doctrine of Islam, as reflected in the Quran, teaches that there is no compulsion. Freedom of worship is to be understood not only in the sense of making a choice for the better, but also in the sense of freedom to practise a particular religion. Once one accepts Islam or decides to become a Muslim, one is subjected to all the rules prescribed by the religion.

If Islam forbids apostasy, not only the Muslims must observe it, but the followers of other religions that do not have such provisions must appreciate and respect this position as well. This is actually the freedom of worship that must be perceived by all.

The author is a Senior Fellow for the Centre for Syariah, Law and Political Science, Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM)

28 Comments

  1. Some of the views here and especially the death sentence for people leaving islam is exactly why non-believers suspect the faith. Such extreme opinions by its followers shows how much man has had their hand in the development and understanding of the religion. Let God punish those that have wronged. Who is man to judge.

  2. 1. Media maligns Islam
    Islam is without doubt the best religion but the media is in the hands of the westerners who are afraid of Islam. The media is continuously broadcasting and printing information against Islam. They either provide misinformation about Islam, misquote Islam or project a point out of proportion, if any.
    When any bomb blasts take place anywhere, the first people to be accused without proof are invariably the Muslims. This appears as headlines in the news. Later, when they find that non-Muslims were responsible, it appears as an insignificant news’ item.
    If a 50 year old Muslim marries a 15 year old girl after taking her permission, it appears on the front page but when a 50 year old non-Muslim rapes a 6 year old girl, it may appear in the news in the inside pages as ‘Newsbriefs’. Everyday in America on an average 2,713 cases of rape take place but it doesn’t appear in the news, since it has become a way of life for the Americans.

    2. Black sheep in every community:
    I am aware that there are some Muslims who are dishonest, unreliable, who cheat, etc. but the media projects this as though only Muslims are involved in such activities. There are black sheep in every community. I know Muslims who are alcoholics and who can drink most of the non-Muslims under the table.

    3. Muslims best as a whole:
    Inspite of all the black sheep in the Muslim community, Muslims taken on the whole, yet form the best community in the world. We are the biggest community of tee-totallers as a whole, i.e. those who don’t imbibe alcohol. Collectively, we are a community which gives the maximum charity in the world. There is not a single person in the world who can even show a candle to the Muslims where modesty is concerned; where sobriety is concerned; where human values and ethics are concerned.

    4. Don’t judge a car by its driver:
    If you want to judge how good is the latest model of the “Mercedes” car and a person who does not know how to drive sits at the steering wheel and bangs up the car, who will you blame? The car or the driver? But naturally, the driver. To analyze how good the car is, a person should not look at the driver but see the ability and features of the car. How fast is it, what is its average fuel consumption, what are the safety measures, etc. Even if I agree for the sake of argument that the Muslims are bad, we can’t judge Islam by its followers? If you want to judge how good Islam is then judge it according to its authentic sources, i.e. the Glorious Qur’an and the Sahih Hadith.

    5. Judge Islam by its best follower i.e. Prophet Mohammed (pbuh):
    If you practically want to check how good a car is put an expert driver behind the steering wheel. Similarly the best and the most exemplary follower of Islam by whom you can check how good Islam is, is the last and final messenger of God, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Besides Muslims, there are several honest and unbiased non-Muslim historians who have acclaimed that prophet Muhammad was the best human being. According to Michael H. Hart who wrote the book, ‘The Hundred Most Influential Men in History’, the topmost position, i.e. the number one position goes to the beloved prophet of Islam, Muhammad (pbuh). There are several such examples of non-Muslims paying great tributes to the prophet, like Thomas Carlyle, La-Martine, etc.

