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We can’t leave Islam? Watch us!

apostasyJANDMOI was at Birmingham University yesterday speaking on apostasy and freedom of conscience for the Atheist, Secularist and Humanist Society’s Reason Week. We had an excellent discussion. Of course, there had been complaints about my speaking there (yes it is very controversial to defend the rights of apostates not to die!). The Society was even asked to record my speech in case of further complaints. Here’s my speech, just in case they need it in writing too:

Punishing apostates is a long-standing and fundamental feature of all major religions. Repudiating religion is deemed to be the worst of crimes.

And in Islam it’s no different except that Islamism is this era’s inquisition and totalitarianism.

To the degree it has power, that is the degree it controls every single aspect of people lives and society via its Sharia laws – from what people wear, who they have sex with, what music they listen to – even what they are allowed to think.

One of the characteristics of an inquisition is the policing of thought. Freethinking and freedom of conscience are banned. Even for Muslims, a ‘personal’ religion is impossible under an inquisition. You can’t pick and choose as you’d like. You don’t want to wear the veil; acid in your face should teach you a lesson. You want to go to school; maybe we can gun you down on your way there. You want to be an atheist. Off with your head…

Islamists will kill, threaten or intimidate anyone who interprets things differently, dissents, thinks freely or transgresses their norms by living 21st century lives. Of course people resist day in and day out but that is a testament to the human spirit despite Islamism and Sharia.

If you look at the purpose of the Sharia ‘justice’ system, it is there to teach the masses the damnable nature of dissent and free thought. Where it has power, like in Iran, there are 130 offences punishable by death – from heresy, blasphemy, enmity against god, adultery, and homosexuality. But apostasy is the highest and most heinous crime.

Around 19 countries consider apostasy from Islam illegal and a prosecutable offence. Depending on the influence of Islamism and Sharia law, in places like Malaysia, Morocco, Jordan and Oman punishments vary from fines, imprisonment, flogging and exclusion from civil or family rights. In ten countries apostasy is punishable by the death penalty.

And whilst there are religious justifications for the execution of apostates, apostasy laws today under the Islamic inquisition are the ultimate means of political rather than religious control.

Of course, from a religious standpoint, apostasy is the unravelling of the entire system from within by those considered to be “members” of the imagined Muslim community (often out of very little choice of their own). Question one law, one hadith, one sura in the Koran, and you begin to unravel it all. To question and dissent denies the Islamic inquisitor the opportunity to feign representation. And it prevents the submission that they demand. If you are allowed to leave, you undermine it all.

Historically apostasy laws have always been used as a form of control. It’s no different today. Islamists use it as a means of political control. After all they represent god’s rule on earth and any opposition to their rule, is a direct affront to God himself.

Apostasy laws are the most convenient way for an inquisition to eradicate its political rivals, dissenters, and opponents. You don’t even have to renounce Islam in order to be branded an apostate. In fact if you look at those charged with apostasy, it could include anything from tweeting about Mohammad as Hamza Kashgari did in Saudi Arabia, challenging the Saudi state like Raif Badawi, or opposing the Islamic regime of Iran like Zanyar and Loghman Moradi.

The charge of apostasy is often coupled with other charges such as blasphemy, or enmity against god. With such charges, there is no need to prove anything in lengthy court proceedings or to meticulously gather evidence as any transgression can be deemed to be an act of apostasy –both a crime against god and political treason against his representatives on earth. Under Islamic law an apostate must be put to death.

There is no dispute on this ruling among classical or modern Islamic scholars, however, there is some controversy as to whether the Koran prescribes any punishment for apostasy in this world.

Again this goes to the heart of the problem with various interpretations of religious texts and why religion must be kept out of the state and legal system to safeguard people’s rights and lives.

Needless to say, it is those in power who decide the interpretation of the day and in an inquisition it is clear which interpretations take precedence. Plus many leading authorities interpret certain suras of the Koran to mean that the death penalty is proscribed for apostates.

Now even if there is disagreement on whether apostasy is punishable by death in this world according to the Koran, it is clear that such a punishment is called for in the Hadith, which are the sayings and actions of Mohammad, Islam’s prophet.

