Monday, March 27, 2006

Case Dismissed

The apostasy case against Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan has been dropped due to 'lack of evidence'. Well, that is good news - although his future safety in Afghanistan is highly questionable. And it leaves open the question 'is apostasy punishable by death'?

Reading various blogs on the subject written by Muslims, the consensus is 'no, don't be a nitwit', and there's plenty of quotes from the Quran - 'Allah will be the judge', 'no compulsion in religion' etc. So once again we see that the nature of Shari'a boils down to interpretation, and interpretations differ widly from one sect to another and from one country to another. They can't all be right, so where is the mechanism to fix them?


Blogger Harsha said...

Thats what I wonder, many ppl around the world see Islam in a negative light, its not the religion, its the ppl they encounter that interpret it incorrectly and act upon it.

Why would any religion be a threat to someone else. Its just like a language, A speaks (uses) Islam to communicate with God and B uses Christanity to communicate with God and so on... As long as there is faith, there is hope, why should anyone else have a problem?

9:16 am  
Blogger Harsha said...

There was an article in GN some time ago about a boy who was 5 years old or something and knew the entire Quran by heart. What good is it if he dint know what it meant.

9:22 am  
Blogger Shafique said...

Good question Keefie - where is the mechanism to 'fix' the differing interpretations?

The schisms in Islam exist in all other religions and stem from politics (with a small 'p') - there was dissent within Islam from the time of the death of the Prophet Muhammad, pbuh, and this has continued to this day - there are now hundreds of sects who all believe they are right.

The case for the punishment for apostacy is one that should be open and shut - the Quran (the literal word of God for Muslims) in unequivocal on the point - there is no compulsion in religion. It even goes and describes situations where people convert to Islam in the morning, cause dissent and apostacise in the evening, only to repeat this the next day and the day after. This took place in the presence of the Prophet and all histories are agreed that there was no punishment (and the Quran says they continued to do this - so clearly shows there WAS no punishment).

When Muslims, or any other group, abdicate their right to reason to the so-called Imams, Priests etc then you get these anomalies where blatantly false doctrines are adopted as truth!

This happened at the time of the Crusades (can you imagine buying the concept that killing people is an act of redemption in the religion taught by Jesus?), and happened with the Salman Rushdie affair and is happening now in the apostacy laws in various 'Islamic' countries.

The justification is spurious and flawed - but people choose to follow it because it satisfies a blood-lust and the Imams pander to this to divert attention from the other problems that the Imams are facing - having to explain why the muslims are now down-trodden and backward. This introspection is a defence mechanism of those seeking power in religious circles - it is a power thing.

Rejecting science and progress is a classic symptom of this power trip (again look at the Christian attempts at controling knowledge in the 'Middle'/'Dark' ages - it appears that Mullahs are trying to replicate this).

Unfortunately the fact that the glorious years of Islamic civilisation epitomised total religious freedom, dialogue and prolific erudition and scientific progression makes the current 'mullahisation' of Islam even more tragic.

They don't have a theoretical leg to stand on, but that does not seem to play well to the uniformed (I hope) masses who buy this crap hook, line and sinker!

I'll stop ranting now :)


9:24 am  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

Shafique: excellent 'rant'. I totally agree that Christianity has had some very dark periods in its history. Why can't Islam learn from that - skip the blood-and-thunder period and just move straight on to enlightenment?

9:41 am  
Blogger Shafique said...

The blood and thunder part is when the guys at the top have had a taste of power and start to lose control.

These cycles also take place in civilisations - the decline of civilisations/spheres of influence are characterised by wars and introspection. Happened in the Egyptian, Roman, Greek and even British Empires. Commentators have mused that the 'American Empire' will be one of the shortest ones in the history of civilisations and is currently on the wane - so look out for wars....hmmmm?


Back to work now..


10:05 am  
Blogger nzm said...

Shafique - excellent comments - I learned a lot from what you wrote. thanks.

10:49 am  
Blogger Seabee said...

Yes, excellent comments.

The problem, as always, isn't religion. It's people with their own agendas hi-jacking a religion to support their extreme beliefs.
Religions tend to be liberal and forgiving, so I'm not too sure why they attract such extreme "believers."

1:46 pm  
Blogger Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

The trouble with these arguments, at least for me, a total non-believer who was raised Catholic, is that I see them being made by 'lay people' and 'ordinary believers,' not by clerics in Muslim countries. (There was a major exception, an important Malaysian cleric who said the same thing.) When the clerics talk, and again, as an outsider, I have to assume that they know more about Islam than the average believer, they say the opposite.
The 'moderate Muslims' seem to be great people, who I would agree with, but they also seem to have little power within the 'ummah.'

Let me ask, why no Muslim country protested the action of trying Abdul Rahman the way Western countries did? Why did they not condemn this, as many of you have, as plainly against the Qur'an? (Why, for that mater, do other Muslim countries, if not having the death penalty for 'apostasy,' still put people in jail for it, and force 'apostates' to divorce their spouses -- as Jordan did within the last year?)

Why, as well, did not Muslim government or major cleric, EVEN IF THEY AGREED WITH THE TRIAL, not protest the barbarism of the clerics who said, if he were to be released, they would gather a mob to, literally, tear him to pieces?

8:39 pm  

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