The following books discuss the problem of Shariah laws requiring violence against people who leave Islam, from a variety of perspectives.  Where available, we’ve included a link to purchase the book online, and you might look in your local library for them as well.  Review quotes are taken from the online bookstore descriptions.  Even better, purchase one or two and donate them to your local library as a way to support former Muslims in their fight for freedom from the Shariah doctrines governing apostasy.

Ali, Ayaan Hirsi.  Infidel.  2007.

“Readers with an eye on European politics will recognize Ali as the Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament who faced death threats after collaborating on a film about domestic violence against Muslim women with controversial director Theo van Gogh (who was himself assassinated). Even before then, her attacks on Islamic culture as “brutal, bigoted, [and] fixated on controlling women” had generated much controversy. In this suspenseful account of her life and her internal struggle with her Muslim faith, she discusses how these views were shaped by her experiences amid the political chaos of Somalia and other African nations, where she was subjected to genital mutilation and later forced into an unwanted marriage. …Apart from feelings of guilt over van Gogh’s death, her voice is forceful and unbowed—like Irshad Manji, she delivers a powerful feminist critique of Islam informed by a genuine understanding of the religion.”

Ali, Ayaan Hirsi. The Caged Virgin: An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam.  2008.  

“Muslims who explore sources of morality other than Islam are threatened with death, and Muslim women who escape the virgins’ cage are branded whores. So asserts Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s profound meditation on Islam and the role of women, the rights of the individual, the roots of fanaticism, and Western policies toward Islamic countries and immigrant communities. Hard-hitting, outspoken, and controversial, The Caged Virgin is a call to arms for the emancipation of women from a brutal religious and cultural oppression and from an outdated cult of virginity. It is a defiant call for clear thinking and for an Islamic Enlightenment. But it is also the courageous story of how Hirsi Ali herself fought back against everyone who tried to force her to submit to a traditional Muslim woman’s life and how she became a voice of reform.”

al-Djaziri, Abd al-Rahman.  The Penalties for Apostasy from Islam.

A free online book with extensive citation and analysis by a former Muslim.  Originally published in 1935, the 8th revision published online here in 1997.

Caner, Ergun and Caner, Emil.  Unveiling Islam: An Insider’s Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs.  2009. 

“An updated and expanded edition of a best-selling and award-winning book. Raised as Sunni Muslims, their father a leader in their local mosque, brothers Ergun and Emir Caner were immersed in Islam. Now Christians, respected evangelical scholars, and theologians, the Caner brothers are fully qualified to present an inside view of the Muslim life. In this updated edition of their bestselling book, the authors provide a sympathetic and realistic analysis of Islam’s practices, ethics, and beliefs, and outline the principle differences between Islam and Christianity.”

Crimp, Susan and Richardson, Joel.  Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out.  2008.

“Collected here are the powerful and brutally honest personal testimonies of men and women who have left Islam – at the risk of death. What compelled these individuals to free themselves from Islam’s tyrannical grip, how did they do it, and at what cost? Why We Left Islam provides the shocking, disturbing answers.”

Darwish, Nonie.  Cruel and Usual Punishment: The Terrifying Global Implications of Islamic Law. 2009. 

“Nonie Darwish presents an insider’s look at Sharia and examines how radical Muslim laws are destroying the Western world from within. Living under Sharia law for the first thirty years of her life,a virtual slave to Islamic law, Darwish never questioned or challenged her rights–or dared to even think about the validity of Sharia laws. She didn’t try to examine what Sharia was, how it came about or why she followed it. “This is Allah’s law,” she was told, and she knew what awaited those who questioned Allah’s law. But she doesn’t believe the lies anymore, and now she wants to share her experiences with the Western world. Cruel and Usual Punishment is an insider’s look at how Muslims sacrifice their basic human rights to obey the archaic and brutal laws handed down to their prophet centuries ago. Heed this warning: Sharia Law is attempting to infiltrate Western culture and destroy democracy.”

Darwish, Nonie. Now They Call Me Infidel: Why I Renounced Jihad for America, Israel, and the War on Terror. 2007.

