Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Muslims Must Affirm freedom

Ref: Article in Al-Jazeera listed below

Muslims affirm freedom of faith.
June 27, 2007

Mike Mohamed Ghouse –
Dr. Mohammad Omar Farooq -
Websites: and

Muslims must affirm the freedom of faithUnder the revised law passed by Kelantan state, Malaysia, anyone found guilty faces a maximum penalty of six lashes with a rattan cane, five years in prison and a fine of almost $3,000. This law is not in synch with the freedom of faith in Islam.

Qur'aan: al-Baqarah 002:256 "Let there be no compulsion in religion.”Qur'aan: al-Kafirun 109:006 "To you your religion, and to me my religion"We believe that, God is the master of the Day of Judgment, he alone we worship and he is the only one who can judge us on that appointed day.

Qur'aan: al-Fatihah 001:004 "Master of the Day of Judgment" and
001:005 "You alone we worship; You alone we ask for help.

"Freedom of faith means not only freedom to choose a faith, but also freedom to change one's faith. While Islam regards apostasy a grave sin, but that is between God and the respective individual. When it is a matter of simple apostasy, i.e, merely changing one's faith without any aggression or treason against an Islamic State or Muslims, the principle of freedom of faith in Islam requires that such apostate must be allowed to exercise their God-given freedom.

An encouraging thing is that the tide of opinion among Muslims is turning away from the traditional view (The traditional position based on unwarrantedly mixing the matter of simple apostasy with treason or aggression) to one that is in consonance with the message of the Qur'an and the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad.Now, there is dedicated blog regarding the issue of apostasy and Islam, which presents a more contemporary position of Muslim scholars, academics and even Imams affirming the freedom of faith and the freedom to change one's faith, when it involves simple apostasy, not apostasy-cum-treason.
Please visit

There is no worldly punishment or consequence specified in the Qur'an regarding simple apostasy. Indeed, the affirmation of freedom of faith in the Qur'an is explicit. There is also no precedence during the time of the Prophet that anyone was punished solely for apostasy.While there might be questions or issues about the traditional view, Muslims are to seek guidance and uphold the teachings of the Qur'an and the legacy of the Prophet.

While we as Muslims invite our sister-in-humanity Lina Joy [Azlina Jailani] back to Islam, we unequivocally urge Malaysian government, court and the people to affirm the freedom of faith in Islam and not to stand in the way of her exercising her God-given freedom.For more information about the issue of apostasy and Islam,

please visit Also, Muslims (especially, scholars, intellectuals, academics, imams, professionals) are urged read a Statement presented at the blog and be counted among the signatories affirming the freedom of faith in Islam.

Mike Ghouse
Tougher law for Malaysia converts

Kelantan is the only state in Malaysia ruled by the opposition PAS party [Reuters]
The only opposition-ruled state in Malaysia has approved stiffer penalties to deter people from trying to convert Muslims to other faiths.

Under the revised law passed by Kelantan state, anyone found guilty faces a maximum penalty of six lashes with a rattan cane, five years in prison and a fine of almost $3,000.
Kelantan is the only Malaysian state led by the opposition Islamist party, PAS.

Hassan Mohamood, who heads Kelantan's Islamic affairs committee, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the stiffer laws are useful "as a form of deterrence".
The previous maximum penalty was two years in prison and a fine of RM5,000 ($1,400).

Proselytising of Muslims is forbidden under federal laws, but the recent case of Line Joy, a Malay-Muslim woman who sought legal recognition of her right to pick her religion of choice, raised fears among some in Malaysia over mass conversion.

Attempts to convert Muslims to other faiths are rare, and people found guilty face prison terms in most states in the country where nearly 60 per cent of its 27 million people are ethnic Malay Muslims.

Religious conflicts

The amended penalties in Kelantan, where PAS has been in control since 1990, are believed to be the heaviest nationwide.

In Malaysia, Islam comes under state-level jurisdiction and religious authorities often send Malay Muslims who try to convert out for counselling and rehabilitation.

