It is currently being spouted through all forms of media — impossible to ignore — you will hear claims over and over again by many radical Imams, Muslim scholars, and preachers that Islam is a religion of inclusiveness, that anyone can become a Muslim just by muttering a few words. It seems quite simple, right?
This is not new. I grew up hearing all these claims in Iran, under Islamic laws. To uninformed ears, this can sound almost magical. What is important, however, are the many more significant requirements the imams conveniently leave out. Above all, once you become a Muslim, there is no way to turn back. Your faith is under the control of the extremist imams, sheikhs, governments, or simply the community. You cannot just decide to abandon Islam and go back to how you were living. The penalty of attempting this is death.