Iran’s parliament gets down to work

More exciting news from Iran.

The Iranian parliament is discussing a new penal code, under which citizens who convert [to] another religion will face execution…Besides apostates, the code also [include?]s the death penalty for a[n]yone who ‘insults the Prophet’.

Ah. Well…perhaps this idea that people should be allowed to leave a religion without having their heads separated from their shoulders is just some old hegemonic notion of western Orientalists, or something.

Dr Nazila Ghanea, lecturer in human rights law at Oxford university and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Religion and Human Rights, said: ‘The laws will give the Iranian government legal grounds to resort to taking the lives of any of its citizens who choose to adopt a religion other than Islam. The code is a gross violation by the Islamic Republic of Iran of its obligations as a party to a number of international human rights instruments, particularly those relating to freedom of religion or belief.’

Oh. Well, maybe Iran has changed its mind since it signed up to those instruments. Can’t people change their minds around here? Not apostates of course! They can’t! But governments that are party to international human rights instruments – they can. It’s their human right.

It’s all carefully spelled out. They can’t say fairer than that, can they.

Article 225-1: Any Muslim who clearly announces that he/she has left Islam and declares blasphemy is an 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 225-11: Whoever claims to be a Prophet is sentenced to death, and any Muslim who invents a heresy in the religion and creates a sect based on that which is contrary to the obligations and necessities of Islam, is considered an apostate.

And don’t you forget it.

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