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In the Name of God بسم الله

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“When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say”

1) What is the Islamic definition of freedom of speech?

2) When does the freedom of speech of an individual become subject to Islamic punishment?

3) Insulting The Prophet would merely bring down any credibility the insultor may have, why strengthen them by silencing them? 

4) Criticism towards an Islamic government or Islam should not be faced with executions or severe punishments, claiming such criticisms to be treasonous is downright preposterous. Why silence criticism when you can substantiate your absolute truth by addressing the criticism coherently, or by allowing said criticism to act as a motivator to furthermore fortify one's own individualistic or collectivistic system of governance to be greater fortified.

 I sincerely seek to understand the concept of freedom of speech and censorship within Islam, hoping for emphasis on the aforementioned points. 

@Haydar Husayn @Muhammed Ali @hasanhh @Mahdavist @Ayuoobi

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3 minutes ago, AkhiraisReal said:

Freedom of speech is just an illusion. It only applies for the sheep-headed.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legality_of_Holocaust_denial

that's just 1 example.

You're giving an answer that may appease a person who believes in liberalism as the moral guideline, I don't subscribe to any arguments that may justify an Islamic position by appealing to modernity. I request an Islamic guideline that helps in highlighting where the line is being drawn. Free speech in this context is not an illusion, because speech is clearly being limited under Islamic governance, therefore there is speech that is permitted and otherwise so. 

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Imam Ali (عليه السلام) teaches us a lesson or two about free speech/censorship and the Akhlaq in which to face insults:

Hadith n. 420

420. It is related that Amir al-mu’minin, peace be upon him, was sitting with his companions when a beautiful woman passed by them and they began to look at her whereupn Amir al-mu’minin, peace be upon him, said: The eyes of these men are covetous and this glancing is the cause of their becoming covetous. Whenever anyone of you sees a woman who attracts him, he should meet his wife because she is a woman like his wife.

420. وروي أنه عليه السلام كان جالساً في أصحابه، فمرّت بهم امرأة جميلة، فرمقها القوم بأبصارهم. فقال عليه السلام : إِنَّ أَبْصَار هذِهِ الْفُحُولِ طَوَامِحُ وَإِنَّ ذلِكَ سَبَبُ هَبَابِهَا فإِذَا نَظَرَ أَحَدُكُمْ إِلَى امْرَأَةٍ تُعْجِبُهُ فَلْيُلاَمِسْ أَهْلَهُ، فَإِنَّمَا هِيَ امْرَأَهٌ كَامْرَأَةٍ.

Then one of the Kharijites said: “May Allah kill this heretic! How logical he is!” People then leapt towards him to kill him, but Amir al-mu’minin, peace be upon him, said: “Wait a bit. There should either be abuse [for an abuse] or else pardoning from the offence.”

فقال رجل من الخوارج: قاتله الله كافراً ما أفقهه. فوثب القوم لِيقتلوه. فقال عليه السلام : رُوَيْداً إِنَّمَا هُوَ سَبٌّ بِسَبٍّ، أَوْ عَفْوٌ عَنْ ذَنْبٍ.

https://www.al-Islam.org/nahjul-balagha-part-2-letters-and-sayings/selections-sayings-and-preaching-amir-al-muminin-Ali#hadith-n-420

Imam Ali (عليه السلام) pardoned the person. 

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5 hours ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

 

“When you tear out a man's tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you're only telling the world that you fear what he might say”

1) What is the Islamic definition of freedom of speech?

Where and when did the notion of “freedom of speech” arise in the first place?  During the so called “enlightenment period”, the same period wherein the whole notion of “secularism” arose.  It is during this time that a cluster of interconnected terms were introduced that were all essential components of secularism.  Along with this idea arose the idea that “man is the measure of all things”, “reductionism”, “mechanistic model of the universe” (also Newtonianism), and an emphasis on human reason (rationalism) and empiricism.  Etc.. 

It is important to understand the context in which this idea of “freedom of speech” arose.  This whole movement was a reaction to the Church in medieval period (the so called “dark age”).  
 

So, within the Islamic Paradigm, God is the Source of All Speech. He created by Speaking after all, he said: “Be and it is”.  Man, is gifted with “speech”, he is referred to as “al haywan an anaatiq”, or “the speaking animal”.  Human speech therefore is a sign of man’s vicegerency, man’s ability to “represent” God on earth by reflecting or manifesting His attributes in a more or less harmonious manner.

So what do you say of a vicegerent who speaks ill of his King or who denies the King as King?  What kind of vicegerent is that?  What ought to happen to him?  And so you can see why the shariah laws appear to be very harsh.  It is important put things in the greater context.  
 

Having said all this, there is also the element of “Ihsan” (acting beautifully).  In other words, although God is a Mighty And Majestic King, He is also a Beautiful and Merciful King.  God is a King that is not only All-High and above His Throne but He is also closer to us than our jugular  vein!  This element of beauty, compassion and love needs to also be manifested in carrying out God’s Laws.  
 

the Prophet of God (S) manifested this aspect and therefore forgave people and advised people, he hardly ever rebuked anyone.  He took the path of speaking to others in a a gentle and loving manner that even those who would plot to kill him would be transformed into loving him.  

So, we live during an age or era that is has been greatly influenced by the enlightenment and its principles. 
During this period it makes even more sense to represent the ideals of “Ihsan” that our religion offers us.  
 

Quote

2) When does the freedom of speech of an individual become subject to Islamic punishment?

From the point of view of Ihsan, there is no longer a need for punishment, just dialogue and representing good and beautiful character.  

Quote

3) Insulting The Prophet would merely bring down any credibility the insultor may have, why strengthen them by silencing them? 

exactly!  

 

 

 

Edited by eThErEaL

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Freedom of speech definitely exists in Islam.

They cursed Imam Ali for years. He sat there and did nothing. And when his companions wanted to destroy the minarets he told them you cant its their right especially they are doing it from private property.

