Masters Thesis Challenging the ‘Freedom of Religion’ Concept with regards to the Apostasy Question in Britain.

Much of my inactive blog platform is due to the year long slog of putting this Masters dissertation together, for the purpose of finalising my university degree. Given that I had the freedom to highlight any topic within the field of international relations and granted 15,000 words to do so; naturally it was my opportunity to highlight the ex-Muslim predicament here in the UK.

Rather than upload a 15,000 document, I’ve decided to compartmentalise all sections of my thesis, thereby posting successive chapters daily.  This  blog post will focus on providing the backdrop to my dissertation.

 

Challenging whether Freedom of Religion exists in the United Kingdom, with regards to the rise in persecution of Apostates from Islam

 

 Anniesa Hussain, Masters of Science (MSci)  in International Relations & Global Issues with Honours, University of Nottingham 2016.

 

ABSTRACT

The primary focus of the dissertation is to investigate whether freedom of religion exists in relation to Muslim persecution of apostasy within the United Kingdom, drawing upon ratified, Human Rights provisions; prominently enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights as a legal basis for the report research. The topic is one of relevance, given that Islamist oppression is primarily confined to the Islamic world, with much less reported and documented within Muslim diasporas across the non-Muslim world. A quantitative approach was taken in researching for the dissertation as the issue of apostasy remains a taboo concept. Taking the findings of the dissertation into consideration and through the case studies of British apostates and ex-Muslim, Christian converts, it is evident that freedom of religion exists but for a few. The violent repercussions as a direct result of the renunciation of the Islamic faith and the intolerance towards the case study apostates undertaken, is indeed a dire blow to British values and promises of religious freedom.

 

INTRODUCTION

The primary focus of the dissertation is to investigate whether freedom of religion exists in relation to Muslim persecution of apostasy within the United Kingdom, drawing upon ratified, Human Rights provisions; prominently enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights, European Court of Human Rights and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights as a legal basis for the report research. The topic is one of relevance, given that Islamist oppression is primarily confined to the Islamic world, with much less reported and documented within Muslim diasporas across the non-Muslim world. Chapter One explores whether and why religion bears any salience to 21st Century Europe, concluding that religiosity is as fervent as ever, with Islam in particular rising to prominence in the public domain through European egalitarian multiculturalism. Chapter Two introduces the concept of the Muslim Cultural Defence, officially creating a parallel, alternative system in a British society, essentially highlighting certain failures of Multiculturalist policies and concluding that the Cultural Defence is intolerant of heterodoxy in a Muslim context. Chapter Three develops the Cultural Defence by applying it to the Orthodox versus Heterodox paradox, concluding that apostasy is explicitly intolerable to the hierarchal Muslim orthodoxy. Chapter Four outlines Islamic scriptural verses and theological rhetoric and interpretation, debating the concept of freedom of religion in Islam and providing scriptural basis for the death penalty for apostates. Chapters Five and Six examine case studies of British apostates to firmly conclude that there is no freedom of religion where apostasy from Islam is concerned.

 

A quantitative approach was taken in researching for the dissertation as the issue of apostasy remains a taboo concept. The fact that there were only a few select cases of British, public apostasy cases confirms this. There is also an overwhelming lack of academic and political literature on apostasy in a Western context, with the majority of literature adapted from news articles and religious organisations’ reports.

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