    A few selected verses from the Qur’an are often misquoted to perpetuate the myth that Islam promotes violence, and exhorts its followers to kill those outside the pale of Islam.
    1. Verse from Surah Taubah
    The following verse from Surah Taubah is very often quoted by critics of Islam, to show that Islam promotes violence, bloodshed and brutality:
    “Kill the mushriqeen (pagans, polytheists, kuffar) where ever you find them.”
    [Al-Qur’an 9:5]
    2. Context of verse is during battlefield
    Critics of Islam actually quote this verse out of context. In order to understand the context, we need to read from verse 1 of this surah. It says that there was a peace treaty between the Muslims and the Mushriqs (pagans) of Makkah. This treaty was violated by the Mushriqs of Makkah. A period of four months was given to the Mushriqs of Makkah to make amends. Otherwise war would be declared against them. Verse 5 of Surah Taubah says:
    “But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practise regular charity, then open the way for them: for Allah is oft-forgiving, Most merciful.”
    [Al-Qur’an 9:5]
    This verse is quoted during a battle.
    3. Example of war between America and Vietnam
    We know that America was once at war with Vietnam. Suppose the President of America or the General of the American Army told the American soldiers during the war: “Wherever you find the Vietnamese, kill them”. Today if I say that the American President said, “Wherever you find Vietnamese, kill them” without giving the context, I will make him sound like a butcher. But if I quote him in context, that he said it during a war, it will sound very logical, as he was trying to boost the morale of the American soldiers during the war.
    4. Verse 9:5 quoted to boost morale of Muslims during battle
    Similarly in Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 the Qur’an says, “Kill the Mushriqs where ever you find them”, during a battle to boost the morale of the Muslim soldiers. What the Qur’an is telling Muslim soldiers is, don’t be afraid during battle; wherever you find the enemies kill them.
    5. Shourie jumps from verse 5 to verse 7
    Arun Shourie is one of the staunchest critics of Islam in India. He quotes the same verse, Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 5 in his book ‘The World of Fatwahs’, on page 572. After quoting verse 5 he jumps to verse 7 of Surah Taubah. Any sensible person will realise that he has skipped verse 6.
    6. Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 6 gives the answer
    Surah Taubah chapter 9 verse 6 gives the answer to the allegation that Islam promotes violence, brutality and bloodshed. It says:
    “If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum,grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure that is because they are men without knowledge.”
    [Al-Qur’an 9:6]
    The Qur’an not only says that a Mushriq seeking asylum during the battle should be granted refuge, but also that he should be escorted to a secure place. In the present international scenario, even a kind, peace-loving army General, during a battle, may let the enemy soldiers go free, if they want peace. But which army General will ever tell his soldiers, that if the enemy soldiers want peace during a battle, don’t just let them go free, but also escort them to a place of security?
    This is exactly what Allah (swt) says in the Glorious Qur’an to promote peace in the world.

  3. Ishark,
    If you marry a Muslim woman & then have children. What religion will the kids be? What if the woman wants them to grow up as Muslim and you dont?

    This is a common scenario that usually ends up in divorce.

    Even if you did allow your wife to bring them up as Muslims, they would get confused by your actions as a non-muslim. There will be no harmony in such a household.

  4. Ishark, did you mean to say something that didnt come out when you submitted yr comment….

  5. Dav. what abt sura 9.111? I didnt catch what you were trying to say abt it.

  6. Allow me to quote Donald Morgan’s comment on John 14:6 “No one comes to the Father except
    through me.”

    If you must accept Jesus as your savior in order to be saved {John 14:6}, what about the billions of beings that die as fetuses, infants, mental deficients, etc.? For them to accept Jesus would be impossible, so they are condemned to hell because of conditions over which they had no control.

    Also, if Bill Clinton said, “I am THE President…” Does it mean that he is the ONLY President?

    hmmmmm…. (I am beginning to think that this hmmmmm thing is a very good and polite protocol)

  7. Hmmm Startucus, U are an interesting knowledgable thinker. God Bless you.

    Hi All,

    The Bible n The Quran were written long time ago. The Bible were recording of many phrophets. God gave the commandments as a guidance to the particular ppl, the Israelites. The Quran called them the ppl of the Book, the LAW. So the Israelite are bound by the commandments God gave to them. So the it applies to the Israelites of that time. I think without The LAW once always claim ignorance of what GOD wants. Is just like dealing with a child. Telling them what is right and what is wrong in your home(nation). What will happen if the rules is broken. Hoever a father in a home still loves the child (isralites). God being a loving God will also reach out to his people. A loving father would also to the same. Jeremiah 31:31 God said,
    31Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

    32Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:

    33But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

    34And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

    Jesus gave a new commandment ” A new commandment I give to you that you love one another as I have love you”. Here He has gave a strong message. If you love will you kill? If you say you love will you steal? The utmost importance of all this is the direction back to GOD. Jesus fulfilled the phrophcies of the phrophets and more better showed the way to a meaningful relationship with God for all ppl.

