Daveed Gartenstein-Ross at FrontPage says what must be said about dhimmi Western silence regarding Islamic apostasy law:
Last month, Britain’s Daily Telegraph reported that Prince Charles was leading efforts to combat the Islamic law of apostasy, under which leaving the Muslim religion is at the very least illegal and is often punishable by death. Charles had held a private summit of Christian and Muslim leaders at Clarence House to discuss the issue. There was, however, one hitch: The Muslim delegation at the summit cautioned the prince and other non-Muslims not to speak publicly about apostasy laws, and some of the Christian leaders in attendance were reportedly “sympathetic” to this concern.
Although the proffered reason that non-Muslims should not speak publicly about apostasy laws was that Muslim moderates could better influence the debate without outside intervention, this argument does not stand up to scrutiny. After all, virtually every observer agrees that the West cannot prevail in the war on terror unless Muslim moderates can counter their co-religionists” more militant outlook, yet Westerners do publicly criticize Islamic terrorism, loudly and repeatedly. Western silence on the apostasy issue will not help Islamic moderates; rather, silence is more likely to make both Muslims and also converts out of Islam believe that the issue is unimportant to the outside world.
Many Westerners, however, appear hesitant to speak out on the issue of religious freedom for converts out of Islam. There are two apparent reasons for this hesitation. First, in our multiculturalist society, many feel awkward about speaking up on behalf of those who leave Islam out of concern that attacks on apostasy laws could be seen as criticism of Islam itself. Moreover, apostasy laws affect small numbers in comparison to the large-scale threat of terrorism. Thus, many people may believe that it is not worth making waves over the issue.
This base view should be rejected. In pursuing interfaith dialogue, the treatment of apostates from Islam is one of the crucial issues that Prince Charles and other Westerners should address because the ability to change one’s faith is a fundamental right. Freedom of belief lies at the very heart of an individual’s identity because one’s theological outlook is central to one’s moral and philosophical understanding of the world. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights thus proclaims that everybody should have the “freedom to change his religion or belief.”
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