Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Apostasy Saga

Re: Dying to know about Islamic reality - Ted Byfield
Letter to the Editor

The issues and questions you raise are perfectly understandable, and you are right that Canadian Muslims need to do more to explain the faith to others.

From a Canadian Muslim's perspective, it is unfair to evaluate Canadian Muslims presence here in light of events that are happening around the world, especially when those events are moved by geo-political realities. It is quite possible, that more than the desire to fulfill what is perceived to be a code of Shariah, Afghanis are bent on proving that the "liberation" from the Taliban does not necessarily mean "liberation" from Islam, in defiance to the "West".

From a purely Shariah perspective, there are differing opinions regarding apostasy and other such issues. See the recent dialogue on www.islamonline.net by Dr. Jamal Badawi for an exposition.

In fact, many modern-day Islamic scholars have categorically ruled out death for apostasy simply because of one's change of faith; rather such harsh punishments only accrue in the event that apostasy is followed by sedition and acts of war against the state, in which case treason is considered. See www.islam.ca for links to relevant articles on this.

There is no single verse in the Qur'an directing believers to kill the apostate; rather the fate of an apostate is left for God to decide in the hereafter.

Rest assured that Canadian Muslims are erudite and enlightened, and will make full use of the tools of Ijtihad to promote dignity, freedom and liberty for the individual. Our faith demands this from us, and whether Muslims remain a minority or achieve a majority (far-fetched as that may be), we will remain true to the legacy of intellectual inquiry that is a hallmark of the Islamic civilization.


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