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Apr 23 2013

Leaving Islam is not a crime

Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain
Press Release

CEM-moroccoMorocco’s High Council of Ulemas (the highest government religious institution headed by the King) has issued a fatwa decreeing the death penalty for Moroccans who leave Islam. Currently, under Morocco’s penal code, those who impede or prevent worship face imprisonment and fines.

An attack on apostates is clearly a response to the establishment of the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco – the first public atheist organisation in a country with Islam as the state religion.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain reminds the government of Morocco that the right to religion has a corresponding right to be free from religion.

Leaving Islam is not a crime; issuing death fatwas against people, however, is.

We call on the Moroccan government to cancel the fatwa, guarantee the security of apostates and freethinkers and prosecute those who threaten citizens with death.

We call on the public to defend the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco and the right to atheism and renouncing Islam.

You can support the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco here.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Moroccan Atheist

    This is a great work!
    The Fatwa was issued in 2012, before the establishment of the council of ex Muslims in Morocco, so its not a reaction to it.
    Thank you.

  2. 2
    rafiqmahmood

    I would actually like to try to get this to him somehow.

    An open letter to the King of Morocco

    Your Majesty

    It has come to my notice that the High Council of Ulemas, over which you preside, has issued a fatwa decreeing death for anyone who leaves the religion of Islam. Such an edict does nothing but bring into disrepute your Kingdom and your Person. I urge you forthwith to disavow the fatwa and declare, as a modern and enlightened monarch that you protect and support the unfettered freedom of conscience and belief for all your subjects and for all the residents in your Kingdom.

    The beliefs or faith, if any, of an individual is something of which he or she must be convinced internally. Mere external adherence to the rites, obligations and word usage associated with that belief system are nothing but hypocrisy and sham – indeed deception – if they are not matched by internal conviction. That internal conviction cannot be forced. Indeed it is something over which the individual has no control. If he or she is not convinced and does not believe then no amount of force can make them. Indeed no one can force themselves to try to believe something which they do not.

    The majesty and dignity of your office, and the reputation and standing of your Kingdom, should not be tainted by the charge that you support making those of your loyal, peaceful and law-abiding subjects who, though brought up as Muslims, no longer feel convinced of the tenets of Islam into hypocrites, involuntary liars and actors leading double lives of deception under threat of death.

    To be a Muslim, as Your Learned and Wise Majesty is fully aware, primarily requires an adherent to testify, WITH FULL INTERNAL CONVICTION, to the statements set out in the Kalima Shahadat. If they cannot do that, or can no longer do that, then it is no fault of theirs. The ayat “La ikraha fid-deen” is not a statement of doctrine, an injunction or a command, it is a statement of self-evident fact. Belief cannot be compelled. The moment there is compulsion belief vanishes.

    I have no doubt that your Majesty desires nothing more than the happiness and well being of all your subjects and the peace, prosperity and progress that flows from freedom for all to be themselves. I entreat you to revoke and disavow this unhappy and ill-guided decision.

    Rafiq Mahmood
    Bogor, Indonesia

  3. 3
    Dwarakanathan Thathachari

    The most intolerant person established a religion. All his loose talks were codified as a holy book. The followers naturally practiced brutality to spread the so called faith in total accordance with holy book. Tolerance is anathema to their faith because they fully knew that they can not correctly reply any analytical question posed on them leave alone answering them. The simple answer their prophet practiced to over come inconvenience, is eliminating the questioner. The flocks follow the same and issuing fatwas. The followers declares themselves above law of the land in a democratic country and is not permitting and rule of law in Islamic country.They have no iota of feeling of live and let live. The world is not assigned to them only.It is right time for the world to keep Islam in its right place.

  4. 4
    Contessa de Metoncula

    I wrote an Open Letter to the King of Morocco. I am asking all potential tourists to Morocco to boycott the country until this Fatwa is removed!
    All leaders of all countries should follow suit.

