Salafi Leader: No Freedom in Islam; Apostates Must be Persecuted
by Raymond Ibrahim
Last month, Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami, a prominent figure in Egypt’s Salafi movement—who also hates Christian Copts, hates Mother’s Day, and is an advocate of taqiyya—appeared on the Egyptian show Al Hayat Al Youm (“Life Today”), giving his views on the presidential candidates. At one point, the host asked Burhami which of the policies of Abu al-Futuh—the “liberal” Islamist candidate who lost out to the more “conservative” Muslim Brotherhood candidate—he especially rejected.
Burhami started vaguely, saying “There were some things we were concerned about,” adding that they met and discussed these matters with Abu al-Futuh, and how the latter had clarified his position, finally agreeing that he might need to revise his opinion.
Then Burhami made clear what the issue was: Apostasy—if Muslims have the right to leave Islam and convert to other religions. In the words of Burhami:
For example, is it the right of the Muslim to convert to Christianity or another religion? Of course this is not a right; this is a matter that Sharia has clearly addressed, according to the agreed upon hadiths. It is impermissible, for any reason, for a Muslim to leave the community. Of course, you cannot coerce any infidel to enter into Islam [Koran 2:256]—except for the apostate. It is impossible to let the apostate remain in [a state of] apostasy, deeming it a form of “freedom.”
For the record, the “agreed upon hadiths” that Burhami indicated, are, in fact, unequivocal in regards to the crime of apostasy. The most canonical and oft cited among them simply has Muhammad saying: “Whoever leaves his religion, kill him.”