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Nabi Isa here is making a serius statement, this the way. “Believe in Me and I will show you the way”. He us not saying something like” I myself is not sure if I am going to heaven or telling you something like Sura 9.111

    Again I will ask you, your decision will either make a Loving God happy or someone else happy.

    Please read both the Injil(Gospel) to decide. Not because someone else in a far away land tells you so.

  8. Dear, Malikam X
    “Q4. Circumcision. every man’s nightmare. However, yr argument…u must keep whatever God gave u…. I hope you dont believe that… pls make sure you cut yr nails and hair and brush yr teeth and etc, etc, etc… you get my drift? Otherwise, never take the plane because if God had wanted men to fly, He would haver given them wings, huh?.”

  9. “Christians are no longer bound by the Law but dead to it.”

    Hmm I guess that allows you complete authority to put aside the ‘Thou shall Not KILL’, ‘Thou shall not committ Adultery’, ‘Thou shall not steal’ etc etc all on that alleged demonic ‘feeling’ inside you which pushes you towards annihilating the Law while keeping you content under the delusion that its God telling you to go ahead and break up all the commandments cos ‘He Loves You’.

    Some hypocrisy – I guess the church did take that into consideration during the Crusades when All of the crusaders FILLED with the Holy Ghost decimated thousands of Arabs, Turks, Muslims, Jews and Christians alike ALL because they believed ‘Jesus loves them’.

    Christians had best learn from their bloody past on the atrocities committed by the church – a merciful and peaceful religion – I think NOT. Furthermore I wonder what do you christians have to say about the following command attributed to Jesus in YOUR bible:

    For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and SLAY them before me. And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem” (Luke 19:26-28)

    Hmmm kill all who don’t submit to rule – doesn’t sound very peaceful to me. Kinda explains the attitude of the church over the years to non christians. Also pretty much explains the Christian Wests rampage on the Islamic world.

    As for asking Jesus whether he is God [funny why you would resort to a gut feeling which you attribute to some holy spirit that has no qualms on you rip off the sanctity of the Law, rather than try and read what Jesus was alleged to have said in your bible] – if feeling good is all it takes for you guys to conclude that some holy spirit has entered you – well I guess you could conclude that the tooth fairy is God, Buddha is God, hey even Vince McMahon could qualify base dupon your stupid assumptions and weird orgy feelings of being infested by some demonic possession that gets you falling on the floor bubbling out gibberish.

  10. Dear Ishark,

    I would suggest that you refer to the following site ie Harun Yahya (Adnan Oktar) who in my opinionc could give you a better insight of what Islam is all about. There are quite number of articles explained with scientific fact about Allah is the Creator and Islam as a whole and present it in a very layman terms.

    http://www.hyahya.org

    I have collected 152 books and articles of Harun Yahya and if you need it in a cd form,
    email me your home address at ripaai@yahoo.com, I’ll send them one, free of charge.

    If you are sincere enough to learn please refer.

