Muhammad, the prophet of Islam and supreme example of conduct for the Muslim (cf. Qur'an 33:21), said: "Whoever changes his Islamic religion, then kill him." (Bukhari 9.84.57)
The Tafsir al-Qurtubi, a classic and thoroughly mainstream exegesis of the Qur'an, says this about Qur'an 2:217: "Scholars disagree about whether or not apostates are asked to repent. One group say that they are asked to repent and, if they do not, they are killed. Some say they are given an hour and others a month. Others say that they are asked to repent three times, and that is the view of Malik. Al-Hasan said they are asked a hundred times. It is also said that they are killed without being asked to repent."
All the schools of Islamic jurisprudence teach that a sane adult male who leaves Islam must be killed. They have some disagreements about what must he done with other types of people who leave Islam, but they have no disagreement on that. So if Adhami is saying that apostates must be jailed rather than killed, he must be a moderate.
"Ground Zero imam: 'Apostates against Islam must be jailed,'" by Aaron Klein for WorldNetDaily, January 23 (thanks to all who sent this in):
Those who leave Islam and preach against the Muslim religion must be jailed, declared the imam who has become the new face of the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in New York City.
"If someone leaves the din [religion], leaves the path privately, they cannot be touched. If someone preaches about apostasy, or preaches their views, they're jailed," stated Imam Abdallah Adhami in a November lecture obtained and reviewed by WND.
Adhami was discussing the Quranic view of apostasy, or Muslims who decide to leave the Islamic religion.
According to Shariah, or Islamic law, the consensus view in Sunni Islam is that a male apostate must be put to death unless he suffers from a mental disorder or converted against his will.
There are, however, differing views on the subject, with some contemporary Islamic scholars differentiating between public and private apostasy and arguing for actions ranging from death to nothing.
Adhami, speaking to a non-Muslim audience, claimed Islamic law only calls for punishment for public apostates and that most Islamic scholars demand only that public apostates be jailed as opposed to killed.
He claimed Islam was "revolutionary" for purportedly only punishing those who preach apostasy publicly, as opposed to other religions, which, he claimed, punish both public and private apostates.
"The Quran distinguishes between public and private apostasy," he said, failing to note most medieval Islamic scholars did not make such a distinction.
Adhami admitted, "Yes, many jurists said [public apostates] have to be killed. ... But the position of the state was the position of Islamic scholars - they must be jailed so they are contained."
He said, "In Islam, in the Quran, theoretically, if you look over the Quran from cover to cover, you literally have the right to the choice to reject God's message. The only thing you do not have the right to do is to spread this conviction, lest you, quote unquote, pollute others."...