Yesterday, in an updated discussion of Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim’s “apostasy” conviction and sentencing, I pointed out that notwithstanding the U.S. cultural jihadist Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)’s dissimulation, as acknowledged by the bona fide Professor of Islamic Law, Ahmet Akgündüz, in his authoritative 2011 tome, Islamic Public Law,
All fiqh [Sharia-based jurisprudence] clearly testify that ambiguity about the matter of the apostate’s execution never existed among Muslims. The expositions of the Prophet, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the great Companions of the Prophet, their Followers, the leaders among the mujtahids [most learned Islamic theologians] and, following them, the experts on Sharia in every century are available on record. All these together will assure one that, from the time of the Prophet to the present day, one injunction only has been continuously and uninterruptedly operative and that there is no room whatsoever to suggest that the punishment of the apostate is perhaps not execution.
The universality of these Islamic attitudes affects Muslim communities in the West, including North America. Syed Mumtaz Ali, the late architect of Canada’s Sharia (Islamic Law) tribunal, and law professor Ali Khan, for example both have openly advocated extending Islamic apostasy laws to the West. Mumtaz Ali, in a disturbing essay, affirmed the traditional Islamic legal viewpoint that apostates must “choose between Islam and the sword,” arguing further that if Canada were to act in accord with its own Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian government must grant the country’s Islamic community authority to punish those Muslims who apostatize, or malign their faith.
Washburn (Topeka, Kansas) University Law Professor, Ali Khan, another practicing Muslim, provided a more original, but no less chilling rationale for Muslims in the West to violate, fatally, the basic freedom of conscience of their co-religionists. Khan argued in The Cumberland Law Review that apostasy from Islam is an “attack” upon “protected knowledge,” which if deemed (i.e., by some Islamic tribunal one must assume!) to be “open, hostile, and voiced contemptuously,” justified punishment by death. Ali Khan is convinced that traditional Islamic law precepts antipodean to freedom of conscience nevertheless trump this foundational Western freedom, because,
Islam is the truth beyond doubt. [And] [t] hese rules preserve the dignity of protected knowledge, discouraging an ‘easy in, easy out’ attitude toward Islam.
And in April, 2009 Harvard Muslim chaplain Taha Abdul-Basser explained approvingly to a Muslim student that the traditional Islamic practice of executing apostates from Islam, remained both venerable, and applicable:
There is great wisdom (hikma) associated with the established and preserved position (capital punishment), and so, even if it makes some uncomfortable in the face of the hegemonic modern human-rights discourse, one should not dismiss it out of hand.
A mainstream, North American imam-training organization, the Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, consistent with modern fatwas published by Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, president of the International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS), and other prominent, mainstream Muslim clerics in Egypt (i.e., from the Vatican of Sunni Islam, Al-Azhar University), Lebanon, Iran, and Malaysia, has also mandated lethal punishment for apostates from Islam.
The Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America, (AMJA) whose mission statement maintains the organization was, “…founded to provide guidance for Muslims living in North America…AMJA is a religious organization that does not exploit religion to achieve any political ends, but instead provides practical solutions within the guidelines of Islam and the nation’s laws to the various challenges experienced by Muslim communities…”, issued these rulings, in 2006 and 2009:
Dr. Hatem al-Haj 2006-04-17 As for the Sharia ruling, it is the punishment of killing for the man with the grand Four Fiqh Sharia scholars, and the same with the woman with the major Shari`ah scholars, and she is jailed with Al-Hanafiyyah scholars, as the prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever a Muslim changes his/her religion, kill him/her”, and his saying: “A Muslim`s blood, who testifies that there is no god except Allah and that I am the Messenger of Allah, is not made permissible except by three reasons: the life for the life; the married adulterer and the that who abandons his/her religion”.
Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah 2009-01-02 Under the authority of the Muslim state, the People of the Book have the right to stay on their belief without being compelled to embrace Islam. But if one of them has embraced Islam, it would not be acceptable from him to go back to his original religion. The same rule applies to those who are born into Muslim families. According to the Islamic Law, they cannot commit apostasy.
Dr. Main Khalid Al-Qudah 2009-04-10 As for the second one, the “people” in this hadith means either the apostates who had become Muslim and then retreated to disbelief thereafter, or the polytheists who do not attribute themselves to any divine religion. This second possible meaning has been mentioned in Imam Al-Nasa’i’s narration: “I have been commanded to fight against the polytheists until they…” In Islam, neither of these categories of people is allowed to remain on their religion. The fact that there is no compulsion in religion does not negate the other fact that someone who has embraced Islam cannot change his mind afterward and embrace polytheism.
The issuance of such “rulings” by a so-called council of Muslim jurists in North America antithetical to the protection of freedom of conscience enshrined in American law, is mirrored by the overwhelming refusal of mainstream Islamic organizations to sign a simple, unequivocal pledge composed and distributed (originally in October 2009, and again July 4, 2012) to a total of 359 prominent U.S. Muslim leaders) by ex-Muslims living in America. This “Freedom Pledge” merely asked such avatars of Islamic pluralism and ecumenism “…to repudiate the threat from authoritative Sharia to the religious freedom and safety of former Muslims.”
Finally, the results of polling data collected by Wenzel Strategies during October 22 to 26, 2012, from 600 US Muslims (over-represented by those with high socio-economic status), indicate widespread support among rank and file American votaries of Islam for fundamental rejection of freedom of expression, and conscience as guaranteed under the US Constitution. The first amendment states, plainly,
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;
When asked, “Do you believe that criticism of Islam or Muhammad should be permitted under the Constitution’s First Amendment?, 58% replied “no,” while only 42% affirmed this most basic manifestation of freedom of speech, i.e., to criticize religious, or any other dogma. Indeed, oblivious to US constitutional law, as opposed to Islam’s Sharia, a largely concordant 45% of respondents agreed “…that those who criticize or parody Islam in the U.S. should face criminal charges,” while 38% did not, and 17% were “unsure”. Moreover, fully 12% of this Muslim sample even admitted they believed in application of the draconian, Sharia-based punishment for the non-existent crime of “blasphemy” in the US code, answering affirmatively, “…that Americans who criticize or parody Islam should be put to death.”
Also, consistent with such findings 43% of these US Muslims rejected the right of members of other faiths to proselytize to adherents of Islam, disagreeing, “…that U.S. citizens have a right to evangelize Muslims to consider other faiths.” Additional confirmatory data revealed that nearly two-fifths (39%) agreed “…that Shariah law should be considered when adjudicating cases that involve Muslims, ” while nearly one-third (32%) of this American Muslim sample believed “…Shariah law should be the supreme law of the land in the US.”