Republican Scrutiny and Democratic Empowerment of Muslims in Minnesota

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump stated that America needs to be “very vigilant” in scrutinizing Muslims regarding matters of security, as it is difficult to separate Islam from radical Islam.  He told CNN that Americans “have to be very careful. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States… There’s a sickness going on and you have to get to the bottom of it.

trump islam
Donald Trump on CNN March 2016

For her part, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that America must “empower our Muslim-American communities, who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.”

Are the two positions as far apart as they seem?

Republican Scrutiny

Trump has been accused of being an “Islamaphobe” for his position about Muslims and Islam. His call to place a temporary ban on all Muslims applying to enter the United States was roundly criticized by all of the other presidential candidates.  Trump argued that America needed more information and better background checks on people that might pose a threat to the country because “Islam hates us.“.

Before Trump made his comments, in September 2015, the US House Committee on Homeland Security released a report about jihadist operations in the U.S. Among the major takeaways of the report were:

  • “The jihadist threat in the U.S. homeland is high and has escalated dramatically this year
  • ISIS is fueling the Islamist terror wildfire across the globe at unprecedented speed
  • Islamist terrorists are intent on killing American law enforcement and military personnel, in addition to innocent civilians”

The report went on to highlight that the state with the highest number of potential jihadists – by a far margin – was Minnesota, at 26% of the total sample set. The report included a sample story about the growing threat of jihadists: “Abdi Nur, only 20-years old when he left Minnesota for Syria last year, is a prime example. Once in the conflict zone, he spent months persuading his friends in Minneapolis to join him.  His peer-to-peer recruiting nearly worked, as six of his friends attempted to leave the United States for Syria; they were arrested by the FBI this April.

The newspaper Star Tribune wrote about a Republican reaction to the report: “Republican Rep. John Kline, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and long a hawkish critic of the Obama administration, said the report proves “homegrown terrorism remains a serious issue in Minnesota.” Kline said it also demonstrates the Obama administration “does not have a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS and Islamist terrorists.”

Ami Horowitz, a freelance reporter who often produces stories for Fox News, conducted several interviews in May 2015 with Somali Muslim Americans in Minnesota. In his interviews, seen here, Muslim Americans said they were happy and felt welcomed in America.  Yet despite those feelings, the Muslims would prefer to live in Somalia, not America. They further believed, that elements of sharia law, such as using the death penalty for anyone that insulted their prophet, should be practiced in the US.

Republicans like Kline and Trump directly pointed to “homegrown terrorism” stemming from the Muslim community.  They called for greater scrutiny of those communities to better protect Americans.

The Democrats semmingly suggested a different tactic.

Democratic Empowerment

The liberal senator from Minnesota had a very different reaction to the September House report of jihadists in his state.  The Star Tribune wrote: “In Washington, U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn, said the report “only underscores the urgent need for adequate resources to fight terrorist recruitment.” He noted the need to build stronger community outreach programs while refraining from stereotyping. “It’s important that we don’t indiscriminately target members of one community,” he said.”

Just months later, in December 2015, Hillary Clinton addressed a crowd in Minnesota about how to defeat ISIS.  One of her points addressed Muslims in America, where her “strategy is empowering Muslim-American communities who are on the front-lines of the fight against radicalization.  There are millions of peace-loving Muslims living, working, raising families, and paying taxes in our country.  These Americans may be our first, last, and best defense against home grown radicalization and terrorism.  They are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it’s too late, intervene to help set a young person straight.  They are the best positioned to block anything going forward.

That’s why law enforcement has worked so hard since 9/11 to build up trust and strong relationships within Muslim-American communities.  Here in the Twin Cities, you have an innovative partnership that brings together parents, teachers, imams, and others in the Somali-American community with law enforcement, non-profits, local businesses, mental health professionals and others to intervene with young people who are at risk.

It’s called the Building Community Resilience Pilot Program, and it deserves increased support.  It has not gotten the financial resources that it needs to do everything the people involved in it know they can do.  And we’ve got to do a better job of supporting it.

Democrats like Clinton and Franken suggested the solution to dealing with homegrown jihadists is to “empower” that same community that Republicans sought to scutinize.  Their approaches were seemingly polar opposites.

