Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Harvard Islamic Chaplain Advocates Death For Apostates

As sharia law becomes more accepted as 'just another religious tradition' in America, its adherents become bolder and more outspoken as the need for taqia ( dissembling to advance Islam) lessens:

Harvard Islamic chaplain Taha Abdul-Basser ’96 has recently come under fire for controversial statements in which he allegedly endorsed death as a punishment for Islamic apostates.

In a private e-mail to a student last week, Abdul-Basser wrote that there was “great wisdom (hikma) associated with the established and preserved position (capital punishment [for apostates]) and so, even if it makes some uncomfortable in the face of the hegemonic modern human rights discourse, one should not dismiss it out of hand.”

The e-mail was forwarded over Muslim student e-mail lists and later picked up by the blogosphere, sparking debate and, in many cases, criticism of Abdul-Basser from those who have interpreted his statement as supporting the execution of those who leave the Islamic religion.

“I believe he doesn’t belong as the official chaplain,” said one Islamic student, who asked that he not be named to avoid conflicts with Muslim religious authorities. “If the Christian ministers said that people who converted from Christianity should be killed, don’t you think the University should do something?”

According to the student, many of Abdul-Basser’s other views are “not in line with liberal values, such as notions of human rights. He privileges the medieval discourse of the Islamic jurists, and is not willing to exercise independent thought and judgment beyond a certain limit,” the student said.

Keep in mind that Abdul-Basser is not a private individual, but has an official position as a Harvard chaplain.

Samad Khurram ’09-’10 said Abdul-Basser’s remarks conflicted with the Harvard United Ministry’s support of freedom of religion.

“I support free speech, freedom of belief and association, so this came as a big shock to me,” Khurram said.

“[His remarks] are the first step towards inciting intolerance and inciting people towards violence,” said a Muslim Harvard student, who requested that he not be named for fear of harming his relationship with the Islamic community.

Aqil Sajjad, a Harvard graduate student, also said that Abdul-Basser’s statements were “totally wrong, definitely out of line for somebody in that position. I wouldn’t go and seek religious advice from one who is saying this.”

A Muslim student at MIT, who also asked to remain anonymous to preserve his relationship with the Islamic community, said the chaplain’s remarks wrongly suggested that only Westerners and Westernized Muslims who did not fully understand Islam would find the killing of apostates objectionable.

“If what he said was what I thought, then it is very shocking and not something that I would expect or want coming out of a chaplain at any major American university,” he said.

Notice how many of these Muslim students who disagreed with the party line insisted on remaining anonymous? After all, since the Muslim chaplain involved is asserting that Islamic sharia law demands the death penalty for apostates. Did the anonymous students have some concerns for their well-being if they were seen as opposing Islamic sharia law?

The party line itself it unequivocal, and Abdul-Basser should not be criticized being honest about it.

Here is precisely what Muhammad ordered, as recorded in the Hadith:

The Messenger of Allah said, “Whoever changes his (Islamic) religion, kill him.” Al-Bukhary (number 6922)

Abdul-Basher is correctly stating the commands of his religion, as seen by the majority of Muslims around the world.Is there a consensus of rational American Muslims prepared to repudiate this utterly?

And if there isn't, are non-Muslim Americans prepared to insist that Islam conform to our laws, our Constitution, our democratic principles, and our tradition of respect for human rights and religious freedom...just as we have with other religions in the past?

That's the question, in a nutshell.And it's one we had better answer quickly, for the sake of both American Muslims and ourselves.

1 comment:

The Anti-Dhimmi said...

What that Chaplain said, is not at all out of line with historical Islamic thought, nor is it giving "privileges [to] the medieval discourse of the Islamic jurists". It is simply following the commands of Muhammad, the "prophet" of Islam:

Sahih al-Bukhari 6878—Narrated Abdullah: Allah’s Messenger said, “The blood of a Muslim who confesses that La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) and that I am the Messenger of Allah, cannot be shed except in three cases: (1) Life for life; (2) a married person who commits illegal sexual intercourse, and (3) the one who turns renegade from Islam (apostate) and leaves the group of Muslims.

Sahih al-Bukhari 6921—Ibn Umar, Az-Zuhri and Ibrahim said, “A female apostate (who reverts from Islam), should be killed.”

Sahih al-Bukhari 6922—Allah’s Messenger [said], “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”

He's no "radical". He's no "fringe element". He's just a Muslim following his prophet, doing what a good Muslim is supposed to do.