The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law. It’s based on the Qur’an: “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.” (Qur’an 4:89)
A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-‘ashriyyah, Al-Ja’fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”
Qaradawi also once famously said: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”
If the authorities don’t execute Nabila Umar Sanda, they must be moderate.
Notice, in any case, that there will be no international attention to this beyond the article below. But just imagine the international outcry if someone had been arrested for converting from Christianity to Islam. We never hear about such people — unless and until, of course, they blow something up.
A Nigerian university student who converted from Islam to Christianity has been arrested by state security forces, as has the man who introduced her to Christianity.
Nabila Umar Sanda, 19, is a student at Bingham University in Karu, in the central state of Nasarawa, which is owned by one of Nigeria’s major churches – Evangelical Church Winning All, or ECWA. It was while studying there that she became friends with Simput Dafup, a 33-year-old Christian, who, once she expressed an interest in Christianity, invited her to meet a local church leader, Jeremiah Datim.
Speaking to the press in Jos, capital of neighbouring Plateau state, Datim explained that after the young woman decided to become a Christian, he immediately made contact with the local Islamic organisation, as has become customary.
“Knowing the sensitive nature of conversion from lslam to Christianity, and given that between the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Jama’atu Nasril lslam (JNI) … there is a working understanding, or protocol, that where such issues or situations arise relating to any of the two religions, the leaders of the affected religion should contact the leadership of the other religion from which the convert is coming, I immediately contacted the leadership of JNI in the state and informed them that I had one Miss Nabila Umar Sanda in my possession and that she had converted to Christianity,” he said.
Datim then went to meet a JNI leader, who made contact with Ms Sanda’s parents. Later that day, Monday 8 January, Datim said detectives from the Department of State Security Services “stormed my house, assaulted my wife, daughter and eight-month-old baby, and took Nabila away”.
Her friend, Simput Dafup, was arrested that same day, and both are still being held in an unknown location.
“I want to state, for the avoidance of doubt, that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees the right to anyone to propagate his faith and the right to also practise any religion of one’s choice,” Datim said. “Miss Nabila told me she is 19 years old and therefore free to choose a religion for herself.
“After I met Miss Nabila for the first time … I interacted with her and asked her a lot of questions about both the Christian faith and Islamic faith. Nabila clearly said that she had made up her mind to join the Christian faith and was willing to be a Christian no matter what obstacles were placed on her way.
“I understand that her father has said he has all the ‘connections’ in this country to deal with me, Dafup and any other person found to have been involved in the conversion of his daughter to Christianity, and that he will ensure that we rot in jail. l want to state here without fear of contradiction that neither Dafup, myself or any other person that has established contact with Nabila has breached any law of this land.
“I also learnt that Nabila’s father reported to the DSS that we forcefully abducted and brainwashed her into becoming a Christian. l challenge the DSS to produce Nabila and put us side by side so they can ask her if she was forcefully converted to Christianity or abducted or brainwashed.”…