Saturday, January 2, 2010

Apostasy in Islam

Under Shari’ah law, the penalty for a Muslim who departs from Islam is death.

A book published in the United States, Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, is a translation of 'Umdat al-salik by Ibn Naqib (died 1368 A.D.). This Shari’ah legal manual explicitly presents the punishment for Muslim who leaves Islam. It states that, if a sane person leaves Islam voluntarily, the person is to be killed by the proper Islamic authority. However, if someone kills an apostate on his own, the killer does not face the capital punishment, because he has killed someone who deserves to die. Although this book is published in the United States, it has not been denounced by Muslims. In fact, it is featured by many respected Islamic bookstores without a word warning that it advocates murderous acts contrary to human rights and constitutional law. Many fundamentalist Muslims believe that, even within Western nations, Shari’a law is supreme over all human legal systems.

o8.1 "When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to he killed."

o8.2 "In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (A: or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed."

o8.4 "There is no indemnity for killing an apostate (O: or any expiation, since it is killing someone who deserves to die)."

o8.5 "If he apostatizes from Islam and returns several times, it (O: i.e. his return to Islam, which occurs when he states the two Testifications of Faith (def: o8.7(12))) is accepted from him, though he is disciplined (o17)."

(Quotations from: Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri, Reliance of the Traveller: A Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, Translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Amana Publications, Beltsville, MD, 1997 Revised Edition, p. 595-598.)

Sura 4:88-89 "Then what is the matter with you that you are divided into two parties about the hypocrites? Allah has cast them back (to disbelief) because of what they have earned. Do you want to guide him whom Allah has made go astray? And he whom Allah has made to go astray, you will never find for him any way (of guidance) 89 They wish that you reject (Faith), and thus that you all become equal (like one another). So, take not Auliya (protectors or friends) from them, till they emigrate in the way of Allah (to Muhammad). But if they turn back (from Islam), take (hold of) them and kill [q-t-l] them wherever you find them."

(Note: the Arabic verb 'qatala' is used (root is q-t-l), and this word means exclusively to fight, kill, war, battle, or slaughter.)

Bukhari records this tradition traced back to Muhammad himself in a legal context. It gives three reasons for shedding a Muslim’s blood. One of them is apostasy:

"Allah's Apostle said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Apostle, cannot be shed except in three cases: In Qisas [like-for-like punishment] for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (apostate) and leaves the Muslims." (Bukari)

As another example from Bukhari’s collection, this hadith promises a reward on the Day of Resurrection for killing apostates in the last days:

"No doubt I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, wherever you find them, kill them, for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection." (Bukhari)

Maududi cites two hadiths that he considers reliable. Both say that a Christian or Christians converted to Islam, disliked it, and then switched back to Christianity. Ali is Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law and fourth Caliph (ruled AD 656-660), who was assassinated while praying in a mosque. How does he treat these Christians? Tolerantly?:

"A man who was formerly a Christian, then was Muslim, and again became a Christian was brought before Ali. Ali asked him: What is the cause of your conduct? He replied: I have found the religion of the Christians better than your religion. Ali asked: What is your belief about Jesus? He said: He is my Lord (Rabb); or else he said: He is Lord of Ali. Hearing this, Ali ordered that he be executed."

These Christians were martyred after they realized that their first religion, Christianity, was far more excellent than all other religions, even Islam. Note what Ali does to their children:

"Ali was informed about a group of Christians who had become Muslims and then became Christians again. Ali arrested them, summoned them before himself and enquired about the truth of the matter. They said: We were Christians. Then we were offered the choice of remaining Christians or becoming Muslims. We chose Islam. But now it is our opinion that no religion is more excellent than our first religion. Therefore we have become Christians now. Hearing this, Ali ordered these people to be executed and their children enslaved."

In one long hadith, Malik first lays the foundation that execution is legal.

"Yahya related to me . . . that the Messenger of Allah . . . said, "If someone changes his religion—then strike off his head!"

66 comments:

thekingpin68 said...

'It states that, if a sane person leaves Islam voluntarily, the person is to be killed by the proper Islamic authority. However, if someone kills an apostate on his own, the killer does not face the capital punishment, because he has killed someone who deserves to die.'

Incompatible with Western thinking.

thekingpin68 said...

Rick, replied to you over on satire and theology...

thekingpin68 said...

Satire and theology interviews me over in comments.

thekingpin68 said...

All good reasons not to live in a Muslim country.

satire and theology said...

You could use some multi-coloured fish...

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

Incompatible with Western thinking.

Most definitely.

Rick, replied to you over on satire and theology...

OK, I'll have to check it out. Thanks.

All good reasons not to live in a Muslim country.

For sure.

Jeff said...

satire and theology,

You could use some multi-coloured fish...

Yes, that would be nice; though I think they're supposed to be goldfish. It would be cool if they were all salt-water fish, like clown fish, parrot fish, angel fish, trigger fish, etc.

thekingpin68 said...

I have seen different versions of the app. with multi-coloured fish.

I hope I clarified my views with the latest on thekingpin68.

Jeff said...

thekingpin68,

I have seen different versions of the app. with multi-coloured fish.

Interesting. If you have any links, please send them. Of course, my goldfish are probably sufficient, but if there were others I really liked, I might add them or replace my goldfish.

I hope I clarified my views with the latest on thekingpin68.

I only skimmed over it so far. I'll have to read it more carefully.

Jeff said...

Muslim Brotherhood 'Conspiracy' to Subvert America

Qamar Ahmad said...

Apostasy is not punishable in Islam. One has free will to choose whichever religion one finds appealing. There is no recorded punishment given to any apostate either in Muhammad's (peace be upon him) time nor the righteous caliphate. What is recorded are all cases of treason and disloyalty to state. It is true that Muslim historians have drawn wrong inferences from Islamic history. Generally speaking, the contemporary Muslim scholars agree on death as punishment for apostasy from Islam. However, there is no basis for it in the Quran. Any traditions to the contrary are thus rejected when judged against Quran.

What do Brett Favre and an apostate of Islam have in common?

Islamic Shariah: To implement or Not to implement

Jeff said...

Qamar Ahmad,

The author of those two linked articles is a Muslim. Of course he is going to say that apostates are not killed in Islam. I suspect he is using taquiyya.

In Islamic/Shari'a countries, it is a capital crime for any Muslim to leave Islam and convert to another religion.

We know from historic Islamic documents that during Muhammad's lifetime and the lifetimes of the next four "Rightly Guided Caliphs", tens of thousands of Muslims left the faith of Islam and thousands were killed. On a large scale, the Muslims made war on groups that chose to leave Islam, and massacres of apostates occurred. On a smaller scale, individual apostates were executed. This death sentence is in effect whether or not the apostasy occurred in or out of the Islamic state.

Many Muslims living in Islamic countries have no problem with the rule of putting apostates to death. On the other hand, some Muslims living in the West are embarrassed by this death sentence. The West values the freedoms of thought and speech; Islam does not; and these virtues have never blossomed under Islamic rule. Consequently, when asked about the Islamic law for apostates, many Western Muslims do their best to cover up Islam’s edict. Motivated by conviction or shame, they make up various defenses and say whatever they can to put the Westerner's mind at ease, and make Islam more acceptable to a naive, gullible, and ignorant Western audience. It is not difficult to make the Qur'an dance and say what you want it to say.

