Rabat - Mustapha Ramid, Minister of Justice and Liberties, ordered the public prosecutor to release a person detained for renouncing Islam, saying, “Citizens are free to choose their religion.”
Rabat – Mustapha Ramid, Minister of Justice and Liberties, ordered the public prosecutor to release a person detained for renouncing Islam, saying, “Citizens are free to choose their religion.”
Speaking at a conference on the draft of the Criminal Code on July 6, the Minister of Justice said, “No law in Morocco condemns apostasy.” Apostasy is illegal in most Muslim countries, and punishable by death in some countries, such as Saudi Arabia.
The Minister added, “The kingdom applies the principle of whoever wants to be pious can be and whoever does not want has the right to be so.”
The Minister insisted that the law only punishes proselytizing.
Although Morocco’s penal code does not explicitly prohibit apostasy, “the law punishes anyone who tries to shake the faith of a Muslim and take advantage of social status (especially those of the poor) or age to convince them to reject Islam.”
Mustapha Ramid mentioned the case of two people who converted to another religion without being punished by the law. The first case was that of twelve-year-old boy, who converted to Christianity after joining a US educational institution.
The Minister said that the conversion of the child caused “discomfort within the family”, but he has not been subject to any legal action by the Minister of Justice.
The second case mentioned by the Minister is that of a young man who was detained by police after he had converted to Christianity, but was later released.
In 2013, Morocco’s Higher Council of Religious Scholars (CSO) released an edict stating that Muslims who renounce their faith “should be condemned to death.”