Reviews and Awards
"The Apostates is not about religious freedom or religion that poisons. It is about some 'ordinary' British and Canadian ex-Muslims who struggle to find themselves. They ask others to respect, as also mirror, their anxieties, their hesitant belongings, and their irrepressible longings. If there are pathways to empathy, an affirmation of humanity as the largest circle of belonging, then The Apostates is that bridge to a brighter future, hazy but still discernible, that makes us all prisoners of hope." -- Bruce B. Lawrence, Nancy and Jeffrey Marcus Humanities Professor of Religion, Duke University, and author of Who is Allah?
"Exiting any social group is typically costly and traumatic. Quitting religious groups of whatever persuasion is even more so. In recent years there has been much critical attention towards Muslim apostates, but the debate is characteristically prejudicial and ill informed. Simon Cottee's carefully researched empirical study will do much to inform, clarify and correct public opinion. Proper sociological knowledge is the first step towards better understanding." -- Bryan S. Turner, The Graduate Center, CUNY; author of The Religious and the Political: A Comparative Sociology of Religion
"Free people should be able to abandon their religion without being punished. Simon Cottee brings us the stories of British and Canadian ex-Muslims who live in the shadow of stigma and with the threat of ostracism. Wider society has ignored them, and the most disgraceful elements of the Left have denounced them, but here they can speak for themselves. Books are too often described as 'important' or 'original' when they are neither. The Apostates is both." -- Nick Cohen, columnist and author of You Can't Read This Book: Censorship in an Age of Freedom
"Full of touching stories, The Apostates is a passionate and powerfully rendered account of what it's like to leave Islam and how this fateful transformation impacts on the lives of those who experience it." -- Ziauddin Sardar, Chair of the Muslim Institute and author of Mecca: The Sacred City
"an excellent new study .... The Apostates shows how elements in the left and academia are happy to denounce Muslims who exercise their freedom to abandon their religion as 'native informers' who have gone over to the side of western imperialism." -- Nick Cohen, The Spectator