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Posted on Aug 15, 2007 at 01:24 PM

Introduction Conversions, apostates, and free-thinkers Muslims are triumphalists especially when they parrot the journalistic clich? that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, or when they present the testimony of someone who has "embraced Islam;" Islam, "that least huggable of faiths," as Rushdie calls it[1]. Frithjof Schuon, a Western convert to a mystical variety of Islam explains the Muslim mindset: The intellectual?and thereby the rational?foundation of Islam results in the average Muslim having a curious tendency to believe that non-Muslims either know that Islam is the truth and reject it out of pure obstinacy, or else are simply ignorant of it and can be converted by elementary explanations; that anyone should be able to oppose Islam with a good conscience quite exceeds the Muslims? power of imagination, precisely because Islam coincides in his mind with the irresistible logic of things[2]. Despite appearances, the fact remains thousands have left Islam behind along with other childish beliefs from Father Christmas to the Tooth Fairy. A few courageous souls have not only resisted the "irresistible" but braving family and friends, social ostracism, mob violence, and state assassinations and executions, have also come out of the closet, and have made their unbelief a matter of public record: Salman Rushdie, Taslima Nasrin, Anwar Shaikh, Ali Sina, Mahmoud, Syed Mirza Ali, Mohsen, to name some of them.

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