What is the position of people who claim “atheism” under an Islamic State? Would they be able to fully participate in the Society, obtaining government positions, voicing their “belief” that there is “no God” etc.
The Shari`ah does not prohibit Muslims from giving any rights or responsibilities to non-Muslims in their state. Those non-Muslims, who became members of an Islamic state of their own accord, were called Mu`ahideen (with whom there is a contract). The rights and responsibilities of such non-Muslims used to depend upon the agreed upon clauses of the contract between them and the Muslim state, through which they had become its citizens. In such cases, the directive of the Shari`ah is to comply with that contract in letter and spirit and not to deprive them of any of their rights, which has been stipulated in the contract, through which they had become citizens of that Muslim state.
In the present times, where non-Muslims are traditionally given more or less the same legal rights as Muslim citizens, in most of the Muslim states in which they reside, it is incumbent upon the Muslim to secure all their rights which they have been granted in the past and not to deprive them from any of these rights. For these non-Muslims, the respective tradition of the particular Muslim state, should be considered as the implied contract, through which these non-Muslims have been granted citizenship of that Muslim state.
Voicing, practicing and propagating one’s beliefs, under normal circumstances, is one of the basic human rights. Islam, under normal circumstances, does not want to forcefully stop or hinder people from voicing, practicing and propagating their beliefs.
As a principle, it should be remembered that adherence to the Islamic beliefs and practices should not be safeguarded through impeding the propagation of other religions (or even absurdities). The best safeguard of such adherence is to strengthen the call of Islam and making it understandable for others.
Atheists would also be subject to the same laws as other non-Muslim citizens.
I hope this helps.
October 12, 2001