Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Answering the Question asked by EVERYBODY!!

When Karin and Richard asked me the question about why was the Afghani man who converted to Christianity trailed to get the death Penalty, I'll admit, I didn't know the answer. I just knew something didn't make sence. I tried to research online but nothing was satisfactory. I asked around and I got a few answers. My research isn't really done but I'll just post something about it before somebody answers something that might make matters worse. This post was email to me by Shaykh Abdullah Adhami...

* There, currently, does not exist an "islamic state"---which is the only legal entity that can 'legitimately' serve the judicial code of shari'ah---within internation law. No singular, renegade, individual can take it upon themselves to enact 'any' laws of islam. Legal and judicial sovereignty lie with the state wherein one is a citizen, resident or visitor.

* Willful apostacy in 'all' traditions is, simply, considered treason. The arabic word for it, (riddah), signifies rejection, opposition, reneging, denial. latter andalusian jurists may have had different perspectives on the question of the punishment for apostacy, due to new political realities that were different from the conditions faced by the early muslims; this is not unlike the evolution of legal thought in judeo-christian tradition.

* The athenians not only believed that treason or sedition should deem a person "the greatest enemy of the whole state." according to athenian law, this person must be "condemned to death, ..., and, as "the dialogues of plato" document, the magistrate who -- by reason of cowardice -- does not suppress him is nearly as bad."

* It is interesting to note that in christianity, "apostacy" not only denominates, total or full apostacy -- or, 'perfidiae' (lit."treachery")---i.e., when someone gives up their faith, whether or not the person embraces another religion---but can also include "apostacy of religiosity," when a religious person leaves the "religious life"; i believe, this is, more specifically, an apostacy of (or against) "monastacism". erasmus (16th cent.), for example, was guilty of both kinds. then, there's "apostacy against ordainment," when a member of the clergy
abandons the ecclesiastical state.

* Under the christian roman empire, apostates were punished by deprivation of all civil rights. they could not give evidence in a court of law, and could neither bequeath nor inherit property. "to induce anyone to apostatize was an offence punishable with death."

* Moreover, in the renowned code of the roman emperor justinian (483-565), "corpus juris civilis," the basis of all [roman] 'canon law', and the basis of ["modern"] civil law, "apostasy was punished by death"; and, there was "no toleration of dissent."

* According to the jewish encyclopaedia (published, i believe, bet. 1901-1910), the biblical codes stipulate that the "one who doubts or ridicules one word of the Torah---or of the rabbinical authors---is an "heretic" in the fullest sense, an infidel... and there is no hope for him." the laws concerning such an unbeliever are very strict, "he may be killed directly, or his death may be caused indirectly."

* Absolutely nowhere in Islamic history---by the testimony of eminent 'western' historians, can one find a doctrine akin to the "cognite intrare" (or, "forced conversion") of st. augustine (354-430 c.e.). as you know, the quran says: "there is no coercion in religion."

This idea that everyone 'must' be compelled to conform to the christian faith, unleashed centuries of unparalleled bloodshed. for a brief time, the ummayad dynasty represented the 'only' aberration in the history of islam---whereby people were categorized as only either "Muslim" or "Other"---and, unsurprisingly, were the shortest lived historically. sadly, some of its dogma still permeates 'canonical [legal] material' that is still taught today.

* There is much about the "Afghan Christian" story that is 'shady'. we should just wait and the truth will be revealed. (even Rev. Samuel Zwemer would be embarrassed.)

* In our modern day, due to the volatility of the geo-political climate, the rulings against (riddah)---even 'if' an islamic state existed---would have to be---necessarily---evaluated from a different legal angle, eminently because of either continual provocation and abuse which would elicit violent psycho-somatic states---(as was witnessed with the defammation of the Qur'an at Guantanamo); or, people on the proverbial fringes---on the edge---who are either paid, or otherwise coopted, to openly "declare" [what appears to be] "apostacy" on Arab global satelite channels, and be sensationally transformed into a media darlings for a little while.

Another post on this matter can be found here

Hope this answers the question.

Peace to all...

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