Persecution of Ex-Muslims (Jordan)

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On trial for converting from Islam to Christianity. Jordanian flees country after Muslim relatives violently attack him and his 10-year-old son in their home and his father sues him on charges of apostasy[edit]

Mohammad Abbad, 40, fled Jordan last month after Muslims violently attacked him and his 10-year-old son in their home and his father sued him on charges of apostasy, or leaving Islam. “I can’t win this case as long as I insist that I converted from Islam to Christianity,” Abbad wrote from the safety of a nearby country. “The court will annul my marriage, I will be deprived of my kids, I will be with no ID or passport, and my properties will be confiscated,” said the father of two, referring to a previous Jordanian apostasy verdict.

In a separate November 2004 ruling, an Amman Sharia Court headed by Judge Suleiman Abdullah Abu Yahya convicted a Muslim convert to Christianity of apostasy. Stripped of all his legal rights, the convert and his family fled Jordan to escape the verdict.

One of only a few Jordanians to leave Islam for Christianity, Abbad said he became a Christian as a young man in Jordan and grew in his faith while working abroad in 1993.
. . .
In 1994, Abbad married a Jordanian from a Christian family, and together they had two children.

When Abbad returned to Jordan in 2000, his father began criticizing him in front of his mother and siblings, claiming that “suspicious organizations” were paying Abbad to remain Christian. Abbad’s father encouraged the rest of the family to shun the convert, who was otherwise able to quietly practice his faith free of overt harassment.

Last month a married couple who had been raised Muslim but had converted to Christianity moved into Abbad’s home for several days to escape death threats from relatives. The wife’s brothers discovered the couple’s location and visited Abbad’s house on the evening of March 23. While the visitors were talking with their sister, three other family members broke into the room and began attacking Abbad and the convert husband. “My 10-year-old son tried to help me when he saw me fall down, but he was hit on the face near his eye,” Abbad said.

The brothers struck Abbad several times on his head and body, wounding his chest and his right eye. They also beat his wife’s face and neck before forcibly abducting their sister. “My chest was bleeding and I was so dizzy, my wife and kids were hysterical, especially when they saw that I could not breath,” Abbad said.

Apostates are stripped of all legal rights in Jordan. Sharia court annuls ex-Muslim's marriage[edit]

A Jordanian Islamic law court has annulled the marriage of a former Muslim because of his conversion to Christianity. The North Amman Sharia Court in April dissolved the marriage of Mohammad Abbad, on trial for apostasy, or leaving Islam.

The 40-year-old convert fled Jordan with his wife and two young children in March after another Christian convert’s relatives attacked Abbad’s family in their home and his father demanded custody of Abbad’s children. “Marriage depends on the creed [religion], and the apostate has no creed,” a May 22 court document stated, detailing reasons for the April 22 annulment. According to the document, Judge Faysal Khreisat had “proven the veracity of [Abbad’s] apostasy.”

Jordan’s penal code does not outlaw apostasy, and the country’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion, as does the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that was given force of law in the country in June 2006. But Islam, Jordan’s official religion, forbids conversion to another faith. Jordanian sharia (Islamic law) courts that rule on family law have convicted converts of apostasy, stripping them of all legal rights.