...it is not only extreme Muslim families that believe it is their religious duty to threaten, and even kill, members who renounce the religion.Her parents were, in other words, the kind of people who politicians idealise as "the moderate Muslim majority" - devout, but apparently not totally in hock to Sharia ideology, and willing to mix with non-Muslims, to at least some extent. Yet when they discovered that their daughter had converted to Christianity, they beat and intimidated her, and then disowned her and threw her out of their house. Of course, had they been part of the "tiny minority of extremists", they might have reacted really badly!
"My father could not be described as an extremist," insists Sofia [an Islamic convert to Christianity], who is now 31. "We read the Koran and prayed regularly together, but he never insisted on my wearing Islamic dress and he was quite happy that I went to the local comprehensive, which was all girls, but not by any means dominated by Muslims."
One point to note is that they did not at any point try to kill her, or threaten to do so. Quite probably, they were not among the significant minority of Muslims who advocate the death penalty for apostasy. But even so, their views on this were clearly utterly different from those held in the West. From this, it follows that simply because a Muslim does not support the death penalty for apostasy (or, indeed, any other of the most extreme manifestations of Sharia law), we cannot necessarily infer that their views are "moderate", by our standards. We know that 36% of Muslims aged 16 to 24 support the death penalty in cases like this. What we don't know, is what, precisely, the other 64% believe.
The second point worth noting is that, while the Muslim Council of Britain's Inayat Bunglawala did, to his credit, condemn threats against British-based Islamic apostates as "awful and quite wrong", he refused to condemn the seven Islamic states whose laws mandate the death penalty for apostasy. This was, he said, "a matter for those states". I can't help wondering whether the basis of this apparent discrepancy is that Bunglawala shares the view of the author of the Islamics blog, that the execution of apostates is justified, or even required, in Muslim countries, but not in non-Muslim countries. If so, then we have yet another reason not to want Muslims to ever become a majority in Britain.
Indeed, whatever Inayat Bunglawala may think, the attitudes of Muslims in general are clearly utterly incompatible with the values of the West. Sooner or later, on this issue as on so many others, one side is going to have to give way...