For some 1400 years the defined sentence for apostasy was execution. Few Muslim scholars have ever challenged this definition; the overwhelming majority of Islamic scholars supported it. Any objections of various modern Muslims arguing against the death sentence are deviating from the judgment established by the depth and breadth of Islamic jurisprudence.

There are a number of Quranic verses that pertain to apostasy, and various Muslim scholars found in them the justification to execute apostates.

Abul Ala Mawdudi, a highly regarded Muslim scholar from Pakistan who died last century, argued for the death penalty and against the liberal Muslims. Mawdidi’s work was translated and is available online as "THE PUNISHMENT OF THE APOSTATE ACCORDING TO ISLAMIC LAW."

ABUL ALA MAWDUDI

1 The Problem of the Apostate's Execution from a Legal Perspective

To everyone acquainted with Islamic law it is no secret that according to Islam the punishment for a Muslim who turns to kufr (infidelity, blasphemy) is execution. Doubt about this matter first arose among Muslims during the final portion of the nineteenth century as a result of speculation. Otherwise, for the full twelve centuries prior to that time the total Muslim community remained unanimous about it. The whole of our religious literature clearly testifies that ambiguity about the matter of the apostate's execution never existed among Muslims. The expositions of the Prophet, the Rightly-Guided Caliphs (Khulafa'-i Rashidun), the great Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet, their Followers (Tabi'un), the leaders among the mujtahids and, following them, the doctors of the shari'ah of every century are available on record. All these collectively will assure you that from the time of the Prophet to the present day one injunction only has been continuously and uninterruptedly operative and that no room whatever remains to suggest that perhaps the punishment of the apostate is not execution.

Jeff said...

But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail our revelations for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief -- Lo! they have no binding oaths in order that they may desist.(9:11,12)

The following is the occasion for the revelation of this verse: During the pilgrimage (hajj) in A.H. 9 God Most High ordered a proclamation of an immunity. By virtue of this proclamation all those who, up to that time, were fighting against God and His Apostle and were attempting to obstruct the way of God's religion through all kinds of excesses and false covenants, were granted from that time a maximum respite of four months. During this period, they were to ponder their own situation. If they wanted to accept Islam, they could accept it and they would be forgiven. If they wanted to leave the country, they could leave. Within this fixed period, nothing would hinder them from leaving. Thereafter, those remaining, who would neither accept Islam nor leave the country, would be dealt with by the sword. In this connection, it was said: "If they repent and uphold the practice of prayer and almsgiving, then they are your brothers in religion. If, after this, however, they break their covenant, then war should be waged against the leaders of kufr (infidelity). Here "covenant breaking" in no way can be construed to mean "breaking of political covenants". Rather, the context clearly determines its meaning to be "confessing Islam and then renouncing it". Thereafter the meaning of "fight the heads of disbelief" (9:11,12) can only mean that war should be waged against the leaders instigating apostasy.

Jeff said...

Mawdudi’s argument is that 9:11, 12 is directed against apostates. These verses were some of Muhammad’s last words and were in effect when he died. His point is that a person who leaves Islam is equivalent to a polytheist and therefore Muslims are to make war upon him. This is paralleled by the command in 9:5. It is true, however, that other traditional Muslim scholars have different opinions on this verse.

Jeff said...

The word apostate in Arabic is murtadd, and one who apostatizes is called man artadd 'an dinihi, i.e. "Who turns his back on religion." Two words are used for apostasy in Moslem law: irtidad and ridda. The latter term (ridda) relates to apostasy from Islam into unbelief, kufr; the former (irtidad), from Islam to some other religion; for example, Christianity. (Mufradat-gharib-ul-Quran-lil Sheikh-ar-Raghib, p.191.) The passages in the Qur'an dealing with apostasy are the chapter of Women, verse 90; the chapter of the Table, verse 59; and the chapter of the Bee, verse 108.

"Why are ye two parties about the hypocrites, when God hath overturned them for what they earned? Do ye wish to guide those whom God hath led astray? Whoso God hath led astray ye shall not surely find for him a path. They would fain that ye misbelieve as they misbelieve, that ye might be alike; take ye not patrons from among them until they too fight in God's way; but if they turn their backs, then seize them wheresoever ye find them, and take from them neither patron nor help" (IV. 90, 91). "O ye who believe! Whoso is turned away from his religion-God will bring (instead) a people whom He loves and who love Him, lowly to. believers, lofty to unbelievers, strenuous in the way of God, fearing not the blame of him who blames" (V.59).

The standard commentary of Baidhawi says, on the first passage: "Whosoever turns back from his belief (irtada), openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever ye find him, like any other infidel." All other standard commentaries agree with Baidhawi in their comment on the verse.

Jeff said...

The famous commentary of Al Khazan (used most extensively in the Mohammedan University called Al Azhar), quotes from Malik ibn Anas, Ahmad ibn Hanbal and others, and gives this interpretation of the verse: "All the deeds of the apostate become null and void in this world and the next. He must be killed. His wife must be separated from him and he has no claims on any inheritance" (page 155, vol. I, Cairo edition). Ath Tha'alibi (788 A.H.), in his commentary on Sura II, verse 214, leaves no doubt that the verse in question, whatever the grammatical construction may be, demands the death of the apostate. (Cf. vol. i, p.167, Algiers edition, 1323).

Jeff said...

In Zarkani's commentary on Al Muwatta (vol. iii, p. 193), there are many examples given of Jews and Christians who became Muslims, and when they afterwards apostatized, were immediately killed. The statement is made that "change from Islam to any religion whatever requires the death penalty." Al Nahayat fi Gharib al Hadith, by Ibn Athir (Cairo edition, vol. iv, p. 38), gives instances on how the law was applied, and defines when the apostate becomes a Kafir. One textbook in the secondary schools of Egypt, Ibn Taqtaqi, in his History called Al Fakhri fil Adab as Sultaniya (67, Cairo edition, 1317), says that Abu Bekr killed all the apostates of Mecca after the death of Mohammed.

Jeff said...

In Zarkani's commentary on Al Muwatta (vol. iii, p. 193), there are many examples given of Jews and Christians who became Muslims, and when they afterwards apostatized, were immediately killed. The statement is made that "change from Islam to any religion whatever requires the death penalty." Al Nahayat fi Gharib al Hadith, by Ibn Athir (Cairo edition, vol. iv, p. 38), gives instances on how the law was applied, and defines when the apostate becomes a Kafir. One textbook in the secondary schools of Egypt, Ibn Taqtaqi, in his History called Al Fakhri fil Adab as Sultaniya (67, Cairo edition, 1317), says that Abu Bekr killed all the apostates of Mecca after the death of Mohammed.

Jeff said...

The following commentary (Tafsir) comes from a famous Pakistani scholar, Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi. Some of today’s Muslim fundamentalists regard it as one of the finest commentaries available in English. On verse 2:217:

"In short, the fate of an apostate is worse than that of an original disbeliever. This is why Jizyah can be accepted from an original disbeliever while a male apostate who does not return to Islam is killed. If the apostate is a woman, she is imprisoned for life. The reason is that their conduct insults Islam and the insult of such a binding authority deserves no less a punishment."

Jeff said...

Different scholars used the Qur'an to establish the apostate’s death sentence. However, their arguments are not uniform or united on any particular verse. Their arguments have a logical flow, but they are subjective. Fewer than 20% of Muslims in the world speak Arabic, yet Islam teaches that the Qur'an cannot truly be translated. I have heard that there are still many Islamic texts/writings that have never been translated from the Arabic. Muslims memorize and recite, but their understanding comes from whatever the imam or religious leader teaches them.

