By Terry Firma
Let’s say you really like the taste of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey ice cream — so much so that you seek the company of other Chunky Monkey fans to compare notes, and to celebrate the brand and the flavor. All is well for a while, until one day a friend offers you a taste of Bourbon Vanilla Bean Truffle ice cream from Häagen-Dazs. Its flavor and texture unexpectedly strike you as superior. When you tell the Ben & Jerry’s fans that you like another ice cream better, they erupt in pandemonium. They angrily flip you the bird on YouTube and tell you never to show yourself around them again. Some call your employer and complain that you are untrustworthy and of low morals.
A year later, you develop lactose intolerance, and swear off ice cream altogether. It just isn’t for you anymore, you conclude; you’ll be switching to Talenti Roman Raspberry sorbet. When news of your disloyalty gets out, the Häagen-Dazs fans join the Ben & Jerry’s ones in furious condemnation. They tell you that as a sorbet-eater, you’ve violated everything they stand for. Some even say you deserve to be killed, your partner raped, your dog gutted. “That’s what happens to dirty sorbet lickers,” they jeer.
Silly, right? But that’s literally Islam for you. If you’re a Muslim and one day you change or shed your religion, you have to be killed. Of course, not all followers of Islam believe that, but it’s not some fringe point of view either. In Egypt, more than 80 percent of Muslims support the death penalty for apostates. In Pakistan, well over 60 percent.
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