Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hey, Abbas: Would "Palestine" allow conversions to Christianity?

From Al Masry al-Youm:

In June 2009, an Egyptian court declined a request by [Christian convert Maher] al-Gohary to register his current religion in his identity documents. The verdict said that "conversion from Islam is unacceptable since it contradicts the prevailing order and because society has a Muslim majority," adding that "conversion is at odds with Article 2 of the Constitution which says that Islam is the primary source of legislation."

Islam prohibits conversion to Christianity, even for Muslim coverts originally belonging to the Christian faith.

Al-Gohary’s request to be recognized as a Christian is the second to be turned down. In January 2008, the administrative court dismissed another request by Mohamed Haggay, who later named himself Bishoy.
So the legal reasons given by the Egyptian court to not accept al-Gohary's conversion is because the Egyptian constitution says "Islam is the Religion of the State. Arabic is its official language, and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Sharia)."

Now, it just turns out that the constitution of Palestine has virtually identical wording ("The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.")

So, as the world continues to rush to provide recognition for the state of "Palestine," Mahmoud Abbas should answer a simple question:

Would a Muslim be allowed to convert to Christianity in Palestine?

(To make it even more interesting, change "Christianity" to "Hinduism," which Islam abhors.)