The two most serious threats to religious critics remain blasphemy laws and apostasy laws in Muslim nations, which deny citizens the right to free speech and association on matters of religion. Apostasy is particularly lethal since Muslims in many countries follow what they believe to be the need to kill anyone who renounces Islam. Morocco’s Higher Council of Religious Scholars (CSO) has this week taken a step back in time with a fatwa demanding the death penalty for Muslims who renounce their faith. In the Koran, Bukhari 52:260 quotes Mohammad as saying “If somebody [a Muslim] discards his religion, kill him.”
Bukhari 84:57 also quotes Mohammad as saying “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” among other provisions calling for the killing of people simply because they no longer wish to worship in this faith.
This council dictates the official Islamic rules for the country and announced that Muslims who reject their faith “should be condemned to death.”
The most direct impact of these fatwas is to encourage Muslims to take such matters into their own hands as a moral killing or beating.
Apostasy remains one of the most fundamental barriers to freedom in the Muslim countries. The right to choose one’s own faith is a fundamental human right, including the right to have no faith. With blasphemy, apostasy laws remain the sirens of religious opposition in the world.
Source: News Tribune as seen on Reddit