Article 18 Everyone has the
right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes
freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone
or in community with others and in public or private, to
manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and
-- From the UN Declaration of
Article 19 Everyone has the right to
freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions
without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas
through any media and regardless of frontiers.
-- From the UN Declaration of
Brutal Murder of Ashiq Nabi by the
Mob for Blasphemy in Pakistan:
Appeal for Justice and the Abolition of Blasphemy Law
To: President of Pakistan,
Governments of the Muslims Countries, UN Commission for Human Rights
a mob spotted him
and shot him dead"
~ Mazahar ul-Haq
Nowshera police chief
Recently in Nowshera District in Pakistan, a man named Ashiq Nabi [external:
BBC News], was
brutally murdered for the unproven allegation of blasphemy by an angry mob
following a rumor that he had damaged a copy of the Qur’an deliberately. As
the rumor spread rapidly, a 400-plus village mob chased Mr. Nabi through the
fields, who finally sought refuge up on a tree where he was shot dead by
someone in the mob. This is one of many frequent cases of murder for those
accused of blasphemy in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
mostly from minority religions, are often jailed in Pakistan on charges of
blasphemy. Sentencing to death for blasphemy is not uncommon in Pakistan; the
most well-known case being that of Dr. Younis
Sheikh, who was ultimately acquitted because of intense international
pressure. Dr Sheikh, still in fear for his life, has now taken refuge in a
Western country. However, people accused of blasphemy, are often murdered by
religious mob, who believe it to be their religious duty as Muslims to kill
those who desert or disrespect Islam. Indeed, death for blasphemy is common to
all over the Muslims world. The case of Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasrin
(Bangladesh), who are under “Islamic rogue justice” called “fatwa” and
currently hiding in Western countries, are just a few well-known cases. Also
was fatally assaulted by Islamic zealots for allegedly defaming Islam in his
book, who finally died in Germany on 11 August, 2004.
Historically, Muslims have killed those who desert Islam (apostates) as well
as those who deny the words of Prophet Muhammad or the content of Qur’an as
divine truth. This brutal custom of killing the blasphemers was started by the
Prophet Muhammad himself in the 7th century and continues even till today in
the Muslims countries. Passages in the Ahadiths/Sunnah (actions and sayings of
Prophet Muhammad: Sahih Bukhari 4:52:260, 5:59:369 etc.) recorded Prophet
Muhammad ordering to kill those who disrespected or deserted Islam.
Sahih Bukhari 4:52:260:
Narrated Ikrima: Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn 'Abbas,
who said, "Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet
said, 'Don't punish (anybody) with Allah's Punishment. 'No doubt, I would have
killed them, for the Prophet said, 'If somebody (a Muslim) discards his
religion, kill him.'
Sahih Bukhari 5:59:369:
Narrated Jabir bin 'Abdullah: Allah's Apostle said, "Who is willing to
kill Ka'b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?" Thereupon
Muhammad bin Maslama got up saying, "O Allah's Apostle! Would you like that I
kill him?" The Prophet said, "Yes,"
The Quran also
contains verses that sanction killing of the disbelievers or deserters of
Islam (Quran 4:89, 9:12, 33:15-16, 33:60-61). For example:
They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be
upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake
their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them
and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend, nor helper from
among them. [Quran 4:89]
Does the Koran incite
This idea of
murdering those, who express opinions opposing or disrespecting any religion
or prophet, is a vestige of the medieval barbaric traditions that has no place
in today’s modern world of excellence in human rights and dignity where
fundamental human rights must be assured to people in every country of the
world. Articles 18 and 19 of the United Nation’s Declaration of Universal
Human Rights guarantee the freedom of choosing, practicing and preaching one’s
religion and belief as well as freedom of expression of one’s opinion without
interference or fear. The blasphemy penal law, which carries penalty as severe
as death, is in outright contravention of UN’s Declaration of Universal Human
Rights and is barbaric and unacceptable today.
We, the members of Vinnomot [ www.vinnomot.com, an internet congregation of
Bengali and international mix ] feel that such barbaric and cruel laws should
not exist anywhere in the world and should be abolished without delay. We also
express concern about the passages in the holy Qur’an and Ahadiths / Sunnah
which frequently incite the religious Muslims to take justice in their own
hands, even in countries without blasphemy laws, resulting in the unfortunate
murder and torture of the so-called blasphemers. Even in the Western
countries, despite being a minority, zealot Muslims and Imams routinely calls
for death of the alleged blasphemers
We appeal to the President of Pakistan to take stern actions against those
responsible for the barbaric murder of Ashiq Nabi and we plead with him to
take immediate steps to repeal this barbaric blasphemy law which contravenes
the universal human rights. We also appeal to Governments and the religious
authorities of the Muslim nations to look into the religious text which
spontaneously instigate the general public to “mob justice” to kill and
torture the alleged blasphemers. Unless the religious basis of such brutal
acts are properly interpreted or edited, the devout religious Muslims would
continue to resort to such cruel “rogue justice”.
