Muslim Organizations Strongly Condemns Death Sentence of Mauritanian Blogger

LOS ANGELES - Dec. 22, 2016 - PRLog -- Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) and partner organizations denounce the sentencing of a Mauritanian blogger Mohammed Shaikh Ould Mohammed Ould Mkhaitir to death by firing squad, and call upon the Supreme Court to overturn his conviction for apostasy.

The accusations against Mr. Mkhaitir stem from a 2013 blog post criticizing the country's caste system and those who use religion to marginalize certain groups of society, in particular Mauritania's craftsmen population, descendants of slaves. Mr. Mkhaitir has been in prison for nearly three years in the nation's capital, Nouakchott, and awaiting the outcome of his Supreme Court appeal.

We, the undersigned, call on international leaders and other Muslim organizations in particular to join us in standing up for human rights and the freedom of expression by calling for the urgent repeal of Mr. Mkhaitir's conviction.

We believe that the freedom to think freely and to express unorthodox or critical beliefs is not only fundamental to all human societies but is safeguarded in the Qur'an with the proclamation "Let there be no compulsion in religion" (Q 2:256). We abhor the utilization of faith, cultural and societal norms to propagate or justify discrimination or bigotry, and holds that this is inconsistent with the Qur'anic view of humanity.

Using Islam as a tool for political gamesmanship is the epitome of moral corruption. What Islam calls for is justice, the right to a fair trial and due process.

We further believe that the doctrine of apostasy is in direct conflict with Qur'anic injunctions that protect the freedom of thought and conscience. We believe that every individual has the right to negotiate his or her faith according to the dictates of his or her heart and worldview, and that the Qur'an prescribes no worldly punishment for this. To assume the role of a judge on matters of faith is to usurp God's role.

We therefore further call on the Government of Mauritania to implement a complete moratorium on corporal punishment in the name of Shari'ah Law, and to repeal Article 306 of the Mauritanian Penal Code, making apostasy a capital offense punishable by death.

We invite you to read MPV's position on apostasy and blasphemy on our website and join us in supporting freedom of expression, and freedom of and from religion and belief.


Muslims for Progressive Values - Australia
Muslims for Progressive Values - U.S.A.
Muslims for Progressive Values - The Netherlands
Muslims for Progressive Values - Philippines
Komuniti Muslim Universal (Malaysia)
Coexistence (Tunisia)
Raif Badawi Foundation for Freedom (International)
Universalist Muslims (Canada)
Liberal-Islamischer Bund e.V. (Germany)

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