Conversion: the double standard among Muslims

March 16, 2007 at 1:07 am (Blogs, Christianity, Islam, Personal, Religion, Religions)

Two related areas that are of concern to me are people leaving Islam and Muslims converting to Christianity.

Some prominent personalities, such as “Ibn Warraq” (a pseudonym) simply left Islam. They did not embrace another religion, nor did they leave Islam because of another religion. (Technically, this is also how I left Islam.) Other examples are Isaac Schrödinger and The Apostate (a very pretty Pakistani girl whose blog I discovered today thanks to Isaac Schrödinger’s blog).

Others, such as “Abdul Saleeb” (also a pseudonym, from the Arabic “‘abd as-saleeb”, meaning “servant of the Cross”), leave Islam because they have found the truth in another religion (usually Christianity).

The former leave Islam because they believe it be false or wrong, independent of what claims other religions may make, while the latter leave because another religion proved to be the truth if not truer. Small difference, really.

I am not concerned with the numbers. It makes perfect sense to me why more Christians (or Christians-in-name-only, as the case often may be) convert to Islam than Muslims convert to Christianity. This fact does not reflect anything on Islam’s claims to being the truth but rather exists because of sociological elements within Muslim cultures. In short, Muslims are afraid to leave Islam because of repercussions from other Muslims upon them and their loved ones while Christians face no such threat or at least not to the degree in Muslim societies.

Furthermore, there are no restrictions in Christian societies on Muslims to preach their religion while Christians are forbidden to preach Christianity in Muslim societies. Christians allow such discourse while Muslims prohibit or staunchly oppose such discourse.

The way Muslims behave, I feel like asking what they are afraid of. Such behavior seems to be signs of insecurity. Why are they insecure? Are they afraid Islam cannot endure challenges? Are Muslims so rationally or intellectually weak? And what is wrong if a Muslim, for whatever reason, leaves Islam, whether for another religion or not? How does such an act weaken Islam? Is Islam really so weak that the departure of one member threatens it or the Muslim community?

This double standard, celebrating and promoting conversion to Islam but rejecting and resisting and attempting to restrict leaving Islam, irks me.

If someone asked me: “Should people be allowed to convert to Christianity? Should they be allowed to leave Christianity?” my answer would be an emphatic “Yes!” to both. Christianity is practically all about choice: choosing God and Jesus Christ. Just as one is allowed to enter the strait gate and narrow path to salvation by accepting Jesus as the Christ, Son of the Living God, one is also free to damn oneself to God’s just wrath and punishment by rejecting Him and the free gift He offers in His Firstborn, Jesus Christ. Come or leave, it the person’s choice, and no one ought to interfere either way.

There is more work to be done to establish equality of treatment between Christians and Muslims. As Pope Benedict XVI boldly stated, Muslims need to treat Christians the way they would like Christians to treat them. Enough of demanding us to treat Muslims with kid gloves: it is time we were allowed to live freely and openly as Christians, even to the extent of proselytizing, amongst Muslims. It is only fair, no?

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5 Comments

  1. Tex said,

    Hi Muslihoon, I discovered your blog today and wanted to say I enjoyed your posts. I have lived many years in different Muslim countries and have seen the truth of what you say above. I’m actually not sure that more Christians convert to Islam or not (I know many hundreds or thousands in my own experience who have either left Islam or become followers of Jesus), but your reasons are so true. Many of my friends really disliked Islam but couldn’t leave because of danger or the fear of never getting married or getting a job, etc. The whole religion seems to be designed to trap someone in. This is why I love the freedom, respect and love that God shows us in allowing people to choose. You can’t force “true love” and that is what He desires so it demands freedom.
    I look forward to reading future thoughts and reading some of your archives. Tex

  2. Fernando Martinez said,

    If Turkey joins the European union, then it opens itself up to all the rules of the EU of freedom of and from religionand many, many muslims could be brought to christ, as well as many others who wish nothing to do with any religion at all. Many greeks would move back into Istanbul/Constantinople and open churches, Hagia Sophia would become an issue of contention. Christian’s leaving, muslims coming in. But it’s not an issue of quantity but quality. What does it matter if there are a billion christians if they do not worship they way God wishes them too? Once again your website touches upon timely and current events. Keep up the good work man.

  3. Major John said,

    Fernando makes a good point – and that might be your test case. If Turkey manages to pull that off, it will be alot harder for other states to say no – but I fear that Turkey would suffer from outsiders reacting violently to stop such. I can always hope things will turn out well…

  4. dicentra said,

    The way Muslims behave, I feel like asking what they are afraid of. Such behavior seems to be signs of insecurity. Why are they insecure? Are they afraid Islam cannot endure challenges?

    I can’t answer exactly for Muslims, since I’ve never experienced Muslim culture, but I would guess that they would say it’s not a matter of fear but of making sure that people don’t fall into Satan’s traps. If you have free speech and freedom of (and from) religion, then some people will go ahead and make the wrong choice and then they’ll go to hell. And nobody wants that, do they?

    By not allowing challenges, you’re not allowing people to make a terrible mistake by abandoning the True Path. I mean, that would be irresponsible.

    Of course, the idea that we should be forced to be good was, in LDS theology, Satan’s exact and precise plan. Without the freedom to reject God, your choosing Him doesn’t mean a whole lot. Doesn’t show character, and it definitely doesn’t force you to develop your spiritual muscles in the struggle against evil and mediocrity.

  5. green mountain said,

    please check up the history and look wich religion lived the first in harmonie with the others religions, its is the right to everyone to decide about his religion and it is written in quran ” la ikraha fi ddin”, wich means every one has the choice to choose his own religion……. Where is the probleme, i dont know, me as a muslim i am a christian the only difference i beleave that jesus is a prophet not a god, i believe in god in his books and in all the prophets. For the muslims its only one book, its quran and its one version of quran all over the wide world. So i want that every body to seek for the truth in every religion to make the real choice, not to attack one religion or the other without knowing any fact, thta is so wrong…..

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