MPAC Rebukes Sudan’s Apostasy Law Ruling

May 16, 2014

The Muslim Public Affairs Council rebukes the intolerable actions of the Sudanese court in sentencing a pregnant woman to death for what it claims to be apostasy. The court's decision, along with many other authorities in Muslim-majority countries that are invoking sharia, is a violation of the core Quranic principle that, “There shall be no compulsion in religion” (2:256).

SEE: “Sudanese Woman Sentenced to Death for Apostasy” (ABC News)

MPAC demands that the Sudanese court repeals the death sentence of Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag, which it imposed after she refused to renounce her Christian faith. Ishaq, whose father was Muslim and mother was an Orthodox Christian, was raised Christian by her mother after her father left when she was a child. The court considers her to be a Muslim who left Islam because, by their interpretation of sharia, children follow their father's religion. Ishaq married a Christian man in a formal church ceremony in 2011 and has a son, who is currently with her in jail. 

On Thursday, Ishag was sentenced to be flogged for adultery and to be hanged to death for apostasy because she married a Christian man. After her refusal to recant her faith, the court declared it would proceed with the sentence.

As MPAC has argued previously, blasphemy and apostasy laws should never result in death penalties.

“We strongly condemn the invocation of the Quran in such egregious forms of abuse,” said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati. “It is imperative that we take a stand against this flagrant injustice and hypocrisy, where a government uses Islam to gain power and then abuse the governed to maintain power. We believe that humanity and Islamic law stand with Ms. Ishag’s right to live freely and without harm from the Sudanese government.”

MPAC calls upon Muslim-majority countries to implement a moratorium on so-called Hudud or “Penal Code” cases. The way Hudud is being implemented today does not adhere to the goals of sharia in its spirit and intention. Islam and the sharia are being abused by authoritarian regimes for political gains and goals.

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