Published: 00:00 GMT Daylight Time - Thursday 01 October 2009
Obama in Cairo
In his speech in Cairo on 4 June 2009, President Obama courageously addressed the issue of the right of every individual to be free to choose their own faith, thereby addressing the issue of conversion from Islam (apostasy): “People in every country should be free to choose and live their faith based upon the persuasion of the mind, heart, and soul.”
He also called for respect and right treatment of minorities in Muslim countries, giving examples of two Christian communities: “The richness of religious diversity must be upheld – whether it is for Maronites in Lebanon or the Copts in Egypt.” It was bold of him to mention the problem of discrimination against the Copts, which the Egyptian government consistently denies.
He could of course have mentioned other persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East and in the Muslim world. President Obama claimed that freedom in America “is indivisible from the freedom to practice one’s religion”. He did not however demand that Saudi Arabia and other Muslim states that severely restrict the freedom of non-Muslims to practise their religion reciprocate and follow that model. So while his speech was an acknowledgement of the problems of converts from Islam and of other Christians in Muslim contexts a lot was left unsaid. It remains to be seen whether it will translate into any actual policy changes.
At the time of writing, we have 23,047 signatures for the petition “Why should they be secret?”
Please keep gathering signatures and help to abolish the Islamic apostasy law with its death sentence for those who leave Islam.
The petition closes on 31 December 2009.
According to sharia (Islamic law), Mr Obama is himself an apostate from Islam. Whatever he may say about his upbringing, Islam teaches that the child of a Muslim father is by definition a Muslim. As Mr Obama declares himself to be a practising Christian, whereas his father was undoubtedly a Muslim, sharia considers Barack Obama to have left his first faith, Islam. He should therefore be liable to the death penalty and other punishments. This is the aspect of Islamic law that our campaign and petition is seeking to change. We need to be very much in prayer that he will be kept safe from any attacks by radical Muslims.
Please write to President Obama, thanking him for highlighting the plight of those who are persecuted for following Jesus. Tell him how pleased you are that he has not been persecuted as an apostate and ask him what steps he is taking to see that others who leave Islam may be able to live without fear of harassment, persecution or death. Please ask him to sign our petition at here.
Your letter does not need to be long, but please be polite. Start your letter “Dear Mr President”. The address is:
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500,