Hanafi has been labeled an apostate, and as with the case of Abdul Rahman, those who would spare him the death sentence for apostasy are instead questioning his sanity. From Gulf News: “Professor under clerical fire for ‘disparaging’ Quran”
Cairo: An Egyptian university professor has angered Muslim clerics for his slur against the Holy Quran.
Hassan Hanafi, a professor of philosophy, has reportedly likened the Muslims’ holy scriptures to a “supermarket from which we can take what suits us and leave what does not suit us”. He has allegedly said that the names of God are contradictory and “indicate a despotic nature of the Creator”.
Hanafi was not immediately available for comment. But his remarks, widely reported in local newspapers, have drawn condemnations from Muslim clergy.
“Hanafi must have uttered such abhorrent views because he is a Marxist,” Abdul Sabour Shahin, a professor of Islamic Sharia told Gulf News.
Shahin denied he has demanded Hanafi be put to death.
“The best way to deal with people like him [Hanafi] is to ignore them completely,” added Shahin. Hanafi is not the first Egyptian academic to rouse Muslim clerics’ wrath for going public with his beliefs.
In 1993, Nasr Hamed Abu Zeid, a professor of Islamic studies, was taken to court because of his writings, which Islamists viewed as blasphemous.
They filed a lawsuit, demanding that his wife, a professor of French literature, divorce him on the grounds he was an apostate. A local court ruled in the Islamists’ favour, prompting the couple to flee Egypt to The Netherlands where they have settled.
“What Hanafi said came as no surprise me,” said Shaikh Moustafa Al Shakaa of the Islamic Research Centre, an influential arm of Al Azhar, which is the Sunnis’ top institution.
“I have known him [Hanafi] for more than 25 years. Sometimes he speaks about Islam in the best possible terms, but at other times he has nothing good to say about this faith,” Al Shakaa told this newspaper. “This proves he has a psychiatric disorder.”
Al Shakaa said that under Islam, if a Muslim proved to be an apostate, he deserved to be killed. “But I think Hanafi needs treatment, not killing.”