“Rev. Lorenz is then quoted in a local television station report saying that if a Muslim leaves his religion and does not return to Islam in a couple of days, then he must be killed. He claims that someone showed him the verse. There is no such verse, Rev. Lorenz. In every faith, apostasy is shunned but ultimate judgment is left to God, not people.” — Salam al-Marayati
“A Muslim’s conversion to Christianity is not a crime punishable by death under Islamic law.” — M. Cherif Bassiouni
“It becomes really difficult, in light of this information, to persuasively argue that Islamic Law should permit a death penalty for apostasy.” — Ali Eteraz
Some will say There he goes again, criticizing genuine reformers instead of supporting them.
In reality, I would wholeheartedly support any genuine Muslim reformer. It seems to me that there are two ways to tell a reformer from a deceiver:
1. A reformer will acknowledge the existence of the doctrine that he believes needs reforming, rather than deny its existence. So a reformer will admit that the schools of Islamic jurisprudence unanimously teach the death penalty for apostasy, and will say that that needs to be changed, rather than claiming that Islamic law doesn’t mandate death for apostates.
2. A reformer will address those who hold the doctrine he rejects, and try to convince them of its falsity, rather than address those who simply point out that the disputed doctrine is held. So a reformer on Islamic apostasy law will devote his efforts to convincing his fellow Muslims that the law should be changed, rather than spending all his time convincing gullible non-Muslims that there is no death penalty for apostasy in the first place.
Bassiouni has been good on #2, as he did write to the government of Afghanistan in defense of Abdul Rahman, the convert from Islam to Christianity who was arrested and was in fear for his life a few years ago. But he has equivocated and contradicted himself regarding #1, and refused to address or correct the contradiction.
NAIROBI, Kenya, August 22 (Compass Direct News) — Muslim extremists seeking evidence that a Somali man had converted from Islam to Christianity shot him dead Tuesday morning (Aug. 18) near the Somali border with Kenya, according to underground Christians in the war-torn nation.
Al Shabaab rebels killed 41-year-old Ahmed Matan in Bulahawa, Somalia, according to Abdikadir Abdi Ismael, a former leader of a secret Christian fellowship in Somalia to which Matan belonged. Matan had been a member of the underground church since 2001.
The early morning shooting comes at a time when Islamist groups led by al Shabaab are hunting down converts to Christianity as they seek to establish sharia (Islamic law) throughout Somalia.
Ismael, who fled the area in 2005, said he received a telephone call from Matan two weeks ago in which the convert told him that monitoring by the Islamic extremists kept him from leaving his home and carrying out his small-trade business across the border in Mandera, in eastern Kenya.
“I am afraid for my life — the al Shabaab want to get a proof that I follow the Christian faith,” Matan told Ismael. “They have not been seeing me in the mosque and seem to have realized that I am not part of them.”
Ismael subsequently learned from a member of the underground church who requested anonymity that on Aug. 18 Matan was shot dead as he was about to enter Mandera with a donkey carrying goods for sale such as sugar, batteries and shampoo. He was a father of three, his last child just 3 months old….
Ismael was visibly shaken by the death of his close friend.
“We have been going through difficult times because of choosing to follow Christianity,” Ismael told Compass. “We have lost everything. We even lack words to share our feelings. I have been always on the run from one refugee camp to another. The Muslims have issued a fatwa on me.”…