Ignorance and Analysis

In reality, the concerns of jihadist terrorism for Republicans and Democrats are much the same.  Republicans feel that the entire Muslim community should be scrutinized as they are not confident in being able to distnguish between the “good” and “bad.”  The Democrats want to embrace the good, and get them to both reform and squeal on the “bad.”

Both the Republicans and Democrats advocate intelligence gathering.  Clinton wants to use people from within the Muslim community to do the work, while Trump lacks confidence in relying on the community for America’s safety.

Where Trump and Clinton divide is in their basic thoughts about Islam.  Trump seemingly believes that Islam is inherently intolerant of western values, so the peaceful Muslims are doing so in spite of their religion.  Clinton believes that there is nothing inherently anti-American about Islam, and there are just a small percentage of violent jihadists in the community.

In the end, both Trump and Clinton want to root out homegrown Islamic radicals.  Trump just wants to use law enforcement to handle the task and believes that Clinton’s approach allows the fox to guard the henhouse.


Related First.One.Through articles

“Jews as a Class”

Political Pinatas: Populist Greed Meets Populist Anger

Half Standards: Gun Control and the Iranian Nuclear Weapons Deal

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Abraham’s Hospitality: Lessons for Jews and Arabs

The biblical portion of Vayera showcases stories of the patriarch Abraham welcoming strangers. The stories of Abraham’s hospitality became incorporated into the ways that the children of Abraham think of themselves today. However, the nature of the hospitality of Arabs (descendants of Abraham’s son Ishmael) and Jews (descendants of Abraham’s son Isaac) diverge in many ways.

Giovanni_Andrea_de_Ferrari_-_Abraham_and_the_Three_Angels
Abraham and the Three Angels
by Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari (1598-1669)

Man and God

Jewish perspective: Judaism prides itself in being a religion of actions, not faith. God gave the Jewish people 613 commandments to follow, some of which are active (make the Sabbath holy) and others that are passive (don’t kill). A division could also be made of laws between people (like murder) and those between man and God (like the Sabbath).

A casual observer of religions would imagine that laws about God would take precedence to laws about people.  The Jewish organization Limmud, posted an article about Vayera, which argued the opposite.

During the story of Vayera there was an encounter between Abraham and God. In the middle of the conversation, Abraham asked God to wait so he could welcome three strangers that were passing his tent. The author of the Limmud article, Jeremy Rosen argued that Abraham’s action taught Jews a lesson for today, “that however primary God is, there are certain types of human crises or obligations that are so important that one can actually tell God to wait. In the end religion must enhance our relationship with other humans.

Islamic perspective: The website “OnIslam” is dedicated to educating Muslims on a variety of subjects. An article on hospitality and the “joy of honoring others” made a clear effort to differentiate between the kind of hospitality that Muslims extend, and those of non-Muslims. The true concept of hospitality is not something that is widely practiced in most non-Muslim countries. For many non-Muslims, the entertainment of guests is of primary importance in many cases for worldly reasons only, not rooted in real hospitality for the sake of God. In Islam, however, hospitality is a great virtue that holds a significant purpose. Being hospitable to neighbors and guests can increase societal ties as well as unite an entire community. Most importantly, God commands Muslims to be hospitable to neighbors and guests. There is a great reward in doing so. Hospitality in Islam is multi-faceted and covers many different areas in addition to the hospitality that we show guests who visit our homes.”

In Islam, hospitality is performed because it is commanded by God. The act of hospitality may have benefits of creating communal harmony, but it is a derivative of the second degree. The primary obligation is to follow God’s command, and He commands all Muslims to be hospitable. God’s command leads man to action, and such action may, in turn, lead to friendship and social cohesion.

The difference in the approach of the religions is both subtle and significant. Judaism has a value system of helping others. Welcoming a stranger takes precedence to a direct conversation with God. In contrast, Islam focuses on obedience to God’s commands. Hospitality happens to be one of those commands and is therefore performed – within the bounds of religion.

Hospitality Today on a National Level

It is interesting to look at the nature of hospitality on a national level and how the one Jewish State handles hospitality compared to various Muslim countries (note that there are many Muslim countries, like Turkey, Malaysia and Indonesia, that are NOT Arab and descendants of Abraham).