 

Edited by BowTie

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3 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

But the right to insult, mock, satirise, lie, that I don't agree with, because it is a means of persuasion that seeks mainly to bypass the intellect and appeal to the worst aspects of human nature

Salaam bro, your answer makes sense.

But what about the harsh punishment in Sharia? Wouldn’t this result in more insults towards sacred personalities, especially in this day and age?

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1 minute ago, Ejaz said:

Salaam bro, your answer makes sense.

But what about the harsh punishment in Sharia? Wouldn’t this result in more insults towards sacred personalities, especially in this day and age?

Sorry brother, I don’t understand. Why would harsh punishments result in more insults in a Muslim country? France puts people in jail for Holocaust denial, which is extremely harsh by American standards of free speech, but I’m not aware of any evidence that open Holocaust denial is more widespread in France than the US (it might be, but I’m not aware of it being so).

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I think people should get to the bread and butter of the topic.

We could dance all day talking about how Russia or France rejects freedom of denial of the Holocaust (not surprising considering the countless Russian lives lost in WW2).

From wiki:

"In May 2014, Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed a law making the denial of Nazi crimes and "wittingly spreading false information about the activity of the USSR during the years of World War Two" or portraying Nazis as heroes a criminal offence.[66][67]"

Portraying Nazis as heroes (when they massacred countless innocent people), really shouldn't even be equated to a death penalty for announcing ones personal faith.

We could continue to point at how some free speech is actually hate speech, and we could then talk about how all countries ban forms of hate speech (which is understandable). But of course not all hate speech is free speech.

But when we get down to the bread and butter, rather than beating around the bush, what we have are death penalties for apostates who announce their atheistic beliefs in a public sphere. Which isn't necessarily hate speech, nor is it a claim that figures who conducted mass genocide of the innocent, are heroes.

Denial of mass genocide is denial of mass genocide. Hate speech is hate speech.

But Freedom to state your religious beliefs is freedom to state your religious beliefs. And ultimately, none of the above should be met with death penalties, but in some countries, the latter is.

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And really, even hate speech shouldn't necessarily be met with a death sentence.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2012/02/13/saudi-arabia-writer-faces-apostasy-trial

Imagine if someone is having a bad day and says something derogatory about a prophet. They shouldn't have to fear death for this. Just as they shouldn't have to fear death for tweeting about Holocaust denialism. 

And though I despise neo nazis just as much as the next person, I'm happy that we don't have laws where we can go around rounding up neo Nazis for mass execution, else we would really be no better than they would. And I'm glad we don't go around rounding up Muslims for execution whenever an Imam preaches on stage either. 

But could an atheist go on stage in Saudi Arabia to give a speech about, say, the history of a prophet (any prophet), from a secular point of view, devoid of divine influence and as just regular men? Well, most likely not.  Even if it were not necessarily hate speech, it would presumably be considered blasphemous proselytizing and leading people away from Islam.

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Obviously, religious theories regarding speech and expression are much different than secular. 

But as far as the secular goes, the one who gets to define what "hate speech" is, or who gets to set the rules about what is permissible to discuss or publish, is the one with the power. That power can be, and often is, wildly abused. 

Here in the US, criticism of Israel, or supporting the BDS movement, has been denounced as antisemitic "hate speech". Professors have been fired, people have lost their jobs, etc. for falling into this trap. Those who want to criminalize Holocaust denial, or even Holocaust revisionism, want to take this further.

Throwing people into prison for writing history books you don't like is the very essence of authoritarianism, and it is done out of cynical, political motives.

There are radicals in the west who want to declare the Quran itself "hate speech", and their motives are suspicious. 

Freedom of speech typical refers to the right to petition the government, and the right of association. I don't see either one of those things as contrary to Islam. Nevertheless, absolute freedom of speech isn't permissible anywhere, and things like blasphemy, inciting violence, etc. are typically exceptions. 

 

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1 hour ago, iCenozoic said:

I think people should get to the bread and butter of the topic.

We could dance all day talking about how Russia or France rejects freedom of denial of the Holocaust (not surprising considering the countless Russian lives lost in WW2).

From wiki:

"In May 2014, Russia's President Vladimir Putin signed a law making the denial of Nazi crimes and "wittingly spreading false information about the activity of the USSR during the years of World War Two" or portraying Nazis as heroes a criminal offence.[66][67]"

Portraying Nazis as heroes (when they massacred countless innocent people), really shouldn't even be equated to a death penalty for announcing ones personal faith.

We could continue to point at how some free speech is actually hate speech, and we could then talk about how all countries ban forms of hate speech (which is understandable). But of course not all hate speech is free speech.

But when we get down to the bread and butter, rather than beating around the bush, what we have are death penalties for apostates who announce their atheistic beliefs in a public sphere. Which isn't necessarily hate speech, nor is it a claim that figures who conducted mass genocide of the innocent, are heroes.

Denial of mass genocide is denial of mass genocide. Hate speech is hate speech.

But Freedom to state your religious beliefs is freedom to state your religious beliefs. And ultimately, none of the above should be met with death penalties, but in some countries, the latter is.

 

Hate speech is hate speech is a no more meaningful statement than blasphemy is blasphemy. Blasphemy is essentially hate speech against God or people, or objects, of reverence. You may think it’s ridiculous to criminalise insulting God, while I think it’s ridiculous to criminalise using the pronoun ‘he’ for a biological male who thinks he is a woman, whether or not that is called hate speech.

It all depends on what you consider important in life. If a society forms around the idea that their religion is true, and there is such a thing as heaven and hell, then it would be more irresponsible to allow people’s afterlife to be compromised than their health in this world. Additionally if you have formed around the idea that your religion gives the best way of organising a society, then again it wouldn’t make sense to allow that to be disrupted. Obviously none of this makes any sense for another society that doesn’t share those presuppositions, and vice versa.