We also appeal to the United Nations to take her Declaration of Universal
Human Rights seriously and work with or pressurize (if needed) member
Governments to abolish such uncivilized criminal laws, including their
We also appeal to those, who value life, human rights and human dignity, to
sign this petition so as to raise your voice and conscience against such
unacceptable and barbaric cruelty that still exists in our civilized world.
Sign Petition Here
mob kills 'blasphemer'
A mob of angry villagers in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province has
killed a man accused of blasphemy, police say.
Aasheq Nabi was
shot dead in Nowshera district, 30km (18 miles) from Peshawar, after reports
he had burnt a copy of the Koran.
News of the alleged desecration spread rapidly, bringing people onto the
streets and calls for his arrest.
Correspondents say it is the first time in several years that a blasphemy case
in Pakistan has involved mob violence.
Police said on Wednesday they had raided Mr Nabi's house
in the Pabbi area, but the 400-strong mob found him first.
Witnesses say he was chased through fields and sought refuge up a tree before
being shot dead by someone in the crowd.
Police said Mr Nabi, who was in his 40s, had been in hiding since Monday.
"We registered a case against him on Tuesday, but he was shot dead today
before we could arrest him," local police official Abdul Razzaq told the
He said Mr Nabi's family had been among those who reported him to police.
Police have yet to make any arrests in connection with the lynching.
Under Pakistani law, the death penalty is mandatory for
anyone convicted of blasphemy.
Human rights activists describe the law as deeply flawed.
They allege that since coming into force, it has been used to settle personal
scores and to target minorities.
Over the last 15 years or so, dozens of Pakistanis - including Christians,
Muslims and Ahmadiyya (a sect declared non-Muslim under Pakistan's
constitution) - have been charged with blasphemy.
In 1994, religious extremists shot dead a Christian, Manzur Masih, who was
accused of blasphemy but was acquitted by the Lahore High Court. He died on
the spot and two of his co-accused - also acquitted by the court - were
Three years later, Arif Iqbal Bhatti, the judge who had acquitted Manzur and
his co-accused, was also shot dead.
In 1998, a Pakistani bishop, John Joseph, committed suicide in protest against
BBC News article
Does the Koran incite
This is a reproduction of paragraphs 330 to 335 from|
Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah's The Muslim Conduct of State.
To wage war against apostates is justified on the same
principle as that on which the punishment of a solitary apostate is based. The
basis of Muslim polity being religious and not ethnological or linguistic, it is
not difficult to appreciate the reason for penalizing the act of apostasy, for
it constitutes a politico-religious rebellion. The greater the harm of a given
rebellion to a polity, the greater is the severity of repression. Every
civilization, not the least the modern Western one - both in the communistic and
capitalistic manifestations - has provided capital punishment against violating
the integrity of what it considers its very raison d'etre; and one cannot deny
that right to Islam. As an independent organic community, Islam will have the
liberty to determine what points should be dearer to it: color of one's skin,
language spoken by its subjects or ideology which animates its existence. As a
passing remark, let us recall that the Byzantine law of the epoch of the Prophet
also punished with death the apostasy from the Byzantine sect of Christianity.
A peaceful protest was held
in Washington, DC in front of
the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan,
22, 2001, to support
freedom for Dr. Younis Shaikh
and other victims of BLASPHEMY STATUES. A copy of
an on-line petition on behalf of Dr. Shaikh, as well as a
Statement of Concerns was presented to officials at the
Embassy by Ellen Johnson, President of American Atheists.
Individual members of several groups including Amnesty
International, Washington Area Secular Humanists, American
Humanist Association, American Atheists and other
organizations joined in this important show of solidarity on
behalf of Dr. Shaikh.
Photos of the demonstration and other information are at
Apostasy in Muslim law means turning from Islam after being a
Muslim. Not only does it occur when a person declares his conversion to some
non-Islamic religion, but also when he refuses to believe in any and every basic
article of the Islamic faith. (paragraph 331)
The sayings and doings of the Prophet, the decision and practice of the
Caliph Abu Bakr, the consensus of the opinion of the Companions of the Prophet
and all the later Muslim jurisconsults, and even certain indirect verses of the
Qur'an, all prescribe capital punishment for an apostate. In the case of
apostasy, no distinction is made between a Muslim born of Muslim parents and a
convert; and similarly there is no difference between accepting Judaism or
Christianity, atheism or idol-worship or any other non-Islamic faith.
Nevertheless, Muslim jurists emphasize that before prosecuting and condemning an
apostate, it is necessary officially to discuss the matter with him and to
remove his doubts regarding the soundness and reasonableness of the Islamic
point of view in the matter concerned. Time is given him for reflection
sometimes even for months before finally proceeding with the prosecution. There
is no difference between a free man and a slave, as Sarakhsiy is explicit.
The Holy Qur'an: Text,
Translation & Commentary
Abdullah Yusuf Ali
In case an insane person, a delirious, a melancholy and
perplexed man, a minor, or intoxicated, one who had declared his faith in Islam
under coercion, and a person whose faith in Islam has not been known or
established were to become apostate, they would not suffer the supreme penalty.