Whilst Islamists will often try to dupe the public by saying such and such is not ‘true’ Islam (at least in English) because it is not included in the Koran, they are being dishonest to say the least as they know full well that Sharia law includes not only what is in the Koran but also what is in the hadith and Islamic jurisprudence.

In the Hadith, there are many examples of the death penalty for apostasy. According to Ibn Abbås, for example, the Prophet said, “Kill him who changes his religion” or “behead him.”

The only argument in the Hadith is over the nature of the death penalty. Don’t burn them as that is Allah’s job in the afterlife; in general, execution must be by the sword, though there are examples of apostates tortured to death, or strangled, burned, drowned, impaled, or flayed.

Also don’t forget the implications of being accused of apostasy. It means you are denied a proper burial, your family are often not even told where you are buried or you are buried in a place like Khavaran – which the Iranian regime calls the “place of the damned”. But of course Khavaran for many of us is a meeting place for remembering a slaughtered generation in Iran.

If the apostate is not executed due to Islamism’s limited influence or progressive social movement, many lose all civil rights – their property is taken, their right to inheritance is denied, they are forcibly divorced, lose child custody and so on.

Of course, Islamists will often say (in English at least) that “there is no compulsion in religion”. Again this is another one of their dishonest attempts at duping the public because this verse is applicable only to Christians and Jews who have not converted to Islam.

What they never tell you is that this verse is not applicable to Muslims. Muslims are not free to choose any religion other than Islam. A Muslim has to live and die with Islam whether s/he likes it or not.

It’s like the other verse they keep telling us about: “Whoever killed a human being shall be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind”. The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews.

What become clear in all this at least for people of sound mind is that irrespective of one’s beliefs, apostasy and Sharia laws are incompatible with basic rights and freedoms.

They have to be challenged.

And this challenge is not as much a religious challenge as it is a political one.

A good example for this is Christianity which used to execute its apostates. It’s not that the tenets, dogma, and principles of Christianity have changed since the days of the inquisition but rather its social and political influence and its relation with the state, the law and educational system. A religion that has been reined in by an enlightenment is very different from one that has political power or is vying for power.

Challenging it means having the courage to think for oneself, as AC Grayling describes the Council of Ex-Muslims. It means asserting one’s freedom of conscience. It means reminding others that the right to religion has a corresponding right to be free from religion.

But most importantly it means pushing back and challenging a far-Right regressive movement – Islamism and its Sharia laws – that hang apostates as we speak.

Coming out as ex-Muslims, renouncing Islam publicly is breaking the taboo and challenging Islamism where it hurts most.

Some will say this is an unnecessary provocation. It’s a provocation, yes, but unnecessary, no.

Islamists tell us this all the time. Don’t say you are an apostate, don’t invite others to apostasy and there need be no killings.

If anyone believes that – and trust me there are still people who do – then they still don’t know Islamism …

They’ll say: don’t provoke. Don’t offend. Don’t criticise … and no one need get hurt.

But Islamists need no excuses.

Of course, in a favourable climate of multiculturalism and cultural relativism – where are all values and beliefs are equal and equally valid – and for western public consumption, Islamists like to blame victims and dissenters for their barbarity.

We are the ‘aggressive atheist ex-Muslims’ (compared at times with the Taliban no less) yet we are the ones who are being killed, imprisoned, threatened or forced to flee.

Throughout history barbarity has always been pushed back – not by tiptoeing around it, accommodating it, appeasing it, tolerating it but by facing it head on.

Pragmatism never changed the world but we intend to.

We can’t leave Islam? We can’t live 21 century lives? Watch us.

***

I ended my speech with Shahin Najafi’s song on apostasy. He’s the Iranian singer living in Germany who has had a fatwa for his death issued by an Iranian cleric. English lyrics are below.

