Amil Imani writes another important analysis of Islam:
Whereas the practice of slavery enslaves the body, the dogma of apostasy ensnares the mind. Whereas slavery is a shameful practice of the past, some shameless religionists still use the doctrine of apostasy to intimidate and severely punish people who elect to choose their own belief.
Islam is extremely possessive of its subjects. It is a religion that admits anyone into its fold by the person simply uttering a one sentence statement of faith, shahada: I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s messenger. By so saying, one becomes Muslim for life and surrenders the right of ever leaving it. Anyone who leaves the Islamic fold is murtad (revert), apostate.
The notion of apostasy is best understood within the overall Islamic dogma. Islam forms a binding covenant with the believer. Once a person is Muslim, he and his issues are considered Muslim forever. In this covenant, Islam promises to bestow its beneficence on the faithful conditional on the person’s total and unquestioned surrender to it in all matters. Some of the rewards offered by Islam to the truly obedient believer, particularly the privileged males, are of this world as well as a great deal more promised to him in the next. If a Muslim faithful does not reap the rewards of his devotion in this world, Islam assures him of his inestimably cherished and limitless compounded rewards in the next world. Islam demands... (story here)