Welcoming Refugees
Israel: Israel has an incredible record when it comes to welcoming Jews from around the world. Whether in bringing Jews that were persecuted in the Arab world in the 1950s, or Russian and Ethiopian Jews in the 1990s, Israel took in so many Jews from around the world, that they dwarf the number of European Jews who came to the country due to persecution in Europe during the 1930s and 1940s.

Those Moroccan, Yemenite, Ethiopian and Russian refugees received Israeli citizenship immediately. They got housing and job training. They had teachers to teach them a new language (Hebrew) and lessons about incorporating into a society that was completely foreign to their old way of living.

Arab/ Muslim Countries: The Middle East has witnessed a large number of wars and corresponding waves of refugees fleeing the battles. Many Arab countries did not welcome their fellow Arabs.

  • When Arabs left the British Mandate of Palestine to Lebanon and Syria in 1948-9, they were forced to live in refugee camps. They were not offered citizenship nor given an opportunity to have white color jobs. Those conditions continue for their children and grandchildren almost 70 years later.
  • When the PLO sided with Iraq when Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, Kuwait expelled roughly 360,000 Palestinians that were living there.  Fellow Arabs that were neighbors for 75 years were evicted en masse because of the actions of people hundreds of miles away.
  • Most recently, the millions of Arabs fleeing the civil war in Syria, and ISIS in Iraq have been shut out of the wealthy countries of Saudi Arabia; Qatar; Bahrain; United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.  Westerners may wonder how these oil rich countries are not embarrassed to refuse to welcome fellow Arabs, especially as Europe and America open its doors.  Only Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey (Muslim, but not Arab) have shown these refugees Islamic hospitality.

Welcoming “Others”
Israel: The phrase in the bible “love thy neighbor as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18) has been interpreted by various scholars as both a model for treating fellow Jews and for interactions with all of mankind.

  • When Israel declared independence in 1948, it granted 160,000 non-Jews citizenship.  When Israel reunited Jerusalem after Jordanian and Palestinian Arabs attacked it in 1967, it offered citizenship to all non-Jews.
  • When Menahem Begin became prime minister of Israel in 1977, he brought in and gave citizenship to roughly 300 Vietnamese people fleeing their country.
  • Today the country is grappling with how to deal with Eritrean and Sudanese asylum seekers as many Israeli Jews believe in the principal of hospitality, even while the government considers issues of safety.

Arab/ Muslim Countries: The Arab countries do very poorly in regards to their hospitality with non-Muslims.

  • When Jordan seized Judea and Samaria in 1949, it expelled all of the Jews in the area and forbade them from even visiting their holy sites in Jerusalem.
  • Today, Mahmoud Abbas has laws preventing the sale of any land by Arabs to Jews and has demanded a new country to be established devoid of Jews.
  • After Israel was founded, the Arab countries forced over 850,000 Jews to flee their homes where they had lived for generations.

Helping Others
Israel: Israel has a reputation of rushing to assist countries around the world suffering from natural disasters.  Whether from earthquakes in Turkey or Haiti or tsunamis in the Pacific Ocean, Israel is on the scene with disproportionate numbers with life-saving assistance.

Arab/ Muslim Countries: The Arab world typically does not send much assistance to countries in need.  That fact is surprising since it is a core tenant of Islam.  OnIslam states: “In Islam, hospitality extends well beyond the walls of the home. Being hospitable also means having good manners and treating others with dignity and respect. Hospitality can be applied to the greater community and Muslims must strive to help out whenever there is a time of need. Natural disasters, for example, often result in community turmoil as residents grapple with the aftermath. This provides Muslims with an excellent opportunity to pitch in, whether delivering hot meals to those affected or donating gently used items to someone who has lost everything.”

However, the Charities Aid Foundation did rank some Islamic nations among the most generous in the world, including: Malaysia; Indonesia; and Iran in the top 20.  However, none of those three countries is Arab.  Israel, the Jewish State, ranked number 32.


Abraham taught Jews and Arabs about the importance of hospitality.  Each group interpreted his acts of kindness through their respective prophets and teachers over the centuries, with Jews extracting a primary value of the kinship of men, while Muslims placed hospitality as just one of God’s commands to be observed.  Jews learned a life-lesson from Abraham; Arabs stifled that more human example and took the message of hospitality from the Quran.

