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. 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. Yet Islamic apologists in the West routinely charges that Islam’s death penalty for apostasy is an invention of greasy Islamophobes. Tunisia’s secular lawmakers, who said that “allowing the charge of apostasy in the constitution would mean giving jihadists license to kill,” are apparently all Islamophobic bigots. Who knew?
“Tunisia: melee disrupts constitutional debate,” from ANSAmed, January 22 (thanks to Insubria):
(ANSAmed) – ROME – A melee between secular and religious Tunisian lawmakers last night disrupted voting on a draft constitution, underscoring tensions over the role of Islam and the transition to democracy three years after the nation’s revolution.
Peppered with shouts, fits of tears, chants of ‘Allahu Akbar’ (God is great), shoving matches, and MPs leaving the room, the debate foundered on an article banning accusations of apostasy, which means renouncing one’s religion.
Religious MPs said the article is ”contrary to Islam”, while secular ones said allowing the charge of apostasy in the constitution would mean giving jihadists license to kill.
Elected in October 2011, the constituent assembly was expected to come up with a final draft within a year, but its work has been stymied by infighting, social unrest, and the assassination last year of two secular politicians, allegedly killed by hardline Islamist militants, whose violent proliferation since the 2011 uprising has widened the rift between Islamist and secular parties.
The ruling moderate Islamist Ennahda party having agreed to step down, approving the constitution is a key step before a caretaker government takes office to prepare for new elections later this year.
Deputy Assembly Speaker Meherzia Labidi, who is from the Ennahda party, ended up adjourning the session to Wednesday. (ANSAmed).