Your problem is you don’t seem to be aware of what your presuppositions are, and why it doesn’t make sense for everyone else in the world, and through history, to share them. You just assume that everyone else must swim in the same water you do, which is secular liberalism, because you don’t even appear to notice the water. You take for granted that it’s ‘understandable’ to restrict free speech in the case of so-called hate speech, but in the same manner many other people throughout human history took it for granted that it’s ‘understandable’ to restrict free speech when it comes to blasphemy. This is because they thought, and think, differently to you. What allows you to say that their way of thinking is wrong, but yours is right?

As for the freedom to state your beliefs, what is the use of you aren’t seeking to influence others, some of whom may be easily manipulated? Otherwise just go about your daily business. Nobody is going to come and interrogate you as to what you believe. What is this pressing urge to tell people what your personal beliefs are? It actually makes less sense than in the case of the historian who may believe that aspects of the Holocaust were exaggerated, but will be put in jail if they publish their research. At least in that case the historian is seeking to, as they see it, correct the historical record, rather than narcissistically wanting to let everyone know what they believe just for the sake of it (allegedly).

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1 hour ago, iCenozoic said:

But could an atheist go on stage in Saudi Arabia to give a speech about, say, the history of a prophet (any prophet), from a secular point of view, devoid of divine influence and as just regular men? Well, most likely not.  Even if it were not necessarily hate speech, it would presumably be considered blasphemous proselytizing and leading people away from Islam.

Nobody here is talking about Saudi Arabia, and if you had learnt anything in your time here, you would realise how ridiculous an example it is to use, for many reasons.

But even then, what is the point of making an argument that rests of what ‘could’ happen, what would ‘most likely’ be the result, and how it would ‘presumably’ be considered? If you don’t have any actual facts, it’s best to not conjecture.

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4 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

wanting to let everyone know what they believe just for the sake of it

I think the matter is far more nuanced, perhaps it is a declaration that one will not allow their government and social sphere to dictate the theological conclusions they may reach. Irrespective of whether they are correct conclusions or those based on fallacies, in the end they are seeking to harmlessly exercise their freedom of not even necessarily practicing a religion, but simply differing, due to lack of evidence or ignorance.

Let us take Reza Aslan as an example he was born a Muslim, left Islam to become an Evangelical Christian, and then came back to Islam. Under the precepts of apostasy laws Reza would have been executed. I ask you brother, and please without use of arbitrary semantics. How many people like Reza were earnest truth seekers and perhaps deviated from the path and before they were able to revert back had been killed. Unfortunately we will not know the answer and by God one death is one too many.

There is a need to address these matters, because entering and leaving Islam should not be a death penalty, since when does entering the truth tie a rope around your neck to where if you were to exist the fundamental pillars of said truth you would have damned yourself to Hell and death. Reza would have been considered a Mili apostate meaning that even if he did repent the punishment would have still been carried out. 

We are outraged at what China is doing to its Muslim citizens by indoctrinating them and forcing them to leave their religions, are we not like China arguing to shove down our ideology down the throat of anyone who considers themselves a Muslim, allowing for them no room to even consider leaving the religion or criticising it, albeit in most cases ignorantly. Or else a strike to the neck is what shall follow.

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29 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Hate speech is hate speech is a no more meaningful statement than blasphemy is blasphemy. Blasphemy is essentially hate speech against God or people, or objects, of reverence. You may think it’s ridiculous to criminalise insulting God, while I think it’s ridiculous to criminalise using the pronoun ‘he’ for a biological male who thinks he is a woman, whether or not that is called hate speech.

It all depends on what you consider important in life. If a society forms around the idea that their religion is true, and there is such a thing as heaven and hell, then it would be more irresponsible to allow people’s afterlife to be compromised than their health in this world. Additionally if you have formed around the idea that your religion gives the best way of organising a society, then again it wouldn’t make sense to allow that to be disrupted. Obviously none of this makes any sense for another society that doesn’t share those presuppositions, and vice versa.

Your problem is you don’t seem to be aware of what your presuppositions are, and why it doesn’t make sense for everyone else in the world, and through history, to share them. You just assume that everyone else must swim in the same water you do, which is secular liberalism, because you don’t even appear to notice the water. You take for granted that it’s ‘understandable’ to restrict free speech in the case of so-called hate speech, but in the same manner many other people throughout human history took it for granted that it’s ‘understandable’ to restrict free speech when it comes to blasphemy. This is because they thought, and think, differently to you. What allows you to say that their way of thinking is wrong, but yours is right?

As for the freedom to state your beliefs, what is the use of you aren’t seeking to influence others, some of whom may be easily manipulated? Otherwise just go about your daily business. Nobody is going to come and interrogate you as to what you believe. What is this pressing urge to tell people what your personal beliefs are? It actually makes less sense than in the case of the historian who may believe that aspects of the Holocaust were exaggerated, but will be put in jail if they publish their research. At least in that case the historian is seeking to, as they see it, correct the historical record, rather than narcissistically wanting to let everyone know what they believe just for the sake of it (allegedly).

 

"It all depends on what you consider important in life."

This is true. But the difference is that one side of the coin, is willing to kill, literally to kill, the opposition. While the other side of the coin, is not.

People wanted to kill, and perhaps still want to kill Salman Rushdie. 

But if someone here on SC calls the apostle Paul a terrorist (which just recently happened), nobody wants to kill this person, despite it being blasphemy against Christianity.

It's the same thing with the phrase "sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me". Some things warrant combat, and death of enemies. But other things such as the example of the preaching atheist above, do not.

No more should a Muslim preacher be murdered for preaching Islam, should an atheist preacher be murdered for preaching a secularist idea.

Even though some Muslims might "feel" as though their beliefs are more "important in life", it's about equality. It's not about what neo Nazis "feel" nor is it about what Christians or Muslims "feel". It's about equality. 

Some atheists probably would want to kill Muslims for preaching. Indeed in some instances, people have attacked and killed Muslims because they were proselytizing in favor of Islam.

