GodTube Questions for Islam #9: Why is Conversion Away from Islam Not Permitted?

John C. Rankin (May 9, 2011)

Since the days of Muhammad, conversions into Islam have been welcomed from Judaism, Christianity and other belief or non-belief systems. But conversions away from Islam have been strongly opposed, and often with dire consequences. In other words, it is a one-way process.

Now, Judaism and Christianity have had their historical problems in this regard, but at a lesser degree, and with one major difference. The Bible never sanctions state enforced conversion into or out of biblical faith. Indeed, no coercion of any form is permitted.

And too, in its first three centuries, the church fully honored such freedom; and from the Reformation to the present, the church – whether Protestant, Orthodox or Catholic – has quite largely come to honor this biblical reality.

Is there any parallel in Islam? Or is the Qur’an intrinsically committed to using state power to ultimately bring all peoples and religions under Islamic law? And if so, can Islam in any way be said to favor religious, political and economic liberty for all people equally?

I believe such liberty is the natural desire of all people, and thus this question is central to the well-being of all nations.