Islamic apologists in the West routinely claim that Islam has no death penalty for apostasy. Unfortunately, misunderstanders of Islam abound in large numbers, and for some reason they cannot shake the notion that Islam does mandate death for those who are considered to have left the faith. Why do they persist in this misunderstanding? Maybe it’s because Muhammad commanded: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”
There is only disagreement over whether the law applies only to men, or to women also – some authorities hold that apostate women should not be killed, but only imprisoned in their houses until death.
“Mystery over girl’s murder in church,” by Oluwatoyin Malik for the Nigerian Tribune, April 6:
Could a man order his daughter’s murder just because she changed faith? If that was not the case, who and what could have been responsible for the death of 19-year-old Kaosara Isiaka, who was hacked to death inside Calvary Church, Ayekale area, Ibadan, Oyo State where she attended a vigil service?
This was the mystery the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Iyaganku, of Oyo State Police Command tried to resolve when the case was transferred to its Homicide Section in March from Agugu Division which handled it initially.
Aside Kaosara who was killed, the pastor of the church, Pastor Daniel Oladimeji (50); his wife; and a member of the church, one Anu Olumuyiwa, were also seriously injured, with the pastor mostly affected, as he is yet to fully recover from the deep machete cuts inflicted on his head and body.
Initially, he was given up for the dead as no one thought he could survive the injuries. Crime Reports findings revealed that unknown attackers invaded the church on February 26 at about 3.45a.m. The pastor and others were sleeping when the invaders came. As he woke up, the pastor reportedly started pleading that he and his members should be spared, but the hoodlums were quoted to have said that they had been paid for the lives of their captives.
Crime Reports learnt that the hoodlums spent about 30minutes. While others kept watch outside, one of them was said to have inflicted fatal machete cuts on Kaosara, the pastor, his wife and Anu before leaving with the cleric’s phone and his wife’s money.
After the attackers left, the pastor reportedly struggled to call his in-law who came over to rush him and others to Mobolaji Hospital, Oremeji area, Ibadan. Unfortunately, Kaosara gave up the ghost while doctors also battled to save Pastor Oladimeji’s life and those of his wife and church member. Though he had been discharged, the pastor is yet to fully recover, according to a reliable source.
According to the pastor, “before the incident, Kaosara had told me that her father threatened to kill her, as he did not want her to become a Christian, being a muslim himself. I never knew the father, but she used to tell me that he was wicked. It was because of this she preferred to sleep in the church.
“On the fateful day, we were inside the church sleeping when a man came in and started asking of Kaosara. He started using a cutlass to inflict injury on me. Before the attack on me, I heard Anu, another girl who was inside the church too, shouting for help. As I fell down, I heard Kaosara’s agonising cry too. I didn’t know anything again until I woke up in the hospital.”
Anu (19), also said: “I was in the church to pray about my coming Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE). I woke up from sleep when a man attacked the pastor with cutlass after gaining entry into the church. The man came to me and asked of Kaosara. I told him I didn’t know where she was and he landed a machete blow on my head.
“He moved around and saw Kaosara where she was. He started inflicting machete cuts on her. The man came to me again and asked of the pastor’s wife; again, I told him I didn’t know. He hit me with the cutlass the second time and said he had been sent to kill pastor and Kaosara. He thereafter collected pastor’s phone as well as money belonging to the pastor’s wife.”
However, Isiaka denied being responsible for the attack on and killing of his daughter, saying that she was his first child and he would not have wished her evil. The man, an automobile technician turned bricklayer, told Crime Reports that he was informed of his daughter’s predicament on February 26.
“It is true I knew that she was attending church but I never stopped her. My daughter was a wayward girl who liked men and before her death, I cautioned her severally, but she did not listen to me. Before her death, she accused her younger sister of stealing and I reprimanded her.
Because of this, she left for her mother’s younger sister’s place.
“My daughter was an apprentice with a woman popularly called Iya Ibeji, from whom she was learning fashion designing. I knew it was the woman who introduced her to church but I didn’t know the church or the pastor. I never sent anyone after my daughter and I don’t know the person who went to the church to kill her,” Isiaka said.
Meanwhile, Crime Reports learnt the suspect was charged to court and remanded in prison custody.