A severed head in between your hands
my eyes on the broken clock
And sad and rebellious poems
and the wolf, unafraid of the gun
On my doubts of the origin of existence,
on choking loneliness when drunk
And longing and inhaling you,
and the depth of the tragedy not seeing you
The artery’s destiny is obstruction,
and your crime, a scream against the wind
The end of the story is always a bitter one,
and the poet whose conviction is apostasy
The good God sleeping in my book,
the dried semen on my bed
The good God of wrath, death, and fatwa,
and my cries over Yaghma’s poetry
Let me be like a cactus
Stay with me, as reading poetry,
next to you, with covenant with desert,
that our code is to die standing up
that our code is to die standing up
Tell them, our Hadith was a Hadith of blood,
contempt, born out of insanity
Tell them, how I did not give in
Tell them, how I died standing up
The good God sleeping in my book,
the dried semen on my bed
The good God of wrath, death, and fatwa,
and my cries over Yaghma’s poetry
Let me be like a cactus
Stay with me, as reading poetry,
next to you, with covenant with desert,
that our code is to die standing up
that our code is to die standing up
Tell them, my story was a tale of blood,
contempt, born out of insanity
Tell them, how I did not give in
Tell them, how I died standing up
that our code is to die standing up

Comments

  1. Contessa de Metoncula says

    Organized Religion invented by misogynist Neanderthals and inpired by a man made entity is the worst that happened to humanity and the most brilliant marketing ploy ever conceived!
    It is all out of fear of the Power of Women whithout whom there is no human life on this Planet!
    Mind you, that would not be such a bad thing because the Human Animals are the most destructive and dangerous on this Planet!

  2. says

    The problem is you are dealing with irrational thinking. All three “Abrahamic faiths” teach that in the beginning woman came out of a man even though no evidence exists anywhere in the world to support this belief. How can you hope to reason with people who believe in such stories?

    • says

      Yeah , i believe it and u know what ….
      lemme give u an example:
      If you are in your mother’s womb and you have been told that there is a world/universe outside that has is trillions trillions time bigger than this world will u belive it???????
      get some rest and think thoroughly

      • boshinin says

        1) If you were in your mother’s womb, you wouldn’t even possess vocabulary, let alone independent thought.

        2) Scientists with powerful telescopes alone can give you evidence of the size of the universe.

  3. mara says

    You do know that there are many different forms of Islam and not everyone is an “Islamist”, right? Not every sect of Islam is as you wrote. Wahabism, yes, prohibits philosophical and spiritual thought. But Sufism, Shiism, and others actually celebrate philosophy and spirituality; they encourage followers to ask questions. Sources of oral traditions are also different than the mainstream Sunnism and are definitely different than the teachings of Wahab and Ibn Taymiyaa (the true source of the hijacking of the religion). Shiism has a continuing jurisprudence which can change with modern time, Wahabism which does not change rules.

    It’s either you are deliberately misleading people about Islam or your knowledge is solely based on one type of minority extremists. I’ll give you benefit of the doubt and go with the latter. Inshallah you will actually seek to learn more about the religion, maybe by actually speaking to those who follow different forms of Islam, or reading books on different sects–instead of painting such a grim, backward picture on an entire religion. Not every Muslim is the same and not every sect is the same. Extremists exist everywhere, regardless of affiliation or non-affiliation.

    • Janet says

      Mara – no one’s saying all muslims are aggressive islamists. What matters is that the muslim majority doesn’t passionately oppose the minority. Islamism has power in the world — in the countries it governs but also in countries where islamists are a vocal or violent minority. It uses that power badly.

      Maryam knows what she is talking about. So please don’t patronise her or her readers.

      • says

        Can u plz tell me a single counrty where islam has power ? if yes i’ll be glad , most of the islam now in countries are divided ppl pick up the things they want and add it to the Law but that dosent mean its full / complete islam and there are many Bedaat (those thigns that are not from islam) in law and in most ppl minds . so plz tell me a single country where islam is in power ??????

  4. miked says

    Great piece and I salute your bravery.

    Apostasy is an essential step in achieving freedom whether it is from wahabism or anglicanism. I was lucky only to ‘suffer’ a brief and mild expression of regret from my culturally religious mother and not literal stoning to death by my community, even if there was a metaphorical stoning perhaps!. Mara, you seem to think a belief in the “mild” forms of islam/christianity/judaism/hinduism is “okay” instead of a] still perpetuating a false consciousness based on a false perception of reality, and b] a cover for the extremists. Anglicanism is perhaps an even more pernicious form of christianity than, say, westboro baptism because it is ‘nice’ and provides a convenient though false justification for those who say “but christianity has many forms etc etc” – it is still based on falsehood (and the dynastic and political ambitions of a long-dead king, of course).

