Apostasy in Islam

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Apostasy in Islam (Arabic: ردة‎, riddah or ارتداد, irtidād) is commonly defined as the conscious abandonment of Islam by a Muslim in word or through deed. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_0

It includes the act of converting to another religion or non-acceptance of faith to be irreligious, by a person who was born in a Muslim family or who had previously accepted Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_1

While classical Islamic law has traditionally called for execution for those who refuse to repent of apostasy from Islam, the definition this act and whether and how it should be punished, are matters of controversy and opinions of Islamic scholars differ on these questions. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_2

According to the classical legal doctrine, apostasy in Islam includes not only an explicit renunciation of the Islamic faith (whether for another religion or irreligiosity), but also any deed or utterance implying unbelief, such as one denying a "fundamental tenet or creed" of Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_3

Those who were originally forced to embrace Islam, or who acted as apostates out of fear, or who repented of their apostasy, should not be subject to execution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_4

Until the late 19th century, the vast majority of Sunni and Shia jurists held that for adult men, apostasy from Islam was a crime as well as a sin, an act of treason punishable with the death penalty, typically after a waiting period to allow the apostate time to repent and to return to Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_5

The kind of apostasy which the jurists generally deemed punishable was of the political kind, although there were considerable legal differences of opinion on this matter. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_6

Wael Hallaq states that "[in] a culture whose lynchpin is religion, religious principles and religious morality, apostasy is in some way equivalent to high treason in the modern nation-state". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_7

Early Islamic jurists developed legal institutions to circumvent this harsh punishment and the standard for apostasy from Islam was set so high that practically no apostasy verdict could be passed before the 11th century. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_8

However, later jurists lowered the bar for applying the death penalty, allowing judges to interpret the apostasy law in different ways, which they did sometimes leniently and sometimes strictly. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_9

In the late 19th century, the use of criminal penalties for apostasy fell into disuse, although civil penalties were still applied. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_10

In modern times the majority of modern Islamic jurists continue to regard apostasy not only as a sin but as a crime deserving the death penalty (according to Abdul Rashied Omar), although others argue its punishment should not be death, or should just be left to God, punishment being inconsistent with Quranic injunctions against compulsion in belief. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_11

and should be enforced only if apostasy becomes a mechanism of public disobedience and disorder (fitna). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_12

Critics argue that the death penalty or other punishment for apostasy in Islam is a violation of universal human rights and an issue of freedom of faith and conscience. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_13

As of 2019, there are 12 Muslim-majority countries that have the death sentence for apostasy, whereas in 13 other countries apostasy is illegal and the government prescribes some form of punishment for apostasy including: torture, imprisonment, annulment of marriage, loss of inheritance rights or custody rights, amongst others. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_14

From 1985 to 2006, three governments executed four individuals for apostasy from Islam: "one in Sudan in 1985; two in Iran, in 1989 and 1998; and one in Saudi Arabia in 1992." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_15

The Tunisian Constitution of 2014 stipulates protection from attacks based on accusations of apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_16

In a Pew Research Center poll, public support for capital punishment for apostasy among Muslims ranged from 78% in Afghanistan to less than 1% in Kazakhstan. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_17

Etymology and terminology Apostasy in Islam_section_0

Apostasy is called irtidād (which literally means relapse or regress) or ridda in Islamic literature; an apostate is called murtadd, which means 'one who turns back' from Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_18

A person born to a Muslim father who later rejects Islam is called a murtad fitri, and a person who converted to Islam and later rejects the religion is called a murtad milli. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_19

Takfir (takfeer) (Arabic: تكفير‎ takfīr) is the act of one Muslim excommunicating another, declaring them a kafir (non-believer), an apostate. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_20

The act which precipitates takfir is termed mukaffir. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_21

Scriptural references Apostasy in Islam_section_1

Quran Apostasy in Islam_section_2

See also: Criticism of the Quran and Quran and violence Apostasy in Islam_sentence_22

The Quran mentions apostasy in many of its verses, expressing divine anger, impending divine punishment, and divine refusal to accept repentance towards those who have left the faith. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_23

For example: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_24

While some verses may "appear to justify coercion and severe punishment" for apostates (according to Dale F. Eickelman), others have pointed out there is no mention in the Quran of the need to force an apostate to return to Islam or to kill him if he refuses to do so, either explicitly or implicitly; nor even of any specific corporal punishment for which apostates will to be subjected in this world. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_25

In fact, other verses emphasize mercy and lack of compulsion in belief: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_26

Hadith Apostasy in Islam_section_3

See also: Malik ibn Nuwayrah and Criticism of Hadith Apostasy in Islam_sentence_27

Sahih ("authentic") Hadith literature gives differing statements about punishments for apostasy: but at least some sources supporting the classical shariah punishment for apostasy states that its basis is sahih hadith, not the Quran. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_28

Other hadith state apostates were spared execution by repenting, by dying of natural causes or by leaving their community (the last case sometimes cited as an example of open apostasy that was left unpunished). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_29

The Muwatta of Imam Malik offers a case were Rashidun (rightly guide) Caliph Umar admonishes a Muslim leader for not giving an apostate the opportunity to repent before being executed: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_30

The argument has made (by the Fiqh Council of North America among others) that the above hadiths -- traditionally cited as proof that apostates from Islam should be punished by death -- have been misunderstood. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_31

In fact (the council argues), the victims were actually executed for changing their allegiances to the armies fighting the Muslims, not their personal beliefs -- i.e. for treason. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_32

As evidence they point to two hadith from two different "authentic" (sahih) Sunni hadith collections where Muhammad calls for the death of apostates or traitors. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_33

The wording of the hadith are almost identical, but in one, the hadith ends with the phrase "one who reverts from Islam and leaves the Muslims", and in the other it ends with "one who goes forth to fight Allah and His Apostle" (in other words, the council argues the hadith were likely reports of the same incident but had different wording because "reverting from Islam" was just another way of saying "fighting Allah and His Apostle"): Apostasy in Islam_sentence_34

What constitutes apostasy in Islam? Apostasy in Islam_section_4

Scholars differ as to what constitutes apostasy in Islam and what kind of apostate is subject to the death penalty. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_35

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_0

A person is considered apostate if he or she converts from Islam to another religion, but apostasy can occur even if one does not formally renounce Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_36

A Muslim may become a murtadd if they verbally deny any principle of belief prescribed by Qur'an or a Hadith; deviate from approved Islamic tenets (ilhad); or commit a blasphemy which can be defined, in practice, as any objection to the authenticity of Islam, its laws or its prophet. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_37

A Muslim woman – that is a woman born to a Muslim father – is considered an apostate if she marries a non-Muslim. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_38

This was the case for Mariam Ishag Yahia from Sudan, despite being a practicing Christian her whole life. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_39

On the other hand, those individuals who were forced to embrace Islam under conditions of duress or acts against Islam and then leave Islam, or convert to another religion involuntarily, by force or as concealment out of fear of persecution or during war (Taqiyya or Kitman), are not subject to execution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_40

Nor are those who mistreat a copy of a Quran or do not pray Salat out of ignorance and misunderstanding (if they continue to do so after being warned not to they are subject to punishment). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_41

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_1

Traditionally, Islamic jurists did not formulate general rules for establishing unbelief, instead compiling sometimes lengthy lists of statements and actions which in their view implied apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_42

Evidence of apostasy in Islam, according to Reliance of the Traveller, a 14th-century manual of the Shafi'i school of jurisprudence (Fiqh), includes: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_43

Al-Ghazali held that apostasy occurs when a Muslim denies the essential dogmas: monotheism, Muhammad's prophecy, and the Last Judgment. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_44

In early Islamic history, after Muhammad's death, a declaration of Prophethood (i.e. the declaration by someone that they were a prophet) was automatically deemed to be proof of apostasy (because Islam teaches Muhammad was the last prophet, there could be no more). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_45

This view has continued to the modern age in the rejection of the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam as apostates by mainstream Sunni and Shia sects of Islam, because Ahmadis consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of Ahmadiyya, as a modern-day Prophet. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_46

While there are numerous requirements for a Muslim to avoid being an apostate, it is also an act of apostasy (in Shafi'i and other fiqh) for a Muslim to accuse or describe another devout Muslim of being an unbeliever, based on the hadith where Muhammad is reported to have said: "If a man says to his brother, 'You are an infidel,' then one of them is right." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_47

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_2

There are disagreements among Islamic scholars, and Islamic schools of jurisprudence, as to who can be judged for the crime of apostasy in Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_48

Some in Shafi'i fiqh scholars such as Nawawi and al-Misri state that the apostasy code applies to a Muslim who Apostasy in Islam_sentence_49

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_3

  • (a) has understood and professed that "there is no God but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God" (shahada),Apostasy in Islam_item_3_0
  • (b) knows the shariah necessarily known by all Muslims,Apostasy in Islam_item_3_1
  • (c) is of sound mind at the time of apostasy,Apostasy in Islam_item_3_2
  • (d) has reached or passed puberty, andApostasy in Islam_item_3_3
  • (e) has consciously and deliberately rejected or consciously and deliberately intends to reject any part or all of Quran or of Islam (Sharia).Apostasy in Islam_item_3_4

Maliki scholars additionally require that the person in question has publicly engaged in the obligatory practices of the religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_50

In contrast, Hanafi, Hanbali and Ja'fari fiqh set no such screening requirements; a Muslim's history has no bearing on when and on whom to apply the sharia code for apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_51

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_4

The jurist Imam Ibnul Humam (d. 681 AH) wrote in his book Fathul Qadir: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_52

In the contemporary Islamic Republic of Iran, at least one conservative jurist, Ayatollah Mohsen Araki, has attempted to reconcile following the traditional doctrine while addressing the principle of freedom of religion enshrined in the Islamic Republic's constitution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_53

At a 2009-human rights conference at Mofid University in Qom, Araki stated that "if an individual doubts Islam, he does not become the subject of punishment, but if the doubt is openly expressed, this is not permissible." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_54

As one observer (Sadakat Kadri) noted, this "freedom" has the advantage that "state officials could not punish an unmanifested belief even if they wanted to". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_55

Regarding Muslim converts to Christianity, Duane Alexander Miller (2016) identified two different categories: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_56

Apostasy in Islam_ordered_list_5

  1. 'Muslims followers of Jesus Christ', 'Jesus Muslims' or 'Messianic Muslims' (analogous to Messianic Jews), who continue to self-identify as 'Muslims', or at least say Islam is (part of) their 'culture' rather than religion, but "understand themselves to be following Jesus as he is portrayed in the Bible".Apostasy in Islam_item_5_5
  2. 'Christians from a Muslim background' (abbreviated CMBs), also known as 'ex-Muslim Christians', who have completely abandoned Islam in favour of Christianity.Apostasy in Islam_item_5_6

Miller introduced the term 'Muslim-background believers' (MBBs) to encompass both groups, adding that the latter group are generally regarded as apostates from Islam, but orthodox Muslims' opinions on the former group is more mixed (either that 'Muslim followers of Jesus' are 'heterodox Muslims', 'heretical Muslims' or 'crypto-Christian liars'). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_57

Punishment Apostasy in Islam_section_5

Proselytization and apostasy of Muslims to leave Islam and join another religion is considered a religious crime by many writers. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_58

Throughout the history of Islam, proselytization and apostasy of Muslims was forbidden by law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_59

There are differences of opinion among Islamic scholars about whether, when and how apostasy in Islam should be punished. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_60

Support for execution Apostasy in Islam_section_6

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_6

In Islamic law (sharia), the view among the majority of medieval jurists was that a male apostate must be put to death unless he suffers from a mental disorder or converted under duress, for example, due to an imminent danger of being killed. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_61

In the case of a female apostate, some called for execution, (Shafi'i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh)), and others for imprisonment until she reverts to Islam (the Sunni Hanafi school and Shi'a scholars). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_62

Abu Hanifa and Hanafi scholars maintain that a female apostate should not be killed because it was forbidden to kill women under Sharia, while Maliki, Shafii, Hanbali and Ja'fari scholars interpreted other parts of Sharia to permit death as possible punishment for Muslim apostate women, in addition to confinement. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_63

Various early Muslim scholars, among them Ibrahim al-Nakha'i (d. 715) and Sufyan al-Thawri and their followers, also rejected the death penalty for women and instead prescribed indefinite imprisonment until repentance. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_64

Many Islamic scholars have viewed apostasy as a hadd (pl. hudud) crime, i.e. a crime with a scripturally prescribed punishment, although this classification has been contested by Hanafi and Shafi'i jurists, as well as by some notable scholars of other schools, such as the Malikite Abu al-Walid al-Baji and Hanbalite Ibn Taymiyyah. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_65

Under traditional Islamic law an apostate may be given a waiting period while in incarceration to repent and accept Islam again and if not the apostate is to be killed without any reservations. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_66

