Every so often the Guardian publishes something I like:
I am an atheist. I imagine that the typical Cif belief reader may not think this is a particularly big deal, but it is for me, because I’m not just an atheist – I’m an apostate from Islam. Apparently there are people who would happily kill me for making such a statement. But I’m not expecting to be killed, or even threatened; despite what the BNP and certain elements of the press might want you to think, the overwhelming majority of Muslims are not rabid fundamentalists who respond with violence to every perceived slight.
Comments are always revealing, and sometimes they are incomprehensible. Like this one:
As it says in the Qur’an, there is no compulsion in religion. Thanks and good luck.
Well, either the Qur’an I’ve been reading was translated by Sam Harris, or this commenter has an extremely flexible idea of what “compulsion in religion” is. There’s scarcely any content in the Qur’an which is not explicitly compulsive. If indeed it can be said that this book is “about” anything, that something is the compulsion to faith. Unbelievers are cordoned off to one side and proscribed from the believer’s worlview. They must be fought with zeal and gusto.
If you don’t believe me, read the book for yourself.