    All religion everywhere should be vigorously countered with rationalism and science until they become extinct or at least a matter for the individual rather than a public mania – in a similar manner as racism which was a widely accepted if not dominant public trope in many white communities until its suppression through the 1960-1990s – now see how much respect you get for your beliefs if you profess racism! Excluding of course those many pockets where that particular false consciousness hangs on but at least racists don’t get to push their views onto others any more….. or lynch blacks.

  5. feroz says

    Keep trying, spreading hatred against Islam. Can you tell me why is Islam is the fastest growing religion of the world? And 75% of the converters are women. If Islam is such a bad religion why is the world turning towards it? In UK every year 5000 people convert to Muslims, in USA 20,000 and 4000 in Germany people chose Islam as a way of living. You know why, because they do a thorough research before opening their mouths and minds unlike you.

    • Martyn says

      @ # 5.

      Feroz, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt regarding Islam being the fastest growing religion in the world. Yeah, we keep hearing about how many people convert but the exact numbers of those leaving the religion cannot be verified – for obvious reasons. The ones discussed above.

      But I’ll play along.

      So, ok, let’s pretend Islam is the worlds fastest growing religion. Does this still mean death for apostasy is okay or are you saying Maryam has got it wrong and Islam doesn’t prescribe death for apostasy?

      • says

        The answer is that your crying on only one thing without doing your own research , whether maryam posted this i cant question her faith or her good/bad thinking behind this , she will get her deeds at the day of judgment as for u my frined read this :

        In order to understand this issue, we need to examine the Islamic law on apostasy. Since religion is looked on as a personal affair in western society, the notion of state intervention in one’s personal choice would naturally seem excessive. However, from the Islamic perspective, a number of points must be observed with regard to apostasy:
        1. Islam has never compelled anyone to accept the religion. Anyone who becomes a Muslim does so purely through objective study of the religion. As Allah has informed us in the Qur’an:

        2:256 There is no compulsion in religion.
        10:99 So would you (O Muhammad) then compel people to become believers?

        Likewise, Islam encourages its followers to reflect and contemplate upon the universe around us and to ponder over the beauty of the Qur’anic message:

        47:24 Do they not ponder over the Qur’an or are their hearts locked up?

        51:20-21. And on earth are signs for those endowed with inner-certainty; and [likewise there are signs] in yourselves, do you not observe?

        29:20 Say: “Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.

        Thus, Islam requires that one’s faith be constructed upon logical investigation and study of the universe in which we live. Through logical contemplation, one realizes the supreme authority of the Creator and the veracity of Muhammad’s (saws) claim to prophethood. Thus we find that, in the history of Islam, no knowledgeable Muslim has ever left Islam. The only cases we find of former Muslims are people who were never practicing Muslims in the first place, nor did they ever have a good understanding of Islam. Yet on the other hand, the list of educated converts to Islam is immense, and it includes educated leaders such as priests, rabbis and atheists.

        2. Those who have left Islam have historically fallen under three categories: those who left having never properly understood the religion often due to social circumstances, those who faked a conversion into Islam in order to undermine the Islamic community from within, and those who left to support opposing forces in battle against the Muslims. Because of the first category, Islam requires that the person who has chosen to forsake the religion be consulted with in order that his doubts may be clarified to him if there is any specific issue of confusion, or so that he may learn the proper Islamic teachings that he may otherwise have not been exposed to. As for the second and third category, this was the original reason behind the Prophet’s statement on apostasy. The Qur’an records (3:72) that the Jews of Madinah decided to initiate the practice of pretending to accept Islam and then publicly declare their rejection of it, so as to destroy the confidence of the newly-converted Muslims. Thus, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh ruled that a punishment should be announced so that those who decide to accept Islam do so because of a firm conviction not in order to harm the Muslim community from within.

