The quote above came from a man whom the Associated Press described as a moderate Muslim cleric. Thankfully, international outrage and pressure has led Afghanistan to spare the life of Abdul Rhaman. Rhaman was released on the grounds that he was insane, as being insane is the only legitimate excuse for becoming an apostate, according to Sharia law.
Rhaman is not insane, but that was the only way the Afghanistan gov't could save face with the international community without acknowledging the wrongness of the law that makes apostacy punishable by death.
But the fact that orthodox Islam considers insanity the only plausible reason for deciding to no longer be a Muslim is telling. Its indicative of a mindset that has completely been engulfed with fanatacism, where faith has been fully embraced and nothing else can penetrate, belief is all that matters.
To fully grasp the horror of this meme, consider this conversation I had with a Muslim who believes that this law is just.
Me: This is so profoundly disturbing to me. Even ______, who is usually reasonable and moderate, sees nothing wrong with killing a person for the "crime" of changing his mind.
A law which calls for someone to be put to death because they changed their mind about something is evil. If you worship a god that made thinking a crime, then your god is evil.
Joseph Conrad once wrote, "all a man can betray is his conscience." This is what the Sharia would have you do, betray your concience. How can thought be criminalized? How can a person not be free to think whatever thoughts they are compelled to think?
If a person is not free to choose or change their religion, then they are not free, period. They have been made a slave from the inside out.
I know that _____ will tell me that we can't judge God's laws, that all we can do is follow them. That's fanatic talk, the talk of a slave, a person who now advocates that you too become a slave. That you should put the chains on yourself, and love being a slave.
The word that Islam is derived from means "submission." What you are to submit is your very humanity.
Him: That's exactly it. You submit to God as His willing servant, "slave" if you like.
Not one of the beings in the heavens and the earth but must come to God Most Gracious as a servant. (Qur'an 19:93)
The answer of the Believers, when summoned to God and His Apostle, in order that He may judge between them, is no other than this: they say, "We hear and we obey": it is such as these that will attain felicity. It is such as obey God and His Apostle, and fear God and do right, that will win in the end (Qur'an 24:48-51)
The Prophet (pbuh) said:"Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians praised the son of Mary, for I am only a slave. So, call me the Slave of God and His Apostle."
"I am a slave. I eat as a slave eats and I sit as a slave sits."
In a previous conversation, he gave this rationale for the law:
Apostacy is the worst crime possible. That's why God places such high preventative measures against it, for your own sake.Were critical thought to factor into accepting such a rationale, one would immediately see the circularity of it. Why must God punish apostacy? Because its a serious crime. Why is it a serious crime? Because God punishes apostacy seriously. Why must God prevent apostacy? Because apostacy will lead to eternity in Hell. Why does apostacy lead to enternity in Hell? Because God punishes apostacy by eternity in Hell.
God says that whoever leaves Islam, will not only be eternally in Hell, they will never be guided.
That's why a serious eternal punishment is forewarned with a serious earthly punishment. That's how seriously a person needs to reconsider their position.