“A political and personal odyssey from hatred to love…When Nonie Darwish was a girl of eight, her father died while leading covert attacks on Israel. A high-ranking Egyptian military officer stationed with his family in Gaza, he was considered a “shahid,” a martyr for jihad.  Yet at an early age, Darwish developed a skeptical eye about her own Muslim culture and upbringing. Why the love of violence and hatred of Jews and Christians? Why the tolerance of glaring social injustices? Why blame America and Israel for everything? Today Darwish thrives as an American citizen, a Christian, a conservative Republican, and an advocate for Israel. To many, she is now an infidel. But she is risking her comfort and her safety to reveal the many politically incorrect truths about Muslim culture that she knows firsthand.”

Khan, M.A. Islamic Jihad: A Legacy of Forced Conversion, Imperialism, and Slavery.  2009.

“The attacks of September 11, 2001, changed the way the world looks at Islam. And rightfully so, according to M.A. Khan, a former Muslim who left the religion after realizing that it is based on forced conversion, imperialism, and slavery: the primary demands of Jihad, commanded by the Islamic God Allah. In this groundbreaking book, Khan demonstrates that Prophet Muhammad meticulously followed these misguided principles and established the ideal template of Islamic Jihad for his future followers to pursue, and that Muslims have been perpetuating the cardinal principles of Jihad ever since.”

Saeed, Abdullah and Saeed, Hassan. Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam, 2004.

“Debate on freedom of religion as a human right takes place not only in the Western world but also in Muslim communities throughout the world. For Muslims concerned for this freedom, one of the major difficulties is the ‘punishment for apostasy’ – death for those who desert Islam.”

Saleeb, Abdul and Sproul, R.C.  The Dark Side of Islam.  2003. 

“As a convert from Islam, Saleeb has spent many years studying Islam and Christianity. With Dr. Sproul he focuses on four basic areas in which Islam rejects the very foundations on which Christianity is built…Sproul and Saleeb will help you understand Islam better and give you an intellectual basis for answering the Muslim faith-perhaps when interacting with Muslims in your own neighborhood or city. In addition to discussing the differences between Islam and Christianity, Saleeb gives his own perspective on the “dark side” of Islam in light of violence perpetrated by Muslim extremists in recent years.”

Sina, Ali.  Understanding Mohammed – A Psychobiography.  2008.

The author argues that Islam is incompatible with democracy and human rights, and the only way to avert the clash between barbarity and civilization, and a world disaster, is to expose its fallacy and demystify it. “Muslims must be weaned from Islam for humanity to live in peace,” says Ali Sina.”

Warraq, Ibn.  Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out.  2003.  

From the Introduction: “Given that I am rather skeptical of the very possibility of a scientific survey of apostates, it is rather difficult for me to make any psychological, sociological, or anthropological generalizations based on fewer than fifty personal testimonies that would be valid outside this particular group. No quick portrait of the typical apostate is likely to appear–some are young (students in their teens), some are middle-aged with children; some are scientists, while others are economists, businesspeople, or journalists; some are from Bangladesh, others are from Pakistan, India, Morocco, Egypt, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, or Iran. Our witnesses, nonetheless, do have certain moral and intellectual qualities in common: for instance, they are all comparatively well educated, computer literate with access to the Internet, and rational, with the ability to think for themselves. However, what is most striking is their fearlessness, their moral courage, and their moral commitment to telling the truth. They all face social ostracism, the loss of friends and family, a deep inner spiritual anguish and loneliness–and occasionally the death penalty if discovered. Their decisions are not frivolously taken, but the ineluctable result of rational thinking. There are very useful analogies to be drawn between communism and Islam. . . .As Arthur Koestler said, “You hate our Cassandra cries and resent us as allies, but when all is said, we ex-Communists are the only people on your side who know what it’s all about.”  Communism has been defeated, at least for the moment; Islamism has not, and unless a reformed, tolerant, liberal kind of Islam emerges soon, perhaps the final battle will be between Islam and Western democracy. And these former Muslims, to echo Koestler’s words, on the side of Western democracy are the only ones who know what it’s all about, and we would do well to listen to their Cassandra cries.”

Warraq, Ibn.  Why I Am Not A Muslim.  2003. 

“Warraq may well be the most prominent authority on Islamic history and culture who is not a Muslim apologist or a political partisan but a critic.”

Zwemer, Samuel Marinus.The law of apostasy in Islam,: Answering the question why there are so few Moslem converts, and giving examples of their moral courage and martyrdom.  Originally published 1924, republished 2009.

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