        3. Coming to the actual law of apostasy, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh did say, in the above historical context, “Whoever replaces his religion, execute him” (Bukhari, Abu Dawud) but how exactly do we understand this statement and does it conflict with the principles of freedom? The Prophet Muhammad pbuh himself clarified this statement in another hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim where he mentioned that the one who was to be fought against was the one who “abandons his religion and the Muslim community”. It should be noted that every country has maintained punishments, including execution, for treason and rebellion against the state (See Mozley and Whitley’s Law Dictionary, under “Treason and Treason Felony,” pp. 368-369). Islam is not just a set of beliefs, it is a complete system of life which includes a Muslim’s allegiance to the Islamic state. Thus, a rejection against that would be akin to treason. Rebellion against God is more serious than rebellion against one’s country. However, one who personally abandons the faith and leaves the country would not be hunted down and assassinated, nor would one who remains inside the state conforming to outward laws be tracked down and executed. The notion of establishing inquisition courts to determine peoples’ faith, as done in the Spanish Inquisition, is something contrary to Islamic law. As illustrated by the historical context in which it was mandated, the death penalty is mainly for those who collaborate with enemy forces in order to aid them in their attacks against the Islamic state or for those who seek to promote civil unrest and rebellion from within the Islamic state. When someone publicly announces their rejection of Islam within an Islamic state it is basically a challenge to the Islamic government, since such an individual can keep it to themselves like the personal affair it is made out to be.

        4. From Islamic history, we can gain a better understanding of how this law has been implemented. Although the Prophet Muhammad pbuh threatened the death penalty in response to the attempts against the Muslim community, no such executions took place in his time (Imam Shawkani, Nayl Al-Awtar, vol. 7, p. 192) even though there is a report that a Bedouin renounced Islam and left Madinah unharmed in his time (Fath Al-Bari vol. 4, p.77 and vol. 13 p. 170; Sahih Muslim biSharh An-Nawawi, vol. 9, p. 391). Thus, we find that context plays an important role in determining how to deal with apostates. The case of one who enlists nations to fight against the Islamic state is more serious, for example. That is why the scholars of the Hanafi school of thought felt that the punishment only applies to the male apostate and not the female apostate because the latter is unable to wage war against the Islamic state. If someone simply has some doubts concerning Islam, then those doubts can be clarified.
        So an Islamic state is certainly justified in punishing those who betray the state, committing treason and support enemy forces. As for anyone else, if they do not publicly declare their rejection of Islam, the state has no interest in pursuing them; if their case does become public, however, then they should be reasoned with and educated concerning the religion so that they have the opportunity to learn the concepts they may not have understood properly and they can be encouraged to repent.

        If still any doubts email me : usamakhizarminhas@yahoo.com
        Will be glad to answer

    • Hari says

      children’s are produced like dogs and pigs breed,men marry other religion and convert them as simple as that

    • Alex hcherifuk says

      Islam is the fastest growing religion is a false statement to start with,second,that growth is not due to the number of converts,but to the high birth rates among Muslim community,as they have many children.
      As mentioned above,how about those who are leaving?do you have the exact number of apostates?i do challenge you if you could come out even with a close figure to the exact number.

      It was proven that most of the converts from other religions to Islam were not told the whole truth about Islam and its dark sides,for instance,death punishment in case of having second thoughts or realising it was a mistake.
      People turn to islam because they are mis-informed and never told the whole truth,the same way you still ignore that truth yourself,otherwise you would have quit Islam yourself.read about the so called battles or Gazawat and see what happened then in the name of religion, from slavery,to raping women ad selling men,women and children and even using them for sexual pleasure…go and read about how people were stripped off their possessions and got robbed in the name of Allah and Islam as booty.i wonder how would you feel if somebody robbed your family,enslaved you and your siblings and had sex with you and your mother and sister in the name of their so-called god.
      Nobody is spreading hatred about Islam,it is simply Islam that hates life and mankind,its facts and true colour are speaking for itself…a religion that is insecure and rests on shedding blood of anybody and everybody from apostates,to non-believers,to Christians and Jews to anyone who criticise or thinks for himself or herself…that religion you are defending to a point that you cheer when somebody is murdered or executed in public for leaving it ,I don’t think there is any spirituality or love or godliness in it…
      You are defending Islam,because you know only the bright nice facade of it that is been used to deceive 1.5 billion follower and whatever human status you are enjoying now as a female us due and thanks to the Western constitutions,otherwise you would be in the same status as women in Iran and Saoudi …
      Ethically,morally it is inhumane and in acceptable to take someone’s life Possible Imposter