    Thanks

  11. good point Terence
    the bible also says tht OT is to be followed forever:

    “The LORD heard you when you spoke to me and the LORD said to me, “I have heard what this people said to you. Everything they said was good. Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands ALWAYS, so that it might go well with them and their CHILDREN FOREVER!”
    [Deuteronomy 5:28-29]

  12. Ishark Pls click on the following site. This may be the reason why the Moslems feel so strongly about the Quran.

    http://www.theinimitablequran......tures.html

  13. Ishark, kindly give me time to get back to your burning and pertinent and hard and long questions. I’m comparing religions so..let me try. I’m trying to get something back to you in 1 week’s time. But, for the time being some answers…

    Q3. Nope. I dont think it is “written”. Literally Quran (not Koran) means “The Recitation”. It was revealed to Muhammad and, as he was illiterate, he would recite it to his companions, who will then have it scribed. Its form, in Arabic, amazingly, has not changed since it was revealed 1400 years ago. That’s why you have some people who are “Hafizs” (meaning to guard/preserve) that’s how it has been preserve without change from Day 1. Since it is regarded as the true Word of God, I would expect ANY true “Word of God” to be perfect, unchangeable. Also, I think, somewhere in the Quran, the Quran itself CHALLENGES humans to create something that can equal its accuracy and linguistic excellence. Quite amazing, i guess.

    Q4. Circumcision. every man’s nightmare. However, yr argument…u must keep whatever God gave u…. I hope you dont believe that… pls make sure you cut yr nails and hair and brush yr teeth and etc, etc, etc… you get my drift? Otherwise, never take the plane because if God had wanted men to fly, He would haver given them wings, huh?.

    Historically, however, circumcision was Abraham’s covenant/promise to God that his “seeds” and those who follow his “way” will be circumcised. By the way, I have read somewhere that Americans do it because it seems to let them “tahan longer”… (I’ve got to try it someday…)

    Q5. Actually, terrorists come in all colors and shapes. MaoTzeTung and the Shaolin monks were considered Subversives/rebels/extremists. Ever heard of Michael Collins? VCD da… He was with the IRA… terror oo.

    More recently, the Oklahoma City bombing was a terrorist attack on April 19, 1995, in which the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, a U.S. government office complex in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was destroyed, killing 168 people. It is the deadliest domestic terrorist attack in the history of the United States and was the deadliest act of terrorism within U.S. borders until September 11, 2001.

    Of course, the Muslim terrorists again, huh? Nope.

    Two men later convicted of the bombing, Timothy McVeigh and his friend Terry Nichols.
    Also, it was never proven who actually did the 911 job.

    Q6. If muslim woman wears tudung for the obvious reasons, why is it they still put on cosmetics? Isnt tat contradicting the very reason they wear a tudung for?

    >>>>>>>>>>> Right on, mate!!!
    >>>>>>>>>>> You said it exactly the way it should be said. I cant add anything else.
    >>>>>>>>>>> All of you Muslim women with “tudung” and 2.53 inch thick cosmetics, listen up!!!

  14. Interesting.

    If what Leon says is true, then Jesus lied.

    Because, the NET EFFECT was, if “by the act of Jesus”, we are no longer bound by the Law , then Jesus DID, in effect, come to destroy…

    hmmmmmm….

  15. Startacus, you fail to notice that Jesus proclaimed from the cross that all was fulfilled and then He died. The Law and all that goes with it died with Jesus. The New Creation commenced at His Resurrection. Christians are no longer bound by the Law but dead to it. Christians live as a new creation in Christ. Christians no longer observe the Jewish Sabbath but Sunday, the Day Jesus rose from the dead and the first day of the new creation.

  16. Thank you, pvb. I appreciate your response. I will not use great words like peace, forgiveness, grace and write beautiful essays. I am still studying life so if you may bear with my shortcomings.

    What you just did was you, yourself, by your OWN AUTHORITY, have single-handedly rendered the Old Testament “null and void”. I think even the normal layperson will ask, “By what/whose authority did he do that by?” …because it seems to me to it is a BIG and SERIOUS matter, ie the abrogation of the Old Testament. So. Why dont we do this…

    Will you REALLY follow what “Jesus” (your God) have himself said, in your New testament even?

    Do you REALLY want to know, in your own words, “the path Jesus taught us (incl you) to FOLLOW”. Will you then REALLY FOLLOW?

