Why do Islamic activists refuse to sign a petition repudiating Islamic laws condemning former Muslims to death?
Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the Muslim Brotherhood founder, is lecturing all over the U.S. about how Muslims are the new "blacks" in America, victims of human rights violations equivalent to Jim Crow or worse. But while Muslims are demanding more and more special treatment, they seem to be conveniently ignoring what their religion is doing to apostates, Christians, and other minorities in 57 Muslim countries around the world.
The atmosphere in Egypt against Christians and Muslim apostates has recently reached a boiling point. Al Jazeerah TV recently broadcast a two-hour special attacking former Muslims, especially Naglaa El Imam, accusing them of proselytizing to Muslims. The program also described these individuals' "horrific" sins against Allah as defined under Sharia. Al Jazeerah’s guest on that show was Islamist Dr. Selim el-Awah, former Secretary General of the World Council of Muslim Scholars. Without any evidence, El-Awah recklessly accused the Coptic Christian Church of stockpiling weapons and ammunition in monasteries in preparation for war against the Muslim majority in Egypt. He also accused the Church of concealing and aiding Muslim converts to Christianity -- like a slave owner accusing a member of the underground railroad of harboring runaways. The degree of incitement against the Christian and former Muslim minority, who only constitute about 15% of the population, was highly intimidating. Rumors spread rapidly all over Egypt that by the end of the current Mubarak administration, Egyptian Copts and apostates will suffer a massive massacre.
Despite the highly tense situation, and for the first time in Islam’s recent history, former Muslims are openly defying Sharia's death penalty for apostasy. Former Muslim Kamal Fahmi, who lives in Cairo, heads the group "Set My People Free" and has openly launched an appeal to the Arab League and the international community for the right of religious freedom. Currently, being a Muslim is decided by birth, and leaving Islam is against the law in Egypt and in the majority of Muslim countries. Fahmy, who is a member of FormerMuslimsUnited.org, recently wrote a letter to the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amre Moussa, demanding the right of Muslims to choose their religion. Here is Fahmy’s letter:
Mr. General Secretary of the League of Arab States
Dr. Amre Moussa
We, "Set My People Free To Worship Me," are a network of individuals, churches and organizations working for the freedom of religious converts to live and practice their faith, to experience equality and justice in their home countries.
We are calling on the Arab League to work hard in order to achieve the following:
1- Absolute freedom for all Muslims in the Arab World to choose their belief or religion by their own consent and to guarantee their civil and legal rights required to follow their new belief or religion and to live freely by its teachings.
2- The stop of all forms of discrimination against all minorities in the Arab World, regardless of their origin, ethnic or faith backgrounds.
3- Protection of the freedom of individuals and groups to worship and proclaim their belief or religion in all Arab countries.
All of this is in line with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Articles 1, 3, 7.16, 18, 19.
Skype Name familyfahmi
Fahmy is not the only person actively defying Islam’s apostasy laws from inside the Muslim world. Naglaa Al Imam is a prominent human rights attorney in Cairo, who has lost her job and ability to earn a living and has been tortured and threatened by the police and other people in power. Other high-profile apostate pioneers are Mohammed Higazi and his wife and children, Maher El Gohary and his daughter, to name a few. The reason these apostates are still alive is because they have become known internationally and Islamists do not want to tarnish Islam’s image any further by killing them. However, many of them are forbidden from leaving the country and are beaten, tortured, and harassed.
Other lesser-known cases of apostasy have ended in tragedy. In one case, a young mother of two by the name of Nevine was killed in an Alexandria, Egyptian jail.
Before we give in to the demands of hostile activist Islamic apologists in America, let’s insist they agree to abide by a standard that is even remotely on the same level respecting minorities and apostates in their Islamic countries of origin.
To date, no Muslim organization in America has signed the pledge that Former Muslims United sent out requesting repudiation of Islamic laws condemning apostates to death.
Nonie Darwish is the author “Cruel and usual Punishment” and President of FormerMuslimsUnited.org.