This traditional view of Sunni and Shia Islamic fiqhs, or schools of jurisprudence (maḏāhib) each with their own interpretation of Sharia, varies as follows: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_67

Apostasy in Islam_unordered_list_7

  • Hanafi – recommends three days of imprisonment before execution, although the delay before killing the Muslim apostate is not mandatory. Apostates who are men must be killed, states the Hanafi Sunni fiqh, while women must be held in solitary confinement and beaten every three days till they recant and return to Islam. Penalty for Apostasy limited for those who cause Hirabah after leaving Islam, not for personal religion change.Apostasy in Islam_item_7_7
  • Maliki – allows up to ten days for recantation, after which the apostate must be killed. Both men and women apostates deserve death penalty according to the traditional view of Sunni Maliki fiqh.Apostasy in Islam_item_7_8
  • Shafi'i – waiting period of three days is required to allow the Muslim apostate to repent and return to Islam. After the wait, execution is the traditional recommended punishment for both men and women apostates.Apostasy in Islam_item_7_9
  • Hanbali – waiting period not necessary, but may be granted. Execution is traditional recommended punishment for both genders of Muslim apostates.Apostasy in Islam_item_7_10
  • Ja'fari – waiting period not necessary, but may be granted according to this Shia fiqh. Male apostates must be executed, states the Jafari fiqh, while a female apostate must be held in solitary confinement till she repents and returns to Islam. A murtad milli (a convert who apostasizes) is to be given a second chance to repent, while a murtad fitri (someone brought up Muslim) who apostasizes is to be killed even if they repent.Apostasy in Islam_item_7_11

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_8

In modern times the majority of modern Islamic jurists continue to regard apostasy not only as a sin but as a crime deserving the death penalty (according to Abdul Rashied Omar). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_68

Some of them include: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_69

Abul A'la Maududi (1903-1979), who, according to one source "is the most widely read Muslim writer of our time" wrote over one hundred books. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_70

One of them, The Punishment of the Apostate according to Islamic Law?, devoted to the subject of its title. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_71

In it Mawdudi bemoaned the fact that while "for the full twelve centuries prior to" the 19th century "the total Muslim community remained unanimous" that that the punishment for apostasy was death, with "so-called enlightenment of the present age", some had questioned this doctrine. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_72

Mohammed al-Ghazali (1917–1996), a cleric and scholar "widely credited" with contributing to the 20th century Islamic revival in the largest Arabic country, Egypt, and considered a "moderate" in the revivalist movement. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_73

Al-Ghazali stated that punishment of those who opposed the implementation of sharia law should ideally be carried out by the state, but "when the state fails to punish apostates, somebody else has to do it." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_74

After secularist author Farag Foda (who had spoken out against making sharia the law of Egypt), was assassinated, Al-Ghazali, testified on behalf of the assassins, telling the Egyptian court that "anyone who openly resisted the full imposition of Islamic law was an apostate who should be killed either by the government or by devout individuals." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_75

(Rather punishing him, the secular authoritarian Egyptian government was "put on the defensive", needing his prestige as a "moderate" and "preeminent" faculty member of Egypt's preeminent Islamic institution—Al Azhar University− in its struggle against the "growing tide of Islamic fundamentalism" and violent Islamist campaign against the secular Government.) Apostasy in Islam_sentence_76

Al-Ghazali also called on the government to appoint a committee to measure the faith of the population and give wayward Egyptian Muslims time to repent. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_77

"Those who did not should be killed. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_78

". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_79

Yusuf al-Qaradawi (b.1926), another "moderate" Islamist, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, who is "considered one of the most influential" Islamic scholars living today, stated on Egyptian television in February 2013, that the application of the death penalty for those who leave Islam is a necessity, stating, "If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn't exist today." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_80

Qaradawi also cited several hadith and Surah Al-Maʿidah 5:33, which he quoted as "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle is that they should be murdered or crucified." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_81

Qaradawi further explained, " ... many hadiths, not only one or two, but many, narrated by a number of Muhammad's companions state that any apostate should be killed." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_82

Zakir Naik, (b.1965) Indian Islamic televangelist and preacher, whose Peace TV channel, reaches a reported 100 million viewers, and whose debates and talks are widely distributed, takes a less strict line. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_83

He states that only those Muslims who "propagate the non-Islamic faith and speak against Islam" after converting from Islam should be put to death. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_84

Civil liabilities Apostasy in Islam_section_7

In Islam, apostasy has been traditionally considered both a religious crime and a civil liability; the punishment for the former includes death or prison, while the latter leads to civil penalties. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_85

Therefore, in all madhhabs of Islam, (a) the property of the apostate is seized and distributed to his or her Muslim relatives; (b) his or her marriage annulled (faskh); (c) any children removed and considered ward of the Islamic state. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_86

In case the entire family has left Islam, or there are no surviving Muslim relatives recognized by Sharia, the apostate's property is liquidated by the Islamic state (part of fay, الْفيء). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_87

In case the apostate is not executed, such as in case of women apostates in Hanafi school, the person also loses all inheritance rights. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_88

Hanafi Sunni school of jurisprudence allows waiting till execution, before children and property are seized; other schools do not consider this wait as mandatory. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_89

In practice Apostasy in Islam_section_8

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_9

However, according to legal historian Sadakat Kadri, while apostasy was traditionally punished by death, executions were rare because "it was widely believed" that any accused apostate "who repented by articulating the shahada" (LA ILAHA ILLALLAH "There is no God but Allah") "had to be forgiven" and their punishment delayed until after Judgement Day. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_90

This principle was upheld "even in extreme situations", such as when an offender adopts Islam "only for fear of death", based on the hadith that Muhammad had upbraided a follower for killing a raider who had uttered the shahada. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_91

Contemporary reform Muslims such as Quranist Ahmed Subhy Mansour, Edip Yuksel, and Mohammed Shahrour have suffered from accusations of apostasy and demands to execute them, issued by Islamic clerics such as Mahmoud Ashur, Mustafa Al-Shak'a, Mohammed Ra'fat Othman and Yusif Al-Badri. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_92

Despite claiming to have received death threats, Edip Yuksel also believes that high-profile apostates who are controversial should be killed. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_93

He wrote, "Apostasy is not what gets one killed. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_94

It's a combination of being controversial and having a high profile." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_95

Prominent recent examples of writers and activists killed because of apostasy claims include Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, executed by the Sudanese government, as thousands of demonstrators protested against his execution, In February 2006, Abdul Rahman, an Afghan citizen who had "lived outside Afghanistan for 16 years and is believed to have converted to Christianity during a stay in Germany", was arrested and threatened with the death penalty for leaving Islam, sparked international protest from many Western countries.He was eventually released on grounds of being "mentally unfit" (an exemption from execution under sharia law) to stand trial, and moved to Italy in March 2006 after the Italian government offered him political asylum. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_96

While as of 2004 aspostasy from Islam is a capital offence in only eight majority-Muslim states, in other states that do not directly execute apostates, apostate killing is sometimes facilitate through extrajudicial killings performed by the apostate's family, particularly if the apostate is vocal. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_97

In still other situations, it is not uncommon for "vigilante" Muslims to kill or attempt to kill apostates or alleged apostates, in the belief they are enforcing sharia law that the government as failed to. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_98

Faraj Foda, victim of Islamic extremists who were later arrested and imprisoned for 20 years. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_99

The Egyptian Nobel prize winner Najib Mahfouz was injured in an attempted assassination, paralyzing his right arm. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_100

Opposition to execution Apostasy in Islam_section_9

Over the centuries a number of prominent ulema, including the Maliki jurist Abu al-Walid al-Baji (d. 474 AH) held that apostasy is not a hadd crime and thus is liable only to a discretionary punishment (ta'zir). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_101

The Hanafi jurist Al-Sarakhsi (483 AH/ 1090 CE) called for a difference in punishments between non-seditious religious apostasy on the one hand and the more serious seditious and political nature, or high treason, on the other. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_102

Some early authorities, such as Ibrahim al-Nakhai and Sufyan al-Thawri, as well as the Hanafi jurist Sarakhsi (d. 1090), believed that an apostate should be asked to repent indefinitely and never condemned to death. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_103

According to Sarakhsi, apostasy from Islam is a great offense, but its punishment is postponed until the Day of Judgement. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_104

The view that the Quran speaks only of otherworldly punishment for apostasy was also held by the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (1958–1963) Mahmud Shaltut, who held that the prescription of death penalty for apostasy found in hadith was aimed at prevention of aggression against Muslims and sedition against the state. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_105

Contemporary scholar Mirza Tahir Ahmad quotes a number of companions of Muhammad or early Islamic scholars (Ibn al-Humam, al-Marghinani, Ibn Abbas, Sarakhsi, Ibrahim al-Nakh'i) to argue that there was not an ijma (consensus among scholars or community) in favor of execution of murtadd in early Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_106

Contemporary Islamic Shafi`i jurists such as the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and fiqh scholar Taha Jabir Alalwani along with Shi'a jurists such as Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri and Grand Ayatollah Hussein Esmaeel al-Sadr and some jurists, scholars and writers of other Islamic sects, have argued or issued fatwas that the changing of religion is not punishable, but these minority opinions have not found broad acceptance among the majority of Islamic scholars. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_107

However others have argued that the majority view, in both the past and the present, wasn't a severe punishment for mere apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_108

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi writes that punishment for apostasy was part of divine punishment for only those who denied the truth even after clarification in its ultimate form by Muhammad (Itmaam-i-hujjat), hence, he considers it a time-bound command and no longer punishable. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_109

Tariq Ramadan states that given "the way the Prophet behaved with the people who left Islam (like Hishâm and 'Ayyash) or who converted to Christianity (such as Ubaydallah ibn Jahsh), it should be stated that one who changes her/his religion should not be killed". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_110

He further states that "there can be no compulsion or coercion in matters of faith not only because it is explicitly forbidden in the Qur'an but also because free conscious and choice and willing submission are foundational to the first pillar (declaration of faith) and essential to the very definition of Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_111

Therefore, someone leaving Islam or converting to another religion must be free to do so and her/his choice must be respected." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_112

Reza Aslan argues that the idea that apostasy is treason rather than exercise of freedom of religion is not so much part of Islam, as part of the pre-modern era when classical Islamic fiqh was developed, and when "every religion was a 'religion of the sword'". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_113

Apostasy in Islam_unordered_list_10

  • The Holy Roman Empire had its officially sanctioned and legally enforced version of ChristianityApostasy in Islam_item_10_12
  • The Sasanian Empire had its officially sanctioned and legally enforced version of Zoroastrianism.Apostasy in Islam_item_10_13
  • while in China, Buddhist rulers fought Taoist rulers for political ascendancy.Apostasy in Islam_item_10_14

The minority sect Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, whose 10-20 million members are found primarily in South and Southeast Asia, rejects any form of punishment for apostasy whatsoever in this world, citing hadith, Quran, and the opinions of classical Islamic jurists to justify its views. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_114

(However, Ahmadiyya Muslims are widely considered as non-Muslim apostates and persecuted by mainstream Islam, because of their beliefs.) Apostasy in Islam_sentence_115

Quran Apostasy in Islam_section_10

The basis for an opposition to execution for mere apostasy in the Qur'an stems from verses (mentioned above) such as: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_116

There should be "no compulsion in religion" (), "let him who will, reject" the truth of Islam (), "your Lord" could have forced everyone to believe but did not (Quran ), Muhammad was "only a reminder" and "not a watcher" of his people (), "my Lord" has sent "mercy" to Arab pagans (). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_117

Jonathan A.C. Brown explains that "According to all the theories of language elaborated by Muslim legal scholars, the Qur'anic proclamation that 'There is no compulsion in religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_118

The right path has been distinguished from error' is as absolute and universal a statement as one finds. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_119

The truth had been made clear, and now, 'Whoever wants, let him believe, and whoever wants, let him disbelieve,' the holy book continues (2:256, 18:29). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_120

", and hence the Qur'an granted religious freedom. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_121

Peters and Vries, in contrast, write that verse 2:256 was traditionally interpreted in different ways. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_122

It was considered abrogated (suspended and overruled) by later verses of Quran by some classical scholars. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_123

Some interpreted the verse to mean that it "forbids compulsion to things that are wrong but not compulsion to accept the truth". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_124

However, other scholars do not consider it to be among the abrogated verses, Apostasy in Islam_sentence_125

Khaled Abou El Fadl claims that the verses (88:21–22) emphasizes that even Muhammad does not have the right to think of himself as a warden who has the power to coerce people. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_126

This is reaffirmed by many of the historical reports regarding the Qur'anic revelation that emphasize that belief and conviction cannot be coerced. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_127

