We as Americans value religious freedom. Descended from people who themselves were persecuted for their religious choices, we made it a core article of our civic creed that one may freely practice one’s religion (within certain broad boundaries) and even change one’s beliefs without fear of punishment from the State. Not happy as a Catholic or a Buddhist? Then you can become Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, Hindu, Taoist, some brand of neo-pagan, even atheist — whatever you want. And if your new beliefs don’t make you happy, switch again. You’re religion is your own business, and no one else’s.
Except in Islam, where the punishment for apostasy is death:
An Afghan physiotherapist will be executed within three days for converting to Christianity.
Said Musa, 45, has been held for eight months in a Kabul prison were he claims he has been tortured and sexually abused by inmates and guards.
Mr Musa, who lost his left leg in a landmine explosion in the 1990s, has worked for the Red Cross for 15 years and helps to treat fellow amputees.
He was arrested in May last year as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy following a crackdown on Christians within Afghanistan.
He claims he was visited by a judge who told him he would be hanged within days unless he converted back to Islam.
But he remains defiant and said he would be willing to die for his faith.
This punishment is in line with what is written in the hadiths, the sayings and deeds of Muhammad as related by his Companions and those who came after. For example, we read in one of the most highly-trusted collections, the Sahih Bukhari:
Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.‘”
Emphasis added. Keep in mind that, according to the Qur’an, Muhammad was a perfect pattern of conduct for all mankind and, since the Qur’an is supposed to be the eternal words of Allah, for all time, too. Thus, while the sentence of death per se for apostasy doesn’t appear in the Qur’an, its presence in Bukhari’s collection as the words of Muhammad spell bad news for Mr. Musa.
Or anyone who wants to leave Islam.
This news prompts two questions:
How fragile and insecure must a religion be, that it threatens to kill those who dare leave it?
And why isn’t Secretary Clinton on the phone right now with Afghan President Karzai to remind him that a nation dedicated to religious freedom might have a problem with fighting and dying on behalf of a nation that kills people for exercising that freedom? Correct me if I’m wrong, but, so far as I can tell, the administration has said nothing.
via Jihad Watch
RELATED: A good discussion of Islam and apostasy at Sheik Yer’mami.
(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)