And I suppose that (like here in the U.S.) the system must deal with perjurers and crooked judges.
Quote by: Offeror
The punishments are HARD? A bit of an understatement isn't it? By whose authority are the punishments set? By a dead prophet's writings? How compassionate is God that his followers show so little of it? They are distracted from God by a book whose Teachers are dead. It is known that without the Teacher you cannot correctly interpret or understand a book.
The purpose of punishments is Islamic Law is much different to maybe other Laws. The punishments have been set hard in order to discourage and even strike fear in those who are potential criminals. The same applies to adultery, the punishment is to discourage the practice in the society, but it is only applicable if four witnesses can be produced by the one who is accusing someone.
"However, let me make it perfectly clear that the Holy Scriptures were not sent down to ordinary people. They were given to Prophets, and while evaluating the whole religion we should also take a look at the Prophet's life who was given the book. (We must bear in mind as well, that even Holy Scriptures include accounts from the lives of Prophets and nations, so they must be studied as well) Because Prophets were the teachers of Holy Scriptures, and without the teacher you cannot correctly interpret or understand a book." ~ OfferorDoesn't it follow, then, that since there are no Prophets living, that an adequate interpretation or understanding of Holy Scripture is impossible? How does one become a Prophet so as to learn the mysteries of Scripture? Are YOU a Prophet?
It is by man's authority, in Islam today, that man punishes, not God's. You've hinted that you understand this, but will not say so, perhaps fearing the charge of apostasy yourself. It is not God that you fear it is man's perversion of God's love of justice. I don't blame you. The United States is the bastion of freedom in the world and we could use some help. The wolves in sheep's clothing have stormed the gates and not all appear as sheep. Do you need help? I could certainly use yours.
What is the punishment for treason in your country? Islam gives any man complete freedom of whether he wants to convert to a Muslim or not. I repeat complete freedom. Its your choice. But if you do convert, it demands total commitment from the man. Even if a man becomes as apostate, he is not killed straight away but he is given time to reconsider and study Islam. His punishment is supposed to be delayed as much as possible so that he might return. However, it is not plain apostasy but treason which is punished by killing in usually all countries.
Sir, with all due respect, the past is dead.
Even keeping all the above in mind, it is totally up to a man to convert to Islam or not. If he converts then he accepts it knowing the punishment for apostates. Its his or her choice.
I dwelled on it, that we should not mix up things. The culture and norms of each region differs and we cannot blame Islam for everything that goes within. If you are really interested in learning how the Islamic law looks like when it is in practice, then you should study the Islamic history. The time of Prophet Mohammad and the first four Caliphs who followed him is considered the best practical implementation of Islamic system in its true letter and spirit.