Here we go again: yet more evidence that statements about Islamic doctrine like these from Muslims in the U.S. do not reflect Islamic doctrine as it is actually understood in Sharia states. So are al-Marayati, Bassiouni, Eteraz and all the others who say such things actually reformers? Unlikely, given the fact that they do not challenge actions like this latest in the Islamic Republic. Their statements are less likely to be declarations of a reformist impulse than deceptions designed to lull Western non-Muslims into thinking that there is no problem here worthy of attention from human rights activists and organizations or anyone else.
“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
Unfortunately for the apostates, the facts are otherwise.
Muhammad, the prophet of Islam and supreme example of conduct for the Muslim (cf. Qur’an 33:21), said: “Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him.” (Bukhari 9.84.57)
The Tafsir al-Qurtubi, a classic and thoroughly mainstream exegesis of the Qur’an, says this about Qur’an 2:217: “Scholars disagree about whether or not apostates are asked to repent. One group say that they are asked to repent and, if they do not, they are killed. Some say they are given an hour and others a month. Others say that they are asked to repent three times, and that is the view of Malik. Al-Hasan said they are asked a hundred times. It is also said that they are killed without being asked to repent.”
All the schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that a sane adult male who leaves Islam must be killed. They have some disagreements about what must he done with other types of people who leave Islam, but they have no disagreement on that.
“Iran: regime hits out at apostasy — 70 arrested,” by Elizabeth Kendal for Assist News Service, January 13:
(ANS) – Ethnic Armenian and Assyrian Orthodox Churches in Iran may exist in peace as long as they do not proselytise (i.e. seek converts). It is illegal to preach Christianity in Farsi (the Persian language) just as it is illegal for Muslims to reject Islam (apostasy). The penalty for apostasy is death. So when Muslim Farsi-speaking Iranians convert to Christianity, they must meet and worship in illegal ‘underground’ fellowships.
Early on 25 26 December 2010 armed plainclothed agents from the infamous Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) raided the homes of Christians known to be converts from Islam and/or active in witnessing to Muslims. As well as confiscating CDs, Bibles, religious books, computers and personal documents, they arrested 25 Christians. Sixteen other Christians listed for arrest were not home at the time of the raids and remain unaccounted for. Further to this there are unconfirmed reports that as many as 50 other mostly young believers have since been arrested. Amongst those detained are five married couples, one of whom has been separated from their two-year-old child and another from their breast-feeding infant. The detained Christians are being interrogated and coerced. Eleven have since been released after signing documents promising to refrain from Christian activity. The detained believers are virtually all converts from Islam.
The governor of Tehran province, Morteza Tamadon, describes Protestants and evangelicals as ‘corrupt and deviant’ and also accuses them of conducting an ‘enemy cultural invasion’. ‘The leaders of this movement,’ he declared, ‘have been arrested in Tehran province and more will be arrested in the near future. Just like the Taliban, who have inserted themselves into Islam like a parasite, [evangelicals] have crafted a movement with Britain’s backing in the name of Christianity. But their conspiracy was unveiled quickly and the first blows were delivered to them.’
In June 2010 Protestant pastor Youcef Nadrkhani and his wife Fatemah were arrested in the northern city of Rasht. According to court documents, Nadrkhani has been convicted of apostasy, organising meetings, proselytising, establishing a house church, baptising people, and openly expressing his distaste for Islam. For these crimes he has been sentenced to death while Fatemah has been sentenced to life in prison. The couple have two young children. In September 2010 a court of appeals upheld the death sentence, which is being delayed to give MOIS more time to try to coerce Pastor Nadrkhani to return to Islam.
Pastor Behrouz Sadegh-Khanjani, also arrested in June 2010, has likewise been indicted for apostasy and similar ‘national security’ offences. Nine other believers arrested with him, including his wife, have been released but he has not yet been sentenced.
In October 2010 Iran’s intelligence minister said his agents had discovered hundreds of underground church groups, including 200 in the Muslim holy city of Mashad. According to iranfocus.com, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an October speech that Iran’s enemies were behind the underground churches. The director of the Toronto-based Iranian Christian News Agency, Saman Kamvar states, ‘Since officials gave these comments, pressure has increased on our community, and the crackdowns have taken a more organised shape.’…