As salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,
I recently saw this fatwa posted on the website of the Mufti of Egypt's website:
What is the ruling of giving monetary prizes and respected awards to people who have defamed the Prophet of Islam in their published writings, described Islam as a false religion, has said that prophethood was invented by Abu Talib in order to remove the hegemony of the Umayyids from Quraysh and Mecca, and that ‘Abd al-Mutalib sought the aid of the Jews in spreading the fable of prophethood – in his words –.
Is it permissible for a council to give somebody like this honorific awards that elevate his status and promote his thought as well as prizes from the money of Muslims, even though they know what is written in his books of what is mentioned above, which are published and readily available? If this is not permissible, then who is accountable for the value of this prize, which was awarded from public funds?
Something that is necessarily known in the religion is that aggrandizing the Shari’ah, the religion, and the status of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) is one of the greatest pillars of the Shari’ah and one of the most important and grand duties. God says in the Qur’an, And whoever venerates the signs of God, that is the piety of hearts [22:32]; Surely We have sent you as a witness, good tidings to bear, and warning, that you may believe in God and His Messenger and succor Him, and reverence Him, and that you may give Him glory at the dawn and in the evening [48:8-9]; Those who malign God and His messenger, God has cursed them in the world and the Hereafter, and has prepared for them the doom of the disdained [33:57]; and Make not the calling of the Messenger among you as your calling one of another. God knows those of you who steal away, hiding themselves. And let those who conspire to evade orders beware lest grief or painful punishment befall them [24:63].
Muslims have formed a consensus that whoever curses the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of God be upon him) or slanders the religion of Islam has departed from Islam and the Muslims and deserves to be held accountable in this world and to be punished in the Afterlife. As has been stated in article 98 of the (Egyptian) penal code, which criminalizes anyone who depreciates or insults one of the heavenly sent religions, one of their sects, or causes harm to the unity of the nation or the peace of the society.
As for what was particularly mentioned in the question: These statements that have been reproduced in the question (regardless of who said them) are statements of disbelief that take one who makes them out of Islam, if they are Muslim, and is considered a crime that has been criminalized in the article of the penal code mentioned above. If it is established that these kind of base, false, and rejected statements were made by somebody, that person would deserve to be called a criminal, not to be honored, and all means of legal action should be taken against them in order to protect society from their evil and to make an example of them for others for whom the devil has seduced to their actions and has made their falsehoods appear beautiful to them. God says in the Qur’an, Say: Shall We inform you who will be the greatest losers by their works? Those whose effort go astray in the life of the world, and yet they reckon that they do good work [18:103-104].
As for the committee that chose this person to be awarded this prize, if it was aware of the statements in his published works, then they are accountable for the value of the prize that was taken from the funds of Muslims.
And God Most High knows best.
Wasn't there some author that the Egyptian government gave an award to who insulted Islam? Anybody know anything about this?