Murder of Apostates: A Dialogue

In January, I had a dialogue with Miriam, a Muslim lady. She contacted me again this past week, intending to continue her mission in “opening my mind to Islam,” but this time around, it backfired when she admitted what I have been saying all the while – that islam is a death cult.

This exchange reveals how “moderate” Muslims drop the mask when push comes to shove, showing us the spirit behind Islam.
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Miriam: May I ask why you write a lot against Islam on your blog?

Victor: I began studying about Islam in 2002 and was shocked at what I discovered. I had heard horror stories of mass murders of Christians by Muslims in northern Nigeria, but dismissed these as criminal acts of “Muslim extremists” or “bad eggs” of Islam.

But when I read some portions of the Quran and hadiths and how these acts were legitimised, I began to see Islam, Muhammad and the Quran in a totally different light.

Years later, I saw how Muslims were attacking and misrepresenting Christianity and began to respond to some of them. This led me to study Islam more and I finally realised that there is no way Islam could have been from God (or that Allah is God).

The image of Muhammad in the hadiths was not that of a prophet of God, but a wicked and unholy man. I realised the [eternal] danger my Muslim friends and loved ones were in if they followed Islam, so I began to write these articles to inform other Christians and open the eyes of Muslims.

Miriam: In fact, what you found is extremely untrue. Killing is not legitimised. The word “Muslim” means to follow Allah’s orders, and he strictly forbade murder in the Quran in 5:53 [Victor: Wrong verse] “whoso kills a soul, unless it be for murder or corruption in the land, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind…”

Then Quran 6:151 says “and do not kill a soul that God has made sacrosanct, save lawfully.” In this verse, murder is forbidden but the death penalty imposed by a state for a crime is permitted.

It is forbidden to attempt to impose Islam on other people. The Qur’an says “There is no compulsion in religion. The right way has become distinct from error” (2:256).

Note that this verse was revealed in Medina in 622 AD and was never abrogated by any other verse of the Qur’an. Islam’s holy book forbids coercing people into adopting any religion. They have to willingly choose it.

Victor: That sura 5:32 has been addressed here. Only a person who has not read the preceding and proceeding verses would cite it as you did as “proof.”

That sura 6:151 gives an exception to the rule, that is, there are murders legitimised and permitted in Islam.

The sura 2:256 “no compulsion in religion” was recited by Muhammad when some Jewish women of the Bani Nadir tribe who had vowed to convert their sons to Judaism were being compelled to convert to Islam. Muhammad said they may not convert if they will pay the jizya tax.

This verse has been abrogated by later verses as Ibn Kathir stated:

“[T]his verse is abrogated by the verse of fighting [Sura al-fath 16, 9:73, 123] … therefore all people of the world should be called to Islam. If anyone of them refuses to pay the jizya, they should be fought till they are killed” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, Surah al-Baqarah ayat 253-286).

By the way, how can the “no compulsion” in Islam be true when Islam mandates imprisonment or death for apostates (murtads)?

Miriam: Many Islamic scholars, but not all, consider apostasy as a Hudud (or Hadd) crime, that is one of six “crimes against God” a Muslim can commit, which deserves the fixed punishment of death as that is a claim of God.

First of all, don’t you see that this would make the one true religion that everyone should follow, like a shop or store which a person can enter when he wants and leave when he wants, and it may encourage others to forsake the truth.

This is someone who has known the truth and practiced the religion and done the rituals of worship, so the punishment is not greater than he deserves.

Moreover, such strong rulings as this are only applies to a person whose life is no longer considered to be useful, because he knew the truth and he forsook it. What soul can be more evil than the soul of such a person? He must be killed because he saw the truth then he became blind.

The establishment of the limit on the apostate is therefore not to be compelled to enter Islam, but to punish him for disbelief in Allah after that it becomes clear to him the true path.

Islam is a whole way to life. It is religion and state, the worship, the leadership, the Koran and the sword, and the spirit which is based on reason and logic, based on evidence and proof, not in his faith. So an apostate should not maintain his life.

Victor: 

1. Your support for people being killed for leaving Islam speaks a lot of volumes, and frankly, it is sheer wickedness. It’s a travesty of human freedom for people to be killed for following the dictates of their conscience.

God has given us the freedom to choose and that is why He doesn’t compel us to serve or follow Him. A god who can’t guarantee freedom of conscience cannot guarantee salvation of the soul.

