Death Penalty Could Await Man Who Broke Free from Islam May 31, 2010

Death Penalty Could Await Man Who Broke Free from Islam

The Maldives is a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean.

You wouldn’t want to live there.

According to the revised constitution, in article two, it says that the republic “is based on the principles of Islam.” Article nine says that “a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives”; number ten says that “no law contrary to any principle of Islam can be applied in the Maldives.” Article nineteen states that “citizens are free to participate in or carry out any activity that is not expressly prohibited by sharia or by the law.”

Mohamed Nazim does live there, though, and he has openly declared he is not a Muslim.

Nazim claimed he was “Maldivian and not a Muslim” during a public question-and-answer session with Islamic speaker Dr Zakir Naik, the first time a Maldivian has publicly announced he is not a Muslim.

The 37 year-old angered many in the approximately 11,000-strong crowd with his statement during Dr Naik’s ‘Misconceptions about Islam’ lecture on Friday.

Dr Naik responded that Nazim had read the wrong books and “deviated from Islam”, and requested him “to read correct books on Islam, and Inshallah, you’ll come back to Islam.”

However Nazim did not relinquish the microphone and pressed Naik to clarify the penalty for apostasy.

The penalty is death.

Oh, they’ll give him a chance to repent… but he won’t do it.

And because of that, he’s probably going to be killed.

Today the Islamic Foundation of the Maldives issued a press statement calling on judges to give Nazim the opportunity to repent “and if he does not, then sentence him to death as Islamic law and Maldivian law agree.”

“The Islamic Foundation believes that the person who announces apostasy should be punished according to Islamic laws,” the NGO said, warning that Nazim represented “a disturbance to the religious views and the religious bonds that exist with Maldivians.”

Could any of those moderate Muslims who were so vocal against the stick figure drawings of Muhammad please remind me again why Islam deserves our respect?

Something about it being a “religion of peace”…?

(Thanks to Cristina for the link)

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  • Seems to me Islam needs to EARN our respect.

    And it’s failing, hard.

  • NewEnglandBob

    Islam – the religion of filth: xenophobia, misogyny, violence, intolerance and lack of freedom or thought.

  • Not only does this show why Islam is utterly wrong, but it shows that their religion is so wrong that the only way they can keep people in it is to threaten them with death. They know that, we know that, and it’s got to stop. Now.

  • Matt

    Asking those “moderate” Muslims to explain themselves is just pissing in the wind, in my opinion. The whole “but only the extremists act like that” line is just a cop out.

  • I just did a post yesterday on the subject based on a personal experience. We were told as kids that the penalty for leaving was death.

  • Autumnal Harvest

    Could any of those moderate Muslims who were so vocal against the stick figure drawings of Muhammad please remind me again why Islam deserves our respect?

    Islam is a belief system, and as such, doesn’t deserve your respect, any more than Christianity, Atheism, Communism, or Stamp-Collecting deserve your respect. However, individual moderate Muslims deserve to be treated with respect, and not automatically lumped in with every Muslim in the world, as if all Muslims were the same. Frankly, Hemant, I’ve lost a lot of respect for you over the last month with your gross inability and lack of desire to understand this.

    This blog has always had a tendency to lump all members of a religion together, and act like whatever some Christian group in Uganda does speaks for every Christian in the world. When you do this to Christians, it doesn’t make much sense, but whatever. When you do it to Muslims, though, you’re just participating the current contemptible wave of American anti-Muslim bigotry.

    Cue commentators giving detestable explanations that anti-Muslim bigotry is fine because all Muslims are alike.

  • Autumnal Harvest,
    I love my Muslim relatives. I wept when I had to leave my family in Lebanon because I had such a good time with them this spring. Some of the warmest, most loving people I have ever had the privilege to meet are Muslim.
    Islam is also a detestable religion. It will ALWAYS be a detestable religion. As much as I love my family, I know they would so much better as people and so much better off without Islam. One cannot be a part of a detestable death cult without it having some effect on you.
    Out of curiosity, what do you actually KNOW about Islam? Also, have you ever read Sam Harris’s The End of Faith?
    I recommend it…especially the chapter on Islam. I just bought the book and I was happy to see a non-Arab come to the same conclusions that I did long ago.
    Try laying off the ad hominem attacks and get yourself educated on the subject. Really.

  • Al

    The Maldives haven’t always been like this. They are increasingly becoming more radical due to influence from Wahhabi Saudi Arabia. This site has a lot of information (may be a bit bias).

