“Do you want to kill ex-Muslims?” to which the reply came “Islam is clear that apostates do attract capital punishment, we don’t shy away from that.” The location was not Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan, but a public library in Sydney, Australia where Hezb ut Tahrir were holding a public meeting.
The statement has made news headlines in Australia and police have been asked to investigate. However, this should surprise no-one. Barnabas Aid has for many years been highlighting the problem of apostasy sections of sharia. All four schools of sharia in Sunni Islam (Hanafi, Hanbali, Maliki and Shaf’i) as well as the Shi’a (Ja’fari) require any sane adult male leaving Islam to be killed within three days. The same punishment applies to women in three of the schools (Hanbali, Maliki and Shaf’i), while the other two require women to be imprisoned until she repents with the Shi’a (Ja’fari) also requiring her to be beaten with rods. Even children and young people are not exempt from the apostasy law. All five schools of sharia require them to be imprisoned until they reach adulthood, at which point the adult penalty must be applied.
Although only a handful of countries such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan actually have this in their legal systems, these sharia punishments for apostasy legitimise and encourage vigilante violence against anyone who leaves Islam. That is why so many Christian converts from Islam face huge levels of intimidation and violence.
That is why we recently started a petition in the UK calling on government to take affective action against the violence experienced by converts.
However, there is another aspect to this story which the media have largely missed. Groups such as Hezb ut Tahrir try to present themselves as peaceful, reasonable people. By doing this they have managed to avoid being banned in western countries such as Australia and the UK. In fact, two years ago, Uthman Badar, the man who this week said they “don’t shy away” from advocating the killing of those leaving Islam wrote a guest article for the Guardian newspaper. In this he opposed the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s attempt to ban Hezb ut Tahrir claiming that:
“The reality is that Hizb ut-Tahrir is a political activist group that adopts exclusively intellectual and political means to propagate its ideas, which oppose unjust domestic and foreign policies that target Islam and Muslims.”
In fact, if anyone reads the draft sharia constitutions Hezb ut Tahrir have produced for both Australia and the UK it is clear that even though their methods may differ from IS and Al Qaeda they share the same aims of creating an Islamic state with sharia enforced on Muslim and non Muslim alike. What is happening here is that groups like Hezb ut Tahrir are using the Islamic doctrine of taqiyya (hiding one’s true intention to gain an advantage).
In a further brazen use of taqiyya on Monday, Uthman Badar responded to the press storm that followed his comments about killing apostates by posting a claim on Facebook that it is “utter nonsense that I or Hezb ut Tahrir called for ex-Muslims to be killed.”
In fact, not only is the video of his reply available online, but the draft sharia constitutions Hezb ut Tahrir have drawn up for Australia and the UK very clearly state that anyone leaving Islam should be killed.
To sign the petition calling for effective government action to protect Christian converts from Islam click here