But these actions are wrong, just as it would be wrong to kill the preaching atheist.

 

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31 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Nobody here is talking about Saudi Arabia, and if you had learnt anything in your time here, you would realise how ridiculous an example it is to use, for many reasons.

But even then, what is the point of making an argument that rests of what ‘could’ happen, what would ‘most likely’ be the result, and how it would ‘presumably’ be considered? If you don’t have any actual facts, it’s best to not conjecture.

I use Saudi Arabia because almost everyone here, recognizes that the countries government is unjust with respect to how it treats other religions. I could point to other countries, but I'm just trying to find common ground that others here would agree with.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/03/20/saudi-arabia-new-terrorism-regulations-assault-rights

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@iCenozoic I think examples from The Islamic Republic of Iran would prove to be more formidable.

Arabi is an atheist, activist and blogger. He's in an Iranian prison, in bad shape both emotionally and physically. His crime? Blasphemy: writing insulting Facebook posts about the prophet Muhammad, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials. Arabi was arrested in December 2013 and sentenced to death for blasphemy. In July 2015, upon appeal, his death sentence was reduced to seven and a half years in prison and two years of religious studies to cure him of his atheism. In addition to physical problems caused by various hunger strikes, Arabi has been tortured, resulting in blunt trauma to his testicles and a broken nose, amongst other injuries.

Refusing to be silenced, he was later sentenced to an additional three years in prison, exile and a fine on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the sacred and the supreme leader” because of his open letters highlighting inhumane prison conditions of political prisoners in Iran. As if to rub the mullahs’ noses in it, he signs letters as Soheil Arabi, Atheist.

Source: https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/5606/thousands-were-released-in-iran-but-not-atheist-prisoner-soheil-arabi

@Ashvazdanghe Brother what can you tell us about the case of Soheil Arabi, and do you think forcing him to undergo religious studies as well as torturing him, which I don't see how such two polars could really help in anything, other then establish greater disillusion. Was this all necessary do you support these measures and if so why? I tagged you because I know you are an avid supporter and defender of Ayatollah Khamenai and the Islamic Republic, which I respect and admire, but at times stand and question.

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1 hour ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

I think the matter is far more nuanced, perhaps it is a declaration that one will not allow their government and social sphere to dictate the theological conclusions they may reach. Irrespective of whether they are correct conclusions or those based on fallacies, in the end they are seeking to harmlessly exercise their freedom of not even necessarily practicing a religion, but simply differing, due to lack of evidence or ignorance.

Nobody is stopping anyone reaching whatever theological conclusions they like, and nobody is dictating anything to anyone. The issue is what is allow to be said in the public sphere, and the manner in which it is said. If someone wants to become a Christian, or an atheist, then can. They don't need to tell the whole world about it, and try to proselytise their new-found beliefs.

1 hour ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

Let us take Reza Aslan as an example he was born a Muslim, left Islam to become an Evangelical Christian, and then came back to Islam. Under the precepts of apostasy laws Reza would have been executed. I ask you brother, and please without use of arbitrary semantics. How many people like Reza were earnest truth seekers and perhaps deviated from the path and before they were able to revert back had been killed. Unfortunately we will not know the answer and by God one death is one too many.

How do you know he would have been executed? You are assuming that had he lived under some idealised Islamic state that he would have reached those same conclusions that made him briefly convert to Christianity, and that even if he had converted, that he would have made it public enough to draw the attention of the state (which in practice would have meant he was trying to convert others). Further, you would need to assume that when questioned, you would openly admit to having left the faith, and not taken any opportunities to recant. Now, I admit all of this is possible, but it seems fairly unlikely.

1 hour ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

There is a need to address these matters, because entering and leaving Islam should not be a death penalty, since when does entering the truth tie a rope around your neck to where if you were to exist the fundamental pillars of said truth you would have damned yourself to Hell and death. Reza would have been considered a Mili apostate meaning that even if he did repent the punishment would have still been carried out. 

Leaving Islam isn't a death penalty. People are free to believe whatever they want, and if they really feel the need to tell the world about their conversion, then they are perfectly welcome to leave, as the Qur'an advises Muslims themselves:

Surely (as for) those whom the angels cause to die while they are unjust to their souls, they shall say: In what state were you? They shall say: We were weak in the earth. They shall say: Was not Allah's earth spacious, so that you should have migrated therein? So these it is whose abode is hell, and it is an evil resort [Qur'an 4:97, Shakir]

1 hour ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

We are outraged at what China is doing to its Muslim citizens by indoctrinating them and forcing them to leave their religions, are we not like China arguing to shove down our ideology down the throat of anyone who considers themselves a Muslim, allowing for them no room to even consider leaving the religion or criticising it, albeit in most cases ignorantly. Or else a strike to the neck is what shall follow.

No Muslim advocates doing anything like what China is doing. Muslims in China want to right to simply go about their lives peacefully and practice their religion. China on the other hand wants to forcibly make them leave their religion.

I think there is a bit of a misunderstanding here. Muslims don't believe in setting up some kind of inquisition and interrogating people on what they believe, whether they are fasting during the month of Ramadan, or whether they pray five times a day. Everyone is free to believe whatever they like, and will be left alone, as long as they aren't seeking to recruit others to their cause. And ultimately, if the rulers of the state believe that there are better ways of dealing with the issue, giving the current circumstances, and changes in society etc, then they aren't forced to carry out the harshest penalties.

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1 hour ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

@iCenozoic I think examples from The Islamic Republic of Iran would prove to be more formidable.

Arabi is an atheist, activist and blogger. He's in an Iranian prison, in bad shape both emotionally and physically. His crime? Blasphemy: writing insulting Facebook posts about the prophet Muhammad, the Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials. Arabi was arrested in December 2013 and sentenced to death for blasphemy. In July 2015, upon appeal, his death sentence was reduced to seven and a half years in prison and two years of religious studies to cure him of his atheism. In addition to physical problems caused by various hunger strikes, Arabi has been tortured, resulting in blunt trauma to his testicles and a broken nose, amongst other injuries.

