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Chapter Summary

In evaluating the effects of Muslim legal traditions of apostasy, this introductory chapter of part 1 of the book distinguishes between the three different phenomena of apostasy, which can be listed as conversion, heresy and sabb (blasphemy). While these three phenomena may overlap in some ways, for Muslim jurists the term irtidad (ridda ) is generally used to describe the act of a convert, a blasphemer or a heretic. Public rules of the legal traditions of apostasy which have been embodied partly in the legislation of some Muslim states include prohibition and punishment of the three different alleged offences, conversion, blasphemy and heresy, along with the civil consequences of these offences, such as confiscation of the property of the offender. The chapter presents an overview of how other chapters of the part are organised.

Keywords: apostasy; blasphemy; heresy; Muslim legal traditions



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