The below article concerns a group of women who are marked for death by militant Islamists. Their crime? Some are guilty of leaving the religion and speaking out publicly about it. In addition, at least one (Pam Geller) never was a Muslim, but has publicly criticized Islam. Either way, the punishment for those two "offences", which is affirmed by virtually every leading school of Islamic thought and sharia law, is death.
Full disclosure: I have come to know Nonie Darwish. We have met at several events and exchanged several email communications. On certain occasions, I have personally delivered her Freedom Pledge letter to addressees who had previously never responded to her. It goes without saying that I respect and support her just as i respect and support the others mentioned in this story.I
I have often directly asked local Muslim leaders like Muzammil Siddiqi, Maher Hathout, Salam Al Marayati and others about the death penalty in Islam for apostates and those who criticize the religion. Of course, they equivocate, hedge, and deny what is a known fact. It is part of (hudud) sharia law and is affirmed by every leading Islamic school of thought and jurisprudence.
Explain to me how such an ideology is compatible with Western standards of freedom and plurality. It is unacceptable that people in the United States of America have to live under such a threat. This week, I posted an article critical of Pope Francis. Yesterday, I attended Easter services in our local Catholic church. Was I afraid for my life? Hardly. Muslims, at least American Muslims, must enjoy the same rights.