If Islam is a “religion of truth” as you claim, then why should those who leave it be killed? If a person is convinced that a religion he had adhered to is a deception, he should be free to reject it.

Who is this deity you serve who rules over his kingdom with so much tyranny and sadism? It’s just like a king who claims to be the only true king on earth yet decrees the death of anyone who goes to another kingdom.

If a king has shown his subjects his love and grace, even when they find reasons to leave his kingdom at first, they will be eager to return – by their own volition – because he had shown them some qualities that another king couldn’t.

By decreeing the killing of apostates, it clearly shows that Allah is a false, insecure god who has many ugly secrets in his house.

If Allah is the true God he would seek after those who have walked away the same way a shepherd goes after a lost sheep, or a person searches for a lost coin or like father awaits the return of a prodigal son. This is a quality of the God of the Bible (Lk. 15:3-18).

How horrible to serve a god who slaughters backsliders! Allah is no different from Seth or Satan. And why should we forsake our loving God to bow to such a vicious deity?

2. You said an ex-Muslim deserves to be beheaded because he has “known the truth and practiced the rituals of worship.” Can this also translate this way: “if a person who has known the truth and practiced the rites Hinduism and then embraces Islam should also be killed.”

“Or a person who has known the truth of Judaism and then embraces Islam deserves to be slaughtered also because he left the truth.” Agreed?

The fact is, as humans, our ideas of “truth” can change. People change their views on different subjects for different reasons, whether based on emotion, conviction or experience, so to license death for leaving Islam should also translate to licensing death for embracing it. It ought to work both ways.

If a person is shown sufficient evidence that Islam is a false religion, or that Muhammad was a false prophet, he has every right to dump it. A religion that decrees the killing of apostates is deceitful and its rites are worthless.

Who gets to decides whose life is “useless”? By what criteria do you (or your religious leaders) decide that a fellow created by God is “useless” and should be exterminated like a laboratory rat?

This is what your much vaunted “religion of peace” actually boils down to – supporting cruelty and murder.

3. You said Muslims must “punish (an apostate) for his disbelief in Allah.” If Allah is God and he is so offended because one of his slaves no longer believes in him, he should be the one doing the “punishing,” not sitting back like a gangster godfather, relying on his brainwashed followers to do his dirty job for him.

If Allah has failed to prove his existence to his slaves, why should they continue to love and serve a figment of a man’s imaginations?

A true God should be able to defend his name and reputation, and a god who replaces reason with compulsion is not worthy of worship. The God of the Bible said: “Come now and let us reason…” (Is. 1:18).

But Allah doesn’t reason with anyone; his topmost priority is to have those who leave his religion killed. Then what makes his Islam different from Satanism?

I read an article today, that apart from football matches, another “public entertainment” in Saudi Arabia that makes Muslims gather outdoor, enduring the discomfort and harshness of the desert sun is beheading!

Both the young and old gather to watch a fellow human being decapitated by an executioner while chanting “Allah Akbar!” And people wonder why Muslims are quick to violence.

You have been so exposed to sheer evil and cruelty so much that you have become immune to it. This is psychopathy – when a person lacks human empathy and justifies every act of barbarity. It’s funny how these same people then come on social media to claim “ISIS are not real Muslims.” Yeah sure.

4. You said Islam is “based on reason and logic…evidence and proof.” This claim has lost its bite with your previous lines.

If Islam has a shred of proof or evidence for its beliefs, there wouldn’t be any need for the sword or jihad. If I tell you 2+2= 4 and you say “no,” I can easily prove my stance by placing two sticks on a table and adding two more to it. That settles it.

It becomes clear to everyone who is right and who is wrong. I don’t need to bring out a sword and say “You blasphemed my belief by disagreeing, so you must die!” Only loons do that.

Now where is the evidence that Muhammad is God’s prophet or that the Quran is God’s Word? These are fun topics. You prove Allah with Muhammad, prove Muhammad with Allah, prove the Quran with Muhammad and prove Muhammad with Muhammad’s own words.

You call that “evidence,” but we call that fideism – faith in faith.

Sura 5:101 says to you Muslims: “Ask not questions about things which if made plain to you may cause you trouble.” What is this, if not blind faith?

Reason and logic thrive where there are questions, criticism and scrutiny, but in Islam, you cannot question what you believe; you can’t doubt; you can’t reason and you are not even free to walk away! That’s bondage.

