Muhammad commanded: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57), and the alleged “numerous verses in the Koran” that “guarantee freedom of belief” have not prevented all the sects of Islam and all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite, from teaching that apostates should be killed.
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.
Born and raised a Muslim in Syria, he was given the name “Tarek” in high school, when government officials wanted to enlist computer students to serve in an Internet surveillance program.
He never worked in the unit, but he has used the name to protect himself, both as a man fleeing Syria’s civil war and, more recently, as a recent convert to Christianity.
Now a refugee being sponsored by Toronto’s St. Philip Neri Catholic Parish in Downsview, Tarek* has spent more than a year waiting for his application to be processed so he can move to Canada.
But he maintains his assumed identity in Lebanon because he has been told his father and stepbrothers are determined to kill him for becoming a Christian.
“They are searching to cut my throat,” he says matter-of-factly. “I’ve been told they have hired someone to find me to get the mission accomplished.”
Tarek says he is nervous about the delays surrounding his move to Canada.
“Sometimes, I feel in danger. Especially when I go into the streets, when I come to Beirut. You never know if someone is looking for you.
“I’m living in a place where the majority are Muslims. So whenever I go to church on Sunday, they would know I’m Christian. So I don’t say anything about my religion, and when I go to mass, I say I am going to English classes because I plan to travel.”…