Texas: Muslima charged with conspiring with her family to kill her sister for converting to Christianity

Monday, November 25, 2019
By Paul Martin

NOV 25, 2019

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.”

“Latest charge filed in 2012 ‘honor killings’ case,” by Samantha Ketterer, Houston Chronicle, November 20, 2019:

Special prosecutors on Wednesday lodged a new charge against a family member awaiting trial in the 2012 “honor killings” of an estranged sister’s husband and best friend.

Nadia Irsan, 35, conferred with her attorneys while holding a handbag, visibly upset at the latest development in the years-long saga.

After being charged in 2015 with stalking in relation to the deaths, she is now accused of a more serious offense — conspiring with her father, stepmother and brother in the family-run criminal plot that ended with the two fatal shootings.

She is one of two people with open cases tied to the murders, which occurred after sister Nesreen Irsan left the family’s rural Montgomery County compound and converted from Islam to Christianity.

Prosecutor pro tem Marie Primm said she pursued the new charge of organized criminal activity years after the fact because she and her co-counsel saw “where the evidence took us.”

But Primm said the facts of the case mostly remain the same as they did in the 2018 trial of Irsan’s father, Ali Mahwood-Awad, a Jordanian immigrant who last year was sentenced to death for orchestrating the scheme intended to kill another daughter, Nesreen Irsan, as well as four others who supported her religious conversion, according to testimony.

Two people died almost a year apart — Nesreen Irsan’s newlywed husband, 28-year-old Coty Beavers, and her best friend, 30-year-old Iranian activist Gelareh Bagherzadeh….

The “honor” slayings occurred more than 11 months apart in 2012. In January, Nasim Irsan shot Bagherzadeh in the head after he, Ali and Alrawabdeh followed her to her family’s townhome, according to court testimony in the father’s trial.

Nesreen told investigators that she believed her father was a suspect, but a lack of evidence caused him to be released after questioning.

Less than a year later, the father sneaked into the northwest Harris County home of Nesreen and Beavers, according to testimony. When Beavers returned alone, the father shot him at least five times with a .22-caliber revolver.

Ali Irsan’s high-profile trial garnered international attention and portrayed him as a dictatorial patriarch who stalked Nesreen after she left home and enlisted several other family members to help. Others in the family testified that Ali raped, beat and abused them regularly.

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