In an article today for Public Discourse , prominent Muslim scholar Abdullah Saeed argues that the hadith of Islam (the sayings and actions attributed to Muhammad, the second most important source after the Quran), do not support the practice of execution for conversion from Islam to another religion. Saeed’s article is a follow-up to his recent piece outlining the Quranic case against killing apostates .
Both articles offers an opportunity to learn why a Muslim would argue in favor of religious freedom and against the death penalty for apostasy. This is important today not only for freedom of conversion from Islam to other faiths or to no faith, but also for protection of Muslim reformers in Muslim-majority areas who all too often face pressure to be silent under threat of being accused of “apostasy”. To read Saeed’s article, go here .
Jennifer S. Bryson is Director of the Islam and Civil Society Project at The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, NJ.