He further states that moderates consider the verse (2:256) to be enunciating a general, overriding principle that cannot be contradicted by isolated traditions attributed to the Prophet. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_128

He concludes that moderates do not believe that there is any punishment that attaches to apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_129

Surah An-Nisa', 4:137 seems consistant with the existance of "multiple, sequential apostasies", according to Louay Sofi and the Sisters in Islam organization. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_130

After all, how could this back in forth of belief be possible if the person were executed after the first apostasy? Apostasy in Islam_sentence_131

S. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_132 A. Rahman, a former Chief Justice of Pakistan, argues that there is no indication of the death penalty for apostasy in the Qur'an. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_133

W. Heffening states that "in the Qur'an the apostate is threatened with punishment in the next world only." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_134

Wael Hallaq holds that nothing in the law governing apostate and apostasy derives from the letter of Quran. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_135

The late dissenting Shia jurist Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri stated that the Quranic verses do not prescribe an earthly penalty for apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_136

Islamist author Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi argued that verses of the Qur'an sanction death for apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_137

In contrast, Pakistan's jurist S. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_138 A. Rahman states "that not only is there no punishment for apostasy provided in the Book but that the Word of God clearly envisages the natural death of the apostate. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_139

He will be punished only in the Hereafter…" Rahman also highlights that there is no reference to the death penalty in any of the 20 instances of apostasy mentioned in the Qur'an. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_140

Ahmet Albayrak explains in The Qur'an: An Encyclopedia that regarding apostasy as a wrongdoing is not a sign of intolerance of other religions, and is not aimed at one's freedom to choose a religion or to leave Islam and embrace another faith, but that on the contrary, it is more correct to say that the punishment is enforced as a safety precaution when warranted if apostasy becomes a mechanism of public disobedience and disorder (fitna). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_141

At this point, what is punished is the action of ridiculing the high moral flavour of Islam and posing a threat to public order. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_142

Otherwise, Islam prohibits spying on people and investigating their private lives, beliefs and personal opinions. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_143

Enayatullah Subhani argues that death penalty mentioned in the Hadith is not for the apostates, rather it is the punishment of collective conspiracy and treason against the government. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_144

Hadiths Apostasy in Islam_section_11

See also: Abdullah ibn Saad and Ubayd-Allah ibn Jahsh Apostasy in Islam_sentence_145

Writing in the Encyclopedia of Islam, Heffening holds that contrary to the Qur'an, "in traditions [i.e. hadith], there is little echo of these punishments in the next world... and instead, we have in many traditions a new element, the death penalty." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_146

Wael Hallaq states the death penalty reflects a later reality and does not stand in accord with the deeds of Muhammad. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_147

Ayatollah Montazeri holds that it is probable that the punishment was prescribed by Muhammad during early Islam to combat political conspiracies against Islam and Muslims, and is not intended for those who simply change their belief or express a change in belief. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_148

Montazeri defines different types of apostasy; he argues that capital punishment should be reserved for those who desert Islam out of malice and enmity towards the Muslim community, and not those who convert to another religion after investigation and research. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_149

Historical impact Apostasy in Islam_section_12

The charge of apostasy is often used by religious authorities to condemn and punish skeptics, dissidents, and minorities in their communities. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_150

From the earliest history of Islam, the crime of apostasy and execution for apostasy has driven major events in Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_151

For example, the Ridda wars (civil wars of apostasy) shook the Muslim community in 632–633 AD, immediately after the death of Muhammad. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_152

These apostasy wars split the two major sects of IslamSunni and Shia, and caused numerous deaths. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_153

Sunni and Shia sects of Islam have long called each other as apostates of Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_154

The term Zindīq refers to a freethinker, atheist or a heretic. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_155

Originally it referred to a dualist and also the Manichaeans, whose religion for a time threatened to become the dominant religion of the educated class and who experienced a wave of persecutions from 779 to 786. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_156

A history of those times states: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_157

The New Encyclopedia of Islam states that after the early period, with some notable exceptions, the practice in Islam regarding atheism or various forms of heresy, grew more tolerant as long as it was a private matter. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_158

However heresy and atheism expressed in public may well be considered a scandal and a menace to a society; in some societies they are punishable, at least to the extent the perpetrator is silenced. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_159

In particular, blasphemy against God and insulting Muhammad are major crimes. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_160

From the 7th century through the 18th century, atheists, materialists, Sufi, and Shii sects were accused and executed for apostasy in Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_161

In the 8th century, apostates of Islam were killed in West Asia and Sind. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_162

10th-century Iraq, Sufi mystic Al-Hallaj was executed for apostasy; in 12th-century Iran, al-Suhrawardi along with followers of Ismaili sect of Islam were killed on charges of being apostates; in 14th-century Syria, Ibn Taymiyyah declared Central Asian Turko-Mongol Muslims as apostates due to the invasion of Ghazan Khan; in 17th-century India, Dara Shikoh and other sons of Shah Jahan were captured and executed on charges of apostasy from Islam by his brother Aurangzeb. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_163

Other sources say that executions of apostates have been "rare in Islamic history". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_164

While Al-Hallaj was officially executed for possessing a heretical document suggesting hajj pilgrimage was not required of a pure Muslim, it is thought he would have been spared execution except that the Caliph at the time Al-Muqtadir wished to discredit "certain figures who had associated themselves" with al-Hallaj. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_165

(Previously al-Hallaj had been punished for talking about being at one with God by being shaved, pilloried and beaten with the flat of a sword. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_166

He was not executed because the Shafi'ite judge had ruled that his words were not "proof of disbelief.") Apostasy in Islam_sentence_167

According to historian Bernard Lewis, in the "early times" of Islam, "charges of apostasy were not unusual, and ... the terms 'unbeliever' and 'apostate' were commonly used in religious polemic ... in fact such accusations had little practical effect. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_168

The accused were for the most part unmolested, and some even held high offices in the Muslim state. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_169

As the rules and penalties of the Muslim law were systematized and more regularly enforced, charges of apostasy became rarer." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_170

When action was taken against an alleged apostate, it was much more likely to be "quarantine" than execution, unless the innovation was "extreme, persistent and aggressive". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_171

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_11

Some (Louay M. Safi) have argued that the abandonment of traditional (shari'ah) legal codes in colonial and post-colonial times in favor of "European legal codes ... enforced by state elites without any public debate", created an identification of tolerance with foreign/alien control, and rigid literalist religious interpretations, (such as the execution of apostates), with authenticity and legitimacy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_172

Autocratic rulers "often align themselves with traditional religious scholars" because grassroots discontent took the form of angry pious traditionalists. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_173

During the colonial era, death for apostasy was abolished in many Muslim-majority colonies. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_174

Similarly, under intense European pressure, death sentence for apostasy from Islam was abolished by the Edict of Toleration, and substituted with other forms of punishment by the Ottoman government in 1844; the implementation of this ban was resisted by religious officials and proved difficult. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_175

A series of edicts followed during Ottoman's Tanzimat period, such as the 1856 Reform Edict. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_176

Despite these edicts, there was constant pressure on non-Muslims to convert to Islam, and apostates from Islam continued to be persecuted, punished and threatened with execution, particularly in eastern and Levant parts of the then Ottoman Empire. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_177

The Edict of Toleration ultimately failed when Sultan Abdul Hamid II assumed power, re-asserted pan-Islamism with sharia as Ottoman state philosophy, and initiated Hamidian massacres in 1894 against Christians, particularly the Genocides of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and crypto-Christian apostates from Islam in Turkey (Stavriotes, Kromlides). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_178

In "recent decades" before 2006, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom listed four cases of execution for apostasy in the Muslim world: one in Sudan in 1985; two in Iran, in 1989 and 1998; and one in Saudi Arabia in 1992. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_179

Apostasy in the recent past Apostasy in Islam_section_13

Background Apostasy in Islam_section_14

More than 20 Muslim-majority states have laws that declare apostasy by Muslims to be a crime. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_180

As of 2014, apostasy was a capital offense in Afghanistan, Brunei, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_181

Executions for religious conversion have been infrequent in recent times, with four cases reported since 1985: one in Sudan in 1985; two in Iran, in 1989 and 1998; and one in Saudi Arabia in 1992. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_182

In Mauritania, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Yemen apostasy laws have been used to charge persons for acts other than conversion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_183

In addition, some predominantly Islamic countries without laws specifically addressing apostasy have prosecuted individuals or minorities for apostasy using broadly-defined blasphemy laws. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_184

In many nations, the Hisbah doctrine of Islam has traditionally allowed any Muslim to accuse another Muslim or ex-Muslim for beliefs that may harm Islamic society, i.e. violate the norms of sharia (Islamic law). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_185

This principle has been used in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and others to bring blasphemy charges against apostates. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_186

The violence or threats of violence against apostates in the Muslim world in recent years has derived primarily not from government authorities but from other individuals or groups operating unrestricted by the government. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_187

There has also been social persecution for Muslims converting to Christianity. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_188

For example, the Christian organisation Barnabas Fund reports: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_189

Similar views are expressed by the non-theistic International Humanist and Ethical Union. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_190

Author Mohsin Hamid points out that the logic of widely accepted claim that anyone helping an apostate is themselves an apostate, is a powerful weapon in spreading fear among those who oppose the killings (in at least the country of Pakistan). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_191

It means that a doctor who agrees to treat an apostate wounded by attacker(s), or a police officer who has agreed to protect that doctor after they have been threatened is also an apostate -- "and on and on". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_192

Public opinion Apostasy in Islam_section_15

A survey based on face-to-face interviews conducted in 80 languages by the Pew Research Center between 2008 and 2012 among thousands of Muslims in many countries, found varied views on the death penalty for those who leave Islam to become an atheist or to convert to another religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_193

In some countries (especially in Central Asia, Southeast Europe, and Turkey), support for the death penalty for apostasy was confined to a tiny fringe; in other countries (especially in the Arab world and South Asia) majorities and large minorities support the death penalty. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_194

In the survey, Muslims who favored making Sharia the law of the land were asked for their views on the death penalty for apostasy from Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_195

The results are summarized in the table below. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_196

Note that values for Group C have been derived from the values for the other two groups and are not part of the Pew report. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_197

Overall, the figures in the 2012 survey suggest that the percentage of Muslims in the countries surveyed who approve the death penalty for Muslims who leave Islam to become an atheist or convert to another religion varies widely, from 0.4% (in Kazakhstan) to 78.2% (in Afghanistan). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_198

The Governments of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait) did not permit Pew Research to survey nationwide public opinion on apostasy in 2010 or 2012. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_199

The survey also did not include China, India, Syria, or West African countries such as Nigeria. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_200

Afghanistan Apostasy in Islam_section_16

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Afghanistan and Human rights in Afghanistan Apostasy in Islam_sentence_201

See also: Talibanization, Islam in Afghanistan, and Religion in Afghanistan Apostasy in Islam_sentence_202

In August 1998 the Taliban insurgents slaughtered 8000 mostly Shia Hazaras non-combatants at Mazar-i-Sharif. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_203

The slaughter was called an act of takfir towards Shia after Mullah Niazi, the Taliban commander of the attack and the new governor of Mazar, declared from Mazar's central mosque: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_204

Article 130 of the Afghan Constitution requires its courts to apply provisions of Hanafi Sunni fiqh for crimes of apostasy in Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_205

Article 1 of the Afghan Penal Code requires hudud crimes be punished per Hanafi religious jurisprudence. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_206

Prevailing Hanafi jurisprudence, per consensus of its school of Islamic scholars, prescribes death penalty for the crime of apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_207

The apostate can avoid prosecution and/or punishment if he or she confesses of having made a mistake of apostasy and rejoins Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_208

In addition to death, the family of the accused can be deprived of all property and possessions, and the individual's marriage is considered dissolved in accordance with Hanafi Sunni jurisprudence. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_209

In March 2006, an Afghan citizen Abdul Rahman was charged with apostasy and could have faced the death penalty for converting to Christianity. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_210

His case attracted much international attention with Western countries condemning Afghanistan for persecuting a convert. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_211

Charges against Abdul Rahman were dismissed on technical grounds by the Afghan court after intervention by the president Hamid Karzai, "under intense outside pressure". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_212

He was released and left the country to find refuge in Italy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_213

Two other Afghan converts to Christianity, Sayed Mussa and Shoaib Assadullah, were arrested back in March 2006. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_214

In February 2006, the homes of yet other converts were raided by police. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_215

After serving five years in jail, Sayed Mussa was released in 2011, and Shoaib Assadullah was released in March 2011. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_216

In 2012, secular university teacher from Ghazni Province named Javeed wrote an article criticising the Taliban in English. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_217

The Taliban tried to seize him, but he and his wife Marina, a well-known Afgan television host, decided to flee to the Netherlands. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_218

