Apostasy in Islam - Ridda - Irtidad
Classical orthodox Islam regards leaving Islam, apostasy (ridda) with great seriousness. According to the Quran for whom leaves Islam the only punishment to be expected for the apostate (murtadd) is by God at doomsday. The Hadith - traditions relating to the sayings and doings of the Islamic prophet Mohammed - proscribes a more serious earthly punishment for apostates. According to current interpretations (all classical versions of Sharia "juridical" practices) there is punishment of death for men and lifelong incarceration for women found guilty of apostasy. There is however a possibility to avoid punishment by returning to Islam. Modern liberal interpreters of Islam look at the statements in the Quran, that claim there can be no religion by force (Sura 2,257) and thus reject the punishment for apostasy. Read more here.
By law most Muslim countries do not punish apostasy by death, but it is still carried out in Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan, to name a few. In the other countries, civilians can and sometimes do take Islamic law into their own hands and kill the apostate and get little to no punishment for it.
What is worrisome is that most Muslim leaders in the West do not distance themselves to the classical punishment of apostasy. In doing so they foster an environment of religious intolerance and confrontation. What is beyond comprehension is that most Western political leaders do not dare to criticize the practice of punishment for apostasy. And when some few do dare - it is always in light and careful terms.
Here are some examples of recent cases (hat tip to Angantyr, blog in Danish):
Doctors in a Cairo mental hospital are holding an Egyptian Christian against his will, telling the man he'll be a permanent resident there until he recants his faith and returns to Islam, reports a leading monitor of Christian persecution.I do not care to share planet with perpetrators of this another example of Islamic madness. It is an abomination that practices comparable to the Spanish Inquisition take place in the twenty first century.
Zakho (AsiaNews/MEC) – A Christian convert from Islam was killed for his faith. Ziwar Muhammad Isma’il, who worked as a taxi driver in Zakho in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, was shot dead by Abd al-Karim Abd al-Salam at a taxi station early on the morning of February 17.
Abd al-Salam approached Ziwar and told him to return to Islam. When Ziwar refused he opened fire with an automatic rifle.
Ask Samer and Abeer. Last September Jordanian security police connected to the country's Mukhabarat, or intelligence agency, showed up at the couple's home unannounced. They arrested Samer and detained him overnight. Samer's crime: coming to faith in Jesus Christ 14 years ago. Originally a Muslim, Samer over the years since his conversion has been questioned several times by security police but never detained.
This time, the police turned him over to the Islamic courts. The judges convicted Samer of apostasy. In a Nov. 23 decision the court decreed that his identification papers must be changed from "Muslim" to "no religion;" that he had forfeited any inheritance; that his marriage to Abeer is now illegal and therefore he is not entitled to custody of his son.
IRAN - Christians in Iran have expressed great fears for the life of pastor Hamid Pourmand, a lay leader in a church and a convert from Islam, who will appear before an Islamic court next week to face charges of apostasy. If found guilty he is likely to face the death penalty.
Also in Malaysia (the current example of well functioning Muslim democracy) Muslims can be punished to leave Islam:
In July when the Sharia court sentenced four Kelantan Malays to 20 months jail for apostasy, the rights of Muslims to quit Islam has come under intense discussion over the Internet.
ANOTHER six Christians have been arrested in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia as part of a new crackdown
On August 19, three other Eritrean Christians were arrested, known only bytheir first names of Gabayu, Kebrom and Mesfin. There are reports of more arrests, but these have not been confirmed.
There is particular concern for Mr Buliamin, a Christian whose passport say she is a Muslim. This means he could face the charge of apostasy from Islam, the penalty for which is death under Sharia law.