WHY WE LEFT ISLAM by Joel Richardson: “People ask if we had an agenda. Absolutely.”


Why We Left Islam, a collection of 23 personal testimonies of former Muslims and why they decided to leave Islam behind, was birthed when Susan Crimp and myself decided that these stories simply needed to be shared with the world. People ask if we had an agenda. Absolutely. For those who regularly follow the news, it is apparent that within most Western nations, there is a rapidly increasing occurrence of human rights violations that come as a direct result of the influx of Islam into the West. For those of us in the West who still value human rights and human freedoms, a very important decision is now confronting us all: Which principles takes priority over the others; human rights and freedoms or openness and tolerance. Unfortunately, many today seem to be choosing tolerance over human rights and human freedoms. This book was compiled with the hope that many in the West will begin to wake up and realize that as valuable as the principles of tolerance and openness are, they must be limited. When we as a tolerant and open society begin to tolerate human rights violations and efforts to exalt a regressive culture over our own, then we have not only begun to commit cultural suicide, we have also failed as human beings. The West stands at a crucial juncture in its history. At the beginning of the 21st Century, the decisions that we make in the immediate days to come will determine whether or not we survive on into the next century, of if become history—to be replaced by a globalized Islam.

I distinctly remember learning about slavery for the first time when I was about nine or ten years old. Even as a small child, I remember asking myself how people could have allowed such a brazen evil to take place on their watch. I asked myself why more people didn’t stand up against this obviously evil practice. Later, when I learned about the Holocaust, these thoughts were again stirred up in me. How can so many remain so passive in the face of such an indescribable evil? I remember vowing then that if any such evil ever manifested itself while I was alive, that I would be among those who stand up and stand firmly against the darkness, despite popular opinion or popular passivity. I have come to believe that turning the other way and ignoring even the most horrendous atrocities is a far more common practice among the human race than we would like to admit. People are often more concerned with their public image and comfort than they are with the suffering, abuse or even the full-fledged murder of others. There are certain very crucial times in history when the need to stand firm in the midst of tremendous evils, despite the pressures is essential. This is true regardless as to which side of the political spectrum one stands on. We cannot say that it is allowable or acceptable for a Muslim family to commit an honor killing or to murder someone for “apostasy” on our soil simply because that is “part of their culture”. If we believe that human rights are universal, then we need to stand up against such practices and support those who wish to leave Islam behind. We cannot take they “its good for me but not for thee” attitude. What is good for me is also good for Ali. Multiculturalism be damned in these cases. The West is increasingly becoming a place where the freedom to express ones opinions are being stunted through intimidation and an oppressive atmosphere of political correctness gone mad. Sound familiar: You are at a dinner party or at work and you feel the yourself unable to speak what you feel because of the atmosphere of intimidation and fear that is increasingly becoming part of the Western world. Or how about this: You read the news and feel a certain sense of foreboding and dread as you perceive the storm clouds gathering on the horizon. You wonder what the future will hold. I received my first copy of Why We Left Islam in the mail just the other day. When you hold this book in your hands, a revelation hits you. It is in the simple acts such as supporting a few brave individuals who chose to leave Islam that you can change the future. When enough ordinary individuals choose to make simple stands and refuse to allow intimidation to affect them then the future begins to become more hopeful. Rather than darkness, light begins to shine. It is in the simple acts of standing up and standing firm that the world is changed. It is possible to love Muslims and yet lovingly and firmly say no to many of the sold-crushing aspects of its theology and practice that is spreading throughout the earth. As the co-editor of Why We Left Islam, I challenge everyone who loves human rights and human freedoms to stand in solidarity with these brave individuals. I challenge you to stand with these and stand up for universal human rights. I promise you that if you do, you will not look back with regret. You will know that in the small ways, at the crucial times, you did not choose the way of silent majority, the popular path of cowardice and selfishness, but instead you chose to be part of the solution that promises hope for the future for all people. For that is exactly what Why We Left Islam is about.

Joel Richardson is the co-author of WHY WE LEFT ISLAM. You can visit his publisher’s website at www.wnd.com.

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3 thoughts on “WHY WE LEFT ISLAM by Joel Richardson: “People ask if we had an agenda. Absolutely.”

  1. Joel, I get what you are saying. But don’t you think some folks have turned this whole debate into a false choice? I see nothing politically incorrect about standing up for universal human rights. To the contrary, to do the opposite has the smacks of pandering and the soft bigotry of very, very low expectations of others. I also see no necessary conflict between believing in universal human rights and being accepting of others. It’s very reasonable to expect some basic standards of behavior from all human beings and yet, beyond that, to let people be who they are and whatever they want to be. There is no inherent conflict; just the one manufactured by people who like to stir the pot.

    Also, have you noticed that very few people who have actually worked with some of the more heinous human rights abuses or who have actually lived in regions where they are quite prevalent take the cultural/moral relativist view? I don’t know anyone who works with dishonor killings who is a relativist. Not one.

    Ellen R. Sheeley, Author
    “Reclaiming Honor in Jordan”

  2. Ellen,

    I hear you. Of course in an ideal world, standing for human rights and tolerance should not be exclusive. However, sadly, Islam forces us to choose. Islam (in a broad general sense) brings with it a culture of honor killings, apostasy executions, violation of women’s rights, children’s rights, squelching of open debate and criticism of Islam, etc etc etc. You get the idea.

    Cheers, Joel

  3. Islam versus Christianity, Judaism and all other religions is the struggle of history. Here we are in the West in the 21st century confronted with a religion that is still stuck in the 7th century. If you’re a Muslim you may murder the infidel or not and you will still be a proper Muslim.

    And why even discuss ‘moderate’ Muslims? A moderate Muslim is as terrified as the radical Muslims as the rest of the non-Muslims.

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