    What if, “Jesus” so very solemnly affirms, that “until heavens and the earth are no more” that …. NOT ONE JOT OR ONE TITTLE (not one dot, not one little stroke- “he” is VERY serious here) shall be dropped (or disappear) from the Law of the Prophets “till ALL be fullfilled”? What if all this comes from the New Testament?

    Will you then follow? I hope you will not tell me that you will follow what other MEN tell you. Especially when, YOUR GOD (“Jesus”) said, in very CLEAR and EXPLICIT words …

    In Matthew 5:17-18

    “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily, I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.”

    In your own beautiful words, “for it is when we do not follow the words of Christ that we fail…”

  17. Startucus

    You quote the Old Testament. That is the history of Christianity before the light of the world came to us. The Old Testament was the LAW before GOD gave us the GIFT OF GRACE through the sacrifice of the perfect light. You must use the New Testnment to point to the failures of Christains, for it is when we do not follow the words of Christ that we fail because we are only human.

    Mohamed, Mohd Shafeeque, Sister Safiyyah

    Just the same Muslims believe that we can not understand your book the Koran!!!

    tariq

    Christainity deals with truth of what is in your heart, forgiveness and grace. What good is there if only in the outward appearance but in the heart, Islam is being cursed for forcing a person to stay committed to a religion they no longer follow?

    The strongest power in the world is forgiveness and grace, that is the path Jesus taught us to follow and that is the path what true Christains are trying to follow.

  18. I just got a few burning questions to ask the muslim bors and sis.I meant no offence here should i offend anyone who there, pls accept my sincere apology first.
    Case in point, I’m in love wif a muslim woman right now.But still being a non-muslim, things r really getting difficult for me here as there r tonnes of things i do not understand.I hope u guys do give me a pinter or two.
    1) Why is it that i must convert to islam should i marry a muslim? If so, even if i dun believe in the religion, but becoz i wanna be wif the person i love, how? No choice right, be it like it or not i have to convert.Why is it tat religion must divide a true love?

    2) Everyone should be given a choice to choose their religion and not born wif it.Watz the point of being hard wired since birth to believe some things but end up when u grow up, armed wif education, logic and common sense, u decide to renounce or leave the religion, can ppl judge u? ultimately, itz between u and the god if there happens to be one in the first place.What rights go others have to place judgement on u but God himself?

    3) Koran is wriiten, and humans do make mistakes, so am I correct to say the itz might not be the entirely correct? Religion is juz a way to guide u but by controlling u juz makes things wrong.

    4) U r born wif watever God has given you, why is it then tat u have to circumcise, to remove that piece of flesh tat god has given u?

    5) If terrorists have misinterpret the teachings of koran, then why is it only muslims have terrorists? How come we dont have christian or buddhist terrorists?

    6) If muslim woman wears tudung for the obvious reasons, why is it they still put on cosmetics? Isnt tat contradicting the very reason they wear a tudung for?

    7) If ppl can convert to islam then why muslims cannot convert out of islam? Isnt it so selfish and unreasonable?

    8) If addiction is consider a sin then should all muslims be leading a secular life? Everyday ppl r juz satisfying their addiction, be it tv programmes, food or other worldly desires.

    Sorry once again if i offended anyone here, but i do hope to have my questions answered.Thank u

  19. Gila & Co, please refer to the Bible which strongly states of apostacy…

    Deuteronomy 13:6-9 “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 (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known, gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of Dthe land to the other, or gods of other religions), do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity.o 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.”

    Deuteronomy 17:3-5 “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 Chronicles 15:13 “All who would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, were to be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.”

  20. I have also enjoyed being on the sidelines, but I couldnt help but to
    be amazed that Gila adds 1+1=1. How about 1+1+1=1?

    sorry, not religious, just maths crazy.

  21. “It is not to mean what we say that it isn’t her choice to choose whatever religion she wants. She is free to believe whatever she wants to believe. We cannot control her heart of desires.

    BUT it is the responsibility of the whole community to stop and deter apostasy from happening. Therefore, it is for the community’re responsibility to punish apostates. ”

    I see. People have a right to believe what they want and muslims have a right to kill them for believing it.