Refusing to be silenced, he was later sentenced to an additional three years in prison, exile and a fine on charges of “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the sacred and the supreme leader” because of his open letters highlighting inhumane prison conditions of political prisoners in Iran. As if to rub the mullahs’ noses in it, he signs letters as Soheil Arabi, Atheist.

Source: https://newhumanist.org.uk/articles/5606/thousands-were-released-in-iran-but-not-atheist-prisoner-soheil-arabi

 

You are starting to stray from the original premise of the thread now, by bringing in examples of clearly flawed countries, who don't even properly implement the Shari`a. Assuming we can trust the reporting here (which is by no means certain given the source), look at the charges: “propaganda against the state” and “insulting the sacred and the supreme leader”. What's this got to do with leaving Islam or committing blasphemy? These are secular charges, not religious ones. They could just as well occur in North Korea.

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There's no such thing as "hate speech", do not think that you can appeal to the idea of the existence of "hate speech" and that it will never be used against you for proclaiming Allah's (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) truths sometime in the future.

 

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10 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

No society that I know of actually believes in freedom of speech. The issue comes down to what type of speech you restrict, which depends on the type of society you want to have.

Or more accurately there’s unlimited freedom of speech within a narrowed spectrum allowed, implicit or explicit. You can say whatever you want, as long as its inside the fence. For people unfamiliar with the fence’s existence, they can misinterpret the world as absolute freedom of speech, because everything they know about appears to be within bounds. But fences in themselves are not problematic, no more than out of bound lines on a football field. They are essential to keep the integrity of a game or society. It’s not a matter of should lines exist, but where they are drawn, or who draws them. If you don’t have a good template (ie religion), it must be frustrating to even know where to start, other than following the whims of the time. 

Another observation, but I see stronger opinions and diverse speech in sports media vs political media, because the former has a wider of spectrum of acceptability because of its more trivial, less consequential nature (with exceptions). 

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3 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

They don't need to tell the whole world about it, and try to proselytise their new-found beliefs.

What if they then decide to reevaluate their conclusions, they couldn't openly address their community members for civil debate as that would evidently cause them to forfeit their lives.

 

3 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

How do you know he would have been executed? You are assuming that had he lived under some idealised Islamic state that he would have reached those same conclusions that made him briefly convert to Christianity, and that even if he had converted, that he would have made it public enough to draw the attention of the state (which in practice would have meant he was trying to convert others). Further, you would need to assume that when questioned, you would openly admit to having left the faith, and not taken any opportunities to recant. Now, I admit all of this is possible, but it seems fairly unlikely.

This is an interesting perspective, but I am addressing matters through theory, so in theory if this was under an Islamic system of governance he wouldn't then be executed? Any type of scenario we draw out in theory that can posit itself in reality within an Islamic government should then be subject to examination and consideration. Therefore there is indeed an indication of some form of injustice that can be committed, no?

 

3 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Leaving Islam isn't a death penalty.

http://www.sistani.org/arabic/qa/0279/

السؤال: ما هو تعريفكم للمرتد بالتفصيل ؟ الجواب: المرتد وهو من خرج عن الاِسلام واختار الكفر على قسمين: فطري وملّي، والفطري من ولد على اسلام احد ابويه أو كليها ثم كفر، وفي اعتبار اسلامه بعد التمييز قبل الكفر وجهان اقربهما الاعتبار. وحكم الفطري انه يقتل في الحال، وتبين منه زوجته بمجرد ارتداده وينفسخ نكاحها بغير طلاق، وتعتد عدة الوفاة ـ على ما تقدم ـ ثم تتزوج ان شاءت، وتُقسّم امواله التي كانت له حين ارتداده بين ورثته بعد اداء ديونه كالميت ولا ينتظر موته، ولا تفيد توبته ورجوعه الى الاسلام في سقوط الاحكام المذكورة مطلقاً على المشهور، ولكنه لا يخلو عن شوب اشكال، نعم لا اشكال في عدم وجوب استتابته. وأما بالنسبة الى ما عدا الاحكام الثلاثة المذكورات فالاقوى قبول توبته باطناً وظاهراً، فيطهر بدنه وتصح عباداته ويجوز تزويجه من المسلمة، بل له تجديد العقد على زوجته السابقة حتى قبل خروجها من العدة على القول ببينونتها عنه بمجرد الارتداد، والظاهر انه يملك الاموال الجديدة باسبابه الاختيارية كالنجارة والحيازة والقهرية كالارث ولو قبل توبته. واما المرتد الملّي ـ وهو من يقابل الفطري ـ فحكمه انه يستتاب، فان تاب وإلاّ قتل، وانفسخ نكاح زوجته إذا كان الارتداد قبل الدخول أو كانت يائسة أو صغيرة ولم تكن عليها عدة، وأما إذا كان الارتداد بعد الدخول وكانت المرأة في سن من تحيض وجب عليها ان تعتد عدة الطلاق من حين الارتداد، فان رجع عن ارتداده الى الاسلام قبل انقضاء العدة بقي الزواج على حاله على الاقرب وإلاّ انكشف انها قد بانت عنه عند الارتداد. ولا تقسم أموال المرتد الملي إلاّ بعد موته بالقتل أو غيره، وإذا تاب ثم ارتد ففي وجوب قتله من دون استتابة في الثالثة أو الرابعة اشكال. هذا إذا كان المرتد رجلاً، واما لو كان امرأة فلا تقتل ولا تنتقل اموالها عنها الى الورثة إلاّ بالموت، وينفسخ نكاحها بمجرد الارتداد بدون اعتداد مع عدم الدخول أو كونها صغيرة أو يائسة وإلاّ توقف الانفساخ على انقضاء العدة وهي بمقدار عدة الطلاق كما مر في المسألة (٥٦٣). وتحبس المرتدة ويضيّق عليها وتضرب على الصلاة حتى تتوب فان تابت قبلت توبتها، ولا فرق في ذلك بين أن تكون مرتدة عن ملة أو عن فطرة.