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      Comment submitted:
      Islam is the fastest growing religion is a false statement to start with,second,that growth is not due to the number of converts,but to the high birth rates among Muslim community,as they have many children. As mentioned above,how about those who are leaving?do you have the exact number of apostates?i do challenge you if you could come out even with a close figure to the exact number. It was proven that most of the converts from other religions to Islam were not told the whole truth about Islam and its dark sides,for instance,death punishment in case of having second thoughts or realising it was a mistake. People turn to slam because they are mis-informed and never told the whole truth,the sae way you still ignore that truth yourself,otherwise you would have quit Islam yourself.read about the so called battles or Gazawat and see what happened the from slavery,to raping women ad selling men,women and children and even using them for sexual pleasure…go and read about how people were stripped off their possessions and got robbed in the name of Allah and Islam as booty.i wonder how would you feel if somebody robbed your family,enslaved you and your siblings and ad sex with your mother and sister in the name f their so-called god. Nobody is spreading hatred about Islam,it is simply Islam ,its facts and true colour are speaking for itself…a religion that is insecure and rests on shedding blood of anybody and everybody from apostates,to non-believers,to Christians and Jews to anyone who criticise or thinks for himself or herself…that religion you are defending to a point that you cheer when somebody s executed in public for leaving it ,I don’t think there is any spirituality or love or godliness in it… You are defending Islam,because you know only the bright r nice facade of it,and whatever human status you are enjoying now as a female is due and thanks to the Western constitutions,otherwise you would be in the same status as women in Iran and Saoudi … Ethically,morally it is inhumane and unacceptable to take someone’s life because they no longer believe in a given system… People are embracing science,love ,discovery and other people are in passion to kill the so called infidels,unbelievers…it is about time that Muslims realise that they are accepting the unacceptable under the name of the religion and that they are loosing their humanity somewhere down the road…it s time to stop the bigotry and the compex of superiority as the best and favourite nation to Allah and learn to be human and show love and respect to human fellows ..
      People are embracing science,love ,discovery and other people are in passion to kill anybody around them unless they are muslim…the so unbelievers…it is insane ad sad at the same time..it s about time that Muslims realise that they are accepting the unacceptable under the name of the religion and that they are loosing their humanity somewhere down the road…it s time to stop the bigotry and the complex of superiority as the best and favourite nation to Allah and learn to be human and show love and respect to human fellows …

  6. rese archer says

    Excellent speech, thank you for posting

    “It’s like the other verse they keep telling us about: ‘Whoever killed a human being shall be looked upon as though he had killed all mankind’. The supposedly noble sentiments are in fact a warning to Jews.”

    I think this bears reading for yourself so here is quote and link (from my favourite source with annotations)

    http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/5/index.htm#32

    5:32 For that cause We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of Allah’s Sovereignty), but afterwards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth. (5:32) “Whosoever killeth a human being … it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.”

    5:33 The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom;

    5:34 Save those who repent before ye overpower them. For know that Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.

    Oh, how sweet? There is a get-out clause at the end of this tyrrannical context. Sorry, what was the definition of “corruption” again?

  7. Stewie says

    “Of course, there had been complaints about my speaking there”
    Really?!! Name them and shame them please.

    I cannot think of a single act of law superior to amending the ECHR and HRA 1998 removing the protection of religious practice and applying the same standards to organised religion as are applied to corporations and public service. Requiring them to preach gender and LGBT equality. We should require them now to put in place quotas for their various Clergy for female and LGBT representatives of all levels. If that means the Muslim and RCC places of worship closing their doors….fine.

    Although the wording of the Act suggests some of this could be done if the government and Judiciary were worth a damn
    13
    Freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
    (1)
    If a court’s determination of any question arising under this Act might affect the exercise by a religious organisation (itself or its members collectively) of the Convention right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, it must have particular regard to the importance of that right.