When in 2014 it was translated to Pashto by powerful warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's son-in-law, this led to an uproar on social media with many accusations of apostasy and death threats directed at Javeed, and a large public demonstration in Kabul calling for his execution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_219

In late 2015, 21-year-old student and ex-Muslim atheist Morid Aziz had a religious argument with his girlfriend Shogofa, once a liberal Muslim, but radicalised whilst studying Sharia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_220

She secretly recorded the conversation, during which he criticised Islam, and begged her to 'forsake the darkness and embrace science', but she called him a kafir and said he would burn in hell. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_221

The next day, she played the recording at the Friday prayer in a full mosque. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_222

Aziz was inundated with questions from relatives about how he had dared to say what he said, and he quickly went into hiding just before angry men armed with Kalashnikovs showed up at his house. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_223

23 days later, he fled across several countries and ended up in the Netherlands, where he obtained permanent residency on 30 May 2017. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_224

Algeria Apostasy in Islam_section_17

Main article: Freedom of religion in Algeria Apostasy in Islam_sentence_225

Freedom of religion in Algeria is regulated by the Algerian Constitution, which declares Sunni Islam to be the state religion (Article 2) but also declares that "freedom of creed and opinion is inviolable" (Article 36); it prohibits discrimination, Article 29 states "All citizens are equal before the law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_226

No discrimination shall prevail because of birth, race, sex, opinion or any other personal or social condition or circumstance". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_227

According to Pew Research Center in 2010, 97.9% of Algerians were Muslim, 1.8% were unaffiliated, with the remaining 0.3% comprising adherents of other religions. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_228

By law, children follow the religion of their fathers, even if they are born abroad and are citizens of their (non-Muslim-majority) country of birth. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_229

The study of Islam is a requirement in the public and private schools for every Algerian child, irrespective of his/her religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_230

Although the educational reform of 2006 eliminated "Islamic sciences" from the baccalaureate, Islamic studies are mandatory in public schools at primary level and followed by Sharia studies at secondary level. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_231

Concerns have been expressed that requests by non-Muslim religious students to opt out of these classes would result in discrimination. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_232

Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslim men (Algerian Family Code I.II.31), and Muslim men may not marry women of non-monotheistic religious groups. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_233

Prior to the 2005 amendments, family law stated that if it is established that either spouse is an "apostate" from Islam, the marriage will be declared null and void (Family Code I.III.32). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_234

The term "apostate" was removed with the amendments, however those determined as such still cannot receive any inheritance (Family Code III.I.138). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_235

People without religious affiliation tend to be particularly numerous in Kabylie (a Kabyle-speaking area) where they are generally tolerated and sometimes supported. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_236

Notably, Berber civil rights, human rights and secular activist and musician Lounès Matoub (assassinated in 1998) is widely seen as a hero among Kabyles, despite (or because of) his lack of religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_237

In most other areas of the country, the non-religious tend to be more discreet, and often pretend to be pious Muslims to avoid violence and lynching. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_238

The majority of cases of harassment and security threats against non-Muslims come from the now nearly destroyed Armed Islamic Group, an organization fighting the government who are determined to rid the country of those who do not share their extremist interpretation of Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_239

However, a majority of the population subscribes to Islamic precepts of tolerance in religious beliefs. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_240

Moderate Islamist religious and political leaders have criticized publicly acts of violence committed in the name of Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_241

The "blasphemy" law is stringent and widely enforced. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_242

The non-religious are largely invisible in the public sphere, and although not specifically targeted through legislation, significant prejudice towards non-Muslim religions can be presumed to apply equally if not more so to non-believers. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_243

The crime of "blasphemy" carries a maximum of five years in prison and the laws are interpreted widely. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_244

For example, several arrests have been made under the blasphemy laws in the last few years for failure to fast during Ramadan, even though this is not a requirement under Algerian law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_245

Non-fasting persons ("non-jeûneurs") repeatedly face harassment by the police and civil society. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_246

Eating in public during Ramadan (particularly for people who "look Muslim") is legal, but attracts public hostility in most areas, except for some areas of Kabylie. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_247

Most restaurants close during Ramadan. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_248

In general, non-citizens who practice faiths other than Islam enjoy a high level of tolerance within society; however, citizens who renounce Islam generally are ostracized by their families and shunned by their neighbors. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_249

Those who "renounce" Islam may be imprisoned, fined, or co-erced to re-convert. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_250

The Government generally does not become involved in such disputes. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_251

Converts also expose themselves to the risk of attack by radical extremists. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_252

Bangladesh Apostasy in Islam_section_18

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Bangladesh and Human rights in Bangladesh Apostasy in Islam_sentence_253

See also: Islam in Bangladesh, Religion in Bangladesh, and Attacks by Islamic extremists in Bangladesh Apostasy in Islam_sentence_254

Bangladesh does not have a law against apostasy and its Constitution ensures secularism and freedom of religion, but incidences of persecution of apostates have been reported. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_255

The radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh, founded in 2010, created a hit list which included 83 outspoken atheist or secularist activists, including ex-Muslim bloggers and academics. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_256

Dozens of atheist and secularist Bangladeshis on this list have been targeted for practicing free speech and "disrespecting" Islam, such as Humayun Azad, who was the target of a failed machete assassination attempt, and Avijit Roy, who was killed with meat cleavers; his wife Bonya Ahmed survived the attack. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_257

Since 2013, 8 of the 83 people on the hit list have been killed; 31 others have fled the country. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_258

However majority of the people criticised the killings and the Government took strict measures and banned Islamist groups from politics. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_259

On 14 June 2016 approximately 100,000 Bangladeshi Muslim clerics released a fatwa, ruling that the murder of "non-Muslims, minorities and secular activists…forbidden in Islam". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_260

Belgium Apostasy in Islam_section_19

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Belgium, Irreligion in Belgium, and Organized secularism Apostasy in Islam_sentence_261

In the Western European country of Belgium, Muslims made up about 5 to 7% of the total population as of 2015. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_262

Although legally anyone is free to change their religion, there is a social taboo on apostatising from Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_263

Moroccan-Belgian stand-up comedian Sam Touzani is a rare example an outspoken ex-Muslim; he was condemned by several fatwas and has received hundreds of death threats online, but persists in his criticism of Islam and Islamism. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_264

A Movement of Ex-Muslims of Belgium exists to support apostates from Islam, and to 'fight Islamic indoctrination'. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_265

As of 2014, it had a dozen members, who had to operate carefully and often anonymously. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_266

Additionally, Belgian academics such as Maarten Boudry and Johan Leman have led efforts to try to normalise leaving Islam in Belgium. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_267

On 16 November 2017, 25-year-old Hamza, shunned by his family (except for his supportive sister), came out as an ex-Muslim on television. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_268

He was seconded by philosopher and ex-Catholic Patrick Loobuyck, who argued that secularisation in the West gives Western Muslims such as the opportunity to embrace religious liberalism and even atheism. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_269

In December 2018, De Morgen reported that Belgian ex-Muslims had been holding secret regular meetings in secure locations in Brussels since late 2017, supported by deMens.nu counselors. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_270

Bosnia and Herzegovina Apostasy in Islam_section_20

Main article: Religion in Bosnia and Herzegovina Apostasy in Islam_sentence_271

During the Ottoman Turkish Muslim rule of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1463–1878), a large minority of the Southern Slavic-speaking inhabitants converted to Islam for various reasons, whilst others remained Roman Catholics (later known as Croats) or Orthodox Christians (later known as Serbs). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_272

These converts and their descendants were simply known as "Bosnian Muslims" or just "Muslims", until the term Bosniaks was adopted in 1993. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_273

Not all Bosniaks (still) practice Islam nowadays; some may just be "Muslim" by name or cultural background, but not by conviction, profession or practice. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_274

In a 1998 public opinion poll, just 78.3% of Bosniaks in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina declared themselves to be religious. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_275

The Ottomans punished apostasy from Islam with the death penalty until the Edict of Toleration 1844; subsequently, apostates could be imprisoned or deported instead. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_276

When Austria-Hungary occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1878, this practice was abolished. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_277

The Austrian government held that any mature citizen was free to convert to another religion without having to fear any legal penalty, and issued a directive to its officials to keep their involvement in religious matters to a minimum. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_278

This clashed with the rigorous hostility to conversion exhibited by traditional Bosnian Muslims, who perceived it as a threat to the survival of Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_279

During the four decades of Habsburg rule, several apostasy controversies occurred, most often involving young women with a low socio-economic status who sought to convert to Christianity. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_280

In August 1890, during the Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a sixteen-year-old Bosnian girl called Uzeifa Delahmatović claimed to have voluntarily converted from Islam to Catholicism, the Habsburg state's official and majority religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_281

This stirred up controversy about whether she was forced, or whether a Muslim was even allowed to change her or his religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_282

Subsequent debates resulted in the Austrian Conversion Ordinance of 1891, which made religious conversion of subjects a matter of state. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_283

A strict procedure required the convert to be an adult and mentally healthy, and the conversion should be recognised by all parties involved; if not, the state would intervene and set up a commission for arbitration. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_284

In the 20th century, religion became highly politicised in Bosnia, and the basis for most citizens' national identity and political loyalty, leading to numerous conflicts culminating in the Bosnian War (1992–95). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_285

The resulting violence and misery has caused a group of Bosnians to reject religion (and nationalism) altogether. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_286

This atheist community faces discrimination, and is frequently verbally attacked by religious leaders as "corrupt people without morals". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_287

Brunei Apostasy in Islam_section_21

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Brunei and Human rights in Brunei Apostasy in Islam_sentence_288

See also: Religion in Brunei Apostasy in Islam_sentence_289

Brunei is the latest Muslim-majority country to enact a law that makes apostasy a crime punishable with death. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_290

In 2013, it enacted Syariah (Sharia) Penal Code. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_291

Section 112(1) of the new law states that a Muslim who declares himself non-Muslim commits a crime punishable with death, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty years, depending on evidence. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_292

Under the required wait period between notification of law and its validity under Brunei's constitution, its new apostasy law and corporal punishment will be applied starting October 2014, and capital punishment will be imposed starting October 2015. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_293

Egypt Apostasy in Islam_section_22

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Egypt and Human rights in Egypt Apostasy in Islam_sentence_294

See also: Religion in Egypt Apostasy in Islam_sentence_295

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_12

The blasphemy laws and Article 98(f) of Egyptian Penal Code, as amended by Law 147, has been used to prosecute Muslims who have converted to Christianity. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_296

For example, in May 2007, Bahaa El-Din El-Akkad, a former Egyptian Muslim and someone who worked on Dawah to spread Islam, was imprisoned after he converted to Christianity, under the charge of "blasphemy against Islam". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_297

He was freed in 2011. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_298

Egypt's penal code is silent about any punishment for apostasy from Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_299

Contemporary Egyptian jurisprudence prohibits apostasy from Islam, but has also remained silent about the death penalty. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_300

Article 2 of the Constitution of Egypt enshrines sharia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_301

Both Court of Cassation and the Supreme Administrative Court of Egypt have ruled that, "it is completely acceptable for non-Muslims to embrace Islam but by consensus Muslims are not allowed to embrace another religion or to become of no religion at all [in Egypt]." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_302

The silence about punishment for apostasy along with the constitutional enshrinement of Sharia, means the death sentence for apostasy is a possibility. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_303

In practice, Egypt has prosecuted apostasy from Islam under its blasphemy laws using the Hisbah doctrine; and non-state Islamic groups have taken the law into their own hands and executed apostates. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_304

A 2010 Pew Research Center poll showed that 84% of Egyptian Muslims believe those who leave Islam should be punished by death. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_305

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_13

In 1992, Islamist militants gunned down Egyptian secularist and sharia law opponent Farag Foda. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_306

Before his death he had been declared an apostate and foe of Islam by the ulama at Al Azhar. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_307

During the trial of the murderers, Al-Azhar scholar Mohammed al-Ghazali testified that when the state fails to punish apostates, somebody else has to do it. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_308

In 1993, a liberal Islamic theologian, Nasr Abu Zayd was denied promotion at Cairo University after a court decision of apostasy against him. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_309

Following this an Islamist lawyer filed a lawsuit before the Giza Lower Personal Status Court demanding the divorce of Abu Zayd from his wife, Dr. Ibtihal Younis, on the grounds that a Muslim woman cannot be married to an apostate – notwithstanding the fact his wife wished to remain married to him. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_310

The case went to the Cairo Appeals Court where his marriage was declared null and void in 1995. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_311

After the verdict, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad organization (which had assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981) declared Abu Zayd should be killed for abandoning his Muslim faith. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_312

Abu Zayd was given police protection, but felt he could not function under heavy guard, noting that one police guard referred to him as "the kafir". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_313

On 23 July 1995, he and his wife flew to Europe, where they lived in exile but continued to teach. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_314

