Thursday, October 26, 2006

Death for Apostasy

Robert Spencer wrote in Human Events An Afghan citizen named Abdul Rahman, you may recall, made international news last spring, when his conversion from Islam to Christianity led to his arrest, with the intention of putting him on trial for apostasy. At that time he was spirited away to safety in Italy. Now jihadists in Afghanistan are demanding his return to Afghanistan in exchange for a kidnapped Italian journalist, Gabriele Torsello.... At the time of Abdul Rahman’s arrest, many Muslims in the West maintained that Islam contained no provision against apostasy.

These are civilized Muslims, who don't realize how uncivilized their faith is.
Typical of this was “Leaving Islam is not a capital crime,” a Chicago Tribune article published by M. Cherif Bassiouni, a professor of Law at DePaul University and President of the International Human Rights Law Institute, when Abdul Rahman was arrested. “A Muslim’s conversion to Christianity,” Bassiouni wrote, “is not a crime punishable by death under Islamic law, contrary to the claims in the case of Abdul Rahman in Afghanistan.”
The problem is there is no Supreme Court for Islamic Law. It means whatever the clerics that are in the country say it means.
Yet the death penalty for apostasy has always been an element of Islam. IslamOnline, a site manned by a team of Islam scholars headed by the internationally influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, explains that “if a sane person who has reached puberty voluntarily apostatizes from Islam, he deserves to be punished. In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph (or his representative) to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.... Apostasy from Islam had always been for Muhammad a supreme evil. Muhammad legislated for his community that no Muslim could be put to death except for murder, unlawful sexual intercourse, and apostasy. He said flatly: “If somebody (a Muslim) discards his religion, kill him.”

The kidnappers’ demand that Abdul Rahman be returned to Afghanistan illustrates the hollowness of the arguments we hear all the time -- about how we must support self-proclaimed moderate Muslims like Bassiouni by refraining from noting the flimsiness of their presentations. While we’re being polite to alleged “reformers,” Muslim hardliners are implementing elements of Islamic law that bemused non-Muslims are nodding their heads and agreeing don’t exist.

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