As I have discussed elsewhere, the circumstances of Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim’s arrest and “conviction” for “apostasy” are eerily reminiscent of those almost 200 years earlier surrounding Moroccan Jewess Sol Hachuel’s brutally unjust plight, and ultimate martyrdom. These shared dynamics, which negate basic freedom of conscience, provide stark evidence of the Sharia’s depressing persistence as a force of religious oppression—regnant, unreformed, and unrepentant—into our era. For example, dismissing the international outcry over Meriam Ibrahim’s Sharia-compliant, if Western human rights repugnant, “conviction,” Sudan’s Minister of Information, Ahmed Bilal Osman, replied with candor and defiance:
It’s not only Sudan. In Saudi Arabia, in all the Muslim countries, it is not allowed at all for a Muslim to change his religion.
Ahmet Akgündüz, Full Professor of Islamic Law at Dumlupinar University, Turkey, has written extensively about the Sharia, including his most recent work on the subject, a 733 pp. tome, Islamic Public Law (2011). Akgündüz’s frank, authoritative discussion of the Sharia-mandated punishment for apostasy in Islamic Public Law, validates Sudan Minister of Information Bilal Osman’s candid observation, the actual treatment of Meriam Ibrahim’s case, and over 13 centuries of similar applications of the Sharia, vis-à-vis Muslim apostates, since the advent of Islam.
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.
Some [Islamic] law schools allow imprisonment instead of death for apostate women. The schools vary on the question if an apostate may be allowed or encouraged to repent as well as on the status of the apostate’s property after death or banishment. But they agree that the marriage of an apostate is void. Under Islamic law, an apostate may be given up to three days while in incarceration to repent and accept Islam again. If he does not the apostate is killed without reservations. There are differences among the four schools in the various details on how to deal with the various aspects of imposing the punishments with respect to the material property and holdings of the apostate and regarding the status and rights of the family of the apostate. A distinction is also made between a murtad fitri, an apostate who was born of Muslim parents, and a murtad milli, an apostate who had initially converted to Islam. Some additional punishments and considerations are mentioned: a divorce is automatic if either spouse apostatizes; an underage apostate is imprisoned until he reaches the age of majority and then he is killed, and the recommended execution is beheading with a sword.
The Ottoman state did not accept abolishing capital punishment for apostates…Apostasy is punishable by death today in Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Qatar, Yemen, Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Mauritania…Other punishments prescribed by Islamic law [at present] include the annulment of marriage with a Muslim spouse, the removal of children, and the loss of all property and inheritance rights.
The way Hudud [or “hadd, “i.e., mandatory Sharia prohibitions and punishments, such as apostasy, punished by death] is being implemented today does not adhere to the goals of sharia in its spirit and intention.
Recalling European Muslim Sharia supremacist Tariq Ramadan’s clumsy ploy when he invoked a “moratorium” on the hudud [hadd] punishment of stoning adulterers to death—not demanding such punishments be abrogated forever—MPAC opined that “Muslim-majority countries” should “implement a moratorium on so-called Hudud cases,” such as Meriam Ibrahim’s sentencing to death for “apostasy.”
MPAC’s disingenuous claim about lack of “adherence” to the Sharia, combined with its failure—ala Tariq Ramadan—to insist that hadd prohibitions and punishments be permanently eliminated—is consistent with a Sharia supremacist agenda. Indeed MPAC founding member Fathi Osman denounced Western societies who dared express concern, “about any movement or state which may commit itself to Islam and Islamic law.” These sentiments of MPAC’s Osman mirror Tariq Ramadan’s ultimate, guiding Islamic Weltanschauung:
anyone who opposes the Sharia, which is based on clear texts, deviates from the religion and is no longer a Muslim.