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May 02 2013

A Moroccan hero: Imad Iddine Habib

The state religion of Morocco is Islam, so it took real guts to establish a Council of Ex-Muslims in that country Imad Iddine Habib was awesomely courageous to do so.

What followed next was predictable. Under the yoke of Islam, shaking yourself free of superstition is a crime punishable by death. So Morocco’s High Council of Ulemas has issued a fatwa decreeing the death penalty for Moroccans who leave Islam. I wonder who might be subject to that? Imad Iddine Habib, of course.

The state police have come looking for him, but Imad Iddine Habib has gone into hiding. There will be more news to come on this subject, I’m sure…although you know that people will be trying to shush the media on religion-sponsored terrorism, silencing the revelation of the evil committed because it’s all about religion.

How dare you condemn the attempted murder of a man because he does not share your faith? That’s Islamophobia!

20 comments

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  1. 1
    lkeithlu

    Unfortunately, if the comments I’m seeing from other related articles are any indication, people will use this to condemn only Islam.

  2. 2
    chuckv

    @1, Yes, and what is the problem? Each group get condemned for it’s bad actions. Why should other religious groups be condemned for the actions of Muslims? If the Christians or Jews issues death fatwas, I’ll condemn them too.

    It’s called personal responsibility.

  3. 3
    hillaryrettig

    unbelievable courage

  4. 4
    sharkjack

    This slightly worries me with respect to Dutch Morrocan’s. considering how ready the government was to restrict the names they could use for their children based on a list supplied by the Morrocan government (seeing as how all kids with a Moroccan parent are automatically Moroccan,) this has the potential to get nasty.

    Also I hope the guy stays safe.

  5. 5
    =8)-DX

    The islamophobia will be in comments under articles about this. I predict a slew of “nuke em all” / “that’s why we shouldn’t let them in the country” / “now they’re taking over Europe” / “those barbaric muslim countries” islamophobic comments.

    But it’s true that Christians rarely express their opinions on cases like this (because it’s not a Christian being oppressed), while hopping to the plate every time “blasphemy” is up for criticism.

  6. 6
    Nick Gotts

    Yes, and what is the problem? Each group get condemned for it’s bad actions. – chuckv

    So (assuming you’re an atheist), next time some Christian blames all atheists for the crimes of Stalin and Pol Pot, you’ll be accepting that blame, I take it.

  7. 7
    Nick Gotts

    The vile persecution of this brave person should indeed be universally condemned, as should Morocco’s Council of High Ulemas. Anything practical we can do to help?

    How dare you condemn the attempted murder of a man because he does not share your faith? That’s Islamophobia! – PZ

    Let us know if and when anyone actually says anything close to this, won’t you?

  8. 8
    DLC

    Who was it said something about the marketplace of ideas ?
    I guess the price of “Ex-Muslim” as an idea is death. Islam : doing it wrong since 600 CE.

  9. 9
    John Horstman

    @2: Well, the Christian Bible does also say to kill any non-believers (see all the examples over at Evil Bible; most of these come from the Torah, so the Jews aren’t off the hook, either – just look at Palestine!), and you have Christians killing people for witchcraft every once in a while, as in this case. Israel may, in fact, kill more people in what is basically a religious war (the territory war is a function of divergent ethno-religious groups claiming the same territory) than all Muslim ‘terrorism’, and USA has DEFINITELY killed more Muslims in our own functional religious wars than Muslims have killed overall in the past several decades. Most of the violent killings in the world are not committed by Muslims – not even a proportional number are (this is largely because USA is heavily overrepresented, both in terms of warfare and civilian violence). Islam sucks and demanding death for apostasy is no good, but the charges of “Islamophobia” are accurate when people position Islam as the greatest threat to human well-being or safety – it is simply not, especially for those who don’t reside in Islamic theocracies (to be fair, Islam may be one of the biggest dangers to those living in Islamic theocracies, though the USA military has to be pretty high on that list, too).

  10. 10
    Antares42

    Hope for humanity: Significantly diminished.

  11. 11
    Lynna, OM

    Pretty sad commentary on the worth of any religion if the leaders have to threaten anyone who leaves with death.

    There ought to be better ways to keep people in your organization.

