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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Is Obama An Apostate?

Who would have thought that just a few short years after the 9/11 tragedy we would have a man who was born a Muslim and with the middle name Hussein running for the most powerful office in the United States.

One of the hallmarks of Senator Obama’s potential presidency is his promise that as soon as he is elected, he will unconditionally sit across from President Ahmadinejad of Iran and Assad of Syria to discuss peace in the Middle East. In his utmost naiveté, he assumes that these Muslim leaders will be drawn to his gesture for peace, but what he does not understand is that his success will not so much depend on whether he is willing to accept the two Muslim leaders, but whether they will accept him as a legitimate leader worthy of respect. “Why not” one might ask. Well, I am so glad you asked.

The simple truth is that Obama would have three strikes against him before he ever sat down to meet with these Muslim leaders.

The Iranian parliament recently passed a new law that would impose a death penalty on citizens who are regarded as “apostate” from Islam. In the past, the death penalty for apostasy was one of many possible punishments including imprisonment and hard labor. But the new law proposes to make death the sentence for all apostates, according to the Institute on Religion and Public Policy (IRPP).

Article 225:6-7 of section five of this new Iranian government’s Apostasy, Heresy, and Witchcraft law says:

“If someone has at least one Muslim parent at the time of conception but after the age of maturity, without pretending to be a Muslim, chooses blasphemy is considered a Parental Apostate. Punishment for a Parental Apostate is death, but after the final sentencing for three days he/she would be guided to the right path and encouraged to recant his/her belief and if he/she refused, the death penalty would be carried out.” (See full text bellow)

The first thing Senator Obama and his advisors need to understand is that when it comes to the Middle East they are dealing with a shame-based culture. In that culture, unlike most western cultures, the focus of one’s action is not on right versus wrong, but honor versus shame. What matters is whether an action brings one honor or shame. For example, a person from such a culture would be justified to lie, cheat, steal or kill in order to keep his honor.

According to the New Iranian apostasy law, which with some variation is held by the majority of Muslim scholars, Senator Barack Obama, being born to a Muslim father and later becoming a Christian, is considered to be a “Parental” apostate, an offence punishable by death if he lived in Iran. He would be viewed as having disgraced Islam and therefore not worthy of honor. While most Muslims consider Christians to be infidels, they would consider the Senator, an apostate who became a Christian and much less worthy of respect! Should Obama ever sit across from Muslim leaders, from the very start he will be approached as a man without honor. So for him and his supporters to think that Obama’s charm and persona would constitute an asset in discussions with Muslim leaders, is probably well intended but only shows they know absolutely nothing about shame-based societies.

My purpose for writing this article is not to suggest to anyone not to vote for Obama, but to inform my readers of the complexity of the Islamic mindset.

Shah


Section Five: Apostasy, Heresy, and Witchcraft

Article 225-1: Any Muslim who clearly announces that he/she has left Islam and declares blasphemy is an Apostate.

Article 225-2: Serious and earnest intention is the condition for certainty in apostasy. Therefore, if the accused claims that his/her statement had been made with reluctance or ignorance, or in error, or while drunk, or through a slip of the tongue or without understanding the meaning of the words, or repeating words of others; or his/her real intentions had been something else, he/she is not considered an apostate and his/her claim could be heard and justified.

Article 225-3: There are two kinds of apostates: innate (Fetri) and parental (Melli).

Article 225-4: Innate Apostate is someone whose parent (at least one) was a Muslim at the time of conception, and who declares him/herself a Muslim after the age of maturity, and leaves Islam afterwards.

Article 225-5: Parental Apostate is one whose parents (both) had been non-Muslims at the time of conception, and who has become a Muslim after the age of maturity, and later leaves Islam and returns to blasphemy.

Article 225-6: If someone has at least one Muslim parent at the time of conception but after the age of maturity, without pretending to be a Muslim, chooses blasphemy is considered a Parental Apostate.

Article 225-7: Punishment for an Innate Apostate is death.

Article 225-8: Punishment for a Parental Apostate is death, but after the final sentencing for three days he/she would be guided to the right path and encouraged to recant his/her belief and if he/she refused, the death penalty would be carried out.

Article 225-9: In the case of a Parental Apostate, whenever there appears to be a possibility of recanting, sufficient time would be provided.

Article 225-10: Punishment for women, whether Innate or Parental, is life imprisonment and during the sentence, under the guidance of the court, hardship will be exercised on her, and she will be guided to the right path and encouraged to recant, and if she recants she will be freed immediately.

Note: The condition of hardship will be determined according to the religious laws