Jeff said...

The Hadith is the theological bedrock for the death sentence. There are numerous Hadith that state that apostates are to be killed. Unlike the Qur'an, there is no ambiguity or subjectivity in the Hadith’s statements.

Bukhari’s Hadith Collection

Bukhari, volume 9, #17

"Narrated Abdullah: Allah's Messenger said, "The blood of a Muslim who confesses that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that I am His Messenger, cannot be shed except in three cases: in Qisas (equality in punishment) for murder, a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse and the one who reverts from Islam (Apostate) and leaves the Muslims."

Bukhari, volume 9, #57

Narrated Ikrima, "Some atheists were brought to Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn Abbas who said, "If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah's messenger forbade it, saying, "Do not punish anybody with Allah's punishment (fire)." I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah's Messenger, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him."

Bukhari, volume 9, #58

Narrated Abu Bruda, "Abu Musa said.....Behold there was a fettered man beside Abu Musa. Muadh asked, "Who is this (man)?" Abu Musa said, "He was a Jew and became a Muslim and hen reverted back to Judaism." Then Abu Musa requested Muadh to sit down but Muadh said, "I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and his messenger," and repeated it thrice. Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, "Then we discussed the night prayers .....

Jeff said...

Muslim’s Hadith Collection

Chapter 9: COMMAND FOR FIGHTING AGAINST THE PEOPLE SO LONG AS THEY DO NOT PROFESS THAT THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH AND MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER

Book 001, Number 0029:

It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that when the Messenger of Allah breathed his last and Abu Bakr was appointed as his successor (Caliph), those amongst the Arabs who wanted to become apostates became apostates. 'Umar b. Khattab said to Abu Bakr: Why would you fight against the people, when the Messenger of Allah declared: I have been directed to fight against people so long as they do not say: There is no god but Allah, and he who professed it was granted full protection of his property and life on my behalf except for a right? His (other) affairs rest with Allah. Upon this Abu Bakr said: By Allah, I would definitely fight against him who severed prayer from Zakat, for it is the obligation upon the rich. By Allah, I would fight against them even to secure the cord (used for hobbling the feet of a camel) which they used to give to the Messenger of Allah (as zakat) but now they have withheld it. Umar b. Khattab remarked: By Allah, I found nothing but the fact that Allah had opened the heart of Abu Bakr for (perceiving the justification of) fighting (against those who refused to pay Zakat) and I fully recognized that the (stand of Abu Bakr) was right.


Chapter 6: WHEN IT IS PERMISSIBLE TO TAKE THE LIFE OF A MUSLIM

Book 016, Number 4152:

'Abdullah (b. Mas'ud) reported Allah's Messenger as saying: It is not permissible to take the life of a Muslim who bears testimony (to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah, but in one of the three cases: the married adulterer, a life for life, and the deserter of his Din (Islam), abandoning the community.

Jeff said...

Muwatta of Imam Malik

#1410

Zaid b. Aslam reported that the Apostle declared that the man who leaves the fold of Islam should be executed.

Jeff said...

The various collections of hadith state clearly that apostates are to be killed. No one disputes this. Even the "Quran-only" types acknowledge that the hadith is the basis for the apostate’s death sentence. These hadith detail various times and situations in which apostates were killed. In some cases, the apostates fought against the rule of Islam; in other cases, they simply rejected Islam; but in all cases, leaving Islam was the fundamental reason to kill them.

Jeff said...

THE SIRA AND HISTORICAL RECORDS

An event from the Sirat Rasulallah (Guillaume, A., “The Life of Muhammad”, a translation of Ibn Ishaq's “Sirat Rasul Allah”, Oxford University Press, Karachi, Pakistan) and Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir (Ibn Sa'd, (d. 852 A.D.), "Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir", (Book of the Major Classes), translated by S. Moinul Haq, Pakistan Historical Society).

After Muhammad took Mecca, he ordered that 10 people to be killed, and several of them were apostates. Here is the list of names found in Ibn Sa'd’s Kitab al-Tabaqat al-Kabir. The quote is from Volume 2, page 168.

"The apostle of Allah entered through Adhakhir, [into Mecca], and prohibited fighting. He ordered six men and four women to be killed, they were (1) Ikrimah Ibn Abi Jahl, (2) Habbar Ibn al-Aswad, (3) Abd Allah Ibn Sa'd Ibn Abi Sarh, (4) Miqyas Ibn Sababah al-Laythi, (5) al-Huwayrith Ibn Nuqaydh, (6) Abd Abbah Ibn Hilal Ibn Khatal al-Adrami, (7) Hind Bint Utbah, (8) Sarah, the mawlat (enfranchised girl) of Amr Ibn Hashim, (9) Fartana and (10) Qaribah.

The Sirat Rasulallah provides details behind one of the names – Abdullah Sa’d.

"The apostle had instructed his commanders when they entered Mecca only to fight those who resisted them, except a small number who were to be killed even if they were found beneath the curtains of the Kaba. Among them was Abdullah Sa'd, brother of the B. Amir Luayy. The reason he ordered him to be killed was that he had been a Muslim and used to write down revelation; then he apostatized and returned to Quraysh and fled to Uthman Affan whose foster brother he was. The latter hid him until he brought him to the apostle after the situation in Mecca was tranquil, and asked that he might be granted immunity. They allege that the apostle remained silent for a long time till finally he said yes.

Abdullah apostatized and Muhammad wanted him dead. Also, Abdullah was one of Muhammad’s scribes and said that the reason he left Islam was because he was able to write his own words as the Quran with Muhammad’s approval. Once he realized the Quran was a sham he left Islam. Later, when Muhammad’s knife was poised at his throat, he rejoined the fold.

Jeff said...

Abdul Rahman: Death for Apostasy

Jeff said...

Islam, Apostasy, and Human Rights

Qamar Ahmad said...

(please read carefully, you seem to have missed vital points from my previous post)

Jeff:

I am a Muslim and the author of those articles. If you suspect all Muslims are lying then this discussion is useless (you can be accused of lying too, based on verses from the Bible). On the one hand you cry that Muslims are monolithic. When Muslims agree that these acts such as punishment of apostasy terrorism are brutal, then you say, they are lying!!! Taqqiya is a notion which is specific to only one denomination of Muslims.

I could be lying, the arguments made are not.

I am aware of those references (not specifically, but in general). Mawdoodi was no scholar only a journalist hailed as scholar and a damaging one at that.

Read Murder in the Name of Allah? for a rebuttal of Mawdoodi's 'Jihad fil Islam' (Jihad in Islam).

I have read the Quran and its translation at least 10 times and continue to read it nearly every day. The translations go as far as the mind of the translator. Quran says in its very beginning that it is a guidance for the righteous. Then it says that 'no one can touch it save those who are pure'. Come with a clean mind and a pure heart and you will find a treasure. Otherwise, you may take gems to be pebbles.

I admit that Muslims in general agree and even promote some of the violent notions that you report. However, these were misunderstandings (misrepresentations, corruptions) at a time when all resources for publishing and research were not available to any single person at a given time. They formed inferences based on their knowledge and weren't always correct.

In fact, our denomination is persecuted for discarding and abandoning the notion of violent Jihad. see www.thepersecution.org

Again, all traditions are rejected when found to be against the Quran.