So, too, an apostate woman, or a hermaphrodite, according to the Hanafi school
of law, would not be condemned to death, but imprisoned and even physically
tortured. An old man from whom no offspring is expected is also excepted.
TREATMENT OF AN APOSTATE.
The apostate has to choose between Islam and the sword; he
cannot be given quarter, nor will he be allowed to become a dhimmi, i.e. a
resident non-Muslim subject of the Muslim State, on payment of the yearly
protection-tax. (paragraph 334)
De jure he is dead. So if he does not re-embrace Islam, and escapes to
some non-Muslim territory, his property in the Islamic territory will be
distributed among his Muslim heirs as if he were dead. In addition to this, the
debts owed to him will be wiped out if he has reached non-Muslim territory. This
is what Mawardi says, but I wonder why these debts should not be inherited by
the heirs of the renegade just like the rest of his property." (paragraph 335)
Muhammad Hamidullah, The Muslim Conduct of State,
Lahore, Pakistan: Sheikh Muhammad Ashraf, 1977.
Editorial: Blasphemy and Apostasy
The fair name of Islam has recently been darkened by the
murderous directive issued by certain Muslim leaders and endorsed by their
supporters that Salman Rusdhie must be assassinated as a result of his making
blasphemous remarks about the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of
Allah be upon him) in his book Satanic Verses. No doubt Salman Rushdie has been
guilty of blasphemy but this is not an offence for which the death penalty is
prescribed by Islam. Not at all. No such instruction is contained in the holy
Quran and it is a significant point to bear in mind that not one protagonist
demanding his assassination has quoted a single verse from the Holy Quran as a
basis of authority. No Prophet of God was more blasphemed, maligned, insulted
and abused during his life-time than the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings
of Allah be upon him. He and his faithful followers were subjected to every kind
of verbal invective and physical harassment. He was forced to migrate from Mecca
to Medina due to the severity of persecution by the Meccans. Ten years later he
returned to Mecca with ten thousand followers who could have taken the town by
storm but the Holy Prophet saw and forbade any bloodshed. Much to the amazement
of the Meccans he forgave them their cruel enormities and this was his general
attitude throughout his life towards his enemies and blasphemous opponents. All
Muslims look upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be
upon him, as a perfect exemplar for mankind and they would do well to be moved
and guided by his noble example. Voices have also been raised that Salman
Rushdie is an apostate from Islam for which the punishment is death. We hasten
to state that not only is no such punishment for apostasy prescribed in the Holy
Quran but on the other hand the following verse completely refutes this
Those who believe, then disbelieve, then again believe,
then disbelieve and then increase in disbelief, Allah will never forgive them
nor will He guide them to the right way. (4:138)
This verse proclaims that persons who renounce Islam have the
opportunity to re-enter Islam if they so choose. This verse disproves the
assertion that according to the Holy Quran an apostate should be put to death.
Were death the automatic punishment for an apostate then there arises no
question of having the opportunity to join Islam again. This verse mentions
apostates who again accept Islam.
There is no mention in the Holy Quran or anywhere else of any
punishment for an apostate which may be meted out to him by any other person.
The consequences of his apostasy in this world and in the next life lie solely
in the hands of God. Man is free to accept or reject whatever beliefs he
chooses. God says in the Holy Quran:
There is no compulsion in religion. (2:257)
It is the truth from your Lord; wherefore let him who will
believe and let him who will disbelieve. (18:30)
Islam recognizes the right of freedom of conscience and
freedom of belief and that as far as one's religious belief is concerned one is
answerable to God alone. No man has the right to punish another for his choice
of belief. There is absolutely no compulsion whatsoever in Islam and no
punishment of any kind permitted in the Holy Quran for apostasy.
Human rights are laid own in the Holy Quran which guarantee
man the right of perfect freedom of faith and conscience. In such matters God is
the Judge - not man. Our constant prayer is Guide us on the Right Path. (1:6) -
Review of Religions
April, May 1989
No. 4, 5
Vol. LXXIV Copyright © 2001, American Atheists, Inc.
Australian Cleric finds inanimate objects at "fault"
Muslim cleric and the mufti of Australia's biggest mosque
Sheikh Taj El-Din Hamid Hilaly
is surrounded by supporters as he leaves midday prayers at
Sydney's Lakemba Mosque.
October 27, 2006.
(D a v i d G r a y / R e u t e r s)
cleric refuses to quit over "meat" sermon
"If you take out uncovered meat and place it
outside on the
or in the garden or in the park, or in the
cover, and the cats come and eat it ...
is it, the
cats or the uncovered meat? The uncovered
is the problem,"
Hilaly said, according to a newspaper
CANBERRA (Reuters) OCT 2006
top Muslim cleric, suspended from preaching after
describing women who do not dress modestly as "uncovered
meat," rejected calls to resign, saying he would not do
White House was cleaned out. He apologized for his
comments, which he said had been misinterpreted and
out of context. In a sermon last month, he said sexual assaults
not happen if women
wore a hijab and stayed at home.