Islamic apologists in the U.S. routinely deny that Islamic law mandates that apostates from Islam be murdered.
“Rev. Lorenz is then quoted in a local television station report saying that if a Muslim leaves his religion and does not return to Islam in a couple of days, then he must be killed. He claims that someone showed him the verse. There is no such verse, Rev. Lorenz. In every faith, apostasy is shunned but ultimate judgment is left to God, not people.” — Salam al-Marayati
“A Muslim’s conversion to Christianity is not a crime punishable by death under Islamic law.” — M. Cherif Bassiouni
“It becomes really difficult, in light of this information, to persuasively argue that Islamic Law should permit a death penalty for apostasy.” — Ali Eteraz
Unfortunately for the apostates, the facts are otherwise.
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 all 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.
The internationally renowned Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has been praised as a “reformist” by pseudo-academic John Esposito, has said this about Islamic apostasy law: “That is why the Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.”
And now this story from Malaysia wouldn’t make any sense whatsoever unless there actually were a penalty for apostasy.
TAWAU, Dec 25 (Bernama) — The Sabah Islamic Affairs Department (Jheains) will enforce the apostasy law once its faith rehabilitation centre in Kinarut is ready next year, said its director, Datuk Amri A.Suratman.
He said enforcement of the law was part of Jheains’ five-year strategic plan.
Until the rehabilitation centre is ready in June, offenders will be enlightened on the merits of returning into the path of Islam, he told Bernama after closing the Jheains Senior Officers Conference here Friday night.
The conference, among others, touched on scores of Muslim converts, who reverted to their original religions, due to neglect from Islamic religious agencies and non-governmental organisations.
Amri said imams should provide information and counselling to Muslims, especially the younger generation, in their areas to ensure that they understand the syariah law.
This means that they’re going to explain to them that apostatizing from Islam could get them killed. Interestingly enough, when Islamic spokesmen in the U.S. talk about making sure people understand Sharia law, they actually mean that they want to make sure people don’t understand it. In Malaysia, no such obfuscations are necessary.
On dakwah, he said Jheains would focus its efforts on strategic and rural areas, especially those with a high number of converts, especially on prayers.
“These efforts will be carried out continuously to ensure that Muslim converts are not neglected,” he added.