While Muslims in the West make efforts to convert people to their faith, traditional Islamic countries have laws which prevent anyone trying to convert Muslims out of their faith. In Saudi Arabia and Malaysia, conversion of Muslims from their faith can lead to jail sentences.
In Algeria on March 15, the parliament introduced a bill which prevents anyone from apostasising from Islam to another faith. The bill was passed into law, and allows imprisonment of from two to five years and a fine of from $6,000 to $12,000 (US) for anyone "urging or forcing or tempting, to convert a Muslim to another religion."
Morocco has a similar law, which states that "anyone who employs incitements to shake the faith of a Muslim or to convert him to another religion" can be given a fine, and imprisoned for a maximum of six months.
Today, according to the Washington Post, Moroccan authorities state that a 64-year old German tourist has been jailed for six months and fined 500 dirhams ($60). The German man, Sadek Noshi Yassa, who is of Egyptian extraction, was sentenced on Tuesday evening at a court in Agadir on the southwestern coast.
The conviction came after news that some Christians had launched a secret campaign to convert thousands of Muslims to Christianity.
In neighboring Algeria, the March anti-conversion law had been introduced following an increase in Christian conversions in al-Qabayel in the east of Algeria. Before its independence in 1962, Algeria had hundreds of thousands of Christians, with 110 priests and 170 monks. Now less than 11,000 Christians live there.
In other news from Morocco, an imam was arrested on Monday in the northern city of Tetouan, accused of recruiting young men to become suicide bombers in Iraq, states Associated Press. The imam, named as Abdelilah, led prayers at a mosque in Mezouak, a slum on the outskirts of Tetouan city.
The interior ministry in Morocco has claimed on Monday that authorities have arrested 317 suspected Islamic radicals since August this year.