The penalty is death.
While in other religions, a believer is free to follow his or her own conviction in making the difficult decision to leave the faith, Muslims do not have that right.
Islamic law dictates that the abandonment of the faith, “apostasy,” is a religious “crime” against Allah – one of six such acts serious enough to warrant the death penalty.
Even more concerning is that the act of abandonment need not merely be leaving the faith for religious reasons to convert to Christianity, Judaism or even to become an agnostic or atheist.
Mere questioning of any tenet of the Islamic faith, mocking Allah or worshipping idols also constitute apostasy.
But in keeping with the attitude fostered by the Obama administration that anything relating to the Islamic faith be above question or criticism, a Texas lawmaker is coming under fire for taking steps to protect Muslims who have left the faith and may be subject to harsh penalties for their apostasy.
Republican state Rep. Kyle Biedermann has asked the leaders in mosques to pledge support for the “safety” for Texas Muslims who are no longer practicing.
The request came in a mailed survey mailed in his district that lies west of Austin and north of San Antonio.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a group with close ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, released a statement saying it instructed imams and other mosque leaders to “ignore” the survey.
Other questions in the survey involved renouncing the institutionalization of Sharia law and labeling the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.
Despite the reaction, Biedermann did not apologize for sending it, as he said the responses would be made available only for an upcoming conference on homeland security.
Significantly, however, the underlying – whether the mosques would guarantee the safety of Muslims who leave the faith – was never answered.