Peace!

Jeff said...

Qamar Ahmad,

(please read carefully, you seem to have missed vital points from my previous post)

Actually, I was just posting general information that related overall to your post; I was not trying to address every point that you made.

I am a Muslim and the author of those articles.

Sorry, I did not realize you were the author. Thank you for pointing that out. Very often, people will use fictitious names for their screen names, so I did not pay close attention to your screen name.

If you suspect all Muslims are lying then this discussion is useless

In the past, I did business over the phone on a daily basis with a Muslim husband and wife who were from a Muslim country. The husband was totally business-minded, but the wife was very nice and friendly. Another time, I was doing business with two Muslim men who also were from a Muslim country, and they even came to where I worked to visit one time, and they seemed nice. I also used to talk to another Muslim girl sometimes over the phone, having to do with business, and I met her once, and she seemed very nice (she told me how she refused to wear the hijab). Also, I asked an ex-Muslim one time about the honesty of Muslims, and he told me that in everyday conversation, Muslims are generally just as honest as other people are. And I know that people are all different, no matter what religion or culture or race they are. But I also know that Islam teaches taquiyya and kitman, and I have seen many examples of Muslims using those in online conversations, and a few have used them when talking to me. On the other hand, I also believe that there are Muslims who mostly know about Islam from what their imam tells them, and there are many things about Islam they don't know. In fact, I have seen Muslims online asking other Muslims questions about things in Islam, so I know that some of them are not sure about certain things. Therefore, it could possibly be true that, even if a Muslim tells me something about Islam that is not really true, they might be telling me that because they truly believe it, and because they don't know that it is not true.

As far as you yourself, or any other Muslim, I cannot see into your 'heart.' Only God can. Therefore, even though I may often use the term 'Muslims,' what I am trying to focus on is the political ideology of Islam. Not even the religious teachings of Islam, but the political ideology. Since all people are different, all Muslims do not necessarily believe exactly the same thing. So, since people are different, I am trying to focus on the teachings, rather than on individual persons.

(you can be accused of lying too, based on verses from the Bible).

Nowhere in the Bible does it condone lying. Now, the Bible does not 'whitewash' the people it talks about, to try to make them to look like some kind of super-saints. The Bible does list the sins that the various prophets and others committed. For example, it does mention times when Abraham lied. But nowhere does it teach that it is right or OK for anyone to lie. In fact, the Bible strictly condemns lying.

For example:

"I call on the LORD in my distress, and he answers me.
Save me, O LORD, from lying lips and from deceitful tongues.
What will he do to you, and what more besides, O deceitful tongue?
He will punish you with a warrior's sharp arrows, with burning coals of the broom tree.
Woe to me that I dwell in Meshech,
that I live among the tents of Kedar!
Too long have I lived among those who hate peace. I am a man of peace; but when I speak, they are for war." (Psalm 120)

Jeff said...

When Muslims agree that these acts such as punishment of apostasy terrorism are brutal, then you say, they are lying!!!

I have seen a couple Muslim websites where they are protesting against honor killings, killing for apostasy, terrorism, etc. I also saw a video of a small group of Muslims protesting (I think it was in England) against one specific Muslim organization. As far as I know, I think they are being honest in their protests. But what I'm wondering is: are they against these things because they have become, to some degree, Westernized? I suspect that other Muslims, such as Muslims in the Middle East, would likely call them kafirs. So again, my main focus is not necessarily what individual Muslims believe, but what Islam teaches.

Mawdoodi was no scholar only a journalist hailed as scholar and a damaging one at that.

Whether or not that is true---and I think there are those who would disagree with you---he is by no means the only one who has made such statements. If he was the only one saying such things, then I would have reason to question what he said.

I admit that Muslims in general agree and even promote some of the violent notions that you report. However, these were misunderstandings (misrepresentations, corruptions) at a time when all resources for publishing and research were not available to any single person at a given time. They formed inferences based on their knowledge and weren't always correct.

I have personally spoken to people in the West that receive death threats on a continual basis. I believe the main reason they have not been killed is because they are in the West, and we are not under Shari'a law here. I have seen report after report of women, children and men who have been beheaded, stoned, hanged, etc. in Muslim countries, in the last 10 or 20 years or less. I have seen other reports where Christians were killed by Muslims simply because they were Christians, and those were recent events. Every day in the news I see more and more cases of jihad terrorism. And if anything is a misrepresentation or a corruption of Islam, it is those Muslims who have become Westernized, and have mixed a bit of Christianity in with Islam.

In fact, our denomination is persecuted for discarding and abandoning the notion of violent Jihad.

I have never heard this, but I have read that the Ahmadiyya sect is considered to be kafirs by some other Muslims, and my understanding is that the reason is at least partly because Muslims generally believe that Muhammad was the last prophet, yet the Ahmadiyya sect values Hazrat Masih-Maood (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad) above Muhammad, and teaches that Ghulam Ahmad is the Mahdi, the great leader expected for hundreds of years.

Again, all traditions are rejected when found to be against the Quran.

And yet, from what I have read, Islam is based on the Qur'an, Sira and Hadith.

I have taken classes on Islam, attended a seminar on Islam, have researched many websites on Islam, have been reading books about Islam, have watched DVDs and CDs about Islam, and have talked to Muslims and others about Islam. But I am continuing to study and learn more about Islam every day, and I continue to read books on it.

Jeff said...

Flight 253 jihadist wrote to his father about "real Islam" -- protester says "Abdulmutallab is not Muslim"

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Flight 253 jihadist, has entered a not guilty plea, but the real story is lying unnoticed within this New York Times article: "Nigerian Arraigned in Bomb Attempt," by Liz Robbins, January 8:

The 23-year-old Nigerian man accused of trying to bomb a Northwest flight on Christmas Day was arraigned on Friday in a Detroit courtroom.

He said little during the hearing and stood mute while his lawyers entered a plea of not guilty on his behalf. [...]

About 20 Muslims from nearby Dearborn appeared outside the courthouse to denounce Mr. Abdulmutallab. They carried large American flags and colorful signs that read "NOT in the name of Islam" and "Islam is against terrorism."

"Abdulmutallab is not Muslim," said Mohssen Sadeq, 40, a member of the group who said he came to the United States from Yemen in 2000. "I need peace and freedom everywhere. I don't want terrorists anywhere. This is my country. I love America. That's why I came here." [...]

All right, so he is not Muslim, for Islam condemns terrorism. Great. But then how did he come to misunderstand Islam so spectacularly, so that he not only thought that he was Muslim, but that he was actually living out "real Islam" by being violent and hateful? For later on in the article there is this:

Among the more glaring oversights that emerged was the fact that Mr. Abdulmutallab's father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a respected Nigerian banker, alerted both Nigerian and American authorities that his son had become radicalized. [...]

Mr. Mutallab had been receiving text messages from his son that showed a fervent commitment to what his son called the "real Islam." Mr. Abdulmutallab warned his father that he was never coming back....


If it is so crystal clear to all twenty (twenty!) Muslim protesters in Dearborn that Islam is against terrorism, why do so many Muslims keep misunderstanding Islam -- including such a man as Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who traveled the world and left behind the impression everywhere he went that he was a devout, serious, studious and knowledgeable Muslim?

And why can't we ever get a straight, honest answer to such questions from any Muslim spokesman in America?

from Jihad Watch

Jeff said...

