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PDF: Author(s): Khapchaev S. T., Kokorev V. G.,
Number of journal: 4(61) Date: November 2022

In this article the authors raise the highly topical issue of the restriction of religious freedom, which is one of the most common objects of criticism from the scholarly community interested in the problems of Muslim law. The authors acknowledge that in light of the global trend toward freedom of conscience and religion that began in the 17th century, Islam remains the only world religion that provides severe sanctions for converts or atheists who were formerly Muslims. Even today, legal sanctions for apostasy in a number of states with predominantly Muslim populations include serious penalties that include imprisonment and even the death penalty. The statutory penalty for apostasy, according to some scholars, applies at both the individual and collective level because it is believed to be based on the need to protect religion from those who seek to harm, manipulate, or rebel against it. Conducting a classification of criminal acts under Islamic law, the authors on the residual principle refer simple apostasy to the category of ta’zir, that is, to such acts, the penalties for which are not clearly prescribed in the Koran and the Sunna, and, therefore, their specific interpretation will depend on the discretion of the authorities. In this regard, the authors consider it absolutely impossible to identify the simple change of a person’s beliefs and the departure from Islam, expressed in the betrayal of Muslims, desertion, espionage in favor of a foreign state, public ridicule of Muslim holy places, etc. In the modern world, according to the authors, the question of faith affects purely the relationship between God and man, so no legal punishment can be imposed, except when unbelief involves acts that harm the Muslim community or an individual.


freedom, religion, human rights, Islamic law, Sharia, crime, apostasy, hadd, qisas, tazir

For citation:

Khapchaev S. T., Kokorev V. G. Religious freedom in the Muslim legal doctrine: on the example of the punishment of apostates. Business. Education. Law, 2022, no. 4, pp. 244—248. DOI: 10.25683/VOLBI.2022.61.468.