Monday, August 14, 2017

Executing Apostates pleases some

FMT - What should Muslims do about apostasy? (extracts):

All over social media, young Malaysian Muslims are calling for the death of those who have left the religion to become atheists. Many claim that this is the appropriate Islamic punishment for apostasy.

The problem with this kind of talk is not that apostates from Islam will ever be punished with death in Malaysia, at least not legally. The problem is that it doesn’t address the Muslim community’s concern because one could argue that it only serves to encourage apostasy.

Consider that this issue pops up at a time when all over the world Muslims are seen as merciless, barbaric and bloodthirsty. Whether or not the so-called Muslims on our television screens are representative of Islam, the fact is that they are making headlines and not painting a very pretty picture of the religion.

Shouldn’t we then assume that this is one of the reasons some Muslims are leaving the religion? Perhaps they don’t want to be associated with a religion whose adherents are bloodthirsty. The calls for the killing of apostates only deepen that impression.

Is God smiling upon Muslims who make public calls for the capture and killing of apostates in the name of Islam or is He frowning upon them for making Islam look so ugly?

Exegetes agree that the Quran does not prescribe any worldly punishment for apostasy. In the authenticated sayings of the Prophet, such punishment is prescribed in specific circumstances as a means to protect the community, particularly in times of war. Many commentators have said that the “apostasy” that calls for capital punishment should therefore be understood as treason.

For example, the 9th century jurist Ibnu Humam wrote:

“It is necessary to punish apostasy with death in order to avert the evil of war, not as punishment for the act of unbelief, because the greatest punishment for that is with God. This punishment is specifically for those who wage war and this is for the man. The Prophet prohibited killing women because they do not fight.”

The arguments behind the above story is not new. For years we have heard of the punishment of 'apostasy' being the ancient punishment for 'treason' (rather than disbelief in Islam per se).

But it suits the ulama (till today) to propagate the fallacy, of apostasy meriting execution, as it's a punishment which threatens Muslims into fearful obedience.

Secondly, there is in some a (human?) tendency to invoke violence to intimidate the opposition and to thus secure victory in their own cause. The recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA by right-wing White Supremacists has been a case of exploiting violence to create fear, chaos and confusion to gain victory.

kkk rally in charlottesville 

in penang malaysia 

IS (Daesh), Neo-Nazi Israeli government forces, Hindu rights groups in the BJP-led sub-continent and their equivalent in Pakistan and Afghanistan are similar creatures.

Groups employing such lamentable tactics do not only repel people but au contraire in some cases actually attract the almost-converted (those already with a bias for ultra nationalism, religious extremism or bigoted racism).

Thus in today's extremist Malaysian society, contrary to the above author's belief that the call to kill alleged apostates (or to violently hunt down atheists, meaning atheists who were Muslims) is one of the reasons some Muslims are leaving the religion, it may actually attract and please some with a penchant for a religiously caste-conscious Ummah.

No comments:

Post a comment