Don't Believe In Islam? So What.
The BBC reported Monday that an Afghan man is being tried in a court in the capital, Kabul, for converting from Islam to Christianity.
Abdul Rahman is charged with rejecting Islam and could face the death sentence under Sharia law unless he recants.
This is a preposterous and unjust interpretation of the Quran as my friend Subhan Ali points out:
No verse in the Qur'an explicitly states that there is an earthly penalty for apostasy. The Qur'an states that apostasy happens and that Allah despises it. See verses 2:256, 3:72, 3:90, 4:48, 4:137 and 5:54 which deal with apostasy directly and which do not prescribe any earthly punishment or death.If you cannot force someone to believe, how can you possibly justify punishing them for not believing? It makes no sense.
The verses (as translated by Yusuf Ali) are:
The quotation from Surah An-Nisa', 4:137, seems to imply that multiple, sequential apostasies are possible. That would not be possible if the person were executed after the first apostasy.
- "Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. " (Sura 2:256)
- "Those who believe, then reject faith, then believe (again) and (again) reject faith, and go on increasing in unbelief,- Allah will not forgive them nor guide them nor guide them on the way." (Sura 4:137)
- "O ye who believe! if any from among you turn back from his Faith, soon will Allah produce a people whom He will love as they will love Him,- lowly with the believers, mighty against the rejecters, fighting in the way of Allah, and never afraid of the reproaches of such as find fault. That is the grace of Allah, which He will bestow on whom He pleaseth. And Allah encompasseth all, and He knoweth all things." (Sura 5:54)
The most straight-forward interpretation of the Qur'anic injunction that there is no compulsion in religion [is] at odds with the death penalty as well, and leads [Muslims who follow only the Qur'an] to reject any legal or other human sanctions against apostates.
The Quran directs Muslims to punish people for their conduct, not their beliefs. To do otherwise is not only unjust, but absurd.
UPDATE: The charges against him were dropped.
Something tells me this had more to do with show biz than apostasy.