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Proposed Pakistani law would make conversion from Islam punishable by death

 

NEW DELHI, India (RNS) — A draft bill in Pakistan’s National Assembly would impose the death penalty on Muslim men – and a life sentence on Muslim women – if they renounce Islam.

The bill has received its first reading and now sits before a standing committee of the National Assembly. It has been tabled by Muttahida Majlis-e-Ammal, an alliance of six fundamentalist Islamic political parties.

The proposed apostasy legislation would also allow the forfeiture of property and a loss of legal custody of children for those who renounce Islam.

A section of the draft bill says the offender’s own confession in court or incriminating testimony by two or more adults would be sufficient grounds for conviction.

Lawmakers also rejected a proposal to amend existing blasphemy laws that impose life imprisonment for insulting the Quran and death for insulting the Prophet Muhammad.