Archive for December 2009

The problem with Rifqa Bary

December 3, 2009

Rifqa, a born Muslim American teen, converted to Christianity and was allegedly threatened with death by her parents. She insists on saying that the Qur’an commands her parents to kill her. In her interview, she says, “You dont understand, Islam is very diffrent. If they love Allah more, they have to kill me, my blood is Halal now, because I have turned to Christianity, its honor killing, its in Quran, you dont understand”. Rafiqa Bary is absolutely right when she says, “you dont understand.” However, the one not understanding what Islam teaches is herself and those who want to kill her (if any). The alleged punishment of apostasy in Islam has no basis in the Quran and was not practiced by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). There is not a single verse in the Qur’an which commands the killing of someone who reverts from Islam. In fact, the Holy Qur’an announces the freedom of religion by saying, “there is no compulsion in the religion” (Holy Quran 2:257). One definite verse that refutes the death penalty for apostasy is as follows: “Surely, those who disbelieve after they have believed and then increase in disbelief, their repentance shall not be accepted. and these are they who have gone astray. As for those who have disbelieved, and die while they are disbelievers, there shall not be accepted from anyone of them, even an Earthful of Gold, though he offer it in ransom. It is these for whom shall be a grievous punishment, and they shall have no helpers.” (Holy Qur’an 3:91, 92) This probably is the most conspicuous verse about apostasy. Can someone even refer to a hint of killing in this verse?. If anything, it promises the life of an apostate by saying “then increase in their disbelief”. If they were to be killed immediately then how could they increase in their disbelief? There are at least seven verses in the Qur’an that refute the alleged punishment of apostasy in Islam. On the other hand, not a single verse goes in its favor. Advocates of the penalty of death for an apostate base their argument on the following verses: But if they repent and observe Prayer, and pay the Zakat, then they are your brethren in faith. And We explain the signs for a people who have knowledge. And if they break their oaths after their covenant, and revile your religion, then fight these leaders of disbelief— surely, they have no regard for their oaths—that they may desist.’ (Holy Qur’an 9:11-12) This is the summit of their argument and even that goes against them. First of all, the fighting is supposed to be against the leaders of disbelief rather than the individuals. Secondly, the purpose of “fighting” is revealed in “that they may desist”. So, if they were to be killed then how will they ever get a chance to desist. Most importantly, critics and ignorant alike forget the very following verse which further qualifies verses 11 and 12. “Will you not fight a people who have broken their oaths, and who plotted to turn out the Messenger, and they were the first to commence hostilities against you?” The focus is to only fight those who were first to be hostile towards you. Is this not a policy America enacts? Or, any nation of the world? Does such a nation exist that allows another nation’s attack, and does not respond? Why then, when the Qur’an mentions a law adopted by every government of the world, do people take issue? Misinterpretation of patent Quranic verses by Muslim Ulema have not only lead to the unjust killing but have also distorted the image of Islam. Mis-interpreters of Islam are the real enemies of Rifqa Bary, not Islam itself. For more information on this issue, please refer to:

Ayesha Noor Richmond, VA

Europe’s clash with Islam – Ban on Minarets

December 1, 2009

Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque in Zurich

Geert Wilder’s Fitnah, the ban on scarves in France, the controversy over the largest mosque in Germany, the Danish cartoon incident and the most recent ban on minarets in Switzerland have mutilated Europe from a region of tolerance and justice to something quite different.

Western Europe has provided refuge to a large number of unfortunate people persecuted in their countries. This region stands out for providing rights to all its citizens and directly follows the United Nation’s charter of human rights. Europe has hosted Islam for over 1300 years and Islam has deep roots in the European culture both Eastern and Westen. Why then, all of a sudden, has Islam become a threat to Europe?

Granted, some Muslims are not great citizens. Likewise, some Christians are not great citizens. Every community has their deviants, this is a fact of life. However, to simply dismiss over 50 million Muslims who are a functional part of the European culture is not the right approach. Europe should follow its tradition of justice and equality and refrain from regressing into the middle ages.

European people must stand up against such acts and remove this blemish from their region as it only succeeds to earn them embarrassment.
Ayesha Noor
Richmond, VA, USA