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The Islamic Law of Apostasy

2010 Vol. 2: Mar/April

The right to religious freedom, including the right of individuals to change their religion, is taken for granted by most people in the West. But in Islam, people are only free to change from a non-Islamic faith to Islam; they are not free to change in the opposite direction. All schools of sharia (Islamic law) agree that adult male Muslims who leave their faith should be killed. In line with this view, the majority of Muslim scholars, past and present, hold that apostasy from Islam is a crime carrying the God-prescribed penalty of death.

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