Güneş, Ahmet
January 2004
Ekev Academic Review;WInter2004, Vol. 8 Issue 18, p131
Academic Journal
The purpose of this paper is to classify the Islamic Law Concerning religious belief freedom with respect to its special characteristics. Islamic scholars have different views when concerning the subject of freedom of religious belief Naturally, historical thinking has substantial effect in these different approaches. But more importantly, the criteria of interpretation of the applicable Islamic Law need to be considered. Two important criteria are "belief" and "person". Most of the differences among Islamic scholars can be explained by the difference in importance placed to either one of these two criteria. These differences can be observed clearly in cases involving crime and punishment, the citizenship status of non-Muslims, the argument of justification for war and the consequences of religious conversion. Therefore, the main reason why Islamic scholars reach different conclusions in these matters is not in the ambiguity of Islamic Law but the differences in its interpretation.


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