When we posted the story on the recent Rifqa Barry Rally in Columbus, Ohio, the Columbis Dispatch account had this peculiar comment about the penalties for apostates from Islam under Sharia from Alan Godlas, professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Georgia:
Alan Godlas, a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Georgia, said in a phone interview that Islamic law does permit the execution of a person whose betrayal of the faith would likely result in the deaths of Muslims, but Rifqa’s conversion does not qualify.
“If you kill someone unjustly, you’re a murderer” under Islamic law, Godlas said.
It was peculiar because why would the Columbus Dispatch call Professor Godlas in Georgia for his comments, and why would Godlas misreprsent what Sharaia metes out in penalties for apostasy, death.
One answer came from a comment posted by "Dumbledores Army" on the Columbus Dispatch story on the Iconoclast website. She cited some background about Professor Godlas:
The first thing I know about 'Alan Godlas' is that he is among the 138 'scholars' of Islam who signed off on that little exercise in dawa + veiled threats, 'A Common Word', which was sent to the leaders of all major Christian bodies, in October 2007. Among those 'scholars' are an assortment of venomously antisemitic Muslims with very telling rap sheets in the MEMRI archives. Alan Godlas keeps company like that? I don't trust him.
Then there was this epiphany from a Jihad Watch post by NER colleague, Hugh Fitzgerald on Jan. 6, 2006 after doing some 'due diligence' on Godlas' academic work at the University of Georgia:
"I've never seen anything like it. A carefully worked-out, systematic attempt, nothing innocent about it, to prevent this man's students from finding out anything real, anything of value, about what Jihad means...".
To which, "Dumblesdores Army" concluded:
And since Alan Godlas has been deliberately misinforming his students, at U. of Georgia, about Jihad in Islam, then he is the last person our Meredith Heagney, reporter, should have consulted for advice about Rifqa Bary and what it is that sharia law prescribes for publicly-declared apostates.
Our colleague Nonie Dawish had this definitive criticism of Professor Godals' comments in the Columbus Dispatch posted on the Fomer Muslims United website:
Mr. Godlas is not accurate in the statement he gave Ms. Heagney. According to Islamic Law, all schools of Sharia agree that a Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately and I think Mr. Godlas agrees with that. However, what the professor failed to mention is that according to mainstream Shafi law, there are three murders where a Muslim will not be punished, which means that a Muslim is forgiven if he kills under 3 conditions. One of these conditions is killing an apostate.
The Middle East studies professor can open the mainstream Shafi Law book Reliance of the Traveler. law number o5.4 page number 593. to see that such a law encourages vigilante street justice against apostates. Killers of apostates are often defended by none other than top Al Azhar Sheikhs.
Mr. Godlas also stated under Islamic Law “If you kill someone unjustly, you’re a murderer”. That is correct but it only applies if a Muslim kills another Muslim, yes they are murderers and get the death penalty. However, he failed to mention Sharia states . “There is no retaliation if a Muslim kills a non-Muslim”. Ref. o1.2 (2)page 584. Therefore, if a Muslim kills another Muslim he gets the death penalty, but if he kills a non-Muslim he will not get the death penalty.
I wonder why Mr. Alan Godlas failed to mention that?