Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Whoops-a-Daisy, Apostasy

A geezer in Afghanistan is currently on trial, accused of the heinous crime of 'denying Islam'. If found guilty, which I expect he will be because he does not seem to be denying that he converted to Christianity 14 years ago, he could be sentenced to death. What is this nonsense?

OK, it's Afghanistan, and anything can happen there. Although it absolutely should not be happening under the Grand Puppet President Karzai. But it is happening, and the guy will get the death penalty, and the rest of the world will be slack-jawed and disbelieving, exactly the same as when the Taliban blew up the Buddha statue.

Now look. I know Afghanistan has its own legal system. And it's pretty much pure Shari'a. So, is this right? Does Shari'a law say 'kill anyone who quits Islam' or does it not? Islam is supposed to be the religion of tolerance. How does Islam benefit by having members who want to leave but are afraid to because they fear they could be killed? How does Islam's stature in the world increase by murdering 'apostates'?

On a slightly separate note, I read some stuff a few years ago about 'Untouchables' in India discovering that they could become 'real people' by the simple expedient of converting to Christianity.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Vatican should intervene!?

10:23 pm  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Best. Post. Title. Of. 2006.

(if not the millennium)

2:29 am  
Blogger Seabee said...

I supported that particular invasion, but a strange sort of democracy was imposed on them wasn't it. The Taliban is resurgent, opium poppies are at record levels, now this.

SD, I agree about the title.

5:26 pm  
Blogger Keefieboy said...

I had expected this post to generate a torrent of abuse / dissent / drivel. 'Tis a good title though, even if I do say so myself!

5:34 pm  
Blogger Duffy said...

"Just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in."

-Michael Corleone

6:05 pm  
Blogger HijabIsOverrated said...


Islamic civil rights group says conversion a personal, not state matter

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 3/22/2006) - A prominent national Islamic civil rights and advocacy group today called on the government of Afghanistan to release Abdul Rahman, a man facing the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) says the man's conversion is a personal matter not subject to the intervention of the state. SEE: Afghan Christian Could Face Death

In its statement, CAIR said:

"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. Islam advocates both freedom of religion and freedom of conscience, a position supported by verses in the Quran, Islam's revealed text, such as:

1) 'If it had been the will of your Lord that all the people of the world should be believers, all the people of the earth would have believed! Would you then compel mankind against their will to believe?' (10:99)
2) '(O Prophet) proclaim: 'This is the Truth from your Lord. Now let him who will, believe in it, and him who will, deny it.'' (18:29)
3) 'If they turn away from thee (O Muhammad) they should know that We have not sent you to be their keeper. Your only duty is to convey My message.' (42:48)
4) 'Let there be no compulsion in religion.' (2:256)

"Religious decisions should be matters of personal choice, not a cause for state intervention. Faith imposed by force is not true belief, but coercion. Islam has no need to compel belief in its divine truth. As the Quran states: 'Truth stands out clear from error. Therefore, whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks.' (2:256)

"We urge the government of Afghanistan to order the immediate release of Mr. Abdul Rahman."

Before issuing its statement, CAIR consulted with members of the Fiqh Council of North America, an association of Islamic legal scholars that interprets Muslim religious law.

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil liberties group, has 32 offices, chapters and affiliates nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

11:14 pm  

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