I will let you draw your own inferences from the text, but recognize that this is the mindset of conservative adherents to the Islamic faith as well as those who use it for their own selfish gains. There is a liberal or progressive community of Muslims, but they have no power and are considered just as bad as apostates for how they interpret the Koran.
Abdul-Qaadir told me about Yusuf’s question, when he’d asked whether it was possible for someone who had been Christian, then become Muslim, and then returned to Christianity to again become Muslim.
In response, Abdul-Qaadir had said flatly, “Some people think you should kill them.”
Abdul-Qaadir said that some people were offended by his remarks. “It’s a sensitive issue for Yusuf and Yunus,” he said, “since their mother is an apostate.” He was putting this mildly. Imagine telling an eleven-year-old kid that God wants his mom put to death, and you’ll understand the level of sensitivity at play.
But that wasn’t what I thought of when Abdul-Qaadir told me about the previous night’s class. I wasn’t thinking about feelings or sensitivities. I wanted to know if those people really should be killed.
And Abdul-Qaadir had a ready explanation. “The reason a lot of people are uncomfortable with this is because they don’t understand the notion of apostasy in Islam. They have these Western ideas about religion as something you try on to see if it feels comfortable, something that you can take off just as easily as you put it on. They hear that you can be killed for leaving Islam, and their reaction is ‘Huh?’ What they’re not considering is that religion and politics aren’t separable in Islam the way they are in the West. When you take the shahadah, you aren’t just pledging your allegiance to Allah; you’re aligning yourself with the Muslim state. Leaving Islam isn’t just converting from one faith to another. It’s more properly understood as treason.”
“I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ), ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'” hadith collected by al-Bukhari from Muhammad the Prophet.