Apostasy Laws and the Quran: Ali Rizvi debates Kashif Chaudhry

debateI recently wrote a piece in the Daily Times, Pakistan and the Huffington Post explaining why I believed Hirsi Ali’s radical stance against Islam and Muslims makes her a bigot. I explained why I believed Brandeis was right in rescinding the award they had initially nominated her for. The response was outrageous. As part of the conversations that ensued, a self-described atheist Muslim (a fellow doctor and writer), Ali Rizvi, asserted that the Quran prescribes the death penalty for apostasy (A piece I wrote years ago: Here). Despite insisting that he quote the Quran on this issue, just as he readily does on other issues, he presented nothing. After some insistence, he agreed to debate me on the issue.

Ali Rizvi Apostasy






However, he now refuses to engage me in any conversation. Not only this, he has asked all fellow atheists who were defending him, to disengage with me. Did my pen hurt him so bad? Well, all I did was criticize his ideas openly. This is his statement:

Ali Defeat Statement



















In short, his refusal to engage me is because I am not an official representative of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The irony is that I never claimed to be one. I believe we must debate ideas, not people and this excuse shows poorly on Ali. I wont embarrass him further, but if he now wants to backtrack and debate officials instead, then he is free to ask Hirsi Ali, Sam Harris or Dawkins to debate the official spokesperson of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, USA. The invites are pending.

Also, if he cares about the Ahmadi Muslims – who stand up for freedom of expression and criticism of ideas – then he must ask people close to him to stop demonizing the community and work on criticizing ideas instead.

For now, while I await Ali’s – and his followers – willingness to engage in discourse, I present Sam Harris’s eloquent response to Ali Rizvi. He writes:

“Interestingly, [the penalty for apostasy] isn’t spelled out in the Koran…”  I could nominate Sam Harris as my representative in the debate if Ali so wishes. Harris is official and represents a sizable school of thought. We shall wait and see.

  • khalid nawaz

    Keep it up Kashif

  • SatiricalQuark

    strawmanning drivel

  • Syed Zafar Ahmad

    I fail to understand where did Kashif go wrong? All that he presents and says are what the Ahmadee Muslims believe in. I believe, Ali’s withdrawal from the debate is both unwarranted and untenable. What is so objectionable that is frowned upon? The excuses are lame. I am disappointed.

  • Pingback: Kashif N Chaudhry | Kashif Chaudhry()

  • Pingback: Does the Koran Endorse Apostasy Laws? | CauseHub()

  • Pingback: Does the Koran Endorse Apostasy Laws? | Muslim Writers Guild of America()

  • Pingback: Does the Koran Endorse Apostasy Laws? | The Muslim Times()

  • Pingback: Does The Koran Endorse Apostasy Laws? -()

  • Nathan Gamble

    Why the heck is this so complicated?

    Surah 4:89
    They wish you would
    disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do
    not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the
    cause of Allah . But if they turn away, then seize them and
    kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them
    any ally or helper.

    The Qur’an does prescribe the death penalty for apostasy.

  • Nynaeve

    I read your linked article and firstly found you to be a tad disengenious, even dishonest.
    I refer to “The Koran repeatedly mentions freedom of conscience as one of its basic tenets. “There is no compulsion in religion (2:256),” and “Let him who will believe and let him who will disbelieve (18:29).” Ok, you found 2 verses, that is not ‘repeatedly’ or makes it a basic tenet. 18:29 is actually a threat to those who do not believe:

    Say: (It is) the truth from the Lord of you (all). Then whosoever will,
    let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve. Lo! We have
    prepared for disbelievers Fire. Its tent encloseth them. If they ask for
    showers, they will be showered with water like to molten lead which
    burneth the faces. Calamitous the drink and ill the resting-place!

    Not quite the liberal tolerant freedom of expression you claimed it was, is it. So that reduces you to 1 verse of tolerance. 2:256 isnt a bad verse but unfortunately it was abrogated 1400 years ago. Anyway good luck with that reform. May I suggest you go through the koran and cross out the nasty stuff with a texta or some whiteout? Instead of being somewhat dishonest about what it says and means.

    How DO you get around the fact that koran talks one way and then completely changes direction (abrogation?). At first Muhammad is just a warner 3:20, 5:92 then he has to go out and attack non muslims and force them to convert, die or pay jyzia. 9:28-29, 9:5, etc etc. Oh he has to take their stuff too (Mr 20%) 8:41, 32:67.