  • defiantnonbeliever

    sigh, this would be a totally boring rehash of the last 1000 years in the christian dominated west, if it weren’t for the continual, denial of free speech, inequality, bloodshed, and suffering that continues to plague the world. While it might be and is useful to keep talking with ‘moderate’ god talkers to continue dialog, I have to go with the ‘they all believe in nonsense that supports and spawns the worst barbaric behaviors of whichever few that go to extremes camp. Today’s moderate norm seems to be tomorrow’s extremist ultra liberal whenever and wherever religion gains power, any religion.

    oh for the day humans give up such pernicious folly that is religion.

  • @Autumnal Harvest:
    I don’t know that I’ve ever seen Hemant say “this religious group does X, so therefore all people in this religious group are dicks” – it’s always about the individual story as far as I’ve seen.

    The problem is that these people who do these insane things and are motivated by religion tend to have a fundamental scriptural backing, as opposed to the metaphorical and reaching scriptural backing that liberal theists sometimes have – this means that we can view these acts (or the justification of these acts) as things which condemn the religion.
    Obviously we aren’t condemning all people of that religion, because any reasonable person knows not everyone is alike: but the book they base their belief system on, the people they count amongst their brothers of faith: these are things we can condemn.

  • Unbelievable… simply unbelievable! A man can be killed based on the laws created by fairies tales (aka religion).

    Maldives is literally following the laws of Islam but the scariest part is: if the country followed literally the laws of Christianity then the result would be the same! Read 2 Chronicles 15:12-13 and you’ll see.

    This clearly shows how “good” and “benefic” religions are. The basic commandment is “you better love me and believe me or you’ll die!” -_-

  • DDM

    How can you say islam isn’t a religion of peace? After all, when there are only muslims left, there will definitely be peace.

    Not unlike how there will be peace when every living thing on the planet is wiped out.

  • Charon

    @Autumnal Harvest: you missed the whole point. The point is that moderates of all kinds need to at least try to police their own if they are to be taken seriously. If, 90 years ago, some Southern (US) town’s police force had said, “we’re nothing like those evil people who lynch blacks,” but then sat idly by while some of those evil people proceeded to lynch some blacks… then it would be the “moderate” police themselves who were flattening the differences between moderate and extreme Southern whites.

    If “moderate” Catholics in the Church hierarchy knowingly allow pedophiles to continue in positions of power, then those people are contemptible and don’t deserve to be called moderates. While ordinary Catholics (Muslims, etc.) aren’t in positions of power as in the examples above, they still have an obligation to exert what influence they can in these situations.

    So sure, we need to distinguish between various members of a group. But they need to differentiate themselves, as well.

  • Charon

    “when there are only muslims left, there will definitely be peace.”

    Sadly, even this joke fails. Shia and Sunni, anyone? People will always find lines to divide themselves on 🙁

  • Say you’re Muslim. Live. Get the @#!$ out. Spend the rest of your life flaunting your non-Muslimness in saucy YouTube videos to the folks back home.

    And Charon, they mean real Muslims. Duh. 🙂

    Also, I’m totally seeing NewEnglandBob all over the net today. Hi, Bob!


  • ethanol

    Wow; read the comments under the original article. Scary scary scary.

  • I think a tourist boycott of the Maldives might return it to the dark ages it appears to be seeking.

  • dartigen

    It’s people like this that give all Muslims a bad name.
    A Muslim friend of mine saw the news article and was utterly horrified. She agreed that someone leaving the religion needs to be encouraged to come back, but not like that (she suggested asking them to think about why they’re leaving and see what happens). Granted, she’s third-generation Australian-born so she’s used to how things are here. If she was Maldivian she’d probably have a different opinion.

  • MadScientist

    How awful. None of my friends from the Maldives ever told me that sort of thing goes on there; I guess that’s one reason why they rarely return to visit. I didn’t even know the population was predominantly mohammedan – I guess my lesbian friend has even more reasons not to go back.

  • Venture Free

    The difficulty in claiming that moderate rather than extremist Islam is correct is that the extremists are every bit as justified in their interpretation of the Quran as the moderates. For every line in the Quran that you can quote urging peace and acceptance they can quote one urging death and oppression. This is true of all religions. Religious texts can be used to justify almost any position at all.

