To Love is Beyond Religion
By Jose Mario De Vega
I refer to BBC News Africa report, “Sudan woman faces death for apostasy”, May 15th regard to the case of a woman who has been sentenced by a Sudanese court by hanging to death for apostasy.
She was adjudged to have abandoned her religious faith, “after she married a Christian man.”
I overwhelmingly concur to the condemnation of the sentence by Amnesty International which was “handed down by a judge in Khartoum”, as “appalling and abhorrent”.
Nonetheless, I would like to state that the said “judgment” by that Sudanese court is not only appalling and abhorrent, but also preposterous and undeniably barbaric!
It is also my firm view that that Khartoum judge is not only ridiculous, but super stupid!
The “ruling” is appalling and abhorrent by virtue of the fact that the so-called court has invaded the private domain of the personal feelings of the woman. What is the right of that stupid judge to decide who that woman should love and marry?
Who the devil is he? And what on earth is the legal basis of their “law”?
To love and to cherish another fellow human being is an utterly private matter and the bloody state (whatever or whoever it is) has no right to control the heart and the mind and the soul of an individual!
To marry someone and to decide who you want to spend the rest of your life is beyond religion!
I don’t give a damn, even if “Sudan has a majority Muslim population, which is governed by Islamic law.”
First point: the majority must respect the right of the minority. The government must respect all citizens regardless of who they are and irrespective of their stations and background sin life!
Second point: their so-called Islamic law must not be used to violate the right of those people who does not belong to them or even those people who already wishes not to practice the dominant religion or faith. Further, that ‘law’ must also respect those people who decided not to have any religion at all!
Third point: the individual is the sole master of his or herself and the government (whatever the hell is its type or form) have no right to control or to dictate or to intervene how the hell that individual wishes to live his or her personal and emotional life.
Fourth point: Sudan must be aware that whatever the hell it does will reflect to the world community.
Hence, base on the following reasons, it is also my considered view and so held that the said “judgment” of that stupid so-called court is preposterous and incontestably barbaric.
Consider the very words of that bastard judge which was quoted by the AFP reports:
“We gave you three days to recant but you insist on not returning to Islam. I sentence you to be hanged to death…”
Is it because the woman does not want to return to Islam, she deserves to die by hanging?
How about her right to choose what to believe or not to believe? Does it mean that under Sudan’s Islamic law — there is no such thing as the right to choose? How about the right to live?
What Sudan did is a grave violation of International Law. According to Wikipedia:
“The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, considers the recanting of a person’s religion a human right legally protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights:
“The Committee observes that the freedom to ‘have or to adopt’ a religion or belief necessarily entails the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one’s current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views … Article 18.2 bars coercion that would impair the right to have or adopt a religion or belief, including the use of threat of physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to adhere to their religious beliefs and congregations, to recant their religion or belief or to convert.”
Not content with the death sentence, the stupid judge also “sentenced the woman to 100 lashes after convicting her of adultery – because her marriage to a Christian man was not valid under Islamic law.”
First, it was apostasy, now it is adultery.
This is confusing and truly mind-boggling! How the hell could the woman be guilty of adultery when she only loved her husband?
Adultery in its basic definition means having an extra-marital affair. Nowhere it is stated in the facts of the case that such is the case, hence, how could the woman be convicted of the said crime?
There you have it! This outrageous case has clearly shown the inhumanity of Sudan’s law and the extreme stupidity of the judge.
Her conviction of “adultery” stems on the ground that her marriage to a Christian man from South Sudan was void under Sudan’s version of Islamic law, which specifically says that Muslim women cannot marry non-Muslims.
So to Sudan, adultery is violating their religious prohibition.
What an invention of idiotic proportion! Such a super idiotic definition and moronic concept! What a shame!
According further to the report:
“Earlier in the hearing, an Islamic cleric spoke with her in a caged dock for about 30 minutes…
“Then she calmly told the judge: “I am a Christian and I never committed apostasy.””
According to Amnesty International the said the woman, Meriam Yehya Ibrahim Ishag, “was raised as an Orthodox Christian, her mother’s religion, because her father, a Muslim, was reportedly absent during her childhood.”
The sole issue of this case can be sum up as: the right of an individual to choose any religion or not to choose at all!
The debate on apostasy
The report lucidly narrated the “long-running debate in Islam over whether apostasy is a crime.”
There is no shadow of doubt that they, the so-called “faithful” are divided among themselves and have a perennial problem with regard to the interpretation of their book that governs their law.
For it is beyond dispute that some liberal scholars hold the view that apostasy is not a crime and they “back up their argument by citing the Koranic verse which states: “There shall be no compulsion in religion.””
However, “others say apostasy is tantamount to treason – and refer to what Prophet Muhammad said: “It is not permissible to spill the blood of a Muslim except in three [instances]: A life for a life; a married person who commits adultery; and one who forsakes his religion and separates from the community.””
The pertinent and relevant question here is, who if ever among these two opposing and contradictory views is correct? What view must govern?
It is my firm view that the conflict must be resolve by liberally construing the provision of the ‘law’ in favor of the woman.
The court should have rule in favor of toleration, of love, respect and humanity!
I concur with the contention of Manar Idriss of Amnesty’s Sudan researcher in condemning the punishments when she stated that “apostasy and adultery should not be considered crimes.”
Indeed, as she categorically maintained:
“The fact that a woman has been sentenced to death for her religious choice, and to flogging for being married to a man of an allegedly different religion is appalling and abhorrent…”
I applaud the collective act of the “embassies of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands” in issuing a joint statement that clearly expressed “deep concern” about the case of the said woman and urged Sudan “to respect the right to freedom of religion.”
The report also highlighted Amnesty’s claim that “the woman was arrested and charged with adultery in August 2013, and the court added the charge of apostasy in February 2014 when she said she was a Christian and not a Muslim.”
The woman was originally charged by “adultery”, yet I am wondering: what is the power of the court to add another charge against her? Does it mean that, if she will eat pork in her jail or if she will pray using the rosary; will she be indicted again the third time for another charge?
This is utterly laughable and ridiculous to the maximum!
I joined the international humanistic community in calling for her immediate release.
Again to restate my vehement view, to love is beyond religion and the bloody state have no right whatsoever to interfere and/or control her heart, mind and soul!
Your religion is yours, and my heart is mine and it is mine alone….
Jose Mario Dolor De Vega
Philosophy and Social Science lecturer
College of Liberal Arts
Social Science Department
Technological University of the Philippines
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