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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Report of Apostasy or "Riddah" murder in Australia

Reposted with permission from ASSIST News Service. 'Girl’s conversion results in mother’s death'

By Elizabeth Kendal
World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEA RLC)
Special to ASSIST News Service

October 13th - (ANS) A shocking killing on the east coast of Australia, in Queensland's popular Gold Coast region, illuminates the great and urgent need for rigorous, open debate on what Western religious liberty means for Muslim immigrants, and what Islam's rejection of apostasy means for Christians in terms of convert care.

On the evening of Monday 9 October, Kaihana Hussain, the teenage daughter of Muslim immigrants, told her parents that she was converting from Islam to Christianity. Her father responded with unrestrained fury. Neighbours heard "blood curdling" and "terrifying" screams and cries of "Help me, help me, they're trying to kill me", but they were unsure which apartment the screams were coming from, and the voices were unfamiliar.

After a short time, Kaihana came running out of the family's apartment, dressed only in her underwear, her clothes torn off, blood splattered over her severely scratched and cut body.
All that is known at this stage is that after her father began to attack her, Kaihana's mother, Yasmin (41, and a strict and devout Muslim), intervened to aid and protect her daughter.
What police found when they entered the apartment was Yasmin bleeding severely from a fatal knife wound to the chest, and her husband, Kaihana's father, Dr Muhammad Hussain (49) also bleeding from a potentially fatal knife wound to the chest. Blood was splattered on walls, floors and doorways throughout the three-bedroom luxury apartment. Yasmin died at the scene and Dr Hussain is presently hospitalised in an induced coma, in a critical condition. Police have confirmed that Kaihana is not a suspect in their deaths.

The Herald Sun reports: "Dr Hussain completed his medical training at the Chittagong Medical College in Bangladesh in 1982. In 2001, he completed a masters in family medicine in Australia and four years later was granted a fellowship by the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners." (Link 1)

After migrating to Australia, the family settled in Adelaide, South Australia. They sent their daughter to the local non-denominational Christian school because of its high academic, and no doubt moral, standards.

It appears that Kaihana was profoundly influenced by this exposure to Christianity. The Australian newspaper reports that the family's recent move from Adelaide, South Australia, to the Gold Coast, Queensland, was prompted by Dr Hussain's fear that Kaihana's Muslim faith was being threatened by her education. (Link 2)

Dr Hussain moved to the Gold Coast in September and Yasmin and Kaihana joined him on the weekend of 7-8 October, just after Kaihana's 17th birthday, and only days before Kaihana told her parents she was committed to converting to Christianity.The Herald Sun reported on 11 October, "A Muslim source told The Gold Coast Bulletin last night that Dr Hussain arrived a month ago to take up a position as a GP and prepare for his family to join him.

"'From what we understand the daughter decided to tell her father of her radical plan to convert to Christianity which, in the eyes of most Muslims, is totally unacceptable and to be honest, sadly, many would react as he has done,' said the source.

"'It is the Islamic way that if a son or daughter does or plans to do something that is unacceptable or wrong for a Muslim then it is the mother who is automatically at fault and will bear the brunt of the blame."' (Link 1)

1) HERALD SUN. Islam row behind mum's death. 11 October 2006
see also
THE AUSTRALIAN NEWS. Mother killed after teen rejects Islam
by Annabelle McDonald and Jeremy Roberts. 12 October 2006

2) Elite school rejects honour killing link
by Jeremy Roberts and Annabelle McDonald. 13 October 2006

Elizabeth Kendal is the Principal Researcher and Writer for the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission (WEA RLC)

Elizabeth can be contacted by e-mail at


Bosun's comments: After researching various passages of the Qur'an and other interpretations of Mohammad's words, I am completely confused on what is or is not acceptable in Islam. The imam Husain has certainly clouded the Apostasy issue by saying that the Qur'an and Mohammed's words should not be taken literally. If I am confused it is certainly possible that the doctor was also confused.

Perhaps the doctor's confusion regarding his faith and his fear of being rejected by his extended family members in Bangladesh and his Muslim society caused him to take the life of his wife and attempted murder of his daughter. has a different interpretation about the penalty of Apostasy

"… the statement of Allah's Apostle,'Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'"(Sahih al-Bukhari vol. 9, No. 57 p. 45)'s summary: In Shari’ah law, the penalty for a Muslim who departs from Islam is death. Quotations from Islamic legal sources are presented, so a person can read for himself the Islamic texts where capital punishment is prescribed as the appropriate punishment for the crime of apostasy. A Muslim's fear of being rejected by family and society and possibly murdered is a deterrent against conversion from Islam. Source: Questions on Apostasy or Riddah

One has to wonder if the imam Husain committed blasphemy for saying that the practice of Riddah was taken out of context? Will the radicalized Islamos issue a fatwah condemning Husain?

