Muhammad would have approved. Islamic Tolerance Alert from the Islamic Republic: “Iran Parliament Passes Death Penalty for Apostasy Bill,” from the Christian Post, September 11 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The Iranian Parliament voted in favor of a bill Tuesday that would punish apostasy with the death penalty, a human rights group reported.
Lawmakers approved the bill with 196 votes in favor, seven against, and two abstentions, according to U.K.-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide. The draft bill seeks to add several crimes to the list of acts that would result in execution, including “establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution, and apostasy.”
CSW advocacy director Alexa Papadouris commented, “It is deeply worrying to hear that just days after Matin-Azad and Basirat have been charged with apostasy at a court in Shiraz, the Iranian Parliament is debating a bill that could codify the death penalty for someone choosing their own religion.”
Mahmoud Mohammad Matin-Azad, 53, and Arash Ahmad-Ali Basirat, 40, are Christian-converts from Islam who were charged with apostasy last week at the Public and Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, Iran. They are currently awaiting the court’s verdict and have been detained since May 15.
In August, there were five known arrests of Iranian Christians in three cities by authorities, according to the persecution watchdog agency Compass Direct News. Among those arrested was Ramtin Soodmand, who is the son of the last Christian convert to be executed for leaving Islam, on Aug. 21.
Soodmand’s father, Hossein Soodmand, was an Assemblies of God pastor who was executed by the state in 1990 under the false charge of working as an American spy. Since Soodmand’s death, six other Protestant pastors have been assassinated by unknown assailants….