In April 2006, after a court case in Egypt recognized the Baháʼí Faith, members of the clergy convinced the government to appeal the court decision. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_315

One member of parliament, Gamal Akl of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, said the Baháʼís were infidels who should be killed on the grounds that they had changed their religion, although most living Baháʼí have not, in fact, ever been Muslim. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_316

In October 2006, Kareem Amer became the first Egyptian to be prosecuted for their online writings, including declaring himself an atheist. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_317

He was imprisoned until November 2010. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_318

In 2007 Mohammed Hegazy, a Muslim-born Egyptian who had converted to Christianity based on "readings and comparative studies in religions", sued the Egyptian court to change his religion from "Islam" to "Christianity" on his national identification card. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_319

His case caused considerable public uproar, with not only Muslim clerics, but his own father and wife's father calling for his death. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_320

Two lawyers he had hired or agreed to hire both quit his case, and two Christian human rights workers thought to be involved in his case were arrested. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_321

As of 2007, he and his wife were in hiding. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_322

In 2008, the judge trying his case ruled that according to sharia, Islam is the final and most complete religion and therefore Muslims already practice full freedom of religion and cannot convert to an older belief. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_323

Hegazy kept trying to officially change his religion until he was arrested in 2013 for "spreading false rumours and incitement". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_324

He was released in 2016, after which he published a video on YouTube claiming he had reverted to Islam, and asked to be left alone. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_325

In February 2009, another case of a convert to Christianity (Maher Ahmad El-Mo'otahssem Bellah El-Gohary), came to court. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_326

El-Gohary's effort to officially convert to Christianity triggered state prosecutors charging him of "apostasy," or leaving Islam, and seeking a sentence of death penalty. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_327

Some commentators have reported a growing trend of abandoning religion following the Egyptian Revolution of 2011, reflected through emergence of support groups on social media, although openly declared apostates still face ostracism and danger of prosecution and vigilante violence. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_328

A well-known example is the Internet activist Aliaa Magda Elmahdy (then-girlfriend of Kareem Amer), who protested the oppression of women's rights and sexuality in Islam by posting a nude photo of herself online. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_329

In 2011, the Muslim woman Abeer allegedly converted to Christianity, and was given protection by the Church of Saint Menas in Imbaba. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_330

Hundreds of angry salafists beleaguered the church and demanded her return; during the resulting clashes, ten people were killed and hundreds were wounded. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_331

On 21 October 2014, ex-Muslim atheist activist Ahmed Harqan featured in a debate on the popular Egyptian talk show Taht al Koubry ("Under the Bridge"). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_332

He explained why he had become an atheist and said that Islam is a "harsh religion", which was being implemented by Islamic State (ISIS) and Boko Haram. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_333

They are doing "what the Prophet Muhammad and his companions did," said Harqan. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_334

Four days later, in the evening of 25 October, he and his pregnant wife Nada Mandour (Saly) Harqan (also an atheist), were attacked by a lynch mob and escaped assassination when they fled to a nearby police station. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_335

Instead of taking action to help Harqan and his wife, the police officers further assaulted them and they were imprisoned, charged with blasphemy and "defamation of religion" under article 98 in the Egyptian penal code for asking "What has ISIS done that Muhammad did not do?" Apostasy in Islam_sentence_336

on the talk show. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_337

Harqan's appearance provoked weeks of outcry from Islamic religious broadcasters and prompted much-watched follow-up shows. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_338

Eritrea Apostasy in Islam_section_23

See also: Religion in Eritrea Apostasy in Islam_sentence_339

Muslims constitute approximately 36.5–37% to 48–50% of the Eritrean population; more than 99% of Eritrean Muslims are Sunnis. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_340

Although there are no legal restrictions on leaving Sunni Islam, there are only three other officially recognised religions in Eritrea, all of them Christian: the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Eritrean Catholic Church (in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Eritrea. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_341

Despite other religious groups applying for original recognition since 2002, the Eritrean government has failed to implement the relevant rights established in the constitution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_342

It is illegal or unrecognised to identify as an atheist or as non-religious, and illegal to register an explicitly humanist, atheist, secularist or other non-religious NGO or other human rights organisation, or such groups are persecuted by authorities. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_343

Members of "unrecognised" religions are arrested, detained in oppressive conditions, and there have been reports that people have been tortured in order for them to recant their religious affiliation. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_344

Reports of the harassment and arrest of members of religious minority groups is widespread and frequent. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_345

Open Doors reported that Muslims who become Christians in Muslim-majority areas are frequently rejected, mistreated or even disowned by their families. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_346

Additionally, the Orthodox Church considers itself the only true Christian denomination in the country and puts its ex-members who convert to a Protestant faith under pressure to return. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_347

India Apostasy in Islam_section_24

According to the 2011 census, there were about 172 million Muslims living in India, accounting for approximately 14.2% of the total population. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_348

In the early 21st century, an un-organised ex-Muslim movement started to emerge in India, typically amongst young (in their 20s and 30s) well-educated Muslim women and men in urban areas. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_349

They are often troubled by religious teachings and practices (such as shunning of and intolerance and violence towards non-Muslims), doubting their veracity and morality, and started to question them. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_350

Feeling that Islamic relatives and authorities failed to provide them with satisfactory answers, and with access to alternative interpretations of and information about Islam on the Internet, and the ability to communicate with each other through social media, these people resolved to apostatise. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_351

Indonesia Apostasy in Islam_section_25

Main articles: Blasphemy law in Indonesia, Freedom of religion in Indonesia, and Human rights in Indonesia Apostasy in Islam_sentence_352

See also: Religion in Indonesia Apostasy in Islam_sentence_353

Indonesia does not have a law against apostasy, and the constitution provides for freedom of religion, accords "all persons shall be free to choose and to practice the religion of his/her choice". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_354

But Indonesia has as a broad blasphemy law that protects all six official religions (Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism) (Article 156) and a Presidential Decree (1965) that permits prosecution of people who commit blasphemy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_355

The Decree prohibits every Indonesian from "intentionally conveying, endorsing or attempting to gain public support in the interpretation of a certain religion; or undertaking religious based activities that resemble the religious activities of the religion in question, where such interpretation and activities are in deviation of the basic teachings of the religion." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_356

These laws have been used to arrest and convict atheist apostates in Indonesia, such as the case of 30-year-old Alexander Aan who declared himself to be an atheist, declared "God does not exist", and stopped praying and fasting as required by Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_357

He received death threats from Islamic groups and in 2012 was arrested and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_358

Iran Apostasy in Islam_section_26

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Iran, Human rights in Iran, Blasphemy law in Iran, and Capital punishment in Iran Apostasy in Islam_sentence_359

See also: Islamization of Iran and Religion in Iran Apostasy in Islam_sentence_360

The 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners, starting near the end of the Iran–Iraq War (1980–1988), were carried out by "Special Commissions with instructions to execute members of People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran as moharebs (those who wage war against Allah) and leftists as mortads (apostates from Islam)." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_361

It is unclear how many prisoners were killed (estimates vary from almost 4,500 to more than 30,000), how many of them actually were ex-Muslims or were falsely accused of having left Islam, and the exact motivations behind this massacre. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_362

Great care was taken to keep the killings undercover, and the government of Iran currently denies their having taken place. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_363

Justifications offered for the alleged executions vary, but one of the most common theories advanced is that they were in retaliation for the 1988 attack on the western borders of Iran by the PMOI Mujahedin. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_364

However, this does not fully account for the targeting of other leftist groups who opposed the Mujahedin invasion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_365

Hossein Soodmand, who converted from Islam to Christianity when he was 13 years old, was executed by hanging in 1990 for apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_366

According to US think tank Freedom House, since the 1990s the Islamic Republic of Iran has sometimes used death squads against converts, including major Protestant leaders. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_367

Under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the regime has engaged in a systematic campaign to track down and reconvert or kill those who have changed their religion from Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_368

15 ex-Muslim Christians were incarcerated on 15 May 2008 under charges of apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_369

They may face the death penalty if convicted. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_370

A new penal code is being proposed in Iran that would require the death penalty in cases of apostasy on the Internet. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_371

At least two Iranians – Hashem Aghajari and Hassan Youssefi Eshkevari – have been arrested and charged with apostasy in the Islamic Republic (though not executed), not for self-professed conversion to another faith, but for statements and/or activities deemed by courts of the Islamic Republic to be in violation of Islam, and that appear to outsiders to be Islamic reformist political expression. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_372

Hashem Aghajari, was found guilty of apostasy for a speech urging Iranians to "not blindly follow" Islamic clerics; Hassan Youssefi Eshkevari was charged with apostasy for attending the 'Iran After the Elections' Conference in Berlin Germany which was disrupted by anti-regime demonstrators. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_373

The Baháʼís in Iran, the nation of origin of the Baháʼí Faith and Iran's largest religious minority, were accused of apostasy in the 19th century by the Shi'a clergy because of their adherence to religious revelations by another prophet after those of Muhammad. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_374

These allegations led to mob attacks, public executions and torture of early Baháʼís, including the Báb. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_375

More recently, Musa Talibi was arrested in 1994, and Dhabihu'llah Mahrami was arrested in 1995, then sentenced to death on charges of apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_376

In July 2017, an activist group that spread atheistic articles and books Iranian universities, published a video on YouTube titled "Why we must deny the existence of God", featuring famous atheist thinkers Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_377

An hour before the group would meet to discuss the production of a new video, their office was raided by the police. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_378

Group member Keyvan (32), raised as a Sunni Muslim but confusingly educated in a Shia school, long had doubts about religion, and became an apostate after reading atheist literature. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_379

He and his wife had to flee after the police raid, and flew to the Netherlands three days later. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_380

Iraq Apostasy in Islam_section_27

Main article: Freedom of religion in Iraq Apostasy in Islam_sentence_381

See also: Religion in Iraq Apostasy in Islam_sentence_382

Although the Constitution of Iraq recognises Islam as the official religion and states that no law may be enacted that contradicts the established provisions of Islam, it also guarantees freedom of thought, conscience, and religious belief and practice. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_383

While the Government generally endorses these rights, unsettled conditions have prevented effective governance in parts of the country, and the Government's ability to protect religious freedoms has been handicapped by insurgency, terrorism, and sectarian violence. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_384

Since 2003, when the government of Saddam Hussein fell, the Iraqi government has generally not engaged in state-sponsored persecution of any religious group, calling instead for tolerance and acceptance of all religious minorities. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_385

In October 2013, 15-year-old Ahmad Sherwan from Erbil said he no longer believed in God and was proud to be an atheist to his father, who had the police arrest him. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_386

He was imprisoned for 13 days and tortured several times, before being released on bail; he faced life imprisonment for disbelief in God. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_387

Sherwan tried to contact the media for seven months, but all refused to run his story until the private newspaper Awene published it in May 2014. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_388

It went viral, and human rights activists came to his aid. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_389

The 2014 uprising of the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) has led to violations of religious freedom in certain parts of Iraq. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_390

ISIS follows an extreme anti-Western interpretation of Islam, promotes religious violence and regards those who do not agree with its interpretations as infidels or apostates. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_391

In the 2010s, an increasing number of Iraqis, especially young people in the capital city of Baghdad and the Kurdistan Region, were leaving Islam for a variety of reasons. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_392

Some cite the lack of women's rights in Islam, others the political climate, which is dominated by conflicts between Shia Muslim parties who seek to expand their power more than they try to improve citizens' living conditions. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_393

Many young ex-Muslims sought refuge in the Iraqi Communist Party, and advocated for secularism from within its ranks. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_394

The sale of books on atheism by authors such as Abdullah al-Qasemi and Richard Dawkins has risen in Baghdad. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_395

In Iraqi Kurdistan, a 2011 AK-News survey asking whether respondents believed God existed, resulted in 67% replying 'yes', 21% 'probably', 4% 'probably not', 7% 'no' and 1% had no answer. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_396

The subsequent harsh battle against Islamic State and its literalist implementation of Sharia caused numerous youths to dissociate themselves from Islam altogether, either by adopting Zoroastrianism or secretly embracing atheism. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_397

When Sadr al-Din learned about natural selection in school, he began questioning the relationship between Islam and science, studying the history of Islam, and asking people's opinions on both topics. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_398

At the age of 20, he changed his first name to Daniel, after atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_399

He came into conflict with his family, who threatened him with death, and after his father found books in his room denying the existence of God and miracles, he tried to shoot his son. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_400

Daniel fled Iraq, and obtained asylum in the Netherlands. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_401

Jordan Apostasy in Islam_section_28

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Jordan, Human rights in Jordan, Blasphemy law in Jordan, and Capital punishment in Jordan Apostasy in Islam_sentence_402