Important points to note:

1. وحكم الفطري انه يقتل في الحال

2. ولا تفيد توبته ورجوعه الى الاسلام

3. وتحبس المرتدة ويضيّق عليها وتضرب على الصلاة حتى تتوب

1. So basically as soon as a fitri is shown to have apostated he is to be killed instantly, so in a sense, yes it is a death sentence.

2. He has three days to repent and even if he instantly repents he is to be killed nonetheless, but there is hope that Allah will forgive him....

3. Like the guy in the article the women would be imprisoned and forced to pray until she comes back to the religion. SubhanAllah.

3 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

if the rulers of the state believe that there are better ways of dealing with the issue, giving the current circumstances, and changes in society etc, then they aren't forced to carry out the harshest penalties

I am completely against these penalties irrespective of what the scenario is or who carries them out if they 

1. Do not force people to follow their beliefs (They can advocate for their beliefs peacefully)

2. Are not being treasonous against the state and endangering the lives of Muslims 

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15 minutes ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

What if they then decide to reevaluate their conclusions, they couldn't openly address their community members for civil debate as that would evidently cause them to forfeit their lives.

I'm sorry, I don't understand. Why would they need to openly address their community members? If they want to debate aspects of the religion, then they can go to scholars.

Quote

This is an interesting perspective, but I am addressing matters through theory, so in theory if this was under an Islamic system of governance he wouldn't then be executed? Any type of scenario we draw out in theory that can posit itself in reality within an Islamic government should then be subject to examination and consideration. Therefore there is indeed an indication of some form of injustice that can be committed, no?

How would he find himself in a position to be executed unless he was making his apostasy known to people, and making such a big deal about it that it was brought to the attention of the state? Believe it or not, there were apostates in the Islamic world back in the day, and they mostly didn't end up executed, because they didn't go around shouting about it in the market place. Why do you consider it so necessary that apostates should have the right to be as open as they want to be about their apostasy or blasphemy?

Quote

http://www.sistani.org/arabic/qa/0279/

السؤال: ما هو تعريفكم للمرتد بالتفصيل ؟ الجواب: المرتد وهو من خرج عن الاِسلام واختار الكفر على قسمين: فطري وملّي، والفطري من ولد على اسلام احد ابويه أو كليها ثم كفر، وفي اعتبار اسلامه بعد التمييز قبل الكفر وجهان اقربهما الاعتبار. وحكم الفطري انه يقتل في الحال، وتبين منه زوجته بمجرد ارتداده وينفسخ نكاحها بغير طلاق، وتعتد عدة الوفاة ـ على ما تقدم ـ ثم تتزوج ان شاءت، وتُقسّم امواله التي كانت له حين ارتداده بين ورثته بعد اداء ديونه كالميت ولا ينتظر موته، ولا تفيد توبته ورجوعه الى الاسلام في سقوط الاحكام المذكورة مطلقاً على المشهور، ولكنه لا يخلو عن شوب اشكال، نعم لا اشكال في عدم وجوب استتابته. وأما بالنسبة الى ما عدا الاحكام الثلاثة المذكورات فالاقوى قبول توبته باطناً وظاهراً، فيطهر بدنه وتصح عباداته ويجوز تزويجه من المسلمة، بل له تجديد العقد على زوجته السابقة حتى قبل خروجها من العدة على القول ببينونتها عنه بمجرد الارتداد، والظاهر انه يملك الاموال الجديدة باسبابه الاختيارية كالنجارة والحيازة والقهرية كالارث ولو قبل توبته. واما المرتد الملّي ـ وهو من يقابل الفطري ـ فحكمه انه يستتاب، فان تاب وإلاّ قتل، وانفسخ نكاح زوجته إذا كان الارتداد قبل الدخول أو كانت يائسة أو صغيرة ولم تكن عليها عدة، وأما إذا كان الارتداد بعد الدخول وكانت المرأة في سن من تحيض وجب عليها ان تعتد عدة الطلاق من حين الارتداد، فان رجع عن ارتداده الى الاسلام قبل انقضاء العدة بقي الزواج على حاله على الاقرب وإلاّ انكشف انها قد بانت عنه عند الارتداد. ولا تقسم أموال المرتد الملي إلاّ بعد موته بالقتل أو غيره، وإذا تاب ثم ارتد ففي وجوب قتله من دون استتابة في الثالثة أو الرابعة اشكال. هذا إذا كان المرتد رجلاً، واما لو كان امرأة فلا تقتل ولا تنتقل اموالها عنها الى الورثة إلاّ بالموت، وينفسخ نكاحها بمجرد الارتداد بدون اعتداد مع عدم الدخول أو كونها صغيرة أو يائسة وإلاّ توقف الانفساخ على انقضاء العدة وهي بمقدار عدة الطلاق كما مر في المسألة (٥٦٣). وتحبس المرتدة ويضيّق عليها وتضرب على الصلاة حتى تتوب فان تابت قبلت توبتها، ولا فرق في ذلك بين أن تكون مرتدة عن ملة أو عن فطرة.

Important points to note:

1. وحكم الفطري انه يقتل في الحال

2. ولا تفيد توبته ورجوعه الى الاسلام

3. وتحبس المرتدة ويضيّق عليها وتضرب على الصلاة حتى تتوب

1. So basically as soon as a fitri is shown to have apostated he is to be killed instantly, so in a sense, yes it is a death sentence.

2. He has three days to repent and even if he instantly repents he is to be killed nonetheless, but there is hope that Allah will forgive him....

3. Like the guy in the article the women would be imprisoned and forced to pray until she comes back to the religion. SubhanAllah.