Fatwa 811 from IslamQA seems to sum it up well.

www.islam-qa com/en/ref/811/apostasy

(1) This is the ruling of Allaah and His Messenger, as the Prophet said: "Whoever changes his religion, kill him." (reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, no. 3017).

(2) The one who has known the religion which Allaah revealed, entered it and practised it, then rejected it, despised it and left it, is a person who does not deserve to live on the earth of Allaah and eat from the provision of Allaah.

(3) By leaving Islaam, the apostate opens the way for everyone who wants to leave the faith, thus spreading apostasy and encouraging it.

(4) The apostate is not to be killed without warning. Even though his crime is so great, he is given a last chance, a respite of three days in which to repent. If he repents, he will be left alone; if he does not repent, then he will be killed...."

Jeff said...

Daughter killed by Muslim father in USA Nov 2009

Jeff said...

Doesn't it bother Muslims that, when someone presents Muhammad's commands accurately, even Muslims will accuse that person of spreading hatred?

Jeff said...

Abu Bakr, the second 'greatest man' in all of Islam, launched a great war against apostates. He did so because of the clear teachings of the 'greatest man' in Islam, Muhammad.

Jeff said...

The truth is that Islam is not peaceful -- it calls for the death of many, even if they have done nothing more than change their beliefs. When a Muslim condemns the punishment of apostasy, he is condemning all his khalifas as well as Muhammad himself.

Jeff said...

Death for apostasy is openly admitted on a Muslim site

Jeff said...

Christian in Egypt: "They try to kill us"

Jeff said...

Those who turn their back on Islam are to be put to death. This is confirmed by the words and deeds of Muhammad. There is no such thing as freedom of belief in Islam.

The Qur'an:

Qur'an (4:89) - "They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them"

Qur'an (9:11-12) - "But if they repent and establish worship and pay the poor-due, then are they your brethren in religion. We detail Our revelations for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief - Lo! they have no binding oaths - in order that they may desist." This verse is speaking of infidels (ie. "slay the infidels wherever you find them" 9:5) who obviously became Muslim to escape the sword, but the Hadith make no distinction of how a Muslim came to be a Muslim. Apostasy is always punished by death.

Other verses that seem to support the many Hadith demanding death for apostates are Qur'an verses 2:217, 9:73-74, 88:21, 5:54, and 9:66.

Advocates for killing apostates have pointed out that the supporting hadith are reliable and thus qualify as law according to verse 4:80 - "Whoso obeyeth the Messenger obeyeth Allah."

From the Hadith:

The reason why executing apostates has always been well-ensconced in Islamic law is that there is an indisputable record of Muhammad and his companions doing exactly that.

Bukhari (52:260) - "...The Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' "

Bukhari (83:37) - "Allah's Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate."

Bukhari (84:57) - "[In the words of] Allah's Apostle, 'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"

Bukhari (89:271) - A man who embraces Islam, then reverts to Judaism is to be killed according to "the verdict of Allah and his apostle."

Bukhari (84:58) - "There was a fettered man beside Abu Muisa. Mu'adh asked, 'Who is this (man)?' Abu Muisa said, 'He was a Jew and became a Muslim and then reverted back to Judaism.' Then Abu Muisa requested Mu'adh to sit down but Mu'adh said, 'I will not sit down till he has been killed. This is the judgment of Allah and His Apostle (for such cases) and repeated it thrice.' Then Abu Musa ordered that the man be killed, and he was killed. Abu Musa added, 'Then we discussed the night prayers'"

Bukhari (84:64-65) - "Allah's Apostle: 'During the last days there will appear some young foolish people who will say the best words but their faith will not go beyond their throats (i.e. they will have no faith) and will go out from (leave) their religion as an arrow goes out of the game. So, wherever you find them, kill them, for whoever kills them shall have reward on the Day of Resurrection.'"

Jeff said...

Apostasy is taken so seriously by Muslims that it spawned the first of many major wars within the community immediately after Muhammad's death, when several tribes wanted to leave Islam and go back to their preferred religion.

Although it has been perfectly acceptable under Islamic law to kill Muslims who choose to embrace another religion, contemporary Muslims have realized how weak and draconian this causes Islam to appear. (A sound philosophy does not require a death threat to retain believers). As such, there is a modern tendency to deny fourteen centuries of Islamic teaching and even the very words of Muhammad himself - at least for Western ears.

Such defenders quote verse 2:256 which states "Let there be no compulsion in religion, for truth stands out from error" and a fragment of verse 10:99-100, "Wouldst thou (Muhammad) compel men until they are believers?" But nearly all Muslim scholars agree that both verses were spoken by Muhammad during an earlier time in his teachings, when he did not have the power to compel others. They are abrogated by later verses, such as verse 9:29, which clearly commands Muslims to fight unbelievers until they relent and either accept Islam or a state of humiliation under Islamic rule (an obvious illustration of compulsion).

These apologists also ignore the fact that apostasy is not mere unbelief, but unbelief that follows belief, which neither of these verses address. Muhammad's recognition of the distinction is reflected in his own deeds, following his capture of Mecca, and in those of his companions following his death.

There is also a difference between saying and believing. Whereas Muhammad knew that people could (and should) be forced to profess that there is no god but Allah, he also recognized that true belief cannot be forced. This may be the reconciliation between his contrasting remarks.

In any event, the damage is done. Islam expanded across the globe by conquering people of other religions and then making life miserable for those who didn't "embrace Islam." Once spoken, a person was locked into the faith. Any sign of false witness - such as not raising their children to be Muslim - was punished with death. Thus did Islam gradually supplant other religions.

Tellingly, the same modern apologists who lie about Islam's mandate to kill apostates do not champion the right of other religions to evangelize in Muslim countries. In fact, they discourage it. They know as well as anyone that Islam cannot compete within the arena of free ideas and must rely on brute force at some level to retain believers.

Jeff said...

Muslim Father Calls for Son's Death for Apostasy

"MONTREAL -- In Lamine Yansané's hometown of Boké in Guinea, his father is a revered imam who sometimes leads Friday prayers. But after Mr. Yansané married a Catholic woman and abandoned Islam for Christianity, his father disowned him, and Friday prayers have featured a call for his death, the Federal Court heard yesterday."

Sahih al-Bukhari 6922—Muhammad said, "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”

Sunan Abu Dawud 4337—The Apostle said: Kill those who change their religion.

Sunan an-Nasa’i 4025—Muhammad said: "After me there will be many calamities and much evil behavior. Whoever you see splitting away from the Jama’ah or trying to create division among the Ummah of Muhammad, then kill him, for the Hand of Allah is with the Jama’ah, and the Shaitan is with the one who splits away from the Ummah, running with him."

Sunan Ibn Majah 2535—It was narrated from Ibn Abbas that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever changes his religion, execute him.”

Al-Muwatta of Imam Malik 36.18.15—The Messenger of Allah said, “If someone changes his religion—then strike off his head!”

Sunan Ibn Majah 2540—It was narrated from Ubadah bin Samit that the Messenger of Allah said: “Carry out the legal punishments on relatives and strangers, and do not let the fear of blame stop you from carrying out the command of Allah.”

Jeff said...

YouTube video: Death Penalty for Apostates! (Dr. Zakir Naik)

World's most popular & moderate considered Muslim Scholar Dr. Zakir Naik advocates "Death Penalty" (Capital Punishment)for people dare to leave Mullah Brand of Islam.

Jeff said...

YouTube video: Death Penalty for Apostates!

