Islamic Tolerance Alert: “Islamic Sharia Scholars Call for Applying Apostasy Punishment and Enacting a Law Criminalizing Inter-Faith Marriages,” by Ahmed al-Beheri for Almasry Alyoum (thanks to Suzy):
Some participants in the symposium on ‘Apostasy Punishment: Problems and Answers’, called for the need to enact a law banning and criminalizing inter-faith marriage to overcome the problems that could occur between Muslims and Copts as a result of this marriage.
In his speech at the symposium organized by the cultural committee of the Syndicate of Journalists the day before last, Dr Mohamed Kamal Imam, Professor and Chairman of the Islamic Sharia Department at the Faculty of Law of the University of Alexandria, said why do not we pass a law expressly prohibiting marriage between followers of different faiths, especially in Egypt, so that to eliminate the problems that could occur because of this marriage and set off tension between Muslims and Christians.
He stressed that there is no contradiction between Allah’s words: “Then whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve” and “There is no compulsion in religion” on the one hand and the punishment of apostasy in Islam, because the first case — according to him — deals with the belief and carrying out punishments.
Kamal pointed out that Islam is a universal religion that realistically recognizes other religions and allows Muslims to marry non-Muslims and that it is the only religion that permits this, but enacting a law preventing matrimony between Muslims and followers of other religions would eliminate many problems.
Dr. Nasr Farid Wasel, former Egypt Mufti, said that all scholars agree that the punishment for rejecting Islam is punishable by death, because Islam did not sanction apostasy, because it did not force or coerce any one into embracing Islam, therefore a renegade must either repent or be condemned to the punishment of apostasy, because it is the right of Allah, the Almighty.
According to all scholars, from the days of the foremost companions and their followers until this time, the punishment for apostasy was sanctioned to preserve the rights and the unity of the community and therefore non-application of this punishment leads to disunity. Allah the Almighty said: “And verily this Brotherhood of yours is a single Brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore fear Me (and no other)”.
He pointed out that Islamic Sharia is the practical application of all acts of the people in life, for both Muslims or non-Muslims, and that it took into account every detail of the conditions of human life from birth till one meets his God, explaining that the practice of Sharia was in the area of general issues concerning the rights of God or the people, namely the ‘punishments’, as the scholars put it, which have been enacted to protect the rights of God and His servants.
“Whoever embraces Islam out of his own volition has made a contract with Allah and with the group, therefore he has no right to revoke it, because he embraced Islam after becoming fully convinced and he should bear the responsibility of his decision”, said Wasel.
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