I Affirm Freedom of Faith

In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

I have been clear about my beliefs about apostasy in Islam. I believe it is clear from the Qur’an that apostasy is a sin against God, but there is no credible evidence for the punishment of apostasy (i.e., simply deciding to leave the faith of Islam) on earth. God will judge and decide in the end.

A new blog has been set up that is dedicated to creating further awareness about Islam and the freedom of faith. On this blog is a list of more than 100 Muslim scholars, academics, and professionals who have endorsed the freedom of faith as an essential tenet of Islam. I am proud to announce that I have joined this list, and I am proud to link that blog on this blog.

The statement to which I am a signatory is as follows:

We the undersigned Muslims from diverse backgrounds affirm: The freedom of faith and the freedom of changing one’s faith. In light of the Qur’anic guidance and the Prophetic legacy, the principle of freedom of faith does not lend itself to impose in this world any punishment or retribution solely for apostasy; Thus there ought not to be any punishment in the name of Islam or fatwa calling for the same.

I urge all Muslims to endorse this statement of truth based in the beauty of our faith. The realm of the heart is the most personal and intimate realm of any human being. No government, Islamic or otherwise, has any business intervening in its matters. The convictions of the heart and the consequences of those convictions are God’s alone to judge.

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