Miriam: You are misunderstanding Islam and searching for the dark sides. But our doctrine is complete and pure and the image is clear to us, but not to you.

Maybe it’s true that you searched and read a lot about Islam but what you’ve learned is extremely untrue. Maybe the books you read were written by islam’s enemies. Just because there are a lot of Muslims not applying islam and they don’t represent their religion.

Try to make your mind wide open, millions and millions are entering Islam every year, do you think that people didn’t think well or didn’t search about Islam before taking such an important decision? You [research] about Islam but your results are 100% false.

Victor: I have seen both the theory and practical of Islam and I understand them. The former are in the Quran and hadiths while the latter are seen in the savage, barbaric and subhuman atrocities Muslims are perpetrating in my own country and other nations of the world.

The recent Orlando massacre by the ISIS jihadist is just an example.

I don’t have to “see” Islam from your perspective because you are still trapped in the bubble and truth appears flurry from that end.

Anyone who justifies the murder of murtads first needs a human heart and a new spirit from God, before he/she can begin to see things from a Godly perspective.

My facts are based on the original sources of Islam. I’ve heard that accusation of being “spoon-feed by enemies of Islam” many times, but when I ask you Muslims to refute the facts being presented, you either run for the hills or change the topic.

And I’m putting it out to you to demonstrate my “100% falsehood” and I will publish it on my blog, so that everyone can read you expose my untruths or see who between us is peddling untruths.

It’s a good thing that not all Muslims are applying Islam. Imagine how awful this world would be if every Muslim was beheading people or flogging women for uncovering their hair. You have already shown me the spirit behind islam by your appraisal of death for apostasy.

You also said “millions are converting to Islam.” On which planet? By the way, if every religion incorporates death penalty for apostasy, will Islam have any figure to boast of?

To imply that a religion is true because many are embracing it is a fallacy of appeal to numbers. It’s just like telling me garbage is suitable for human consumption because so many flies are perching on it. That’s ridiculous. You think God is a respecter of numbers? Not at all.

The Bible says “The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God” (Ps. 9:17). It means everyone who practices or justifies wickedness (beheading, stoning of rape victims, jihad etc.) is going to hell and “all the nations that forget God.”

There are many nations today wallowing in pits of rebellion against God. They sin boldly and even deny God’s existence.

There are also nations that claim to be religious but practice all sorts of evil under the shroud of religion. They rape captured women, destroy church buildings and kill others to appease a god who promised them a brothel paradise. They have rejected the true God as revealed in Jesus Christ. They will all face the ax.

God is not a respecter of human feelings. He is no respecter of men – their race, religions, philosophies or zeal. “He does not play favourites” (Rom. 2:11).

If nations will not be spared from hell, what makes you think millions of Muslims will be spared? Because false religions and sin have multiplied, so “hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure” to swallow more people (Is. 5:14).

Your only hope here and in eternity is to trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour. It doesn’t matter how deep you have gone in Islam or how the fear of leaving it assail you, God will preserve you with His mighty hand.

Please think about this because there is no evidence that Islam is of God.

The Cost of Leaving Islam

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Most converts to Islam announce their defections from the rooftops, but ex-Muslims, especially in Islam-dominated areas, can’t enjoy such a luxury. Leaving Islam attracts serious consequences ranging from alienation to imprisonment to death under Sharia law.

Perhaps this is why some Muslims are clamouring for Sharia law in several countries. It’s an effort to halt the daily exodus of people out of Islam.

Liberal Muslims try to drown this intolerable streak with slippery narratives like, “There is no compulsion in Islam,” but this line of defense can be easily disproved.

The Arabic word for apostate is murtad. A turning away from Islam into unbelief is termed ridda while an apostasy into another religion (such as Christianity) is kufr.

Here is what the Quran says about apostates:

“If they repent it will be better for them; and if they turn away, Allah will afflict them with a painful doom in the world and the Hereafter, and they have no protecting friend nor helper in the earth” (Sura 9:74).

“Therefore do remind, for you are only a reminder. You are not a watcher over them. But whosoever turns back and disbelieves, Allah will chastise him with the greatest chastisement” (Sura 88:21-24).

“How shall Allah guide a people who disbelieved after their believing and (after) they had borne witness that the Apostle was true and clear arguments [or signs] had come to them… their reward is that upon them is the curse of Allah and the angels and of men all together” (Sura 3:86-87).

