In Love With Mediocrity
The Elusive Circumference of Apricots

Where is the Contrast?


Muslims call newly converted Muslims “reverts.” Why? Because it is presumed that at the time of birth all humans are Muslims, and then their parents or societies teach them to be something else.

Ok, fine, but that means that those people who are Christians, Jews, Hindu, etc., are actually apostates — since they were Muslims (at the time of their birth), but then converted out. Now, I’m only talking about classical Islamic Law, but if they are apostates, then under classical Islamic Law, they should be killed.

Classical Islamic law!? Is there such thing as modern Islamic law which presumably doesn't prescribe death for apostates?



Is there such thing as modern Islamic law which presumably doesn't prescribe death for apostates?

You really want to know the Islamic Legal answer of this?

The answer is yes, in modern Islamic Law, numerous scholars say that there is no death penalty for apostates. I'm accused of 'apostasy' enough to have researched this fairly thoroughly. There is, in fact, enormous historical and textual basis for the modernists holding this position.

The problem today -- in today's presumably modern world -- is that numerous "Muslim" nation-states still impose the classical vision of apostasy. To me, this is a problem of politics, and not of law. If you replace the politics i.e. replace the tyrants with representative governments, you will create the situation for the modernist interpretation of apostasy to come to the fore.

I encourage you to research the khwarij vs. murjite distinction withing classical Islamic theology.


It seems to me you gotta give Eteraz points for trying.


But Afghanistan has a representative government, and Abdul Rahman still had to flee for his life when it became known that he had converted to Christianity.

That was one of the most disappointing things I've ever seen, by the way. I had thought Karzai was pretty cool before that. It caused me to wonder if we should have done for Afghanistan and Iraq what we did for postwar Japan - write a constitution for them and run their government for a while.

Isaac Schrödinger

Pastorius: I give Eteraz 10,000 Schrödinger points!

Though, I'm surprised that such a drastic change took place with respect to apostasy. I can understand arguments about how an apostate should be killed (hanging, beheading or crucifixion) but this new info about completely reversing an old decision (a saying of Muhammed, no less) is truly amazing.

My prediction: Even if death-to-apostates laws are not enacted by democratic Islamic nations, there will still be severe restrictions of freedoms for anyone who is not a Muslim. For example, they won't be allowed to preach or say why they're not a Muslim--in essence what they think is wrong with Islam.

The Golden Rule on this matter is not on the horizon.

Laura(southernxyl): Karzai was pretty powerless in the whole matter. Once the story broke, he effectively couldn't do anything to save Rahman's life (other than kick him out of the rabid country).

Rahman wasn't safe in Afghanistan. It's a sad reality that there are enough Muslims who'll gladly cut off the head of an apostate regardless of what the man-made law says.

"It caused me to wonder if we should have done for Afghanistan and Iraq what we did for postwar Japan - write a constitution for them and run their government for a while."

I would've supported that decision.


*Sigh* It probably wouldn't have been politically feasible. You know we outlawed Shinto in Japan for a while. We made the emperor go on the radio and admit that he wasn't divine. We even banned the growing of orange chrysanthemums because they were a symbol of the Rising Sun. Do you think we could get by with that kind of thing now? - with the inevitable screaming of people in our own country, I mean, talking about how arrogant and full of hubris we are.

I don't mean that I want to ban Islam. It's very different from Shinto in prewar Japan, in that it's practiced in many forms all over the world and most of those forms are not a problem. Come to think of it, I guess it really wouldn't work for an outsider (us) to come into Afghanistan and re-explain Islam to the Muslims there. But still, when I think about the fact that Rahman's life was forfeit in that country, because of his religion, it's hard for me not to think that we just failed.


It's not over until the obese contessa sings. These things take time. The only problem is that we might not be given the time we need due to the negative attitude of many westerners towards this conflict. It's truly horrifying to realize that we may very well abandon Afghanistan simply due to partisan politics and the ignorance of our countrymen.

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