  8. reticulatus says

    Thank God for Maryam, and brave women like her , they are undoubtedly the unsung heroes of these times.
    They risk their lives shedding light on the RELIGION OF PEACE and the reasons it needs to be rejected at all costs. . They go to meetings to talk and have to be given protection, they help to educate ignorant westerners
    who have not spent a lifetime studying the Quran and Hadith (how many volumes?) and they receive death threats. They expose the injustices lurking in the Sharia, and get called liars for their troubles. It is a great work
    undertaken on behalf of those too blind or uncaring to see the harm that lies all around us perpetuated by for
    and in the name of religion. Please for all our-sakes keep up the good work.

  9. says

    In order to understand this issue, we need to examine the Islamic law on apostasy. Since religion is looked on as a personal affair in western society, the notion of state intervention in one’s personal choice would naturally seem excessive. However, from the Islamic perspective, a number of points must be observed with regard to apostasy:
    1. Islam has never compelled anyone to accept the religion. Anyone who becomes a Muslim does so purely through objective study of the religion. As Allah has informed us in the Qur’an:

    2:256 There is no compulsion in religion.
    10:99 So would you (O Muhammad) then compel people to become believers?

    Likewise, Islam encourages its followers to reflect and contemplate upon the universe around us and to ponder over the beauty of the Qur’anic message:

    47:24 Do they not ponder over the Qur’an or are their hearts locked up?

    51:20-21. And on earth are signs for those endowed with inner-certainty; and [likewise there are signs] in yourselves, do you not observe?

    29:20 Say: “Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things.

    Thus, Islam requires that one’s faith be constructed upon logical investigation and study of the universe in which we live. Through logical contemplation, one realizes the supreme authority of the Creator and the veracity of Muhammad’s (saws) claim to prophethood. Thus we find that, in the history of Islam, no knowledgeable Muslim has ever left Islam. The only cases we find of former Muslims are people who were never practicing Muslims in the first place, nor did they ever have a good understanding of Islam. Yet on the other hand, the list of educated converts to Islam is immense, and it includes educated leaders such as priests, rabbis and atheists.

    2. Those who have left Islam have historically fallen under three categories: those who left having never properly understood the religion often due to social circumstances, those who faked a conversion into Islam in order to undermine the Islamic community from within, and those who left to support opposing forces in battle against the Muslims. Because of the first category, Islam requires that the person who has chosen to forsake the religion be consulted with in order that his doubts may be clarified to him if there is any specific issue of confusion, or so that he may learn the proper Islamic teachings that he may otherwise have not been exposed to. As for the second and third category, this was the original reason behind the Prophet’s statement on apostasy. The Qur’an records (3:72) that the Jews of Madinah decided to initiate the practice of pretending to accept Islam and then publicly declare their rejection of it, so as to destroy the confidence of the newly-converted Muslims. Thus, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh ruled that a punishment should be announced so that those who decide to accept Islam do so because of a firm conviction not in order to harm the Muslim community from within.

    3. Coming to the actual law of apostasy, the Prophet Muhammad pbuh did say, in the above historical context, “Whoever replaces his religion, execute him” (Bukhari, Abu Dawud) but how exactly do we understand this statement and does it conflict with the principles of freedom? The Prophet Muhammad pbuh himself clarified this statement in another hadith narrated in Sahih Muslim where he mentioned that the one who was to be fought against was the one who “abandons his religion and the Muslim community”. It should be noted that every country has maintained punishments, including execution, for treason and rebellion against the state (See Mozley and Whitley’s Law Dictionary, under “Treason and Treason Felony,” pp. 368-369). Islam is not just a set of beliefs, it is a complete system of life which includes a Muslim’s allegiance to the Islamic state. Thus, a rejection against that would be akin to treason. Rebellion against God is more serious than rebellion against one’s country. However, one who personally abandons the faith and leaves the country would not be hunted down and assassinated, nor would one who remains inside the state conforming to outward laws be tracked down and executed. The notion of establishing inquisition courts to determine peoples’ faith, as done in the Spanish Inquisition, is something contrary to Islamic law. As illustrated by the historical context in which it was mandated, the death penalty is mainly for those who collaborate with enemy forces in order to aid them in their attacks against the Islamic state or for those who seek to promote civil unrest and rebellion from within the Islamic state. When someone publicly announces their rejection of Islam within an Islamic state it is basically a challenge to the Islamic government, since such an individual can keep it to themselves like the personal affair it is made out to be.

