Just got back from Washington D.C. where my friend Nonie Darwish, originally from Egypt, and I launched Former Muslims United, to protect, and succour apostates from Islam, and to educate the American public and policymakers about the threat from Sharia, Islamic Law, to the religious freedom and safety of former Muslims.
Unbelief, and conversions from Islam to Christianity or any other religion, though well-protected in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 which stipulates, “Everyone has the right to Freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief,…” is, nonetheless, considered an act of apostasy under Islamic Law, and is therefore, according to all the law schools whether Sunni or Shia, punishable by death. Several Quran verses have been interpreted to mean that all apostates should be killed, as for example, Sura II verse 217, Sura IV verse 89, and Sura IX verses 11-12. Countless traditions [in Arabic, Hadith] repeat the same injunction, “Kill him who changes his religion” or “behead him”. All four Sunni law schools- Malikis, Hanifis, Shafi‘is, Hanbalis- agree that the male apostate must be put to death. In the case of a woman she is imprisoned until she repents, but if she persists she must be executed. If an underage child apostatizes, he or she is imprisoned until the coming of age, and if the child persists in rejecting Islam, he or she must be put to death.
I am also a Muslim apostate and have written a book, Leaving Islam. Apostates Speak Out , fully documenting the consequences of apostasy under Islamic Law both in theory and practice. Death sentences for apostasy have been carried out in the Islamic world in the last thirty years or so. Some converts to Christianity in Islamic countries have been lucky and have managed to escape to the West with the help of Amnesty International, and other NGOs, others have less lucky and have been killed by their own family members- I document many examples in my study of Muslim apostates.
The very notion of apostasy has faded from the democratic United States of America, and it is hard to believe that anyone could be killed for changing his or her religion. Unfortunately, there have been more than thirteen well-documented cases of honor killings in North America, that is, Canada and the USA. Some of the victims were underage girls. Any behavior in girls considered un-Islamic by the Muslim family brings shame and disgrace to that family. In order to regain family honor, the offending girl has to be killed. Conversion to Christianity brings shame to a Muslim family, and can only be avenged by severely punishing the girl.
We held a press conference on Capitol Hill, in the Longworth House Office Building (LHOB), one of three office buildings used by the United States House of Representatives . (The building was named in 1962 in honor of the former Speaker of the House , Nicholas Longworth of Ohio .) You can read about the press conference in The Washington Times, “ Muslim ’apostates’ in U.S. ask for protection , Group says Shariah law poses threat, Friday, Sept. 25, 2009, Five ex-Muslims who founded a group called Former Muslims United put out a public appeal Thursday to the U.S. government for protection, saying the lives of thousands of "apostates from Islam" are in peril”. [ See full story at washingtontimes.com ]
We were granted a hearing by the staff members of two Congressmen, and by Joe Matal who serves as General Counsel to Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as a part of the Staff of U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL). We also released the text of letters sent to Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S.Department of Justice, and Gerald A.Reynolds, Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Finally, we mailed a Freedom Pledge to over 50 Muslim leaders asking them to repudiate the Islamic Law that requires the execution of apostates. [ See formermuslimsunited.org ].