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Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law$
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Anver M. Emon, Mark Ellis, and Benjamin Glahn

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199641444

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641444.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 September 2021

Pre-modern Islamic Legal Restrictions on Freedom of Religion, with Particular Reference to Apostasy and its Punishment *

Pre-modern Islamic Legal Restrictions on Freedom of Religion, with Particular Reference to Apostasy and its Punishment *

Chapter:
(p.226) 11 Pre-modern Islamic Legal Restrictions on Freedom of Religion, with Particular Reference to Apostasy and its Punishment*
Source:
Islamic Law and International Human Rights Law
Author(s):

Abdullah Saeed

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199641444.003.0012

The application of freedom of religion has been problematic in all three Abrahamic traditions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. In their formative period, these three traditions saw apostasy as an apocalyptic manifestation of social and religious disorder. Once the Jewish people, the church, and the umma (community) had achieved legal and political power, apostasy was declared a public offense punishable by law. Although Judaism and Christianity have moved away from their earlier understandings of punishment for apostasy, Muslims are still engaged in a vigorous debate on the relevance of apostasy laws in the modern world. This chapter provides an overview of the apostasy law as it developed in classical Islamic law, to trace the development of the idea of apostasy and its punishment, and to examine how Muslims in the modern period are questioning the use of the death penalty for apostasy and arguing for religious freedom.

Keywords:   religious freedom, human rights, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, apostasy law, Islamic law

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