Did he take up another faith? No. But the Qur’an says “It is not for a believer to kill a believer unless it be by mistake” (4:92). That’s where takfir comes in — that is, excommunication, or the designation of a Muslim as an unbeliever. Then, for the excommunicating party, the purported ex-Muslim is subject to Muhammad’s command: “If anyone changes his religion, kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57).
Apologists may argue (for non-Muslim consumption) that takfir was not pronounced under the proper authority, but that doesn’t stop people from being killed. Hence, they should take up the issue with those who are allegedly pronouncing takfir willy-nilly, and not those who simply note that it keeps happening.
Somalia Jihad Update. “Somali executed for ‘apostasy’,” from BBC News, January 16 (thanks to Kyros):
An Islamist militia has executed a Somali politician who they accused of betraying his religion by working with non-Muslim Ethiopian forces.
An Islamist spokesman in the port of Kismayo told the BBC that Abdirahman Ahmed was shot dead on Thursday.
Mr Ahmed was also accused of spying for Ethiopian forces, said to be backing the forces of warlord Barre Hiraale in trying to recapture Kismayo.
He is believed to be the first politician executed by the Islamists.
Ethiopian forces are pulling out of Somalia, two years after they intervened to try to oust Islamists from the capital Mogadishu.
But their mission to prop up the interim government is widely regarded as a failure as various Islamist group have recently advanced and once more control much of the country.
Ultimately, no one can wish democracy and secular government into existence for another party unless that party takes responsibility for it themselves.
A group of hardline Islamists retook the coastal city of Kismayo last August. […]
In Mogadishu, thousands of people have gathered at the football stadium, a former Ethiopian base, to celebrate the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces.
Talks about power-sharing between moderate Islamists and the government earlier resumed in neighbouring Djibouti.
Relatives of Abdirahman Ahmed – also known as Waldiire – told the BBC he did not have a lawyer present during his trial in a Sharia court.
They say he was arrested about a week ago and they were informed of his death sentence on Thursday morning.
Sheikh Hassan Yakub – the spokesman for Kismayo’s Islamist administration – told the BBC’s Somali Service that Mr Ahmed had admitted during his interrogation that he worked with those backed by Ethiopia.
This, he said, was the basis for the court’s opinion that he had changed his religion.
The relatives said they had asked the authorities to allow Mr Ahmed to go into exile.
But he was executed after afternoon prayers on Thursday.
After the shooting, his brother pleaded to be able to bury his body, however, he was told the burial had already been done….