  12. 12
    Rob Grigjanis

    chuckv @2:

    Each group get condemned for it’s bad actions.

    That’s a handy way of condemning whoever you want to condemn. Are all environmentalists responsible for the actions of the Earth Liberation Front? Going by some of the arguments in the animal rights thread, you could say they “provide cover” for ELF arson.

  13. 13
    Gregory Greenwood

    Lynna, OM @ 11;

    Pretty sad commentary on the worth of any religion if the leaders have to threaten anyone who leaves with death.

    There ought to be better ways to keep people in your organization.

    It is interesting how many theists claim that the supposed ‘truth’ of their beliefs is self evident to any reasonable observer, and yet whenever a theocracy is established it is, in almost all cases, only a matter of time before efforts are made to persecute anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs or who leaves their particular brand of cult, with state sponsored murder usually being the preferred option.

    If their faith in their god is so strong, then why bother with threats? It is not as though the non-belief of some people can harm their all powerful sky daddy according to their theology, and in any case they always go on about how inevitable post mortem judgement at the hands of their deity supposedly is, so why does their allegedly all powerful god need help dealing with unbelievers? Their actions only make sense when you realise that it is not their god they are trying to protect, nor even primarily the faith they espouse, at least not for its own sake – they are trying to defend the system that draws its authority from those beliefs, and thus protect the privilege that this system offers to them as clerics and the governmental lackeys of clerics. It is all about good old fashioned, ruthless, Dark Ages style real-politik self-interest, garnished with a little mysticism.

    They have found a means to shiv anyone who gets in their way on their assent to personal power (and that includes people who fail to bow and scrape obsequiously enough) while maintaining an undeserved air of moral superiority as they do it.

  14. 14
    vaiyt

    How dare you condemn the attempted murder of a man because he does not share your faith? That’s Islamophobia!

    Hey PZ, stop trying to stab people with a strawman, and fuck you.

    Let’s talk about Imad Iddine Habib instead. This is the test for a country that calls itself free and a religion that calls itself peaceful – when someone challenges your deeply-held beliefs without harming anyone, what do you do? As it turns out, these theocrats are outraged someone dared to turn their back Allah, which should be an obvious and perfect choice. The apostates must be destroyed because their existence is anathema to the notion that Islam is perfect.

  15. 15
    OpenMindedNotCredulous

    > Hey PZ, stop trying to stab people with a strawman, and fuck you.

    Your ability to detect sarcasm needs recalibration. PZ was obliquely noting that people who

    a) point out the heinous behavior of the people condemning Mr. Habib are,

    b) likely to be accused of “Islamophobia”.

  16. 16
    Nick Gotts

    OpenMindednotCredulous@16,

    people who

    a) point out the heinous behavior of the people condemning Mr. Habib are,

    b) likely to be accused of “Islamophobia”.

    Can you, or PZ, or indeed anyone else, point us to an actual example of this happening? I tried putting the two terms “Imad Iddine Habib” and “Islamophobia” into Google. On the first two pages, most responses were people making similiar points to PZ’s. In the remainder, the two terms appeared on the same page, but were not part of the same item.

  17. 17
    Nick Gotts

    Let’s talk about Imad Iddine Habib instead. – vaiyt

    Good idea. Morocco has considerable economic reliance on tourism. Perhaps someone in a better position than me to publicise it could start an online pledge not to holiday in Morocco until the law against apostasy is repealed.

  18. 18
    =8)-DX

    @16. This.
    Accepting the death penalty for apostasy is not a mainstream muslim view as far as I can see, especially not in western media discourse, nor are people talking against such fatwas usually declared islamophobes. The only people to seriously make that argument would be individuals like Hamza Tsortsis. I’ve heard him both defend the death penalty for apostasy in islamic countries and also jump to inappropriately label his opponents islamophobes.
    But then I don’t think there’s any expectation to take nutters like Mr. Tsortsis very seriously and I haven’t seen anyone in the mainstream media shout “islamophobia” in these circumstances either.

  19. 19
    Dee Phlat

    Islamophobia is still a useful word to describe the Anders Breiviks and right-wing-nutters in Europe, or the Americans that vote for anti-Sharia laws.

  20. 20
    johnlee

    If Allah doesn’t like apostates, then why doesn’t He deal with them Himself?

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