The children of Abraham – the Jewish State and the Arab states – should all be mindful of the importance of hospitality in their dealings today.


Related First.One.Through artices:

The End of Together

Joint Prayer: The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount

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New York Times Confusion on Free Speech

The attacks on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris in January 2015 sparked a plethora of articles describing the freedoms of speech and press. The New York Times, like many other media sources, fiercely defended the right of people to offer their opinions, even if such views are unpopular. Despite the clarity of its overall stance, the paper appeared confused about “double standards” in its articles which failed to clarify and distinguish between free speech and hate speech.

In the NY Times lead front page story of January 14 referring to such “double standards”, the paper contrasted the right of Charlie Hebdo to make cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed, to the arrested French “comedian” M’bala M’bala who stated that a Jewish journalist should have been killed in the Nazi gas chambers and that he considers himself like the terrorist who shot and killed four Jews in the Parisian supermarket. Neither clarification nor education was given about the differences and limits of free speech.

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The NY Times continued to confuse the public (or itself) in a story the next day by David Carr, which included the following:

  • “Not all the French were reveling in unbridled expression of speech. Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, a comedian who has made highly provocative statements since the shooting at Charlie Hebdo’s offices, was detained as an “apologist for terrorism” for statements he made on his Facebook page that were seemingly in support of one of the attackers.
  • His arrest highlights the fact that one man’s free expression is another man’s hate speech or sedition. In Israel, the conservative Jewish newspaper HaMevaser scrubbed out the German chancellor Angela Merkel from a photograph, along with other female leaders who had participated in a solidarity march in Paris, because photos containing women are considered inappropriate in ultra-Orthodox publications.”

In an effort to educate the Times and its readership, here are three important points to distinguish between various types of speech:

  • Concept versus People
  • Active versus Reactive Incitement
  • Editing versus Censorship

 Concept versus People

A central dividing line between freedom of speech and hate speech has to do with the right to discuss concepts as opposed to the right (and limit) to discuss people. Everyone is free to say anything they want about concepts such as: capitalism, communism, Islam and Buddhism. Whether it is religion or economic theory, each topic is considered a concept worthy (perhaps?!) of discussion and debate in a positive or negative fashion. However, speech can descend into “hate speech” (or libel) which is banned by many countries, if people attack either groups or specific human beings.

For example, Louis Farrakhan, a bombastic anti-Semitic Muslim preacher referred to Judaism as a “gutter religion”. He was not brought up on any charges, despite the hateful speech. Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi was not prosecuted for calling Jews the descendants of monkeys and pigs, which could have perhaps been classified as hate speech in some countries because he addressed people rather than a religion.

 Active versus Reactive Incitement

A key factor in the distinction of permissible versus prohibited speech revolves around “incitement”. Many countries prohibit speech that incites violence, as does the recent United Nations Resolution 16/18. The UN language:

  • “condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, whether it involves the use of print, audio-visual or electronic media or any other means”

The phrase incitement to violence is clear. For example, when an imam in Germany called for killing Jews, that fell under hate speech to incite violence, and the country is now investigating that imam.

However, it is considered completely legal to say things that may involve “reactive incitement”, that is, saying something that may annoy people to the extent that they would use violence. To ban reactive incitement would stifle free speech completely which is what the press sees as the essence of the Charlie Hebdo assassinations. Just because Muslims were insulted by the publishing of cartoons of their prophet, their reaction cannot be the basis to ban that freedom of expression.

Based on the United Nations language, the incitement to discrimination would have to be explored further. Did Charlie Hebdo promote discrimination against Muslims? Was the paper simply making pictures of Mohammed or was it attempting to foster intolerance of all Muslims? The new United Nations law makes a distinction.