World's most popular & 'moderate' Muslim scholar Dr. Zakir Naik advocates "Death Penalty" (Capital Punishment) for apostasy.

Quote: "Similarly, if a Muslim becomes non-Muslim and propagates his/her new religion, then there is "Death Penalty" for such a person in Islam. (Dr. Zakir Naik)

In Islam, apostasy is equivalent to treason. The interviewer agrees that "...Islam is also justified in declaring a "Death Penalty" for a Muslim converting to any other religion. Clearly, there is a death penalty for apostasy in Islam, despite the claims of Muslims that try to tell Westerners that there is not (this is taquiyya).

Jeff said...

One reader on the aforementioned link commented:

"I was a Muslim for 15 years in the Philippines (where I was born) and in Indonesia (to where I went to study in a Madrassa), so I do know what is Muslim orthodoxy... and it does NOT have a single resemblance to the westernized Islam Muslims want to express..."

Jeff said...

Persecution of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Quote from this Muslim site: "Apostasy in an Islamic State is punishable with death. On this the ulama are practically unanimous."

Jeff said...

"The National Assembly (NA) sent a bill, tabled by Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA), called Apostasy Act 2006 to the standing committee concerned for consideration. The bill proposed sentencing to death male apostates and imprisonment till penitence or death for female apostates."

From: Apostasy Bill 2006 (Proposed)

To claim that the punishment of death for apostasy in Islam does not exist is an outright lie. In these comments, I have proved that it does exist.

Jeff said...

These are Muslims that killed other Muslims for "apostasy":

"Four young men ran through the streets of Gujranwala, Pakistan, trying to escape the mob rioters chasing them and reach the house of their friends. *2 Their friends, two brothers, had already arranged to move all the women of their house and others to a nearby neighbor's home for safety. The four men reached the house of the two brothers with a trail of stone-throwing rioters behind them. The six of them climbed to the roof of the house. The stone throwers, however, had already reached the roofs of adjoining houses and began pelting the men. They were forced to come back down. The men found themselves surrounded and trapped. The rioters proceeded to beat the men with sticks and clubs and continued to stone them. While beating the men, the rioters shouted and demanded the men denounce their Ahmadi faith and “Mirza Sahib”. *3 The six men refused. The rioters then stoned the six men to death. The women of the household fought their tears and mourned quietly afterwards for fear of being heard by outsiders. The six men lay buried beneath the pile of stones for a day. No one dared approach the site of the killing out of fear of the militant perpetrators. The next day, members of the six men's religious community uncovered the bodies and discreetly buried them. Reports were filed but no charges were made by police."

From: Enforced Apostasy: Zaheeruddin v. State and the Official Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan

Jeff said...

More evidence that death for apostasy exists in Islam. And this is not Muslims converting to Christianity, but Muslims killing other Muslims (a minority sect of Muslims) because they consider the other Muslims to be apostates, and not true Muslims! And I am getting this, not from an anti-Muslim site, but from a Muslim site!

"Further, the Court emboldened the authorities and the general public to abuse, molest and kill Ahmadis in the name of Islam."

From: Enforced Apostasy: Zaheeruddin v. State and the Official Persecution of the Ahmadiyya Community in Pakistan

Jeff said...

"There are a few places on the Net where one can find informed discussions of this issue (Search ["Abdul Hakim Murad"|Faraz Rabbani" AND "apostasy"]) . The preponderant position in all of the 4 sunni madhahib (and apparently others of the remaining eight according to one contemporary `alim) is that the verdict is capital punishment."
(Taha Abdul-Basser, Muslim chaplain at Harvard)

From: Harvard Muslim chaplain on the wisdom of killing apostates

Jeff said...

THE PUNISHMENT FOR APOSTASY FROM ISLAM

Jeff said...

Apostasy from Islam

"If you convert you die."

"...a prominent Egyptian lawyer and women’s rights activist Nagla Al Imam recently announced her conversion to Christianity in Cairo, Egypt. The announcement brought shock waves in and beyond Egypt. This is perhaps the first case ever of its kind where a Muslim woman, who is also a Sharia expert, has openly challenged Islamic apostasy laws.

Ms. Al Imam’s incredible courage was on display in an internet chat room, where she announced that she is not afraid, will stand up for the human rights of apostates and refused to leave her homeland, Egypt. This was immediately followed by attacks and calls for death of the 36 year-old graduate of Al Azhar Islamic University. Egyptian media not only reported the threat but actually participated in the attacks. Ms. Al Imam was literally lured by a TV station ‘Al Mihwar’ with the pretext of inviting her for an interview. Upon arrival to the studio she was told the show she was to appear on was cancelled. She was then taken forcibly to a room where she was held against her will for hours inside the studio. She was assaulted, threatened and insulted by several people. She was able to escape, and went to her internet chat room telling the world what happened and said she will demand protection from the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Such actions are common not only against apostates but also against Arab reformists, journalists, intellectuals and feminists who are critical of the oppression of Sharia. They are often intimidated, threatened or even killed for the slightest independent views using the apostasy card to keep them quiet. Journalist Farag Foda, accused of apostasy for advocating women’s rights, was gunned down in 1991 in front of his home in Cairo.

Another recent case in Egypt is that of a brilliant intellectual by the name of Sayed Mahmoud El Qemany. He was recently accused of apostasy even though he denied it on TV and insisted he is still a Muslim. That did not stop several fatwas of death from being issued against him. Mr. El Qemany reported 9 threats on his life and pleaded to the world when he wrote the following:

“I call upon the conscience of all humanity in the free world to come to me and my children’s rescue by providing moral support and the condemnation and denunciation of the radical thinking with quick solutions to save us from the danger that is luring around us. This is a distress call to all bodies and individuals. A call to the consciences of every free individual in the world. Signed: Sayed Mahmoud El Qemany- Researcher”

The relatively few number of Muslims who dare to convert to Christianity do that in extreme secrecy. That is because the penalty for leaving Islam is death in all schools of Sharia, both Sunni and Shiite. Those who wrote Sharia centuries ago knew that keeping Muslims in total submission would be very difficult to maintain, and thus they established barbaric laws condemning Muslims to death for exercising their basic human rights to choose their religion. Sharia never entrusted its enforcement only to the formal legal system. Islam promises heavenly rewards to individual Muslims who take the law into their own hands. Sharia states that the killers of apostates and adulterers are not to be punished as murderers. That is why, for Islam to achieve 100% compliance to Sharia enforcement, Muslim individuals were told they must be Allah’s enforces of Sharia on earth if the government fails to do so. That is the reason honor killing and killing of apostates happen in the West.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

"The end result is a chaotic society where everything happens behind closed doors but at a very heavy price to Muslim society and interpersonal relationships. Fear and distrust of others exist in all Muslim society. Muslims are not just distrustful of the West, but they are distrustful of one another. People are often more afraid of their neighbors and family members than the police. Thus we see husbands or father pressured to apply Sharia by killing an adulterous wife or daughter, or a perfect stranger participate in killing of an apostate in the public square. Very few get arrested or punished for such crimes across the Muslim world. The ingenious Sharia uses vigilante street justice to bring about Islamic submission. That is why civil unrest, assassinations, coups, and honor crimes go where ever Islam goes. The power of Islam comes from turning Muslim against Muslim with a reward in heaven.

