Friday, 18 October 2013

Takfir

Very disturbed to see reports that masajid in the UK are promoting the idea that those who leave Islam can be killed (albeit counched in weasel words about this only being the case in an Islamic State). Some Muslims have spoken out against this and provided contrary views as indeed has one of BFTF's local imams.

Combined with practice of "takfir" (declaring that someone is no longer a Muslim), this represents a simple one-two punch method of making death threats to pretty much anyone (for example, see here, and here):

Punch One : You are not a Muslim because you wear the wrong clothes / associate with the wrong people / have slightly different beliefs / are Shia / believe in democracy / pay your taxes / live in the UK.

Punch Two : Since you have now moved from being a Muslim to not being a Muslim, you deserve to die.

With a level of stupidity that is almost galactic in its scope, these threats are directed at Imams and others who work hard to foster community cohesion and who want the best for their community and for wider society.

BFTF wonders whether, as a precautionary measure, he should be telling his kids to avoid talking about Islam to others and to avoid becoming active in community affairs -instead perhaps the message BFTF should be giving is to tell them to keep their heads down.

Of course, the view that people who change their faith deserve to die is also high octane kerosene to fuel the far right.

BFTF has challenged the MCB, MAB, MINAB and local Imams to act on this issue with email along the lines of:

I am becoming increasingly disturbed by the way in which the view that "Muslims who leave Islam can be killed" can be combined with takfir to result in death threats. I believe that national Muslim orgs like yourselves should be actively speaking out against the view that leaving Islam is something that deserves the death penalty.

Update Jan2014
Was not surprised to find that there was no response from the MCB, MAB, MINAB or local Imams.

Update Jan2014
Good to see the following clear an unambiguous comments in an article in the Independent. Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain :
“The position of many a scholar I have discussed the issue with is if people want to leave, they can leave...I don’t believe they should be discriminated against or harmed in any way whatsoever. There is no compulsion in religion.”


Baroness Warsi, the Minister of State for Faith and Communities, agreed:
“I’ve been vocal that it’s about the freedom to manifest your faith, practise your faith and change your faith. We couldn’t be any clearer. Mutual respect and tolerance are what is required for people to live alongside each other.”


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