These scare-mongering Quranic verses are psychological blows, but they raise a point: Muhammad made up his Allah as a fearsome monster. He used his god as a convenient scarecrow to hold his followers under the claws of Islam through fear.

Muhammad’s life was marked by curses and threats. He too knew he and his Allah had no power to make these statements happen. This was why he had to resort to killing his enemies by himself.

Islamic scholar, Abu’ala Maududi declares:

“To everyone acquainted with Islamic law it is no secret that according to Islam the punishment for a Muslim who turns to kufr (infidelity, blasphemy) is execution.”

My point exactly. You see, it’s not really Allah who is doing the “afflicting” or “chastisement” of apostates, it is his loyal worshipers doing his job for him. Or let’s say, Allah is using their hands to punish the apostates.

Other passages say:

“They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend or helper from among them” (Sura 4:89).

Islamic scholar, Abdallah Baidawi explains this:

“Whosoever turns back from his belief (irtada), openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever ye find him, like any other infidel” (Mufradat-Ghand’ul Quran, p. 191).

Some Muslims claim that the Arabic word rendered “helpers” here is “auliyah” which also means “leaders” so the verse intends to say Muslims should not accept a corrupt leader.

Even if we accept such a twisted explanation of an otherwise clear text, the question remains: why should such a leader be killed at all? If Islam is the truth or it has a superior logic, there would be no need to kill those who oppose or leave it.

Sura 2:217 says “…But whosoever among you shall turn back from his religion, and die an infidel, their works shall be in vain in this world, and the next; they shall be companions of [hell] fire, they shall remain therein forever…”

A Quranic commentary explains this:

“In short, the fate of an apostate is worse than that of an original disbeliever. This is why Jizyah [penalty tax] can be accepted from an original disbeliever while a male apostate who does not return to Islam is killed. If the apostate is a woman, she is imprisoned for life” (Mufti Shafi Usman, Maanful Quran, 1:536).

Another passage says:

“But if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor rate, they are your brethren in Faith … And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief- surely their oaths are nothing – so that they may desist.” (Sura 9:11)

Note: the Arabic word they rendered as “fight” is “quatelo” which means “kill.”

The passage was directed to the pagans and “people of the Book” and it was the last Sura Muhammad recited. Muslims were only to stop slaying them when they embraced Islam or paid jizya. Maududi explains:

“Here the ‘covenant breaking’ in no way can be considered to mean ‘breaking of political covenants.’ Rather, the context clearly determines its meaning to be ‘confessing Islam, and then renouncing it’… war should be waged against the leaders instigating apostasy” (Quranic Commentary, pp. 12-23).

The Quran does not explicitly state that apostates must be killed. One of the reasons was adduced by the Encyclopedia of Quran (ed. Jane McAuliffe, 119):

“At the early stages, the Prophet did not have the effective power to deal with the apostates and thus the Quran adopted a considerably lenient attitude. With the growing strength of the new religion that attitude changed into a confident and less compromising one.”

Another reason is that the Quran doesn’t address all the fundamental tenets of Islam. It fails to cover all the areas of Islamic beliefs.

For example, nowhere does the Quran explain the rites of Islamic prayer or pilgrimage. Muslims have to turn to the hadiths and the records of the first generations of Muslims to properly practice Islam. This militates against the claim that the Quran is a complete book.

In a hadith, Muhammad is quoted as saying:

“The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am his Apostle cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims” (Bukhari 9:83:17).

Mu’adh ibn Jabal narrated:

“A man who was a Jew embraced Islam and then retreated from Islam. When Mu’adh came, he said: I will not come down from my mount until he is killed. He was killed” (Abu Dawud 38:4341).

After Ali burnt some apostates to death, Ibn Abbas said:

“I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9:84:57).

What is quite striking is the how these narrations were recorded without any apology or remorse. It indicates the extent to which Islam destroys human compassion and reason.

In another place, Muhammad predicted that in the latter times, there would be some young Muslims with no faith who would leave Islam like an arrow leaves a quiver. This was his remedy:

“So wherever you find them, kill them, for who-ever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection” (Bukhari 9:84:64).

There you have it. Kill an ex-Muslim and get a reward in the hereafter! Tell me, how does Islam differ from destructive cults which call for the death of ex-members with a promise of a reward?

Jesus Christ said: “IF anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Matt. 16:24).

