Muhammad said: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. Yet Muslim spokesmen such as Harris Zafar, Mustafa Akyol, Salam al-Marayati, M. Cherif Bassiouni, and Ali Eteraz (among many others) have assured us that Islam doesn’t punish apostasy. I am confident that Zafar, Akyol, al-Marayati, Bassiouni, and Eteraz are making their way to Kabul as we speak, so as to explain to Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, Afghani Parliament Member, that he is getting Islam all wrong, wrong, wrong.
One wonders: why, if it is so clear that Islam has no death penalty for apostasy, do so many Muslims misunderstand that? And why is it “Islamophobia” to point out that so many don’t seem to get the memo?
“Afghani MP: ‘Execute Afghan Christian Converts,’!” from Mohabat News, September 7 (thanks to Padre Juan):
Mohabat News — Quds Online news website, affiliated with Astan Quds Razavi Foundation, reported that an Afghani news service, Ava, has published a report stating that the number of Christians is increasing in the country. The Afghan news service quoted Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, Afghani Parliament Member, as saying, “Afghani citizens continue to convert to Christianity in India. Numerous Afghanis have become Christians in India. This is an offense to Islamic Laws and according to the Quran they need to be executed“.
Earlier, another Member of Afghanistan’s Parliament had acknowledged that an Afghani church had been built in India. He said, “A church has been built in India called Afghani’s Church. Any Afghani citizen who travels to India would be officially invited to the church”.
Some other Afghani MPs, however, blame the U.S. for the increasing number of Christian conversions.
In this regard, Abdul Latif Pedram, who represents Badakhshan province in the Afghani Parliament, stated, “The presence of the U.S. in Afghanistan results in the conversion of Afghans to Christianity. The United States’ long term plan is to attack Afghani Culture. Converting Afghan citizens serves that purpose”. He also claimed, “If you want to stop people from converting to Christianity, and are afraid that more people will convert, then why did you sign the Bilateral Security Agreement with the U.S.?
Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, Speaker of the Parliament, has a long record of anti-Christian activities. Condemning all evangelical activities in Afghanistan, he ordered the National Security Committee in parliament to seriously follow up on the issue through authoritative organizations.
Of course, such harsh statements against Christianity are made while a number of members of the Parliament of Afghanistan have converted to Christianity, despite all the risks involved.
Islamic leaders of Afghanistan consider the growth of Christianity to be a threat. This phenomenon has reached the point where we had reports that some Afghani Islamic clerics warned the government against the influence of Christianity in the country. A while ago, the Islamic Council of Afghanistan notified President Karzai about more Christian aid-workers and missionaries coming to Afghanistan and the likelihood of more conversions across the country.