My “No Country for Anyone Award” goes to … the Maldives, where in late May a man named Mohamed Nazim declared during a lecture that he was invoking his freedom of conscience, and leaving the Muslim faith. Nazim
was promptly attacked, taken into custody, and has been threatened with death and beheading, or other punishments for choosing his freedom of conscience. Maldives media are reporting that it is the first time in many hundreds of years that a Maldivian has publicly renounced Islam, since Sultan King Hassan IX converted to Christianity in 1552 and was deposed. The Maldives constitution mandates that all citizens of Maldives must be Muslims.
Some time later, after undergoing “Islamic counseling” at the hands of the Maldivian government, Nazim publicly renounced his apostasy.
Nazim was brought before Maldivian media to make a statement to the press about his “reversion” to Islam, while the police are still deciding whether or not to bring criminal charges against Mohamed Nazim for choosing his freedom of conscience. 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.”
Just as Winston Smith in 1984 could be made to believe that four fingers are really five, and just as he could be taught to embrace the all-encompassing love of Big Brother, so too was Nazim made to believe that his freedom of conscience is a perversity — one that can be easily cured by the all-encompassing love of God. (H/t P.Z. Myers)
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