The answer is, in fact, no. We may surmise this from how Islamic tradition records Muhammad himself dealing with criticism. Abu Afak was a poet who was over one hundred years old, and had mocked Muhammad in his verses. Muhammad asked the Sahaba: “Who will avenge me on this scoundrel?” One of the companions murdered Abu Afak in his sleep. Likewise with another poet who mocked him: the poetess Asma bint Marwan. Muhammad on another occasion cried out, “Will no one rid me of this daughter of Marwan?” One of Muhammad’s companions, Umayr ibn Adi, went to her house that night, where he found her sleeping next to her children. The youngest, a nursing babe, was in her arms. But that didn’t stop Umayr from murdering her and the baby as well. Muhammad commended him: “You have done a great service to Allah and His Messenger, Umayr!” (Ibn Ishaq, 674-676)
Then there was Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf. Muhammad again asked his companions: “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” One of the Sahaba, Muhammad bin Maslama answered, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” When Muhammad said that he would, Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab).” Muhammad responded: “You may say it.” Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka’b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him. (Bukhari 5.59.369)
Meanwhile, “a member of the mosque congregation said to Sandra that she is free to choose her faith emphasizing that her problem is not with Islam but with the Saudi regime.”
That is not true. In reality, the death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law. It’s based on the Qur’an: “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.” (Qur’an 4:89)
A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-‘ashriyyah, Al-Ja’fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”
Qaradawi also once famously said: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”
A week after she protested against the “Islamization” of Canada outside of Masjid Toronto Mosque, Sandra Solomon, an ex-Muslim who became a human rights activist, took advantage of the mosque’s open house on Saturday, February 25, 2017 to deliver a direct message to the Imam Ahmed Shihab and the Muslim community.
Police are investigating possible hate crimes by the protesters who called for banning Islam and an imam at the mosque who recited supplications for the annihilation of the enemies of Islam and purification of al-Aqsa Mosque from the “filth of Jews.”
The following is the message that Sandra Solomon read in Masjid Toronto Mosque (February 25, 2017):
My name is Sandra Solomon. I am an ex Muslim who lived in the Saudi Arabian society governed by 100% Sharia law.
I suffered a lot in Saudi Arabia from the teachings of Islam because of the lack of women rights.
I was neglected, ignored and forbidden to sharing my thoughts on Islam to the point where I was always under risk of being murdered by honor killing from my brother, who attempted to kill me just because I refused to wear thehijab [head scarf].
They forced me into a marriage. Islamic forced marriage is nothing less than institutionalized rape. Do not dare to think otherwise.
I took my child and escaped Saudi Arabia because of the imminent threat of my execution for not following Islamic Sharia [Islamic Law] without question and came to Canada for its freedom.
I came to Canada to live under secular and Constitution Democratic system of law. A law that respects me as a free human being that has the right to live and think and be critical of anyone and anything without living in fear for my life and my child’s life .That is why I am in Canada. I am a subject of Canadian law. Not Sharia [Islamic] law.
I am a victim of Islam and it is my duty to warn others of its true nature. But unfortunately Sharia law is not leaving me. I was surprised when I found that it has followed us here to Canada. There are three Canadian imams on Canadian soil calling for my execution. Their names are, Shahryar Shiakh [“Punishment for apostasy is death”], Ahmad Abdul Qader Kandil [who said that enemies of Islam to be killed, crucified or their limbs cut off] and SaidRageah [who said that person who insults Mohammad may face execution in Islamic State]. All three of them in Canada are openly calling for my execution. Relying solely on the teaching of Quran and Hadith plus the book called human right in Islam distributed at Dundas square [“Islamic Shari’ah decrees execution for the person who apostatizes”]. [For more information on “Quebec, Ontario imams say apostates to be executed by The Islamic State” click HERE].
Ladies and gentlemen, criticism of an ideology and political authority is the most important aspect of free democracy. And for this, the imams all call for my death they do so on the Islamic grounds that I speak truths about Islam, its founder, Mohammad, and that I no longer accept the Islamic ideology, all of which are death penalty crimes under Islamic law, and which Islamic States like Iran, Saudi Arabia, The Islamic State, Afghanistan, Pakistan and dozens of more convict and execute. We see it here in Canada when Muslim girls refuse the hijab like the Shafia girls.
I am standing here in your mosque today, asking for you to show me the tolerance you ask of all Canadians. To accept me for whom I am and the free choices I made to be something other than Muslim. My God, is a God of love and mercy. I offer it to you, and ask you for it in return .My criticism of Islam are [sic] of the ideology, the teachings and scriptures. Not any individual Muslim. Criticizing ideology is not just legal in Canada; it’s the foundation of democracy. Whether it is a religious authority, or political, no person, book, or ideas are above criticism and scrutiny….
I have concern about my life and I would love to get an answer from you Muslims to tell me: Am I going to be killed, or my child is going to be killed or harmed by anyway for me openly criticizing Islam? I want to be comforted.
A member of the mosque congregation said to Sandra that she is free to choose her faith emphasizing that her problem is not with Islam but with the Saudi regime.