Some have also been imprisoned for apostasy.

In the Lina Joy case, the woman who was born to Muslim parents failed to get the country's highest civil court to recognise her right to choose her own faith.

The Malaysian constitution guarantees freedom of worship for all citizens but the country's parallel Islamic legal system often gives rise to religious conflicts.

Malaysia has large ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities that mostly practice Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism.

No comments:

Post a Comment


Email to:

Voice of Moderate Muslims

Voice of Moderate Muslims
Voice of Moderate Muslims

Moderate Islam Speaker

Moderate Islam Speaker
Moderate Islam Speaker

quraan burning

Planned Muslim Response to Qur'an Burning by Pastor Jones on September 11 in Mulberry, Florida

August 19, 2013| Dallas, Texas

Mike Ghouse
Text/Talk: (214) 325-1916

Mirza A Beg
(205) 454-8797


We as Muslims plan to respond to pastor Terry Jones' planned burning of 3000 copies of Quran on September 11, 2013 in positive terms.

Our response - we will reclaim the standard of behavior practiced by the Prophet concerning “scurrilous and hostile criticism of the Qur’an” (Muhammad Asad Translation Note 31, verse 41:34). It was "To overcome evil with good is good, and to resist evil by evil is evil." It is also strongly enjoined in the Qur’an in the same verse 41:34, “Good and evil deeds are not equal. Repel evil with what is better; then you will see that one who was once your enemy has become your dearest friend.”

God willing Muslims will follow the divine guidance and pray for the restoration of Goodwill, and on that day many Muslim organizations will go on a “blood drive” to save lives and serve humanity with kindness.

We invite fellow Americans of all faiths, races, and ethnicities to join us to rededicate the pledge, “One nation under God”, and to build a cohesive America where no American has to live in apprehension, discomfort or fear of fellow Americans. This event is a substitute for our 10th Annual Unity Day Celebration ( held in Dallas, but now it will be at Mulberry, Florida.

Unwittingly Pastor Jones has done us a favor by invigorating us by his decision to burn nearly 3000 copies Quran on September 11, 2013. Obviously he is not satisfied by the notoriety he garnered by burning one Qur'an last year.

As Muslims and citizens we honor the free speech guaranteed in our constitution. We have no intentions to criticize, condemn or oppose Pastor Terry Jones' freedom of expression. Instead, we will be donating blood and praying for goodness to permeate in our society.

We plan to follow Jesus Christ (pbuh), a revered prophet in Islam as well as Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) – that of mitigating the conflicts and nurturing good will for the common good of the society.

We hope, this event and the message will remind Muslims elsewhere in the world as well, that violence is not the way. Muslims, who react violently to senseless provocation, should realize that, violence causes more violence, and besmirches the name of the religion that we hold so dear. We believe that Prophet Muhammad was a mercy to the mankind, and we ought to practice what we believe and preach. We must not insult Islam by the negative reactions of a few.

We can only hope it will bring about a change in the attitude of the followers of Pastor Jones, and in the behavior of those Muslims who reacted violently the last time Pastor sought notoriety – We hope this small step towards a bridge to peaceful coexistence would propel us towards building a cohesive society.

Like most Americans a majority of Muslims quietly go about their own business, but it is time to speak up and take positive action instead of negative reaction. May this message of peace and goodwill reverberate and reach many shores.

Lastly, we appreciate the Citizens of Mulberry, Florida, Honorable Mayor George Hatch, City Commissioners, police and Fire Chiefs for handing this situation very well. This will add a ‘feather of peace’ in the City’s reputation. We hope Mulberry will be a catalyst in showing the way in handling conflict with dignity and peace.

We thank the Media for giving value to the work towards peace rather than conflict.


Thank you.


The people in Dallas are making an effort to understand and clean their own hearts first, when we are free from bias, it would be easy to share that with others. Islam teaches us in so many ways to "respect the otherness of others" and it is time we find simple practical ways of doing it.