The issue here is you keep saying 'leaving the religion', when what you mean is 'leaving the religion and telling the whole world about it'. Nobody is going to come and execute you for leaving the religion, because nobody is going to know unless you tell them. It is also highly unlikely that if you tell your friends and family anything is likely to happen. If someone did question you, you could always deny it after all. I doubt any Islamic state every had a network of spies out looking for apostates.

So again, this comes back to why you think it's so important to have the right to be shouting about your apostasy from the rooftops.

Quote

I am completely against these penalties irrespective of what the scenario is or who carries them out if they 

1. Do not force people to follow their beliefs (They can advocate for their beliefs peacefully)

2. Are not being treasonous against the state and endangering the lives of Muslims 

You seem to have a very worldly perspective on this. Do you think it's ok to peacefully advocate for the drinking of cyanide? What's more important for a Muslim? This world, or the hereafter?

Edited by Haydar Husayn

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2 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

If they want to debate aspects of the religion, then they can go to scholars.

Well, they have apostated, due to ignorance or love for the world, but after coming to their senses they realize they are apostates and by openly addressing their community (scholars) they would be promptly executed. Should they practice a form of apostate taqiyyah?

 

3 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Why do you consider it so necessary that apostates should have the right to be as open as they want to be about their apostasy or blasphemy?

Because they bring forth questions that were so strong, they were compelled to leave the religion. Raising these questions towards the Islamic society (scholars) would help in not only alleviating their philosophical misunderstanding, but also serve as an opportunity to educate the Muslim masses on how to address such interesting and out of bounds questions. However, they can't really do that since they would be executed before giving their conclusion, or lets say even if their inquiries and misconceptions would be alleviated, according to Sayed Sistani they are to be executed (Milis) nonetheless.  

 

8 minutes ago, Haydar Husayn said:

The issue here is you keep saying 'leaving the religion', when what you mean is 'leaving the religion and telling the whole world about it'. Nobody is going to come and execute you for leaving the religion, because nobody is going to know unless you tell them. It is also highly unlikely that if you tell your friends and family anything is likely to happen. If someone did question you, you could always deny it after all. I doubt any Islamic state every had a network of spies out looking for apostates.

So again, this comes back to why you think it's so important to have the right to be shouting about your apostasy from the rooftops.

I have already addressed the points you made here, however, they do not necessarily need to shout from rooftops. 

X: Brother it is time for prayer, will you join me?

Y: Sorry brother, I do not believe in Islam anymore and have chosen an atheistic worldview, but will respect this society and its laws.

Z: Your sentiments are appreciated, but unfortunately you are to be killed, fortunately you have three days to repent, but thats just for the afterlife the punishment still needs to be undergone.

Yes, it does not necessarily have to be carried out, but the mere possibility and admission for a Qadhi to carry this penalty out is quite devastating.

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1 minute ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

Well, they have apostated, due to ignorance or love for the world, but after coming to their senses they realize they are apostates and by openly addressing their community (scholars) they would be promptly executed. Should they practice a form of apostate taqiyyah?

Sorry, I'm a bit tired, so it might be me, but I'm still not getting it. Let's say I become an apostate in my heart for whatever reason, and stop practising the religion, but then decide that actually I want to address some of these issues that caused me to leave the religion in case I'm wrong, so I go to talk to some scholars. Why would I need to say to them 'I'm an apostate'? I would just say 'I've got an issue with x, y,z', and have a discussion about it. The chances are also that even if I told them I was an apostate, the very fact that I came to talk to them might indicate that matters weren't so clear, and it would be worth having a discussion. People aren't bloodthirsty maniacs, looking to get people executed for apostasy at the drop of a hat. That's not how the religion works. It's a religion of making excuses for one another, of covering each others sins, of keeping things private, of minding one's business, of giving advice in private, ... That's why the problems occur when people draw attention to themselves in public, because it is no longer possible to keep things private.

1 minute ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

Because they bring forth questions that were so strong, they were compelled to leave the religion. Raising these questions towards the Islamic society (scholars) would help in not only alleviating their philosophical misunderstanding, but also serve as an opportunity to educate the Muslim masses on how to address such interesting and out of bounds questions. However, they can't really do that since they would be executed before giving their conclusion, or lets say even if their inquiries and misconceptions would be alleviated, according to Sayed Sistani they are to be executed (Milis) nonetheless.  

Again, they can bring forth as many questions as they want. You don't need to tell anyone you are an apostate to bring forward questions. You can just say that these things are causing you doubts, or that you don't understand how to resolve these issues.

1 minute ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

I have already addressed the points you made here, however, they do not necessarily need to shout from rooftops. 

X: Brother it is time for prayer, will you join me?

Y: Sorry brother, I do not believe in Islam anymore and have chosen an atheistic worldview, but will respect this society and its laws.

Z: Your sentiments are appreciated, but unfortunately you are to be killed, fortunately you have three days to repent, but thats just for the afterlife the punishment still needs to be undergone.

Yes, it does not necessarily have to be carried out, but the mere possibility and admission for a Qadhi to carry this penalty out is quite devastating.

I think you have an overly simplistic way of looking at this, because this is just not a realistic scenario. First of all, Y can just say 'no thank you' and leave it at that. No need to tell random people that they've become an apostate. Secondly, it's very unlikely Z would react that way. What's he going to do, drag in front of the qadhi? Call the police? Even if that happened, what do they do when you deny everything? This is why it's impractical to go after members of the public who have become apostates and are more or less just getting on with their lives. It's when you start openly proselytising that you are going to draw serious attention to yourself and are likely to get in trouble. So for example, if you start publishing books mocking the Prophet ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). I'm pretty sure that nobody in Islamic history has ever been executed for telling their friend that they have left the religion. That just seems completely unrealistic.

Remember as well that Sayyid Sistani is not a mufti in an Islamic state, and things tend to work differently on the ground. Perhaps he's right that this is what 'should' happen, but it doesn't mean that is what would happen. We even see that in the example you brought up from Iran. Why haven't they executed the guy yet if things are so simple?