The M’bala M’bala calls for a Jewish journalist to be killed in gas chambers and supporting terrorists who killed four innocent Jews are calls for direct and indirect incitement to hostility and violence.  Acting Palestinian Authority President Mamoud Abbas praise for martyrs who slaughtered innocents could also be called incitement to hostility and violence.

dalal_popular_inauguration

Fatah officials at naming of Dalal Mughrabi square,
murderer of 38 civilians including 13 children

 Editing versus Censorship

Every media outlet edits their news stories. Papers constantly select only those parts of interviews that confirm a thesis it promotes to its readers. That is (theoretically) its right. Michael Moore edited interviews about global warming and the auto industry to convey a particular narrative that he wanted to portray in his movies. The public may ultimately view the half-stories they receive as accurate, half-accurate or completely inaccurate because of the known bias of the producers of the content.

However, no one considers editing to be a form of censorship or an infringement on the freedom of speech or press. If a paper opted to not publish a sports section, that is its right. If it crops a picture to focus on a particular image to reinforce its narrative, that is also its right. It may be bad journalism, but it is not censorship (and certainly not by a governmental authority).

In its ramble on free speech above, the New York Times highlighted the Israeli “conservative” newspaper Hamevaser’s choice to edit the picture of the Paris unity march to remove the female leaders. Hamevaser is run by and serves an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community (not politically conservative) that is against showing pictures of women due to their interpretation of modesty. Such action is a form of editing that newspapers engage in to meet the tastes of its readership. To somehow suggest that it is a form of Israeli censorship is absurd. Why would the Times possibly lump this example in with examples of freedom of speech and hate speech? It is completely off topic.


People in the western world rallied behind Charlie Hebdo because they see this situation as falling completely within the framework of free speech: it poked fun at a religion (a concept), not people (Muslims); and it did not call for any violence, rather the attacks came from a reaction from incensed Muslims. The case of M’bala M’bala has to do with inciting violence against people, and the Hamevaser picture has nothing at all to do with government censorship.

So how did the Times develop this list of irrelevant examples and not try to educate its readers (and actually confuse them with calling out “double standards”)?


Sources:

NYtimes articles and picture Jan 14: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/14/world/europe/new-charlie-hebdo-has-muhammad-cartoon.html

NY Times article January 15: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/15/business/media/flocking-to-buy-charlie-hebdo-citizens-signal-their-support-of-free-speech.html?_r=0

Louis Farakhan on Judaism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbrH3eUuA3U

Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi calling Jews names: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JukaOi8pKzM

UN Resolution 16/18: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/16session/A.HRC.RES.16.18_en.pdf

German imam calling for killing Jews: http://forward.com/articles/202751/germany-warns-against-hate-speech-after-imam-calls/

PA Abbas praise for terrorists: http://www.algemeiner.com/2013/01/10/video-of-abbas-praising-hitler-supporting-mufti-terrorists-released-video/

Naming square and centers after terrorist who killed 37 civilians: http://www.palwatch.org/pages/news_archive.aspx?doc_id=1442

Related First One Through articles:

Blasphemy or terrorism: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/blasphemy-or-terrorism/

Klinghoffer opera: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/eyal-gilad-naftali-klinghoffer-the-new-blood-libel/

 

Apostasy

In response to the mass and gross atrocities committed by Nazi Germany in World War II, the world sought to enshrine a list of basic human rights which were due to every person on the planet. In December 1948,  the United Nations passed those laws as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR.

Today, many members of the United Nations continue to routinely trample on those rights.

For example, Article 18 of the UDHR provides for the freedom of religion and worship:

  • “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

The action of changing one’s religion is called “apostasy”. Not only is it considered a crime in many countries, several Islamic countries consider it a capital offense according to their established law:

  • Afghanistan
  • Brunei
  • Mauritania
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag
Mariam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag sentenced to death by hanging in Sudan for apostasy,
May 2014

Not all Islamic countries call for killing apostates, but many still criminalize the act of leaving Islam by punishing the apostate with civil penalties including negating the person’s inheritance and nullifying their marriage.

In some countries, specifically: Mauritania; Saudi Arabia; Jordan; and Yemen, individuals can be charged with apostasy for simple matters of writing something negative or controversial about Islam, even a post on social media.

Here is a summary of some countries laws regarding apostasy.

