“If They [Muslims] Had Gotten Rid of the Punishment for Apostasy, Islam Would Not Exist Today”

533615_415805795169274_1235744186_nby Nonie Darwish:

The West refuses to be concerned; and when its citizens are concerned, they are suppressed. They are sued, assaulted, threatened with deportation and sometimes murdered.

The most influential Sunni leader in the Middle East has just admitted what many of us who grew up as Muslims in the Middle East have always known: that Islam could not exist today without the killing of apostates. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the most respected leaders of the Sunni world, recently said on Egyptian television, “If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the punishment [often death] for apostasy, Islam would not exist today.” The most striking thing about his statement, however, was that it was not an apology; it was a logical, proud justification for preserving the death penalty as a punishment for apostasy. Al-Qaradawi sounded matter-of-fact, indicating no moral conflict, nor even hesitation, about this policy in Islam. On the contrary, he asserted the legitimacy of Islamic laws in relying on vigilante street justice through fear, intimidation, torture and murder against any person who might dare to leave Islam.

Many critics of Islam agree with Sheikh Qaradawi, that Islam could not have survived after the death of the prophet Mohammed if it were not for the killing, torturing, beheading and burning alive of thousands of people — making examples of them to others who might wish to venture outside Islam. From its inception until today, Islam has never considered this policy inappropriate, let alone immoral. In a recent poll, 84% of Egyptians agree with the death penalty for apostates; and we see no moderate Muslim movement against this law. That 1.2 billion Muslims appear comfortable with such a command sheds light on the nature of Islam.

Unlike Americans, who understand basic principles of their constitution, most Muslims have no clue about the basic laws of their religion. Most Muslims choose ignorance over knowledge when it comes to Islam, and often refuse to comment negatively out of fear of being accused of apostasy. While in the West it is considered a virtue to try to understand one’s religion, ask questions about it and make choices accordingly, in the Muslim world doing the same thing is the ultimate sin punishable by death. What the West prides itself on, is a crime under Islamic law.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Nonie Darwish is President of FormerMuslimsUnited.org and author “The Devil We Don’t Know.”