 

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19 hours ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

Criticism towards an Islamic government or Islam should not be faced with executions or severe punishments, claiming such criticisms to be treasonous is downright preposterous. Why silence criticism when you can substantiate your absolute truth by addressing the criticism coherently, or by allowing said criticism to act as a motivator to furthermore fortify one's own individualistic or collectivistic system of governance to be greater fortified.

Non-Muslim countries have treason laws, with harsh punishments. “An act of treason” implies action, not mere belief. Like spying or switching sides in battle. Not simply having a point of view. 

Why is the same concept for an Islamic government not as intuitive?

You are conflating criticism with conspiracy. The former may have potential for positive development or at least non-ill intent, while the latter can only be detrimental and negative, and no system in the world would tolerate this.

 

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11 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Sorry brother, I don’t understand. Why would harsh punishments result in more insults in a Muslim country? France puts people in jail for Holocaust denial, which is extremely harsh by American standards of free speech, but I’m not aware of any evidence that open Holocaust denial is more widespread in France than the US (it might be, but I’m not aware of it being so).

I mean if harsh punishments (like death) are used inside the Muslim country, then there will potentially be further antagonism and hostility towards Islam outside of that country. I have heard (perhaps someone could confirm) that they even dedicate days to insult our beloved Prophet.

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12 hours ago, Mohammad313Ali said:

@Ashvazdanghe Brother what can you tell us about the case of Soheil Arabi, and do you think forcing him to undergo religious studies as well as torturing him, which I don't see how such two polars could really help in anything, other then establish greater disillusion. Was this all necessary do you support these measures and if so why? I tagged you because I know you are an avid supporter and defender of Ayatollah Khamenai and the Islamic Republic, which I respect and admire, but at times stand and question.

Salam I accept that there is punishment of prison for such things in Iran but accusation to torture & other offensive actions in prison is not true , in oanother famous case another guy in name of Omid Dana had same case like this guy but instead of Atheism he converted to Zoroastrianism but he like this guy he associated with other anti Iran groups to overthrow regime also did hunger strike in prison even after releasing from prison & doing political migration to Sweden he remained Zoroastrian & anti Regime even insulted to prophet Muhammad (pbu) & & rest of Shia Imams & Imam Khamenei  in his Youtube channel other social media & tried  to form another anti regime allegiance in Europe but after few years & seeing reality of whole anti regime people & group in western countries he disappointed from whole of them & exposed their dirty tactics  like Soheil Arabi that are injuring themselves in prison to accuse Iran to violation of human rights & freedom of speech by torture in prison or sending such fake letters to western countries in order that  after releasing from prison ,they can become political emigrants that even now Omid dana is anti Islam guy & calls him Zoroastrian but now he exposes all of anti regime groups & criticize whole of them also supports policy of Iran about Bahais & anti Israel agenda of Iran & he is anti LGBT although he demands some actions freedom of drinking alcohol in Iran & he is against Hijab but he doesn't support  such fake guys like Soheil Arabi that are promoting by anti Iran propaganda & other hate speaker like  Massi Alinejad & exposes  her agenda as a CIA  agent.

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20 hours ago, eThErEaL said:

 God is a King that is not only All-High and above His Throne but He is also closer to us than our jugular  vein!  

Salam Allah neither above or down nor inside of anything even "His Throne" but he is everywhere &"  He is also closer to us than our jugular  vein! "

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6 hours ago, Ejaz said:

I mean if harsh punishments (like death) are used inside the Muslim country, then there will potentially be further antagonism and hostility towards Islam outside of that country. I have heard (perhaps someone could confirm) that they even dedicate days to insult our beloved Prophet.

Ah, I see. Yes, I think this is something an Islamic government would need to take into account in this day and age, and for that reason may decide to suspend the harshest punishments.

To be clear, I don’t believe there are any real Islamic governments in the world today, and hence I don’t believe these punishments are applicable. That’s not to say that there shouldn’t be any in Muslim countries, but not death.

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12 hours ago, Haydar Husayn said:

Sorry, I'm a bit tired, so it might be me, but I'm still not getting it. Let's say I become an apostate in my heart for whatever reason, and stop practising the religion, but then decide that actually I want to address some of these issues that caused me to leave the religion in case I'm wrong, so I go to talk to some scholars. Why would I need to say to them 'I'm an apostate'? I would just say 'I've got an issue with x, y,z', and have a discussion about it. The chances are also that even if I told them I was an apostate, the very fact that I came to talk to them might indicate that matters weren't so clear, and it would be worth having a discussion. People aren't bloodthirsty maniacs, looking to get people executed for apostasy at the drop of a hat. That's not how the religion works. It's a religion of making excuses for one another, of covering each others sins, of keeping things private, of minding one's business, of giving advice in private, ... That's why the problems occur when people draw attention to themselves in public, because it is no longer possible to keep things private.

 

@Haydar HusaynHusayn

Another person here in SC mentioned a similar idea. Saying something along the lines of "well, it's only in cases of announcement in a public sphere" or "well they would have 3 days to recant".

But even these are really just excuses for the more broad issue.

If a non Muslim country were to arrest a Muslim for pronouncing his faith in public, it would be wrong to arrest or punish this individual, whether they were open about their faith or not, and they shouldn't have to hide their faith either. Giving someone the option to hide their religion really doesn't make the situation justified.

I'm sure there were Jews who hid their religion from Nazis, and I'm sure there were Nazis who weren't bloodthirsty who let Jews go when they lied about their religion. But none of this makes the overall situation justified. The idea that one ought to face punishment for simply being open about their faith.

And just to note this again, not every form of announcement of ones faith must be tied to insults toward another.

An atheist preacher could go up on stage and could proselytize, without slandering any Prophets. Just as a Muslim could go up on stage, could give a speech about Islam, without slandering other faiths.

Edited by iCenozoic

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