13 February 2017

Morocco religious authority rules no death penalty for apostates

Morocco's religious authorities have ruled that people who leave Islam should not be punished with the death penalty, reversing its previous ruling on apostasy.

The High Religious Committee decided last week to backtrack on its 2012 ruling that Muslims who change their religion should be put to death.

"The most accurate understanding and the most consistent with the Islamic legislation… is that the killing of the apostate is meant for traitors of the group, the one disclosing secrets," the committee said in a document, according to local media.

The religious authority, which in charge of issuing fatwas, argued that apostates during the infancy of Islam were the people who betrayed Muslims at a time when they were at war with rebellion in the Arabian peninsula.

The committee cited an example when the Prophet Muhammad allowed a Muslim who had renounced his faith to return to the Quraish tribe, which was the main enemy of the fledgling Islamic nation at the time. [The New Arab] Read more