See also: Religion in Jordan Apostasy in Islam_sentence_403

Islam in Jordan does not explicitly ban apostasy in its penal code; however, it permits any Jordanian to charge another with apostasy and its Islamic courts to consider conversion trials. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_404

If an Islamic court convicts a person of apostasy, it has the power to sentence a prison term, annul that person's marriage, seize property and disqualify him or her from inheritance rights. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_405

The Jordanian poet Islam Samhan was accused of apostasy for poems he wrote in 2008, and sentenced to a prison term in 2009. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_406

Kosovo Apostasy in Islam_section_29

Main article: Religion in Kosovo Apostasy in Islam_sentence_407

Apostasy in Islam_description_list_14

Kosovo was conquered by the Ottoman Empire along with the other remnants of the Serbian Empire in the period following the Battle of Kosovo (1389). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_408

Although the Ottomans didn't force the Catholic and Orthodox Christian population to convert to Islam, there was strong social pressure (such as not having to pay the jizya) as well as political expediency to do so, which ethnic Albanians did in far greater numbers (including the entire nobility) than Serbs, Greeks and others in the region. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_409

Many Albanian Catholics converted to Islam in the 17th and 18th centuries, despite attempts by Roman Catholic clergy to stop them, including a strict condemnation of conversion – especially for opportunistic reasons such as jizya evasion – during the Concilium Albanicum, a meeting of Albanian bishops in 1703. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_410

Whilst many of these converts stayed crypto-Catholics to a certain extent, often helped by pragmatic lower clerics, the higher Catholic clergy ordered them to be denied the sacraments for their heresy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_411

Efforts to convert the laraman community of Letnica back to Catholicism began in 1837, but the effort was violently suppressed – the local Ottoman governor put laramans in jail. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_412

After the Ottoman Empire abolished the death penalty for apostasy from Islam by the Edict of Toleration 1844, several groups of crypto-Catholics in Prizren, Peja and Gjakova were recognised as Catholics by the Ottoman Grand Vizier in 1845. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_413

When the laramans of Letnica asked the district governor and judge in Gjilan to recognise them as Catholics, they were refused however, and subsequently imprisoned, and then deported to Anatolia, from where they returned in November 1848 following diplomatic intervention. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_414

In 1856, a further Tanzimat reform improved the situation, and no further serious abuse was reported. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_415

The bulk of conversion of laramans, almost exclusively newly-borns, took place between 1872 and 1924. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_416

Kuwait Apostasy in Islam_section_30

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Kuwait, Human rights in Kuwait, and Blasphemy law in Kuwait Apostasy in Islam_sentence_417

See also: Islamization of Kuwait and Religion in Kuwait Apostasy in Islam_sentence_418

According to a 2002 journal paper, Kuwait does not have a law that criminalizes apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_419

In practice, Kuwait's family law prosecutes apostates. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_420

If an Islamic family court convicts a Muslim of apostasy, the court has the power to annul that person's marriage and disqualify him/her from property and inheritance rights. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_421

For example, the prosecution of Hussein Qambar ‘Ali in an Islamic family court, on charges of apostasy, after he converted from Islam to Christianity. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_422

Theoretically, death penalty can also be pronounced. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_423

Blasphemy is criminalized. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_424

Law 111 of Kuwait's Penal Code allows usage of statements posted on internet as evidence of blasphemy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_425

Libya Apostasy in Islam_section_31

Main article: Religion in Libya Apostasy in Islam_sentence_426

Atheism is prohibited in Libya and can come with a death penalty, if one is charged as an atheist. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_427

In June 2013, Libya's General National Council assembly (GNC) voted to make Islamic Sharia law the basis for all legislation and for all state institutions, a decision having an impact in banking, criminal, and financial law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_428

In February 2016, Libya's General National Council assembly (GNC) released adecree No.20 Changing on provisions of the Libyan Penal Code. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_429

Malaysia Apostasy in Islam_section_32

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Malaysia, Human rights in Malaysia, Blasphemy law in Malaysia, and Capital punishment in Malaysia Apostasy in Islam_sentence_430

See also: Religion in Malaysia Apostasy in Islam_sentence_431

Malaysia does not have a national law that criminalizes apostasy and its Article 11 grants freedom of religion to its diverse population of different religions. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_432

However, Malaysia's constitution grants its states (Negeri) the power to create and enforce laws relating to Islamic matters and Muslim community. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_433

State laws in Kelantan and Terengganu make apostasy in Islam a crime punishable with death, while state laws of Perak, Malacca, Sabah, and Pahang declare apostasy by Muslims as a crime punishable with jail terms. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_434

In these states, apostasy is defined as conversion from Islam to another faith, but converting to Islam is not a crime. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_435

The central government has not attempted to nullify these state laws, but stated that any death sentence for apostasy would require review by national courts. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_436

Ex-Muslims can be fined, jailed or sent for counselling. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_437

National laws of Malaysia require Muslim apostates who seek to convert from Islam to another religion to first obtain approval from a sharia court. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_438

The procedure demands that anyone born to a Muslim parent, or who previously converted to Islam, must declare himself apostate of Islam before a Sharia court if he or she wants to convert. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_439

The Sharia courts have the power to impose penalties such as jail, caning and enforced "rehabilitation" on apostates – which is the typical practice. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_440

In the states of Perak, Malacca, Sabah, and Pahang, apostates of Islam face jail term; in Pahang, caning; others, confinement with rehabilitation process. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_441

The state laws of Malaysia allow apostates of other religion to become Muslim without any equivalent review or process. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_442

The state laws of Perak, Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Sarawak, and Malacca allow one parent to convert children to Islam even if the other parent does not consent to his or her child's conversion to Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_443

In a highly public case, the Malaysian Federal Court did not allow Lina Joy to change her religion status in her I/C in a 2–1 decision. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_444

In August 2017, a picture from a gathering of the Atheist Republic Consulate of Kuala Lumpur was posted on Atheist Republic's Facebook page. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_445

Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki ordered an inquiry into whether anyone in the picture had committed apostasy or had 'spread atheism' to any Muslims present, both of which are illegal in Malaysia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_446

The next day, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim stated atheists should be "hunted down", as there was no place for groups like this under the Federal Constitution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_447

Atheist Republic (AR) members present at the gathering reportedly received death threats on social media. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_448

Canada-based AR leader Armin Navabi asked: "How is this group harming anyone? Apostasy in Islam_sentence_449

", warning that such actions by the government damaged Malaysia's reputation as a "moderate" Muslim-majority (60%) country. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_450

The uploads sparked violent protests from some Malaysians calling Navabi an 'apostate' and threatening to behead him. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_451

A Kuala Lumpur AR Consulate admin told BBC OS that such meetings are just socialising events for 'people who are legally Muslim, and atheists, and people from other religions as well'. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_452

In November 2017, it was reported that Facebook had rejected a joint government and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission demand to shut down Atheist Republic's page and similar atheist pages, because the pages did not violate any of the company's community standards. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_453

Maldives Apostasy in Islam_section_33

Main article: Irreligion in the Maldives Apostasy in Islam_sentence_454

See also: Freedom of religion in the Maldives and Islam in the Maldives Apostasy in Islam_sentence_455

The Constitution of the Maldives designates Islam as the official state religion, and the government and many citizens at all levels interpret this provision to impose a requirement that all citizens must be Muslims. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_456

The Constitution states the president must be a Sunni Muslim. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_457

There is no freedom of religion or belief. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_458

This situation leads to institutionally sanctioned religious oppression against non-Muslims and ex-Muslims who currently reside in the country. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_459

On 27 April 2014, the Maldives ratified a new regulation that revived the death penalty (abolished in 1953, when the last execution took place) for a number of hudud offences, including apostasy for persons from the age of 7 and older. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_460

The new regulation was strongly criticised by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the EU's High Representative, pointing out that they violated the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which the Maldives have ratified, that ban the execution of anyone for offences committed before the age of 18. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_461

During a question-and-answer session at one of Indian Muslim orator Zakir Naik's lectures 29 May 2010 on the Maldives, 37-year-old Maldivian citizen Mohamed Nazim stated that he was struggling to believe in any religion, and did not consider himself to be a Muslim. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_462

He further asked what his verdict would be under Islam and in the Maldives. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_463

Zakir responded that he considers the punishment for apostasy not necessarily to mean death, since Muhammed was reported in the Hadith scriptures to have shown clemency towards apostates on some occasions, but added that "If the person who becomes a non-Muslim propagates his faith and speaks against Islam [where] there is Islamic rule, then the person is to be put to death." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_464

Mohamed Nazim was subsequently reported to have been arrested and put in protective custody by the Maldivian Police. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_465

He later publicly reverted to Islam in custody after receiving two days of counseling by two Islamic scholars, but was held awaiting possible charges. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_466

On 14 July 2010, Maldivian news site Minivan News reported that 25-year-old air traffic controller Ismail Mohamed Didi had sent two e-mails, dated 25 June, to an international human rights organisation, declaring that he was an atheist ex-Muslim and that he desired help with his asylum application (directed to the United Kingdom). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_467

This came after he had "foolishly admitted my stance on religion" to his colleagues at work two years earlier, word of which had "spread like wildfire", and led to increased repression from colleagues, family, and even his closest friends shunning him, and anonymous death threats over the telephone. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_468

The same day that the report was posted, Didi was found hanged at his workplace in the aircraft control tower at Malé International Airport in an apparent suicide. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_469

Mauritania Apostasy in Islam_section_34

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Mauritania and Human rights in Mauritania Apostasy in Islam_sentence_470

See also: Religion in Mauritania Apostasy in Islam_sentence_471

Article 306 of the criminal code of Mauritania declares apostasy in Islam as illegal and provides a death sentence for the crime of leaving Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_472

Its law provides a provision where the guilty is given the opportunity to repent and return to Islam within three days. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_473

Failure to do so leads to a death sentence, dissolution of family rights and property confiscation by the government. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_474

The Mauritanian law requires that an apostate who has repented should be placed in custody and jailed for a period for the crime. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_475

Article 306 reads: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_476

In 2014, Jemal Oumar, a Mauritanian journalist, was arrested for apostasy, after he posted a critique of Mohammad online. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_477

While local law enforcement agencies held him in prison for trial, local media announced offers by local Muslims of cash reward to anyone who would kill Jemal Oumar. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_478

In a separate case, Mohamed Mkhaitir, a Mauritanian engineer, was arrested with the accusation of apostasy and blasphemy in 2014 as well, for publishing an essay on the racist caste system in Mauritanian society with criticism of Islamic history and a claim that Mohammad discriminated in his treatment of people from different tribes and races. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_479

Supported by pressure from human rights activists and international diplomats, Mkhaitir's case was reviewed several times, amid public civilian protests calling for him to be killed. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_480

On 8 November 2017 the Court of Appeals decided to convert his death sentence into a two-year jail term, which he had already served, so he was expected to be released soon. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_481

However, by May 2018 he still had not been released according to human rights groups. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_482

In July 2019, he was finally released and eventually able to start a new life in exile in Bordeaux, France. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_483

Morocco Apostasy in Islam_section_35

Main articles: Religion in Morocco § Freedom of religion, Irreligion in Morocco, and Human rights in Morocco Apostasy in Islam_sentence_484

The penal code of Morocco does not impose the death penalty for apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_485

However, Islam is the official state religion of Morocco under its constitution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_486

Article 41 of the Moroccan constitution gives fatwa powers (habilitée, religious decree legislation) to the Supreme Council of Religious Scholars, which issued a religious decree, or fatwa, in April 2013 that Moroccan Muslims who leave Islam must be sentenced to death. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_487

However, Mahjoub El Hiba, a senior Moroccan government official, denied that the fatwa was in any way legally binding. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_488

This decree was retracted by the Moroccan High Religious Committee in February 2017 in a document titled "The Way of the Scholars." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_489

It instead states that apostasy is a political stance rather than a religious issue, equatable to 'high treason'. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_490

When he was 14, Imad Iddine Habib came out as an atheist to his family, who expelled him. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_491

Habib stayed with friends, got a degree in Islamic studies and founded the Council of Ex-Muslims of Morocco in 2013. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_492

Secret services started investigating him after a public speech criticising Islam, and Habib fled to England, after which he was sentenced to seven years in prison in absentia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_493

Netherlands Apostasy in Islam_section_36

See also: Religion in the Netherlands Apostasy in Islam_sentence_494

In the Netherlands, a country in Western Europe, Muslims made up about 4.9% of the total population as of 2015; the rest of its inhabitants were either non-religious (50.1%), Christian (39.2%) or adherents of various other religions (5.7%). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_495

Although the freedom of expression, thought and religion is guaranteed by law in the Netherlands, there is doubt concerning the reality of this individual freedom within the small orthodox Christian minorities and within Muslim communities. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_496

The social and cultural pressure for those raised in a conservative religious family not to change or 'lose' religion can be high. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_497

