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Posted on Aug 15, 2007 at 01:25 PM

There was a remarkable article translated from the Algerian Arabic Daily, al-Yawm and published in the Courrier International[3] recently. It shows that the deterioration of the image of Islam during the Algerian crisis has played its part in the rise of conversions to Christianity and the adoption of its principles. What is happening and what has happened in Algeria, such as the massacres and killings [in the holy month of Ramadan, December, 2000, alone, 340 people were killed, making a total of 2700 killed by the Islamists in the year 2000. Source CI.No.531] in the name of Islam, has led many, when asked what the difference, in their view, was between Islam and Christianity, to declare: "Christianity is life, Islam is death." For Samia, a secondary school pupil, the proof of the difference between Islam and Christianity was the mixing and relationship between the sexes, the former forbidding it, and the latter allowing it. One church alone recorded 50 baptisms a year; and this in a country where a woman wearing lipstick could result in an entire family, elderly women and children included having their throats cut. Apostasy is punishable by death under Islamic Law. Ernest Renan was once asked whether it was true that he had, on abandoning Catholicism, embraced Protestantism. He replied testily, "It was my faith that I lost and not my reason." Here we are not celebrating those who have left one form of unreason only to adopt another form of unreason, but those who face unflinchingly a world devoid of fantasy, who look the world in the face without the crutches of irrational dogma. We wish to encourage ex-Muslims to declare themselves, to liberate themselves, to make them take conscience of the fact that there are many who think like them, and who have taken the same lonely road to rationalism, and humanism.

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