A hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “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.”
Qaradawi also once famously said: “If they had gotten rid of the apostasy punishment, Islam wouldn’t exist today.”
“Imam Arrested in Killing of Christian Convert in Eastern Uganda,” Morning Star News, February 10, 2016:
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – An imam who threatened a convert from Islam in eastern Uganda has been arrested in connection with the killing of the 28-year-old Christian, sources said.
Laurence Maiso’s body was found at his house, his head in a pool of blood, on Jan. 27 at around 5 p.m. in Numuseru village, Naboa Sub-County in Budaka District.
Four days earlier, Imam Kamulali Hussein had met him and his wife on a local road. According to Maiso’s wife, the imam told him, “You have refused to join us. Do you know that Allah does not want us to have a kafir [infidel] neighbor? And you should know that Allah is about to send to you the Angel of Death in your house. Please prepare to meet him at any time.”
Hussein departed. Four days later, Maiso’s wife went to see a friend in nearby Lupada village. She returned to find her husband dead on the floor. Her cries brought several neighbors to the house.
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