  22. How did you get to the conclusion that all muslims don’t know anything about other religions and besides in the Bible there is a lot of mistakes and statments that contradicts each others.

  23. let me ask all the muslim. if you guys were born as buddhist or hindhu or any other cult, would you want to embrace that religion till death? why? same goes to lina joy. she was born as a muslim. she didn’t have any choice to choose her religion when she was born? she was a muslim because of her ancestors are muslim. same goes with you guys out there. you guys didn’t any choice at all. born as muslim, brought up as muslim, etc…

    what matters is what you believe after you study and learn. you can’t expect a new born baby to believe 1+1=1, rite? you muslim guys out there may not have a chance to learn about other religion. or maybe you guys never opened up your heart to learn about other religion.

    for you muslim guys out there, i want you to do one thing. if you don’t believe that Jesus is God, i urge you guys to challenge Him. Ask Jesus to prove himself as god. say it out loud but don’t be scared. you’ll eventually experience it. Jesus loves you. He’s longing after you to be with him. We wants you to love him too.

  24. To the Non-Muslims,

    It is not to mean what we say that it isn’t her choice to choose whatever religion she wants. She is free to believe whatever she wants to believe. We cannot control her heart of desires.

    BUT it is the responsibility of the whole community to stop and deter apostasy from happening. Therefore, it is for the community’re responsibility to punish apostates.

    The problem with Western defined human rights, they never take account the responsibility of the community. To each is his own, they say. So, when one errs, in a Western society -> to each his own.

    Have you ever seen the reaction of the Western community in general when one of his members err? Take a look at some Western forums dealing with issues like adultery and such, a lot of them will say, “It is actually bad, but you’re entitled to your own choice”. Eventhough, leaving it up to the person who commits the wrong has devastated the family, especially children. Individualistic Westerners says it is their right to do the moral wrong.

    In Islam, whence community responsibility works hand in hand with responsibility of the individual, the members of the community would stop/deter this act of adultery. The one’s with more understanding and granted hikmah will then bring the adulterer to the right path of peace through counseling and such (adultery can be considered a disease or a slip of ignorance too). Else, if all fails, after treatment and counseling, then if the adulterer is detrimental to society (in which the wrong-doer justifies his actions as his right and a right action (eventhough it is wrong), then the hudud laws comes in.

    You see, what you don’t realize about life is, what you do in life, effect others around you. Say you were about to run away from home, not only will this decision effect you, but will effect your family and friends who love you.

    The Western community is out of love.

    Stone hearted.

    Sister Safiyyah

  25. Hello, I made a detailed commentary on this article after it appeared in The Star a while back. If you’re interested you can read it here: http://www.julthefool.com/inde.....igion.html
    Personally, I think it should be up to an individual to decide whether they want to stay in a religion or not.

  26. I made a detailed comment on this aritcle a while ago – if you’re interested you can read it here: http://www.julthefool.com/inde.....igion.html

  27. A/A

    It is a serious crime to even doubt about ALlah(SWT) and the prophethood of Muhmmad(S.A.w) If someone leaves islam then I think they deserve that punishment. No one should leave Islam becuaese if you were born as muslim to muslim parents then you have been taught all about islam. There is no excuise for such a person to leave Isam even after knowing that it is a true religion worshipping the one and only true god Allah(SWT).

    And think about the punishemtn in hereafter also. They will be punishment in hell for eternity. Is it really worth it? People leave islam becos they live in the west or because conditions become harder for them to remain muslim. But if we have true imaan we should overcome all this obstacles and still practise islam ad proudly call ourselfves mulim. Just becos Islam is called terrorism and murderes by biased media controlled by the jews we cant leave our religion. That is a very silly decision. Allah (SWT) will never forgive anyone for that. Leaving the ummah is the worst sin.

  28. i could never understand y a muslim would want to denounce his religion.
    Death penalty for apostasy is a good way to make a muslim think again before becoming a kafir. this way he may do some research and may find that Islam really is the Truth and will not denounce his religion and therefore will be saved in the hereafter.

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