But the 21st century has brought major change to the Muslim world. This is perhaps the first time in the history of Islam that Muslims finally have access to the truth about their own religion, thanks to the Internet and satellite dishes (invented by infidels). There are daily news reports of heart-broken Muslims who say they cannot believe what is written in Muslim scriptures and say that Muslims have been living under the greatest lie in human history, others simply deny the undeniable saying that it can’t be. While Saudi Arabia is spending billions to Islamize the West, many Muslim prisoners of Islamic law are dying or leaving the religion quietly.

Islamic tyranny is encapsulated in a law (Sharia) where many Muslims escaped from when they moved to America. But some Muslims claim it to be their religious right in America. Many American citizens who left Islam are living in constant fear from Islamist individuals and groups right here, in the land of the free and home of the brave."

This is written by a woman who escaped Islam, and who herself lives under constant death threats.

Jeff said...

Somalia and UK, and Killing of apostates from Islam

Quote: "In Somalia another four converts from Islam have just been beheaded by radical Sunni Islamists who desire a 100 percent fanatical state. The four Christians were killed by the Al-Shabab on the grounds of “fitna.” Fitna applies to creating religious discord and in the minds of Al-Shabab, all converts who leave Islam must be killed in accordance with the Koran and Hadiths."

Jeff said...

OK, I did find this, from a former Ahmadiyya Muslim who grew up in Pakistan and later became a Christian:

"The Ahmadiyya movement, compared with other sects of Islam is quite
lenient. It does not believe in capital punishment for apostasy, but my father did try, but failed. At last he disowned me literally. I signed some documents that he had prepared, according to which I could use my family title no more."

From:

A man with a new name

It's interesting and strange that he says the Ahmadiyya movement, in contrast to the main sects of Islam, does not believe in capital punishment for apostasy (and I believe he is telling the truth---I am not saying he is lying), yet his own Ahmadiyya father tried to kill him for becoming an apostate.

Jeff said...

[Masood] "was born into an family who belonged to the Ahmadi sect of Islam in Pakistan, considered heretics by the mainstream Muslims. Masood was a thinker and questioner from a young age, and often spotted inconsistencies in what he was taught at school and in the mosque. He was a very devout Muslim from a young age, but wanted to know answers to his questions - and could not understood why his relatives and teachers simply got angry with him rather than trying to address his concerns.

As he grew up, Masood continued studying and questioning, often suffering violence as a result. When he was 18, and still insistent on finding answers, he had to leave his family home since so many people wanted to kill him. He describes fairly vividly the ways he felt God led him to places and people who could help him, and the intellectual steps he took before, in his twenties, committing his life to Jesus as a Christian believer."

From Sue's Book Reviews

Jeff said...

Fear Stalks Muslim Apostates in the West
http://www.sullivan-county.com/islam/apostates.htm

From the article:
"a poll indicates that 36% of younger British Muslims believe death to be an appropriate punishment for renouncing Islam.

Their views are grounded in Shari'a law. All major schools of Islamic jurisprudence stipulate that a sane adult male must be put to death for abandoning Islam, though varying interpretations persist on whether females should be killed or merely imprisoned. Many Islamic states outlaw apostasy and seven list it as a capital offense. However, freelancers such as angry relatives present the greatest danger to ex-Muslims, as Sunni and Shiite scholars largely agree that Shari'a empowers individuals to punish converts. This tradition has followed Muslims to the Western world.

Salman Rushdie, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and other high-profile apostates have brought needed attention to the risks that ex-Muslims encounter, even in liberal democracies."

"Ordinary Muslim apostates face similar fears, which were palpable when Christian converts from Islam met in Virginia four years ago at the first Muslim Background Believers Convention. One woman admitted that she had not yet told her family about embracing a new faith. "I know they're going to disown me," she said, "if they don't kill me." Another relayed that her brothers were not speaking to her because she had married an American. "Can you imagine what they would do if they found out I was a Christian?"

For other ex-Muslims, the intimidation is far more concrete. Khaled emigrated from Iraq to the Netherlands, hoping to freely practice his new religion; instead he receives death threats from Islamists. Sofia was beaten and told by her father that she deserves to die; she ultimately was thrown out of their London house. Hannah, the daughter of a British imam, has changed residences forty-plus times since converting to Christianity; she went underground in 1994 when her home was attacked by a horde of men that included her father, whom she describes as "shouting through the letter box, 'I'm going to kill you.'" In April Dutch politician Ehsan Jami announced that he is closing down his Central Committee for Ex-Muslims after less than a year of operation because people are too scared to join.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Aiding apostates begins with acknowledging what endangers them: the prescription of death under Shari'a law. Yet Islamist lobby groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations labor to obscure the facts. During the diplomatic crisis that centered on Abdul Rahman, a convert to Christianity who faced capital punishment in "liberated" Afghanistan two years ago, CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper initially shrugged, "We haven't dealt with that issue." Once media interest in the story had made silence untenable, CAIR released a statement claiming that "Islamic scholars say the original rulings on apostasy were similar to those for treasonous acts in legal systems worldwide and do not apply to an individual's choice of religion."

Other leading Western Muslims justify, or even promote, the punishment of apostates. For example, Syed Mumtaz Ali, president of the Canadian Society of Muslims, argues that freedom of religion implies the ability to be governed by one's religious laws. From this he concludes that, in the spirit of "tolerance," Canada must allow Muslims to discipline people who abandon the faith. He does grant that these penalties would not necessarily include death, but one may wonder whether his position is just a matter of expediency. After all, he surely recognizes that multiculturalism has its limits.

Given the prevailing climate, Bishop Nazir-Ali has called for governments to do more to protect former Muslims. However, it is clear that many officials are too swayed by political correctness to comprehend the dangers associated with leaving Islam. This sad reality is demonstrated by the case of Nissar Hussein, a British citizen and Christian convert. When he reported to police that locals had threatened to burn down his home, he says he was told to "stop being a crusader and move to another place."

Intimidation of ex-Muslims has not succeeded in dissuading Christian missionaries from going about their usual business, even when they themselves face bullying in Islamist-heavy neighborhoods. Nazir-Ali recently stirred controversy by chiding the Church of England for its oversensitivity toward Muslims. He recommends more proselytization instead. At the Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem on June 24, he observed that "just as Muslims have a right to invite others to join Islam, Christians have a right to invite others to Jesus."

His statement reflects the thriving marketplace of religious ideas that has characterized the West for several centuries. Yet the perils suffered by Muslim apostates offer a powerful reminder that upholding such freedoms demands vigilance. How our societies respond to this challenge will help set the parameters of freedom in the twenty-first century by determining whether fundamental rights truly are guaranteed for all."

Jeff said...

I should have made the link from the last two comments clickable. Here it is (also see the other articles that are linked on the bottom of the page when you go to the article):
Fear Stalks Muslim Apostates in the West

Jeff said...

Muslim Apostasy: When Silence Isn't Golden

Jeff said...

Islam and Apostasy

Apostasy (ارتداد, irtidād and ridda) i.e. the rejection of faith has been, and still is, a serious offence in Islam. The punishment for apostasy as prescribed by Muhammad is death.