This lack of 'horizontal' freedom (the freedom in relation to family, friends and neighborhood) remains a concern. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_498

Ex-Muslims often keep their views hidden from family, friends and the wider community. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_499

Ayaan Hirsi Ali deconverted from Islam after seeing the September 11 attacks being justified by Al Qaeda's leader Osama bin Laden with verses from the Quran that she verified personally, and subsequently reading Herman Philipse's Atheïstisch manifest ("Atheist Manifesto"). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_500

She soon became a prominent critic of Islam amidst an increasing number of death threats from Islamists and thus a need for security. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_501

She was elected to Parliament in 2003 for the VVD, and co-producing Theo van Gogh's short film Submission (broadcast on 29 August 2004), which criticised the treatment of women in Islamic society. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_502

This led to even more death threats, and Van Gogh was assassinated on 2 November 2004 by jihadist terrorist Hofstad Network leader Mohammed Bouyeri. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_503

He threatened Hirsi Ali and other nonbelievers by writing that her "apostasy had turned her away from the truth", "only death can separate truth from lies", and that she would "certainly perish". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_504

Gone into hiding and heavily protected, she received a string of international awards, including one of Time's 100 most influential people of the world, for her efforts at highlighting Islam's violation of human rights, especially women's rights, before moving to the United States in 2006 following a Dutch political crisis over her citizenship. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_505

Ehsan Jami, co-founder of the Central Committee for Ex-Muslims in the Netherlands in 2007, has received several death threats, and due to the amount of threats its members received, the committee was dismantled in 2008. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_506

To fill this lacuna, the Dutch Humanist Association (HV) launched the Platform of New Freethinkers in 2015. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_507

There is a Dutch-speaking group for Muslim apostates born and/or raised in the Netherlands, and an English-speaking one for ex-Muslims who recently arrived in the Netherlands as refugees. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_508

The latter fled their country because they were discriminated against or confronted with threats, violence or persecution because of their humanist or atheist life-stance. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_509

The HV and Humanistische Omroep cooperated under the direction of Dorothée Forma to produce two documentaries on both groups: Among Nonbelievers (2015) and Non-believers: Freethinkers on the Run (2016). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_510

Nigeria Apostasy in Islam_section_37

See also: Religion in Nigeria, Islamic extremism in Northern Nigeria, Religious violence in Nigeria, Blasphemy law in Nigeria, and Human rights in Nigeria Apostasy in Islam_sentence_511

In Nigeria, there is no federal law that explicitly makes apostasy a crime. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_512

The Federal Constitution protects freedom of religion and allows religious conversion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_513

Section 10 of the constitution states, 'The Government of the Federation of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_514

'. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_515

However, 12 Muslim-majority states in northern Nigeria have laws invoking Sharia, which have been used to persecute Muslim apostates, particularly Muslims who have converted to Christianity. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_516

Although the states of Nigeria have a degree of autonomy to adopt their own laws, the first paragraph of the Federal Constitution stipulates that any law inconsistent with the provisions of the constitution shall be void. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_517

The Sharia penal code does contradict the Constitution, yet the federal government has not made a move to restore this breach of the constitutional order, letting the northern Muslim-dominated states have their way and not protecting the constitutional rights of citizens violated by Sharia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_518

Governor Ahmad Sani Yerima of Zamfara State, the first Nigerian Muslim-majority state to introduce Sharia in 2000, stated that because capital punishment for apostasy was unconstitutional, citizens themselves should do the killing, effectively undermining the rule of law: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_519

Sani further added that whoever opposed 'the divine rules and regulations (...) is not a Muslim', confirmed by Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs Lateef Adegbite, who was quoted as saying: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_520

In December 2005, Nigerian pastor Zacheous Habu Bu Ngwenche was attacked for allegedly hiding a convert. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_521

Oman Apostasy in Islam_section_38

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Oman and Human rights in Oman Apostasy in Islam_sentence_522

See also: Religion in Oman Apostasy in Islam_sentence_523

Oman does not have an apostasy law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_524

However, under Law 32 of 1997 on Personal Status for Muslims, an apostate's marriage is considered annulled and inheritance rights denied when the individual commits apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_525

The Basic Law of Oman, since its enactment in 1995, declares Oman to be an Islamic state and Sharia as the final word and source of all legislation. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_526

Omani jurists state that this deference to Sharia, and alternatively the blasphemy law under Article 209 of Omani law, allows the state to pursue death penalty against Muslim apostates, if it wants to. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_527

Palestine Apostasy in Islam_section_39

Main article: Freedom of religion in the State of Palestine Apostasy in Islam_sentence_528

The State of Palestine does not have a constitution; however, the Basic Law provides for religious freedom. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_529

The Basic Law was approved in 2002 by the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and signed by then-President Yasir Arafat. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_530

The Basic Law states that Islam is the official religion, but also calls for respect and sanctity for other "heavenly" religions (such as Judaism and Christianity) and that the principles of Shari'a (Islamic law) shall be the main source of legislation. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_531

The Palestinian Authority (PA) requires Palestinians to declare their religious affiliation on identification papers. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_532

Either Islamic or Christian ecclesiastical courts handle legal matters relating to personal status. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_533

Inheritance, marriage, and divorce are handled by such courts, which exist for Muslim and Christians. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_534

Citizens living in the West Bank found to be guilty of 'defaming religion' under the old Jordanian law, run the risk of years of imprisonment, up to for life. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_535

This happened to 26-year-old blogger Waleed Al-Husseini in October 2010, who was arrested and charged with defaming religion after openly declaring himself an atheist and criticising religion online. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_536

He was detained for ten months. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_537

After being released, he eventually fled to France, as the PA continued to harass him, and citizens called for him to be lynched. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_538

He later found out he was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in prison in absentia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_539

Pakistan Apostasy in Islam_section_40

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Pakistan, Human rights in Pakistan, Blasphemy law in Pakistan, and Capital punishment in Pakistan Apostasy in Islam_sentence_540

See also: Islamization of Pakistan and Religion in Pakistan Apostasy in Islam_sentence_541

Inheritance and property rights for apostates were prohibited by Pakistan in 1963. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_542

In 1991, Tahir Iqbal, who had converted to Christianity from Islam, was arrested on charges of desecrating a copy of the Qur'an and making statements against Muhammad. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_543

While awaiting trial, he was denied bail on the presumption by a Sessions Court and the appeals Division of the Lahore High Court that conversion from Islam was a "cognizable offense". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_544

This decision was upheld by the High Court. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_545

The judge hearing the case, Saban Mohyuddin, rejected the idea that Iqbal should be sentenced to death for conversion, saying that Iqbal could only be sentenced if it could be proven he had committed blasphemy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_546

The case was then transferred away from Mohyuddin. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_547

While there was no specific formal law prohibiting apostasy, the laws against apostasy have been effectuated through Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_548

Under Article 295 of its penal code, any Pakistani Muslim who feels his or her religious feelings have been hurt, directly or indirectly, for any reason or any action of another Pakistani citizen can accuse blasphemy and open a criminal case against anyone. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_549

According to the Federal Shariat Court, the punishment for any type of blasphemy is death. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_550

AbdelFatteh Amor has observed that the Pakistani judiciary has tended to hold apostasy to be an offence, although Pakistanis have claimed otherwise. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_551

The UN expressed concern in 2002 that Pakistan was still issuing death sentences for apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_552

The Apostasy Act 2006 was drafted and tabled before the National Assembly on 9 May 2007. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_553

The Bill provided an apostate with three days to repent or face execution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_554

Although this Bill has not officially become law yet, it was not opposed by the government which sent it to the parliamentary committee for consideration. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_555

The principle in Pakistani criminal law is that a lacuna in the statute law is to be filled with Islamic law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_556

In 2006 this had led Martin Lau to speculate that apostasy had already become a criminal offence in Pakistan. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_557

In 2010 the Federal Shariat Court declared that apostasy is an offence covered by Hudood under the terms of Article 203DD of the Constitution. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_558

The Federal Shariat Court has exclusive jurisdiction over Hudood matters and no court or legislation can interfere in its jurisdiction or overturn its decisions. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_559

Even though apostasy is not covered in statutory law, the Court ruled that it had jurisdiction over all Hudood matters regardless of whether there is an enacted law on them or not. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_560

Qatar Apostasy in Islam_section_41

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Qatar, Human rights in Qatar, and Blasphemy law § Qatar Apostasy in Islam_sentence_561

See also: Religion in Qatar Apostasy in Islam_sentence_562

Apostasy in Islam is a crime in Qatar. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_563

Its Law 11 of 2004 specific traditional Sharia prosecution and punishment for apostasy, considering it a hudud crime punishable by death penalty. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_564

Proselytizing of Muslims to convert to another religion is also a crime in Qatar under Article 257 of its law, punishable with prison term. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_565

According to its law passed in 2004, if proselytizing is done in Qatar, for any religion other than Islam, the sentence is imprisonment of up to five years. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_566

Anyone who travels to and enters Qatar with written or recorded materials or items that support or promote conversion of Muslims to apostasy are to be imprisoned for up two years. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_567

Casual discussion or "sharing one's faith" with any Muslim resident in Qatar has been deemed a violation of Qatari law, leading to deportation or prison time. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_568

There is no law against proselytizing non-Muslims to join Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_569

Saudi Arabia Apostasy in Islam_section_42

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Saudi Arabia, Human rights in Saudi Arabia, Blasphemy law in Saudi Arabia, and Capital punishment in Saudi Arabia Apostasy in Islam_sentence_570

See also: Wahhabism, Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Saudi Arabia), and Religion in Saudi Arabia Apostasy in Islam_sentence_571

Saudi Arabia has no penal code, and defaults its law entirely to Sharia and its implementation to religious courts. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_572

The case law in Saudi Arabia, and consensus of its jurists is that Islamic law imposes the death penalty on apostates. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_573

Apostasy law is actively enforced in Saudi Arabia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_574

For example, Saudi authorities charged Hamza Kashgari, a Saudi writer, in 2012 with apostasy based on comments he made on Twitter. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_575

He fled to Malaysia, where he was arrested and then extradited on request by Saudi Arabia to face charges. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_576

Kashgari repented, upon which the courts ordered that he be placed in protective custody. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_577

Similarly, two Saudi Sunni Muslim citizens were arrested and charged with apostasy for adopting the Ahmadiyya sect of Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_578

As of May 2014, the two accused of apostasy had served two years in prison awaiting trial. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_579

In 2012, the US Department of State alleged that Saudi Arabia's school textbooks included chapters which justified the social exclusion and killing of apostates. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_580

In 2015, Ahmad Al Shamri was sentenced to death for apostasy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_581

In January 2019, 18-year-old Rahaf Mohammed fled Saudi Arabia after having renounced Islam and being abused by her family. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_582

On her way to Australia, she was held by Thai authorities in Bangkok while her father tried to take her back, but Rahaf managed to use social media to attract significant attention to her case. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_583

After diplomatic intervention, she was eventually granted asylum in Canada, where she arrived and settled soon after. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_584

IslamQA which provides, "information regarding Islam in accordance with the Salafi school of thought", (which in 2020 was listed as the world's most popular website on the topic of Islam according to Alexa), has responded to a question, "What are the actions which, if a Muslim does them, he will be an apostate from Islam?" Apostasy in Islam_sentence_585

IslamQA answered saying, "a Muslim may apostatize from his religion by doing many acts that nullify Islam, which makes it permissible to shed his blood and seize his wealth". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_586

Somalia Apostasy in Islam_section_43

Main articles: Human rights in Somalia and Capital punishment in Somalia Apostasy in Islam_sentence_587

See also: Religion in Somalia Apostasy in Islam_sentence_588

Apostasy is a crime in Somalia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_589

Articles 3(1) and 4(1) of Somalia's constitution declare that religious law of Sharia is the nation's highest law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_590

The prescribed punishment for apostasy is the death penalty. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_591

There have been numerous reports of executions of people for apostasy, particularly Muslims who have converted to Christianity. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_592

However, the reported executions have been by extra-state Islamist groups and local mobs, rather than after the accused has been tried under a Somali court of law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_593

Sri Lanka Apostasy in Islam_section_44

See also: Religion in Sri Lanka Apostasy in Islam_sentence_594

In Sri Lanka, 9.7% of the population is Muslim. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_595

Due to the social taboo on leaving Islam, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Sri Lanka (CEMSL) was founded in secret in 2016. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_596

Members of the organisation hold meetings in hiding. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_597

In June 2019, Rishvin Ismath decided to come forward as spokesperson for the Council in order to denounce government-approved and distributed textbooks for Muslim students which stated that apostates from Islam should be killed. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_598

Ismath subsequently received several death threats. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_599

