Threatened With Death Penalty, Maldivian Skeptic Of Islam Recants

Threatened With Death Penalty, Maldivian Skeptic Of Islam Recants July 3, 2010

A while back I highlighted the story of a Maldivian man who was attacked by a crowd for expressing his lack of belief in Islam during the Q&A session by a the visiting Indian scholar Dr. Zakir Naik. Maldives is a state where it is illegal to not believe.

Now, viaAtheist Media Blog, here’s video of what went down (before it got violent):

To avoid the death penalty, he has now “reverted” to Islam:

A Maldivian lawyer previously told the Maldives press that Mohamed Nazim had to be given such government “Islamic counseling” before capital punishment charges were considered against Mohamed Nazim for “apostasy.”

Haveeru News stated that: “Mohamed Nazim, 38, repented and gave the ‘Shahaadha’ testimony before journalists at the Islamic Ministry Tuesday with a public apology.”  It quoted Mohamed Nazim as stating“And as that action was very much related to the feelings of all Maldivians, I believe that it was an agony for the Maldivian people. I deeply apologize for that to all the Maldivians. Along with that, I would like to say that the major misconceptions I had regarding Islam have been clarified. Therefore, I am now a Muslim. I want Maldivians to accept me as a Maldivian and as a child of this community.”

The Maldives Deputy Minister for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Farooq told Haveeru News that Mohamed Nazim reverted to Islam “on freewill” (while in police custody).

The Minivan News also reported on the “reversion” of Mohamed Nazim while in police custody.  TheMinivan News further reported that the Maldivian NGO the “Islamic Foundation” leader Jammiyyathu Salaf Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed stated that there were “many people trying to introduce other religions to the Maldives underground” and that he would “release the names of these underground people at the appropriate time.”

PZ Myers is right:

The fact that he has now reverted to Islam in the face of such dire oppression does not change the fact that he’s got to be the bravest atheist alive.

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