  • Afghanistan: Apostasy is considered a serious offense and persons so charged may “possibly face death by stoning, deprivation of all property and possessions, and/or the invalidation of their marriages.
  • Brunei: A Muslim who declares himself non-Muslim is punishable with death, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding thirty years and corporal punishment, depending on the type of evidence.
  • Egypt: There have been cases where people have been placed in jail or marriages nullified due to apostasy.
  • Iran: While Iranian law does not provide for the death penalty for apostasy, the courts can hand down that punishment, and have done so in previous years, based on their interpretation of Sharia’a law and fatwas.
  • Jordan: While there is no express statutory prohibition on apostasy, conversion trials are heard by Islamic courts and may be instituted by any member of the community. According to Islamic law, there are consequences when Muslims adopt religions other than Islam.  For instance, if someone is convicted of apostasy, the Islamic courts adjudicating matters of personal status have the power to void the person’s marriage and deny his/her right to inherit from a spouse and from Muslim relatives.
  • Kuwait: According to Law 51 of 1984 on Personal Status, which is based on Islamic Sharia law, Under Article 18, the marriage of a non-Muslim man to a Muslim woman is considered annulled. Article 145 of the aforementioned law applies such legal and religious principle to Muslim husbands that might adopt other religions than Islam during the marital relationship. Moreover, under article 294 of this law, an apostate is not able to inherent from his Muslim relatives or marital spouse.
  • Mauritania: Apostasy is punished under article 306 of the Mauritanian Criminal Code.  This article provides that “any Muslim guilty of the crime of apostasy” is to be given the opportunity to repent within three days.  If the accused does not repent within that period, he/she is to be sentenced to death, and all of his/her property shall be confiscated by the government.

Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed
Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed sentenced to death for article about Islam,
December 2014

  • Morocco: In April 2013, the Supreme Council of Religious Scholars issued a religious decree (fatwa) that Moroccan Muslims who leave Islam must be sentenced to death.
  • Pakistan: There is no specific statutory law that criminalizes apostasy in Pakistan.  In 2007, a bill to impose the death penalty for apostasy for males and life imprisonment for females was proposed in Parliament but failed to pass.
  • Qatar: While apostasy is one of the offenses subject to the death penalty, Qatar has not imposed any penalty for this offense since its independence in 1971.
  • Saudi Arabia:  Islamic law imposes the death penalty on apostates based on statements attributed to the Prophet Mohammed.
  • Sudan: Article 126 of the Sudanese Penal Code, on apostasy, provides that any Muslim who declares publicly that he/she has adopted any religion other than Islam commits the crime of apostasy and is punishable with the death penalty.
  • Tunisia: Has begun to institute new laws to protect people from Sharia law regarding apostasy. Article 6 of the Tunisian Constitution of 2014 protects its citizens by preventing any attacks against them based on accusations of apostasy.
  • UAE: Article 66 states that among the “original punishments” under the law are the punishments of hudud crimes, including by imposing the death penalty.  However, there have been no known prosecutions or legal punishments for apostasy in court.
  • Yemen: The crime of apostasy may be subject to the death penalty by virtue of Article 12 of the Yemen Penal Code of 1994, as amended by Law 24 of 2006, which identifies crimes, including apostasy, that are punished according to the provisions of Islamic Sharia.  Furthermore, Article 259 provides that individuals committing the act of apostasy may be punished with the death penalty.

KSA apostasy
Man in Saudi Arabia to be beheaded for ripping up Quran,
February 2015

These laws are often not considered radical by the country’s citizens.  Many Muslims in the world specifically support the death penalty for apostasy.  The countries with the highest percentage calling for the murder of converts:

  • Egypt 88%
  • Jordan 82%
  • Afghanistan 79%
  • Palestinians 66%
  • Pakistan 62%
  • Malaysia 62%

Have you ever seen a censure in the United Nations against any of these countries for trampling a basic human right?



Sources:

Country apostasy review: http://www.loc.gov/law/help/apostasy/index.php

Pregnant Sudanese woman gets death sentence for apostasy: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/05/sudan-woman-given-death-penalty-apostasy-20145159264775754.html

Vast majority of Muslims support death penalty for apostasy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/01/64-percent-of-muslims-in-egypt-and-pakistan-support-the-death-penalty-for-leaving-islam/

Related First One Through article:

Blasphemy: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/blasphemy-or-terrorism/

US Working with Countries with terrible human rights records: https://firstonethrough.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/dancing-with-the-asteroids/