The “if” there implies the freedom to accept or reject His way. In John 6:66 “many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.” He said to the others “You do not want to leave too, do you?” They replied “to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (vv. 67-69).

When you have the words of life and truth, you will not need to force people to listen to you.

Muhammad was the direct opposite of Christ. He neither had the word of truth nor life and the people knew he was a wicked man. The only thing he could use to bind people to his cult was the death penalty.

According to Tabari’s biography, after Muhammad’s death, many of the Arabs reverted from Islam and Abu Bakr ordered their deaths. It was recorded:

“But there was an old man among them, a Christian called al-Rumalus b. Mansur who said ‘By God the only error I have made since attaining reason was abandoning my religion, the religion of truth, for yours, the religion of wickedness. No by God, I will not leave my religion and I will not accept yours so long as I live.’ Ma’qi brought him forward and cut off his head” (Vol. 17:191).

So even back then – before the Islamic atrocities we read today – Christians were convinced Islam was a religion of wickedness and they chose to die rather than follow such a doomed vessel.

Islamic law stipulates that:

“When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasies from Islam, he deserved to be killed … There is no indemnity [expiation] for killing an apostate” (Ahmad al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Law, p. 595).

Why the emphasis on killing the apostate? Another islamic scholar answers:

“Those Muslims who are weak in faith and others who are against Islam may think that the apostate has only left Islam because of what he has found out about its real nature.. So they learn from him all the doubt, lies and fabrications which are aimed at extinguishing the light of Islam and putting people off from it. In this case, executing the apostate is obligatory, in order to protect [Islam]…” (Islam Questions and Answers, Fatwa no. 12406)

In other words, Islam is so volatile that it can be easily extinguished by former Muslims. Therefore, killing apostates is meant to “protect” Muslims from learning the ugly truths about Islam.

This is a tacit admission that Islam cannot stand up to insightful inquiries and criticism.

Islam is just like Nazism, Communism or any other fascist movement that squelches opposition to its agenda.

This proves that Islam can never be from God, because one of the gifts God has given mankind is the gift of freedom. Every system that tries to remove this freedom of choice and conscience is a yoke of bondage.

The Question of  Kismet and Qadr

The whole idea of killing apostates actually does violence to the Islamic belief in fate (kismet) and predestination (qadr).

The Quran says:

“Those whom Allah wills to guide, He opens their breast to Islam; those whom He wills to leave straying,- He make their breast close and constricted … thus Allah lay abomination on those who refuse to believe” (Sura 6:125).

How can Allah lay abomination on non-believers if he made them non-believers? If Allah has predestined those who stay in or leave Islam, then, by ordering the death of ex-Muslims he is undoing his own work!

Is that reasonable? What would you think of a king who orders his servant out of the palace and then calls for his execution for leaving the palace? Wouldn’t you think he is a lunatic?

The Lord Jesus reveals to us the God who cares much about His creation. He illustrated Him as a shepherd who left 99 sheep to seek a sheep that went astray and rejoiced when it was found; a woman who seeks a lost silver piece out of 10 and rejoiced when it was found and a father who embraced his estranged son who returned to him.

He said there is likewise joy among the angels in heaven over one sinner that repents than the others who are still in the faith (Luke 15:2-32). What a far cry from the god of Islam!

When Peter denied Jesus and became a “murtad,” what did Jesus do? He extended the hand of forgiveness and reconciliation to him (John 21:17).

No death penalty, no imprisonment or threats of curses from angry angels. This is the glory of Biblical Christianity. Love, truth and freedom all walk together. The absence of these qualities in Islam marks it out as a diabolic cult that controls and deceives mankind.

A fatwa issued by the Mufti of Lebanon says that a Muslim who chooses to leave Islam “should be imprisoned for three days” to think about his decision and if he persists in his decision “then he or she must be put to death.”

This nefarious ideology blows the “Islam is a religion of peace” rhetoric into ashes. This is why when many Muslims are convinced of the truth of the Christian Faith, they still fear the implications of conversion.

But a truth-seeking Muslim must not be deterred by fear. Jesus has said anyone who must follow Him must be willing to lay down all that he has (Matt. 10:37).

Satan and his demons try to stop people from accepting the eternal life that Jesus offers with oppositions, imprisonments, tortures and fear of death. They do these to keep them in false and destructive religions such as Islam, which lead to eternal death.