A new poll by the Pew Research Center offers an disturbing insight into the views of the majority of Muslims in some countries on the subject of apostasy. With blasphemy, apostasy remains one of the greatest threats to human rights and free speech in the world with people continuing to be arrested for rejecting Islam. Some 78 percent of Afghan Muslims support putting former Muslims to death for rejecting Islam. Our Afghan “allies” actually had the highest support for this basic denial of human rights — a system that we prop up with American lives and treasure. In Egypt and Pakistan, 64 percent support executing for apostasy.
Pew polled Muslims in 38 countries from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and found overwhelming support for Sharia law — at least when applied to Muslims. Notably, there were exceptions with less support in Bangladesh, Tunisia and Lebanon.
We continue to treat our Muslim allies as enlightened governments when many still embrace this denial of a basic human right (as with common denial of other rights of woman and religious minorities). These countries cannot by definition be considered part of the “free world” when they mandate the execution of people for exercising this fundamental right to choose the religion (or the lack of religion) of their choice. Viewed from this perspective, we are spending billions on governments oppressing their citizens while our leaders continue to espouse the centrality of faith in their public lives.
Civil libertarians do not view such rights as a “western” or “American” view. Many often try to defend these oppressive nations by saying that we have no right to judge others. When it comes to our government, there is certainly a basis for charging hypocrisy on issues like torture and the denial of due process after 9-11. However, the right to choose your faith and the right to free speech is a human right not an American right. Support for punishing apostasy is a “red line” that separates a person from the free world. It is the most vile form of majoritarian tyranny and oppression.
Source: Washington Post