Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Qatari 'alim Dr Abdul Hamid al-Ansari speaks out against apostasy law in Islam

Dr Abdul Hamid al-Ansari, former dean of the Shariah and Law faculty at Qatar University, has dismissed the apostasy law, which states that a Muslim who rejects Islam must be killed, as a “political weapon used during the first century against opposition figures and currently used against writers, intellectuals and journalists”. He said that many Muslims renounced Islam during the life of Prophet Muhammad, but he did not kill them. 
“Even those apostates who were ordered to be killed by Prophet Muhammad were punished for the crimes which they committed against Muslims or for joining the camp of enemies to fight Muslims rather than for apostasy. The Holy Qur’an believes in religious plurality. The penalty of killing apostates itself is not mentioned at all in Qur’an. Apostates in Islam have been only warned of a punishment in the hereafter and not in this world. There are some 200 verses in the Qur’an affirming the freedom of belief.” 
He also admitted that religious minorities in Arab countries are not enjoying full rights of citizenship. 
“The inauguration of the first church in Qatar has been faced with waves of hatred. We have to admit that national minorities in our communities are subjected to many nuisance when it comes to their religious rituals.  More on his opinions HERE in the GULF TIMES

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