Tyranny flourishes when information is controlled.  This is why our founding fathers had the wisdom to refuse to adopt the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was part of it — and why the first of those rights was the freedom of speech.

The majority of people on this planet do not possess that precious gift of freedom.  Their cultures value collectivism over individual liberty, their governments believe that stability is more precious than progress.

Islam holds a unique place in the modern world in that it is the last of the desert religions to give up political power.  There are no “Christian” nations in the world today and even Israel is ruled by a secular government, but Islamist theocracies still dominate the developing world.  And, of course, where theocracy flourishes, freedom withers.

One bright hope for the future of mankind is that many of the best and the brightest Muslims are peering deep within their souls and discovering that they as individual are greater than any set of dogmatic religious beliefs.

As these individuals mature out of Islam, we as a species mature from our juvenile dependence upon organized religion.  These brave men and women make the brave decision to choose reason over faith and to choose freedom over collectivism.  For many of them, this means becoming social outcasts and the targets of imprisonment, torture, and death.

And yet… to a level of compassion which may be beyond my own personal ability to comprehend, almost every one of these exceptional individuals maintains a spirit of true love towards their fellow travelers.  Here are just a few of these brave souls:

There are also organizations to help people who are growing out of the faith, such as Apostates of Islam, Faith Freedom, and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and even a wiki to share information and resources, WikiIslam.

We should cherish these people who have the strength of will to give up everything they have known and the courage to risk their lives in the pursuit of truth and freedom.  They truly represent the best of humanity.