    4. From Islamic history, we can gain a better understanding of how this law has been implemented. Although the Prophet Muhammad pbuh threatened the death penalty in response to the attempts against the Muslim community, no such executions took place in his time (Imam Shawkani, Nayl Al-Awtar, vol. 7, p. 192) even though there is a report that a Bedouin renounced Islam and left Madinah unharmed in his time (Fath Al-Bari vol. 4, p.77 and vol. 13 p. 170; Sahih Muslim biSharh An-Nawawi, vol. 9, p. 391). Thus, we find that context plays an important role in determining how to deal with apostates. The case of one who enlists nations to fight against the Islamic state is more serious, for example. That is why the scholars of the Hanafi school of thought felt that the punishment only applies to the male apostate and not the female apostate because the latter is unable to wage war against the Islamic state. If someone simply has some doubts concerning Islam, then those doubts can be clarified.
    So an Islamic state is certainly justified in punishing those who betray the state, committing treason and support enemy forces. As for anyone else, if they do not publicly declare their rejection of Islam, the state has no interest in pursuing them; if their case does become public, however, then they should be reasoned with and educated concerning the religion so that they have the opportunity to learn the concepts they may not have understood properly and they can be encouraged to repent.

  10. says

    Okies this is for u my sister, tho i see that u have some nice good thinking of jews , dont take it personally .

    Just go live with the real taliban and al qaeda for once you will know what islam is ……
    and yes the real ppl not the fakes created by other ppl.
    Salam o Alaikum

  11. Usama Khizar says

    Maryam Namazie , i would like to ask u that if your muslim or not , dosent matters to me anyways since the stuff u wrote makes me think its just that u have taken one of similar names as muslim women.

    Coming back to the topic what ur problem/problems cuz if you tell me one by one , i gurantee u i will give u answer to all of your questions , but only if your open minded ……

    (Remember its a challenge or not i dont care )
    but if your so really much crying about apostasy and the victims and are dying to do anything for them than just come and have a lil question answer chat with me right here right now , i dont think islam is what u defined here , and ……. yup thats it
    Waiting ……
    also if anyone else has a question , i like criticism but positvie , not the one that is born out of hatred .
    so just mail me or ask it here .
    Mail me usamakhizarminhas@yahoo.com

  12. says

    usama khizar is a practicing muslim. as a practicing muslims he/she has to undertake taqqiyya. this is now impossible for him/her to do because, internet has opened up all those dingy dark places in the islamic hate texts.

    also he/she is very careful to have two sets of teeth. like the elphants do. one set for showing you, another for chewing you up. he/she also has not revealed the concept of abrogation which is a koranic subterfuge. the meccan verses have been abrogated. when muhammad was a weak wimp, he believed in freedom of conscience. after he became the enforcer, he said kill apostates. by the way, if there were no apostasy killing, islam would have disappeared as is proved by the ridda wars. as soon as the hejaz was rid of the tyrant, people rejoiced and freed themselves from the compuslion in religion. but abu bakr who knew the value of enforcing swiftly massacred the apostates. no wonder yusuf al qaradhawi says, if there is no killing for apostasy, islam will simply disappear

    while living in kaffar land, sponging on them and begging for visas from them, like a true muslim he/she has displayed the arabian mentality as evidenced by the camel and the arab story. except that the roles are reversed. her chief tools of discourse are taqqiyya, ignorance and a dependency on cults and cult figures for creating an identity.

    • Usama Khizar says

      rofl for generation i never heard of taqqiyaa and now i’m hearing it on internet wow …. no wonder why you guys are blind … just for once be open minded and try to learn the truth not just islam learn other religions also . your gonna get it yourself i hope you do it soon in the end so you dont have to regret.

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