Sudan Apostasy in Islam_section_45

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Sudan, Human rights in Sudan, Blasphemy law in Sudan, and Capital punishment in Sudan Apostasy in Islam_sentence_600

See also: Islamization of Sudan and Religion in Sudan Apostasy in Islam_sentence_601

In Sudan, apostasy was punishable with the death penalty until July 2020. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_602

Article 126.2 of the Penal Code of Sudan (1991) read, Apostasy in Islam_sentence_603

Some notable cases of apostasy in Sudan included: Mahmoud Mohammed Taha, a Sudanese religious thinker, leader, and trained engineer, who was executed for "sedition and apostasy" in 1985 at the age of 76 by the regime of Gaafar Nimeiry. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_604

Meriam Ibrahim, a 27-year-old Christian Sudanese woman was sentenced to death for apostasy in May 2014, but allowed to leave the country in July after an international outcry. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_605

Sudanese ex-Muslim and human rights activist Nahla Mahmoud estimated that during the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, there were between 120 and 170 Sudanese citizens who had been convicted for apostasy, most of whom repented to avoid a death sentence. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_606

In July 2020, Justice Minister Nasredeen Abdulbari announced that the punishment for apostasy had been scrapped a few days earlier, as the declaration that someone was an apostate was "a threat to the security and safety of society". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_607

The move was part of a wider scrapping of "all the laws violating the human rights in Sudan" during the 2019–2021 Sudanese transition to democracy. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_608

Tunisia Apostasy in Islam_section_46

Following the 2010–11 Tunisian Revolution, a Constituent Assembly worked for 2.5 years to written a new Constitution, approved in January 2014, contained a provision in Article 6 granting freedom of conscience. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_609

It also stipulates that '[a]ccusations of apostasy and incitement to violence are prohibited'. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_610

With it, Tunisia became the first Arab-majority country to protect its citizens from prosecution for renouncing Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_611

Critics have pointed out alleged flaws of this formulation, namely that it violates the freedom of expression. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_612

The highest profile cases of apostasy in Tunisia were of the two atheist ex-Muslims Ghazi Beji and Jabeur Mejri, sentenced to 7.5 years in prison on 28 March 2012. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_613

They were prosecuted for expressing their views on Islam, the Quran and Muhammad on Facebook, blogs and in online books, which allegedly 'violated public order and morality'. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_614

Mejri wrote a treatise in English on Muhammad's supposedly violent and sexually immoral behaviour. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_615

When Mejri was arrested by police, he confessed under torture that his friend Beji had also authored an antireligious book, The Illusion of Islam, in Arabic. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_616

Upon learning he, too, was sought by the police, Beji fled the country and reached Greece; he obtained political asylum in France on 12 June 2013. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_617

Mejri was pardoned by president Moncef Marzouki and left prison on 4 March 2014 after several human rights groups campaigned for his release under the slogan "Free Jabeur". Apostasy in Islam_sentence_618

When Mejri wanted to accept Sweden's invitation to move there, he was again imprisoned for several months, however, after being accused of embezzling money from his former job by his ex-colleagues (who started bullying him as soon as they found out he was an atheist), a rumour spread by his former friend Beji (who felt betrayed by Mejri because he had outed him as an atheist). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_619

Turkey Apostasy in Islam_section_47

See also: Freedom of religion in Turkey Apostasy in Islam_sentence_620

Although there is no punishment for apostasy from Islam in Turkey, there are several formal and informal mechanisms in place that make it hard for citizens not to be Muslim. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_621

Non-Muslims, especially non-religious people, are discriminated against in a variety of ways. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_622

Article 216 of the penal code outlaws insulting religious belief, a de facto blasphemy law obstructing citizens from expressing irreligious views, or views critical of religions. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_623

A well-known example is that of pianist Fazıl Say in 2012, who was charged with insulting religion for publicly mocking Islamic prayer rituals (though the conviction was reversed by the Turkish Supreme Court, which determined Say's views were a protected expression of his freedom of conscience). Apostasy in Islam_sentence_624

Irreligious Turks are also often discriminated against in the workplace, because people are assumed to be Muslim by birth, and terms such as 'atheist' or 'nonbeliever' are frequently used insults in the public sphere. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_625

In 2014, the Turkish atheist association Ateizm Derneği was founded for nonreligious citizens, many of whom have left Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_626

The association won the International League of non-religious and atheists's Sapio Award 2017 for being the first officially recognised organisation in the Middle East defending the rights of atheists. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_627

An early April 2018 report of the Turkish Ministry of Education, titled "The Youth is Sliding to Deism", observed that an increasing number of pupils in İmam Hatip schools was abandoning Islam in favour of deism. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_628

The report's publication generated large-scale controversy amongst conservative Muslim groups in Turkish society. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_629

Progressive Islamic theologian Mustafa Ozturk noted the deist trend a year earlier, arguing that the "very archaic, dogmatic notion of religion" held by the majority of those claiming to represent Islam was causing "the new generations [to get] indifferent, even distant, to the Islamic worldview." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_630

Despite lacking reliable statistical data, numerous anecdotes appear to point in this direction. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_631

Although some commentators claim the secularisation is merely a result of Western influence or even a "conspiracy", most commentators, even some pro-government ones, have come to conclude that "the real reason for the loss of faith in Islam is not the West but Turkey itself: It is a reaction to all the corruption, arrogance, narrow-mindedness, bigotry, cruelty and crudeness displayed in the name of Islam." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_632

Especially when the AKP Islamists are in power to enforce Islam upon society, this is making citizens turn their back on it. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_633

United Arab Emirates Apostasy in Islam_section_48

Main articles: Freedom of religion in the United Arab Emirates, Human rights in United Arab Emirates, Blasphemy law in the United Arab Emirates, and Capital punishment in the United Arab Emirates Apostasy in Islam_sentence_634

See also: Religion in the United Arab Emirates Apostasy in Islam_sentence_635

Apostasy is a crime in the United Arab Emirates. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_636

In 1978, UAE began the process of Islamising the nation's law, after its council of ministers voted to appoint a High Committee to identify all its laws that conflicted with Sharia. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_637

Among the many changes that followed, UAE incorporated hudud crimes of Sharia into its Penal Code – apostasy being one of them. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_638

Article 1 and Article 66 of UAE's Penal Code requires hudud crimes to be punished with the death penalty. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_639

UAE law considers it a crime and imposes penalties for using the Internet to preach against Islam or to proselytize Muslims inside the international borders of the nation. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_640

Its laws and officials do not recognize conversion from Islam to another religion. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_641

In contrast, conversion from another religion to Islam is recognized, and the government publishes through mass media an annual list of foreign residents who have converted to Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_642

United Kingdom Apostasy in Islam_section_49

Main articles: Freedom of religion in the United Kingdom, Human rights in United Kingdom, Blasphemy law in the United Kingdom, and Capital punishment in United Kingdom Apostasy in Islam_sentence_643

See also: Islamization of Europe and Religion in United Kingdom Apostasy in Islam_sentence_644

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain (CEMB) is the British branch of the Central Council of Ex-Muslims, who represent former Muslims who fear for their lives because they have renounced Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_645

It was launched in Westminster on 22 June 2007. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_646

The Council protests against Islamic states that still punish Muslim apostates with death under the Sharia law. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_647

The council is led by Maryam Namazie, who was awarded Secularist of the Year in 2005 and has faced death threats. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_648

The British Humanist Association and National Secular Society sponsored the launch of the organisation and have supported its activities since. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_649

A July 2007 poll by the Policy Exchange think-tank revealed that 31% of British Muslims believed that leaving the Muslim religion should be punishable by death. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_650

CEMB assists about 350 ex-Muslims a year, the majority of whom have faced death threats from Islamists or family members. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_651

The number of ex-Muslims is unknown due to a lack of sociological studies on the issues and the reluctance of ex-Muslims to discuss their status openly. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_652

Writing for The Observer Andrew Anthony argued that ex-Muslims had failed to gain support from other progressive groups, due to caution about being labelled by other progressive movements as Islamophobic or racist. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_653

In November 2015, the CEMB launched the social media campaign #ExMuslimBecause, encouraging ex-Muslims to come out and explain why they left Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_654

Within two weeks, the hashtag had been used over a 100,000 times. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_655

Proponents argued that it should be possible to freely question and criticise Islam, opponents claimed the campaign was amongst other things 'hateful', and said the extremist excrescences of Islam were unfairly equated with the religion as a whole. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_656

Besides the CEMB, a new initiative for ex-Muslims, Faith to Faithless, was launched by Imtiaz Shams and Aliyah Saleem in early 2015. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_657

United States Apostasy in Islam_section_50

See also: Freedom of religion in the United States and Irreligion in the United States Apostasy in Islam_sentence_658

According to Pew Research Center estimate in 2016, there were about 3.3 million Muslims living in the United States, comprising about 1% of the total U.S. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_659

population. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_660

A 2015 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 23% of Americans who were raised as Muslims no longer identify with Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_661

However, many of them are not open about their deconversion, in fear of endangering their relationships with their relatives and friends. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_662

David B. Barrett, co-author of the World Christian Encyclopedia, estimated around 2000 that in the United States annually 50,000 Christians converted to Islam while 20,000 Muslims adopted Christianity. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_663

A 2002 article in The Washington Times by Julia Duin described the precarious situation of U.S. Muslim converts to Christianity: "Some have simply been shunned by their families. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_664

Others have been kidnapped by family members and friends, and put on a plane back home. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_665

All are reluctant to ask for protection from U.S. law enforcement, especially those converts with Arabic surnames who are leery of getting their names on a U.S. police report. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_666

However, there are no known instances of converts from Islam to Christianity who have been killed in the United States for their decision to leave their faith." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_667

Ibn Warraq, author of Why I Am Not a Muslim (1995) and Leaving Islam: Apostates Speak Out (2003), stressed the importance of this fact as a reason for 'not exaggerating' the fate of former Muslims in America, noting however: "They are threatened. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_668

They are attacked physically. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_669

I cite [in Leaving Islam] instances of young students who have converted and who were attacked but were rescued just in time." Apostasy in Islam_sentence_670

Well-known organisations who support ex-Muslims in the United States include Ex-Muslims of North America (EXMNA, co-founded by Muhammad Syed, Sarah Haider and others), Former Muslims United and Muslimish. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_671

Yemen Apostasy in Islam_section_51

Main articles: Freedom of religion in Yemen, Human rights in Yemen, Blasphemy law in Yemen, and Capital punishment in Yemen Apostasy in Islam_sentence_672

See also: Religion in Yemen Apostasy in Islam_sentence_673

Apostasy is a crime in Yemen. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_674

Articles 12 and 259 of the Yemen Penal Code address apostasy, the former requires Sharia sentence be used for apostasy and the latter specifies death penalty for apostates of Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_675

Yemeni law waives the punishment to an apostate if he or she recants, repents and returns to Islam while denouncing his or her new faith. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_676

In 2012, Yemeni citizen Ali Qasim Al-Saeedi was arrested and charged with apostasy by Yemeni law enforcement agency after he posted his personal views questioning the teachings of Islam, on a Yemeni blogging site and his Facebook page. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_677

Other countries Apostasy in Islam_section_52

Main article: Freedom of religion by country Apostasy in Islam_sentence_678

Apostasy is also a crime in smaller Muslim-majority countries such as Maldives and Comoros. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_679

In January 2006, in Turkey, Kamil Kiroglu was beaten unconscious and threatened with death if he refused to reject his Christian religion and return to Islam. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_680

Universal Declaration of Human Rights Apostasy in Islam_section_53

Main articles: Human rights in Muslim-majority countries and Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam Apostasy in Islam_sentence_681

Laws prohibiting religious conversion run contrary to Article 18 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states the following: Apostasy in Islam_sentence_682

Afghanistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria voted in favor of the Declaration. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_683

The governments of other Muslim-majority countries have responded by criticizing the Declaration as an attempt by the non-Muslim world to impose their values on Muslims, with a presumption of cultural superiority, and by issuing the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam—a joint declaration of the member states of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference made in 1990 in Cairo, Egypt. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_684

The Cairo Declaration differs from the Universal Declaration in affirming Sharia as the sole source of rights, and in limits of equality and behavior in religion, gender, sexuality, etc. Islamic scholars such as Muhammad Rashid Rida in Tafsir al-Minar, argue that the "freedom to apostatize", is different from freedom of religion on the grounds that apostasy from Islam infringes on the freedom of others and the respect due the religion of Islamic states. Apostasy in Islam_sentence_685

Literature and film Apostasy in Islam_section_54

Films and documentaries Apostasy in Islam_section_55

Apostasy in Islam_unordered_list_15

Books by ex-Muslims Apostasy in Islam_section_56

Apostasy in Islam_unordered_list_16

See also Apostasy in Islam_section_57

Apostasy in Islam_unordered_list_17


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy in Islam.