MARTYRS TO ISLAM
Throughout the history of Islam there have been a considerable number of Muslims, and non-Muslims, who have lost their lives, or have been severely sanctioned, as a result of attempts to question the Koran, or for other offenses, such as being Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, or for that matter holding any spiritual belief other than that Muhammad was Allah's Prophet. Listed below are a few incidents concerning only individuals, for the most part, prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. Not included are Jews, Christians or Christian missionaries martyred as a daily occurrence.
656 – The third Caliph, 'Uthman ‘ibn Affan, was murdered, after one of the first recorded trials of Islam in which a person was accused of violating the "divine law" of the Koran. Historians generally agree that it was a political murder, but he was a martyr to Islam nonetheless.
1985 - Mahnud Muhammad Taha, a Sudanese theologian, attempted to reform the Shari’a. He was accused of apostasy, his works destroyed, and then hanged in public. He was 76 years of age.
1995 – Abu Zaid, an Egyptian scholar, wished to examine the Koran from a literary approach. He was branded an apostate, and forced to divorce his wife. Under Muslim Law, an apostate cannot be married to a Muslim. After numerous death threats, he and his wife fled to Holland.
1992 – The Egyptian Journalist and Professor, Faraq Foda, was assassinated for his critical writings about the Muslim Brotherhood, an extremist organization active in Egypt. A few days previous to his murder he had mocked an "intellectual" discourse between Islamic scholars and clerics. The subject responsible for his death was: Did the faithful, upon arrival in Heaven, have perpetual, or only protracted erections, to enjoy the seventy two promised houris?
1989 – Salman Rushdie, author of "The Satanic Verses", an allegorical novel, in which both of the main characters seem to be disrespectful of the tenets of Islam. Rushdie had a price of $250,000 placed on his head by the Ayatollah Kholmeni of Iran. The offer is still standing, and Rushdie is still in hiding.
1992 – Sadek Abdel-Kerim Malallah was beheaded after the sentence of a Saudi court that he had "slandered Allah and The Prophet".
2002 – Daniel Pearle, a reporter, was tortured, and then murdered in February of 2002 in Afghanistan. His crime was being a Jew. The event was recorded, including the finale of seeing his brains blown out by his torturers, on videotape, which was then delivered to Pakistani officials. For the liberal media of the U.S., including his own employer, The New York Times, it was practically a non-event.
1994 – Rashad Khalifa, a Muslim resident of Tucson, Arizona, was stabbed to death. Based upon a computer analysis of the Koran, he decided that the two verses ending the ninth chapter do not belong there. He then made the additional mistake of declaring that he was a modern day prophet. Since to Muslims, the Koran is infallible, and Muhammad was the last of Allah’s prophets, he passed a death sentence on himself in two respects.
(2005) – The Armanious Family, Hossam, his wife and two daughters lived in Jersey City. All were found with their throats slit but robbery did not seem to be the motive for their murders; the wife’s jewelry and other valuables were not taken. They were Coptic Christians, refugees from Muslim persecution in Egypt. They were also active in attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity.