“The suspects have confessed that they killed Amiri because he was an ‘apostate,’ and they wanted to go to heaven. They said the Quran has sanctioned killing apostates, and that’s what they did.”
Amiri was not an apostate from Islam, unless the killers think all Baha’is are apostates from Islam, but the death penalty for apostasy is well-established: “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.” (Qur’an 4:89)
A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “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.
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.”
Qaradawi also once famously said: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”
Sixty-three-year old Farhang Amiri, a Baha’i man that was well-known in his community, was stabbed to death outside his home in the city of Yazd, 312 miles southeast of Tehran, on September 26, 2016, the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran has learned.
“The suspects have confessed that they killed Amiri because he was an ‘apostate,’ and they wanted to go to heaven,” a source close to the victim told the Campaign. “They said the Quran has sanctioned killing apostates, and that’s what they did. Their written confessions are in the case file.”
“He had a knife up to the handle in his side and another in his heart,” said the source. “He also had stab wounds in other parts of his body.”
The Baha’i community is one of the most severely persecuted religious minorities in Iran. The faith is not recognized in the Islamic Republic’s Constitution and its members face harsh discrimination in all walks of life as well as prosecution for the public display of their faith.
Amiri’s murder is part of a “systematic effort by the Iranian authorities to encourage hatred and bigotry against Baha’is,” Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community (BIC), said in a statement on October 26, 2016.
“Just in the city of Yazd alone, there have been multiple acts of persecution over the past few years, including dozens of wrongful arrests and imprisonments as well as scores of raids on Baha’i residences and businesses,” she added.
“The Amiri family wants this case to be investigated fairly and hopes it will take its legal course,” the source told the Campaign. “The Baha’i faith does not believe in retribution, but [the family] demands the next maximum punishment.”…