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SilencedHow Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide$
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Paul Marshall and Nina Shea

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199812264

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199812264.001.0001

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The Greater Middle East

The Greater Middle East

(p.117) 7 The Greater Middle East

Paul Marshall

Nina Shea

Oxford University Press

Despite the very great differences between Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, Yemen, and other countries in the Middle East, each also represses expression deemed insulting to Islam. Algeria has been cracking down on Christians because of fears of conversions, especially among the Kabyle people. There has been a similar pattern in Morocco. In both countries, this might also be tied to fears of conversions by Sunnis to Shiism, and the connection this might have to Iranian influence. Jordan is similar and has also pressured Muslim journalists and a poet. Libya, though varying with Qadafi's idiosyncrasies, has usually been far harsher in its treatment of converts. In Yemen, Jews, Baha’is, converts, and journalists have been persecuted, and several leading Muslim scholars have declared that those pushing for the reform of marriage laws were apostates. In Turkey, the minority Alevi Muslims suffer widespread discrimination, while writers and other reformers, as well as converts, can be accused of insulting the “Turkish nation,” which can incorporate a religious dimension because Islam is regarded as an integral part of the Turkish nation.

Keywords:   Algeria, Jordan, Libya, Morocco, Turkey, Yemen, Alevi, Christians

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