And He has already revealed to you in the Book that, when you hear the Signs of Allah being denied and mocked at, sit not with them until they engage in a talk other than that; for in that case you would be like them. (Al Quran 4:141)
Source: The Morning Call
By Ahmad Chaudhry, D.M.D, M.D., who lives in Lower Nazareth Township, is president of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.
The tragic attacks on Charlie Hebdo have once again focused light on a dark and difficult issue for many Muslims. The issue is blasphemy. Charli Hebdo’s insulting cartoons of Prophet Muhammad represent to Muslims a clear example of blasphemy. To some extremists, it rose to the level of offense that mandated death.
Though Islam forbids any worldly punishment for blasphemy, let alone death, too many Muslim-majority countries have clear blasphemy laws contradicting this view. For example, Pakistan, a country of 200 million Muslims, defines one form of blasphemy in its criminal code as the “use of derogatory remarks, spoken, written, directly or indirectly, etc. [that] defiles the name of Muhammad.” This offense carries “mandatory death and fine.”
In Iran, Ayotollah Khomeni called for the killing of Salman Rushdie for his book, “The Satanic Verses.” Khomeni’s fatwa gained worldwide prominence in 1989. In 2009, an Iranian songwriter, Mohsen Namjoo, was sentenced in absentia to a five-year jail term for apparently insulting the Quran with his lyrics.
The list of Muslim-majority countries that enforce blasphemy laws is a staggering 70 percent. These nations include Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq, Malaysia and the most populous Muslim country, Indonesia.