Islam needs to go through a period of enlightenment and has to accept the other religions before it enters the 21st century. Otherwise it will remain a 10th century religion. Until the period of enlightenment, we can expect to see honor killings and other acts of violence committed by those who interpret the the words of Mohammad literally. Perhaps for them there is no other way other than blind obedience and the sword.

Technorati tags: Islam in the News ... Honour Killings ... Religious Feud ... Ritual killing ... Muslim ... Christianity ... International News ... World News and Politics ... Koran ... Australian News ... Muslim Religious Killing ... Convert ... Apostasy ... Riddah ... Islamofacism ... Islamist ... Qur'an


Yursil said...

Peace to you!

I beleive that it is a return to the principles of traditional Islam and its inherent love of righteousness which is necessary to clarify such issues.

The textual aspects of Islam have always needed a filter of righteousnes for them to be properly understood and applied, and the apostacy issue is one of them. I actually discuss this very issue in my latest blog entry.

The_Bos'un said...


Salaamalekum! Thank you for your comments. I am interested in hearing more of your opionion regarding Riddah.


Yursil said...



The main application of such apostacy laws, by just rulers and interpretors of Islam, was to promote apostates out of the polity (to join their new community).

In fact, the laws (as they were applied in the past) centered around public proclomations which disturbed the peace of apostacy or specific acts of treason against the state. The actions being different for each case.

By 1856 even these laws were removed from the books, treason remained a capital crime but was not tied to faith.

One thing to understand as a framework is that the Shariat was never truly codified in any meaningful manner. So such laws were suspended and lifted as rulers saw fit and when in effect they were applied rarely. Such is the malleable nature of the Shariat and how it came to be that monotheistic idol-hating Muslims respected and lived with idol-worshipping Hindu's.

Such interpretations of the Islamic Law didn't seek to create martyrs out of apostates, which only presents a picture of a weak faith.

It is only the modern-day terrorists who, breaking from tradition, seek to find hate and terror in every nook and cranny.

Frankly, these strange new interpretations on apostacy have hurt Muslims as they have often been used by rebellious minority sects against the tolerant majority.

Apparantly even saying you are Muslim is not enough for these folks, you have to fall in line with their exact political ideologies or die.

It then becomes clear that the apostacy laws become simply convenient scapegoats for political motivated rebels to eliminate enemies.

There is no theism within them and no real adherance or fear of God generated by their faith. That is the sad part.

The_Bos'un said...

Jamm nga’m?

Could you explain the following which appears to be in conflict what you say that Islam accepts riddah:


Saudi journalist, accused of un-Islamic writings, is freed

New York, April 20, 2006 — The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the release of Saudi journalist Rabah al-Quwai’, who was held for 13 days in retaliation for his writings about religious extremism.

Al-Quwai’, a writer for the daily Shams, said he was compelled to sign a statement saying that he had denigrated Islamic beliefs in his writing, that he was not a true Muslim, and that he would defend Islamic values in his future work. Had he not signed the statement, al-Quwai’ said, he would have faced a charge of riddah—a renunciation of Islam—which is punishable by death.

yursil said...

as-salamu'alaikum Bos'un,

The Wahabi state of Saud, which was formed via a rebellion of a vicious and blood hungry minority is not a good example for Muslims.

Most traditional-minded Muslims are severely anti-Saudi and have no confidence in their spiritual authority.

History speaks for itself, Muslims eliminated any last vestiges of apostacy laws in 1856, which was only officializing a position already in place.

Rosemary said...

Dear Bos'un,
I don't really care which it is (for the time being). I just want these 'honor' murders stopped.

When you live in a different country, you must abide by their laws. Just as I would obey your laws if I were in your country. It is only proper and polite. (Not to mention humane.)

The_Bos'un said...

according to International Campaign Against Honour Killings ( ) Over 5000 women and girls are killed every year by family members in so-called 'honour killings', according to the UN. These crimes occur where cultures believe that a woman's unsanctioned sexual behaviour brings such shame on the family that any female accused or suspected must be murdered. Reasons for these murders can be as trivial as talking to a man, or as innocent as suffering rape.

I did not realize that this problem could be so potentially spread. I have not seen such statistics before. If this is a problem of such magnitude, it may be the tip of an iceberg.