Why "Murtadd" and not "Mulhid"?
The title of this site is Murtadd to Human, "Apostate to Human." Some might wonder why not "Atheist to Human". It is a legitimate question. Allow me to explain.
Whosoever renounces his Faith and dies a renegade, all his works shall be fruitless both in this world and in the Hereafter. All such people deserve the Fire and shall abide in Hell for ever.
— Qur'an 2:217
Allah wishes such people dispensed to the Fire. Nuff said. But just in case the message doesn't get through, there's always the Hadith to help clarify things:
Whoever [of the Muslims] changes his religion, kill him.
— Sahih Sunan an-Nasa’i 4063.
Still a bit nervous about killing the apostate? Don't worry. The people of knowledge understand. That is why they drew up the Shari'a to help give you that extra peace of mind only Islam can give:
There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die).
— Reliance of the Traveller, Book O8.4.
And, so they are killed in a lawful way, a fatwa is issued:
But if the apostate is killed in an unlawful way anyway, even here, subhannallah, we see the great magnanimity of the Shari'a:
If he is a freeman, no one besides the caliph or his representative may kill him. If someone else kills him, the killer is disciplined (for arrogating the caliph's prerogative and encroaching upon his rights, as this is one of his duties) [the same crime, by the way, of which Samuel Paty's murderer was guilty, which explains why Muslims could not understand what all the fuss was about, AP].
— Reliance of the Traveller, Book O8.3.
The answer to the title question is two-fold: Firstly, it is true that many who leave Islam are already atheists by the time they declare their apostasy, but many are not, yet they are all apostates. Islam does not kill you for becoming an atheist; it kills you for leaving Islam. The all-knowing Allah (swt) didn't even know that there could be such a thing as an atheist. So leaving Islam is the worst thing that the writers of the Qur'an could think of, which is why the worst possible Shari'a punishment is reserved for apostasy. It does not matter what you do after you leave Islam; the point is that you have left.
In a morbid sort of way, it becomes funny when, in an attempt to respond to the wave of atheism sweeping through the Muslim world, a sheikh tries to exceed the ultimate punishment already meted out for apostasy:
We must fight this new wave of atheistic thinking going around. A strong strict fight. Even if it means using the sword!
The Prophet (PBUH) prepared the armies and fought the infidels, And so, I invite all the leaders to focus on this issue that is spreading between the youth in our communities. Atheism is a defining problem in our lives, totally defining.
"Even if it means using the sword"? You are already using the sword, and for crimes much less than atheism. Obviously, Allah cannot know the future, else he would have reserved the worst punishment for what is actually the worst crime: denying his existence. Essentially, Islam has run out of room to manoeuvre. Ex-Muslims have run Islam up against its own limits.
The "scholars'" stranglehold over the Muslim psyche is slipping. This is why our friendly sheikh, and other apologists and propagandists for Islam, are going for broke. The next thing our sword-fetish sheikh declares is:
We accept nothing but Islamic unification. We accept nothing but Islamic scriptures, and whoever contradicts this — it's not me who says, but our religion says — [use] the sword. Yes, let them say I am blood-thirsty or someone who loves oppression, but this is our religion. Therefore, the United Nations and human rights, we can never accept them.
Today the jihad pretence at civilisation fools only the deluded kufaar who dream of lovely coexistence with people who "accept nothing but Islamic scriptures, and whoever contradicts this — it's not me who says, but our religion says — [use] the sword." When Muslims drop their masks, it is not because they now feel confident enough that they have the kufaar eating out of their hands and so can dispense with the pretence, even if this is the case in many Western countries, no; they go full-frontal to rally their beleaguered ummah in the face of its own disintegration. It was bloodthirsty oppression that made them prevail in centuries gone by and, reared as they are on the values of Qur'anic oppression and the example of their bloodthirsty prophet (peace be upon him), they are making one last desperate throw to "prepare the armies and [fight] the infidels."
Secondly, the purpose of this site is to encourage the human in the Muslim to face the barbarism Islam imposes on it, and escape. This is not about evidence or otherwise for the existence of God, or that religion poisons everything, as the late Christopher Hitchens so tersely put it. It is more fundamental than that. Being Muslim is about what you are, at core, and not about what you believe. This is where most Western ex-Muslims go wrong. A read of Sayyid Qutb might help in this regard.
It would be wonderful if every Muslim who leaves Islam is also an atheist, but to persuade Muslims to become atheists as an intellectual exercise is to lay the basis for secular religion, for they risk leaving Islam unaware of their crippled humanity. We see this in so many ex-Muslims who, in their thinking and behaviour, are indistinguishable from Muslims. When it comes right down to it, some residual deference towards Allah, Muhammad, the Qur’an or Islam causes them to balk at disrespecting that which deserves nothing but disrespect. On this website I will offer a long-overdue critique of ex-Muslims.
By leaving Islam because their humanity cannot take it anymore, whether they do so publicly or in secret, the murtadd is on safe ground, and can he or she pursue their humanity, whether as religious believer or as mulhid. This way, you are more likely to come away recognising that you’re going to have to do some work on yourself, and open a debate on how we go about that. If you have left Islam only because you are convinced that there is no God, then how do you differentiate yourself from, say, the Chinese Communist Party? How would you know that your impulses are not still driven by al-wala’ wa al-bara’? Such impulses are indistinguishable from the impulses that drive identity politics, for example.
Unquestionably, every Muslim must be encouraged to leave Islam and be supported in his or her attempts to do so, but this website is my hope to help those who leave Islam understand that not only has their journey not ended — it has merely begun — but the journey is as much about getting away from Islam; as it is about going towards their own humanity. The rest, such as how bad religion is, are battles down the road.
A YouTube atheist and former Muslim, Ridvan “Apostate Prophet” Aydemir, whom I greatly admire, ends each of his videos with the brilliant line, “Stay away from Islam”. A natural companion to that line, I think, would be “Save your humanity,” although it’s not quite as catchy, I would readily admit."