This is an update of this story:
A detained pastor of a major network of Christian house churches in Iran will be executed by hanging for “apostasy”, or abandoning Islam, according to translated court documents seen by Worthy News Wednesday, November 24.The 11th Chamber of The Assize Court of the province of Gilan said Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani had proved his “apostasy” by “organizing evangelistic meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people, expressing his faith to others and, denying Islamic values.”
Nadarkhani is “an apostate [and] will be executed by being hung…Somehow his soul is taken from him,” the court wrote.
He was arrested after protesting against the enforced reading of the Koran, viewed as a holy book by Muslims, to Christian children including his own. His wife Fatemeh Passandideh was released October 11 by a court in Gilan province, after she was detained on similar apostasy charges, Christians said.
In comments accompanying the death sentence, the court claimed Nadarkhani confirmed he converted to Christianity from Islam, despite possible execution. “Even in his last defense…when he was asked [by the prosecutor] ‘from the age of puberty until the age of 19, what religion have you had?’, he replied… ‘Since I was born in a Muslim family I was Muslim until I converted to Christianity at the age of 19‘.”
via Holger Awakens: Iranian Court Sentences Converted Christian Pastor To Death By Hanging For Apostasy.
I hope Obama, Zapatero, Ban Ki-Moon at al will also raise their voices to protest this huge abuse of Human Rights.
Yeah, I know, it’s Iran. I’m sure this is not the last man killed because of his faith in Iran. And this will be an example for other backwards bastards to sentence more people to death by this “crime”.
I’m sure the islamophiles that some times end up here, will say that, “well, this has nothing to do with Islam, this is just a very “conservative” country”. As if all conservatives would defend killing apostates.
There is no mention of death penalty for apostates in the Qu’ran, though there are several verses about “those who break their oaths“ in which something very similar is stated:
YUSUFALI: But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and taunt you for your Faith,- fight ye the chiefs of Unfaith: for their oaths are nothing to them: that thus they may be restrained.
PICKTHAL: And if they break their pledges after their treaty (hath been made with you) and assail your religion, then fight the heads of disbelief – Lo! they have no binding oaths – in order that they may desist.
SHAKIR: And if they break their oaths after their agreement and (openly) revile your religion, then fight the leaders of unbelief– surely their oaths are nothing– so that they may desist.
YUSUFALI: Will ye not fight people who violated their oaths, plotted to expel the Messenger, and took the aggressive by being the first (to assault) you? Do ye fear them? Nay, it is Allah Whom ye should more justly fear, if ye believe!
PICKTHAL: Will ye not fight a folk who broke their solemn pledges, and purposed to drive out the messenger and did attack you first? What! Fear ye them? Now Allah hath more right that ye should fear Him, if ye are believers
SHAKIR: What! will you not fight a people who broke their oaths and aimed at the expulsion of the Messenger, and they attacked you first; do you fear them? But Allah is most deserving that you should fear Him, if you are believers.
YUSUFALI: Fight them, and Allah will punish them by your hands, cover them with shame, help you (to victory) over them, heal the breasts of Believers,
PICKTHAL: Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers.
SHAKIR: Fight them, Allah will punish them by your hands and bring them to disgrace, and assist you against them and heal the hearts of a believing people.
The medieval Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence were unanimous in holding that apostasy by a male Muslim is punishable by death, differing only on whether to execute the apostate immediately or grant the apostate an opportunity to repent and thus avoid penalty. They also differed on the punishment of a female apostate: death or imprisonment until repentance. Abu-Hanifa and his followers like the jurist Sarakhsi refused death penalty for women supporting jail for them till re-embracing islam. The four major Sunni schools of Islamic jurisprudence (Madh’hab) differentiate between harmful apostasy and harmless apostasy (also known as major and minor apostasy) in accepting repentance.
In mainstream Islam, many contemporary scholars oppose any penalty for apostasy: Gamal Al-Banna (brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood), Hamza Yusuf, Yusuf Estes, Jamal Badawi, Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, Hassan al-Turabi, Shafi`i Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, Shabir Ally, and Maliki jurist Abu al-Walid al-Baji and Shi’a Grand Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, They have either completely opposed any penalty for apostasy, or believe that penalty can only be applied when apostasy is coupled with attempts to harm Muslim society.
So, not all of them oppose it. In this case, they can support it, because Nadarkhani was actually “harming Muslim society”, while he was preaching and speaking about Christianity and was, as the documents say, “denying Islamic values“.
PS: By the way., Montazeri‘s opinions are not important for the Ayatollah’s: he was a dissident, who was kept under arrest in his home till his death last year, after which there were severe riots, all over Iran.