Joel Richardson's latest book, Why We Left Islam: Former Muslims Speak Out, is sure to cause controversy. An expert in Jewish and Islamic theology, Richarson was compelled to write this book in the name of freedom and human rights. The book is a compilation of accounts from various former Muslims and their experiences with Islam.
What compelled you to write this book?
I actually have a memory from when I was in grade school and we were learning about slavery for the first time. I remember asking myself how so many people allowed such obviously inhuman atrocities to occur on their watch. What form of popular passivism must have come over the people? These questions were again stirred up and confirmed when I later learned about the Holocaust. I swore that if in my life there were any similar great evils against humanity I would not be among those who choose to self-delude myself and excuse what is taking place. I swore that I would stand up. With the present rise of Islam and the many human rights abuses and suppression of so many human freedoms that come with it, I felt compelled to stand in solidarity with these 23 brave former Muslims in their desire to share their stories.
How long it take you to write it? Did you have to do a lot of research? If yes, could you share with us some of these titles?
Most of the stories were already written. Creating the book for the editors was more a matter of compiling the proper variety and amount of stories and then writing the introductions and the conclusion, etc.
Considering your negative experiences with Islam, how do you keep your objectivity when writing such a book?
Whenever writing about such sensitive subjects, I take pains to be as fair as I can. However, I don’t claim to be objective. And I think that anyone who claims pure objectivity is probably either self-deluded or a liar. I also admit that I have a clear agenda. Which is simply is to expose the human rights and human freedom violations that are endemic within Islamic culture. I want people in the West to wake up and likewise make a stand for human rights and human freedoms.