A 2009 report offers context:
The court had sentenced the men [originally four] to death in June for killing Granville and his driver in January 2008, but the sentence was cancelled in August after [his Muslim driver] Abbas's father forgave the men.
Under Islamic law, the victim's family has the right to forgive the murderer, ask for compensation (fedia) or demand execution.
Granville's mother, Jane Granville, at the time had asked for the men's execution, but her letter was rejected because it was not notarized.
The judge said the sentence was confirmed because Granville's family, from Buffalo, in northern New York State, had requested it.
Then, in 2010, the four men convicted of murder, in the words of the U.S. State Department, "escaped from a maximum security prison" in Khartoum. One of the men, Abdul Ra'uf Abu Zaid Muhammad Hamza, was recaptured and is currently in prison awaiting execution.
Finding the punishment unjust, several international Islamic organizations -- and most recently the London-based Islamic Media Observatory -- have been trying to commute the death sentence, mostly by arguing for Abdul Ra'uf's "human rights."
However, the Legitimate League of Scholars and Preachers in Sudan (an influential body of Muslim clerics) issued a statement last month titled "Let no Muslim be killed because of an infidel" -- a verbatim quote, in fact, from Islam's prophet Muhammad -- revealing the true reason why so many Muslims are trying to overturn the death sentence.
The Arabic-language statement begins by asserting that "Allah has honored human beings over creation and multiplied the Muslim's honor over the infidel's, because Islam elevates and nothing is elevated above it. The value of the blood of Muslims is equal, or should be, but not so the value of the blood of others." (The Koran itself, e.g., 2:221, confirms this idea that even the lowliest Muslim is superior to any non-Muslim.)
Next, the statement quotes the clear words of Islam's prophet, Muhammad, as recorded in a canonical hadith: "Let no Muslim be killed because of an infidel." It then elaborates on the meaning of this statement by quoting from "the consensus of Islamic scholars," or ijma', a legitimate source of Islamic jurisprudence.
The Legitimate League of Scholars and Preachers then elaborate on the prophet's injunction as meaning that under no circumstances are Muslim rulers ever permitted to execute Muslims -- even if Muslims murder non-Muslims in cold blood, including those groups that are "protected" by Islamic law, such as dhimmis (subjugated, tribute-paying non-Muslims) and foreign non-Muslims granted aman, or a pledge of security to enter Muslim lands.
Finally, after chastising the offending judge of North Khartoum's felony court, Sayed Ahmed al-Badri, the statement concludes by warning all Muslim rulers and judges "to fear Allah, to apply Allah's law in every matter, whether big or small, to seek justice according to the consensus of Islamic scholars, not to seek to please the infidels, not to rush the verdict, and to know that Allah prefers the annihilation of the entire earth over the spilling of the blood of one innocent Muslim" (emphasis added).
When American soldiers desecrated copies of the Koran -- a book -- media maelstroms occurred and grandstanding politicians condemned. But when the scholars of Islam, quoting the words and teachings of their prophet, openly assert that the blood of non-Muslims is cheaper than the blood of Muslims -- and hence, the murder of an American "infidel" by a Muslim cannot be punished blood-for-blood -- this is not even deemed worth reporting by Western media or condemned by Western politicians.
Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians.
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