    I personally think it’s simply the result of having metaphors and parables right along side definitive statements and models for proper behavior. When you read a particular story, you can’t be certain of exactly which way it is meant to be taken. When this person kills that person for this reason, is it meant to be a metaphor for the triumph of the spirit over…whatever? Or is it meant to be an example that should be followed by all true believers? Your moderate interpretation is that it’s just a metaphor to be meditated upon, but that’s based on just as much evidence as their interpretation that it’s an example to be followed. How does one differentiate between the two? How does one decide which is the “right” interpretation? The morals imparted by your religion is no guide because you’re reading the thing that’s supposed to give you moral guidance. Saying that the metaphor interpretation is right because killing is wrong holds no weight to those that think that the text is specifically saying that killing is right in this situation. Every justification that you can give for having the correct view of your religion can be used just as effectively by someone whose views are 180 degrees out of line with your own.

    If Islam seems to be picked on more than others for it’s extremism it’s because the Quran seems to have many more stories and passages that can be interpreted as proscribing death and oppression than other religious texts. The fact that they can also be interpreted as metaphorical or simply historical doesn’t make them any less exploitable by those looking to kill and oppress for whatever reason.

  • Roy

    Here are thoughts posted by a moderate Muslim named Salim Waheed from the Maldives:

    “The reason why people are turning away from Islam is because we have religious conservatives declaring that the only way to practice is their way. And as a result we had calls for violence and beheading.

    Never have a I been more ashamed of my countrymen and what I am sad about is how our nation has turned to one of intolerance and hate.

    The youth are turning away from Islam and I believe that it is the conservatives fault. Those who say that the Islam which is practiced in Cairo, Indonesia and Malaysia is not true and that those people are apostates as well. The people who advocated nigabs and hijabs as the only way a woman can be pious. And those who would condone child abuse in the name of faith.

    They are all leading us towards societal regression. Ignoring our economy and potential for national growth. Ignoring our culture and heritage. There is so much that we are loosing. Day by day. We need to to not let go of who we are because some salafi based preacher tells us to.”

    There are moderates speaking out against this.

  • SickoftheUS

    Could any of those moderate Muslims who were so vocal against the stick figure drawings of Muhammad please remind me again why Islam deserves our respect?

    Red herring. I, as an atheist, object to the laser-like focus on criticizing Islam in the US, because, as Autumnal Harvest accurately identifies, our culture is rife with anti-Muslim bigotry. Islam doesn’t deserve our respect any more than Judaism or Christianity – they’re all heinous, and they’re all responsible for daily, real-world atrocities, with one of the latest being a violent, paranoid, US-enabled and religion-underpinned Jewish state attacking and murdering 10 people bringing aid to a starving population.

    Where’s your blog entry on these prominent happenings, Hemant? Is it that we can’t identify with Gazans because they’re Muslim? I hope not.

    I object to Americans making petty feel-good gestures with stick figures because it ignores the much, much larger violence and injustice our country inflicts on the Muslim world, and has been for many years now.

  • Matthew

    And here I felt bad that the Maldives are going to be covered by the rising sea levels. +1 for global warming.

  • fiddler

    @Autumnal Harvest and @SickoftheUs
    Do you seriously miss the majority of posts that deal with christianity? In the last month there have been dozens, and yet you act like Hemant spends all his time looking for scraps to hate islam.
    GROW UP. Islam is trash and muslims are seriously mentally corrupted, JUST LIKE christians.

    Btw, sick, if you ever actually looked at the facts you’d know that Israel has always allowed humanitarian shipments in and this particular ship refused to be boarded, ran the blockade, and suffered the consequences. Muslims and catholics cause tens of thousands of deaths per day by declaring common-sense ideas like condoms and vaccines to be evil.

  • jazz

    OMG! This is why there should be a separation of church and state!

  • SickoftheUS

    Btw, sick, if you ever actually looked at the facts you’d know that Israel has always allowed humanitarian shipments in and this particular ship refused to be boarded, ran the blockade, and suffered the consequences. Muslims and catholics cause tens of thousands of deaths per day by declaring common-sense ideas like condoms and vaccines to be evil.
    You seem to be addled by our pro-Zionist media. With Gaza, the Jews leading the theocracy of Israel are causing the misery and deaths of many Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, through its blockade, and through its many military attacks on its neighbors over the decades. Israel is expanding its power with these kinds of violent actions and territory grabs and genocidal behaviors, as many other countries do (notably the US these days), but the religious is thoroughly infused with the secular in the underpinnings of the Jewish state.

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