  5. 5
    stever

    “Leaving Islam is not a crime; issuing death fatwas against people, however, is.” Not true. The King of Morocco gets to define what is, and isn’t, a crime within his domain. A government is, after all, an organization that both has the ability and asserts the moral right to kill anyone who refuses to obey its orders.

    1. 5.1
      Tyle

      “Death threats are not a crime because the king says he can do what he wants”: Asserting it does not make it so. Calling for murder is a crime, exercising freedom of conscience is not, and if I claim otherwise, I am wrong. If I am powerful and I claim otherwise, I am still wrong.

  6. 6
    left0ver1under

    Murdering people for leaving a cult is as abhorrent as murdering people for defecting from dictatorships. And yet, many of those who blather about “human rights for defectors!” have no problem with theocracies murdering their citizens.

  7. 7
    jaytheostrich

    This is all about attempted thought control, which as everyone knows can never ever work. You can force people to PROFESS Islam, but you can never force (an adult) to be a true believer against their own will and reason.
    Attempting to do so only shows the world how false and weak is ‘true faith’.

  8. 8
    rafiqmahmood

    You are, of course, right, Stever. “Crime” is often used in common parlance as a shorthand for what is morally wrong, whereas a crime is actually just an infraction against the legal code of a particular country. It is in the interests of governments that people should confuse the two and identify “the law” with “what is right”. Even the language of courts reinforces that with pleas of “guilty” or “not guilty”. Of course it ain’t necessarily so.

    Here in Indonesia I daily contravene the laws and constitution because morally I have no choice not to do so. I admittedly commit crimes but I am not guilty. I would be guilty if I did not.

  9. 9
    Lei. 人間 's Ants

    It is built into the system. You’re not even supposed to want to break the rusty cage and run. I mean, Leaving islam is not a crime? It… I
    LEAVING ALL RELIGION IS NEVER A CRIME!

    i… I really do cry. In silence. Only blinking when I have to. And if I let it all out in one two lung burst I would set off car alarms and alarm the neighbors. But I just keep crying. In silence. And so what if I beat my fist on a table quietly.

    Mom always said life ain’t fair.

    1. 9.1
      Irene

      I have cried and cried and cried lately since I stopped praying. I am on the verge of leaving Islam and am scared even here in Australia. I feel embarrassed mostly because I totally embraced what I believed was the truth. Not one convert/revert to Islam makes an informed decision to convert because not one person knows all of the consequences. Not only should people be asked if they believe in the Angels and Prophets but they should be asked if they will accept the death penalty if they choose to leave. Free will is our birth right. There are beautiful things written in the Qur’an but the Haddiths are full of terrible terrible things Mohammed did. Jesus is the Messiah and he never did any terrible things to people especially to women. There is so much domestic violence in muslim marriages and yet muslim men can do whatever they like. I am only glad I never married one; but I have been stalked and harassed and criticised over and over. Even muslim women oppress each other. The last straw for me was the hideous murder of the soldier in the UK recently; I felt ill, I felt ill, and all in the name of Allah??????Please pray for me because I am usually a deeply spiritual person and have lost any faith at all. May God bless and protect everyone who sees the Light and walks away from this NOT Peaceful Religion. Almighty God is worth more than how Islam is being lived. Now where do I go? Where do I sell the books that I have accumulated over the past 7 years? All expensive.

  10. 10
    Murtada

    our problem is Isalm itself and not how fair they bare in understanding and implementing thir religion

  11. 11
    Irene

    Dear readers, well it is now four months and one week since I posted the previous. I have survived. I sold all my books and even gave copies of the Qur’an away (anonymously). I currently do not practice any form of organised religion but I have to say that I feel close to Almighty God and it is He who will pave the right way for me. I no longer feel fear and can move about in my local community freely with my head held high. I can see now just how a fearful religion such as Islam can take hold of a person and condition them in a negative way; one that is devoid of true peace and love. Many thanks to those who prayed for me during this transition. I am very grateful to you. Prayer is a powerful force for good in this world. God bless you all!

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