An Introduction to Apostasy

In Islam, the rejection in part, (of any of the pillars, or individual principles of Islam) or discarding the faith as a whole, amounts to apostasy. It is not a quick or easy affair for an apostate of Islam, as the punishment for apostasy in the Islamic faith is ‘death’. Though this is not clear through the Qur'an alone, scholars have found justification for the penalty within its pages (e.g. Qur'an 4:89), and there are also numerous Sahih (authentic) hadiths confirming this punishment as attested by Muhammad. In Sahih Bukhari, we see it as “Allah's Apostle said, Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him”.[1]

An evaluation on the punishment for apostasy in Islam, would not be complete without expounding on the political make up of Islam. Islam is essentially a tribal system that once was the social composition of Arabia in the north. A society, in its absolute sense, had never been in existence in the north prior to Islam. All that existed there were certain assemblages that never flourished or converted into a fully fledged society for several reasons; one being, that most at that time were nomads wandering throughout the desert. Religion was not a personal but communal affair in pre-Islamic Arabia. Deserting religion thus amounted to treason and treason was punishable by death. The death penalty being incorporated into Islam for apostasy is better understood when viewed through this prism. Muhammad who once belonged to this way of life, reshuffled society and he did so by organizing certain tribes under one roof without sacrificing much of the already existing norms. Muhammad did the job and, in doing so, did not venture to get rid of the pre-existed tribal prescripts; instead, he assimilated them into his new religion. The prescribed punishment for apostasy was one such backward practice which Muhammad annexed conveniently to his ‘frame of reference’.

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

We do not know of any apostates being killed during the lifetime of Muhammad. This is largely due to the lack of individuals apostatizing while Muhammad lived. One Sahih Bukhari hadith is an exception to this inference though, as stated in this hadith, Muhammad is seen deporting a Bedouin who desired to discard his religion. This incident alone does not indicate Muhammad viewing apostasy as anything less than treason or a 'crime' worthy of death. This alleged incident occurred during the early stages of Islam in Medina where Muhammad’s Islam and its 'revelations' were incomplete and a far cry from the all encompassing way of life it was to become by the time of his death. After the death of Muhammad and under the Caliphate of Abu Bakr, many apostates had been killed during the lengthy “Riddah (apostasy) wars”. This attests to the fact apostasy had already become a serious crime within Islam and was not some later innovation. In fact, it was one Qur’anic verse (the verse of the sword - Qur'an 9:5) which prompted Abu Bakr to fight against the people who rejected to pay tithe. These people were not rejecting Islam as a whole but only refusing to abide by one of its five pillars (Zakat). As historians will testify, Abu Bakr took up arms against them in a bloody war which lasted for over a year (632 - 633 AD). The Caliph did not put down his arms until all rejecters were either killed or had reverted back into the fold of Islam.

Islamic jurisdiction on “Apostasy” is derived from the words of Muhammad and the above said actions of Caliph Abu Bakr. If rejecting one of the pillars of Islam is considered to be a crime warranting war against such rejecters, it is only logical for the prescribed punishment for apostasy in Islam to be death. Imam Abu Hanifa’s prescript as seen in Al-Shybani's Kitab al-Siyar grants the apostate a stipulated period (no more than a couple of days) to revert back to Islam or face the death penalty. All four schools of Islamic jurisprudence are in agreement here, with only slight variations on whether to allow the grace period.[2] So, we can rightly conclude that the tradition of Islam is to put apostates to death if they refuse to revert to Islam.

Narrated Ikrima: Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas, who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment.' No doubt, I would have killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.' "
Sahih Bukhari 4:52:260

(cont.)

Jeff said...

(cont.)

Apostasy Laws and Their Impact on the Real World

Main Article: Persecution of Ex-Muslims

Ex-Muslims are often persecuted, abused and killed by Muslims. This treatment of apostates is not simply down to the issue of state-enforced religion as some may suggest. The violence or threats of violence against apostates in the Muslim world usually derives, not from government authorities but, from family members and individuals from the Islamic communities themselves, who operate very often with impunity from the government. This point is further emphasised by the persecution and murder of ex-Muslims which has now become evident in many Western non-Muslim societies. For example; in 2007 the daughter of a 'British' Imam was taken under police protection after receiving death threats from her father (a leader of a mosque in Lancashire) for converting to Christianity.[3] While the plight of the ex-Muslim is largely ignored by the mainstream media, thanks to the internet we can often catch a glimpse of their untold suffering.
[edit] Notable Former Muslims

Main Article: Notable Former Muslims

Whilst apostatising from the Islamic faith is a dangerous thing to do, many outspoken Muslim preachers, mullahs, imams, scholars, missionaries and even terrorists have apostatized and become atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Hindu's etc. In doing so, many (including Ibn Warraq and Mark Gabriel) have taken it upon themselves to oppose the Islamic ideology and have become celebrities in their own right.
[edit] Muslims leaving Islam by the millions

Main Article: People Who Left Islam

Muslims often (sometimes falsely) advertise news of non-Muslims converting to Islam, but they don't tell the other side of the story, where Muslims are also leaving Islam. There are more Muslims leaving Islam today than there are new converts joining it.[4] In Africa alone, 6 million Muslims are leaving Islam each and every year. Once the majority faith of the continent, they are now the minority with Christianity being the majority. The sheer volume of recent apostates is unprecedented in the history of Islam. Here at WikiIslam, we document this news and host hundreds of written testimonies.

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Jeff said...

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Helpful Hints for ex-Muslims

Main Article: Helpful Hints for ex-Muslims

Even in the free West, life for the Islamic apostate is often a difficult and dangerous one, as a recent poll in the UK found out (1 out of 3 British Muslims aged 16 to 24 believe that Muslim apostates should be executed[5]). This article offers Practical advice for new apostates.
[edit] Help Others to Leave Islam

Main Article: Enlightening Others to Leave Islam

An article that focuses on convincing others to leave Islam. By examining important issues and questions, it can serve as a starting point for further research and discussion. We should always remember to respect the individual Muslim, but be critical of Islam. After-all, they're in need of our help.

A lot of reasons. This religion stole my infancy and youth. I denounce this irrational, anti-scientific, barbaric, insane, dangerous, harmful, stupid, corrupted, superstitious, filthy religion, Islam, and its Shariat laws. I am a peaceful person and I love humanity. People must be aware of the truth of Islam, Mohammad, Quran and the history of Islam. BAR ISLAM-SHARIAT LANAT
Cafer (M), Azerbaijan, now an Agnostic.

An Apostate in the West - Rifqa Bary

Main Article: Rifqa Bary

While the persecution of people who decide to apostatise from Islam in the West has been acknowledged by some, no case has been more publicised than that of teenager Fathima Rifqa Bary. As a Sri Lankan immigrant to the U.S. Rifqa secretly converted to Christianity aged thirteen. In June 2009, Rifqa's religious beliefs were discovered by a member of the Noor Islamic Cultural Center. This article tells her story.
[edit] Something to Ponder

For almost 1,400 years, the punishment for apostasy has been death. Only recently has this been challenged, mainly by Islamic apologists in the West. Even today, the vast majority of Muslims in the world still believe the death sentence is warranted. For example; a Pew poll carried-out in August, 2009[6] found that 78% of Pakistanis agree apostates are to be killed. In a country with a population of 172,800,000 (95% of whom are Muslim) that would be 128,044,800 individuals in a single country. If we are to assume the politically-correct position that, Muslims who espouse such views are extremists who misunderstand the 'peaceful' teachings of Islam, then we must also concede the fact that the majority of Muslims in the world are extremists. They are not simply a 'fringe group'.

Jeff said...

Islamists' Hit List of 'Apostates'

Jeff said...

Death For Apostasy...and other articles

Jeff said...

Islamists Post Hit List of 'Apostates'