This morning's Times had a article that reminded me a little of the JW view on apostates, or people who change their beliefs.
'Whoever changes religion - kill him'
Ruth Gledhill (Religious Correspondent)
The Koran is contradictory on the fate of those who deny the truth of Islam.
Fourteen passages refer to apostasy and, of these, seven refer to punishment, generally to be given in the next life.
Sura 40 says that those who reject the scriptures will have iron collars and chains placed around their necks, be dragged into scalding water and burnt in the fire. Elsewhere the Koran seems to indicate a degree of tolerance. Verse 2,256 states : " There is no compulsion in religion." Two furthur suras, 10 and 18, include passages indicating that people who do not wish to believe should not be forced to.
But the Hadith, or sayings of the Prophet, condemns unequivocally those who renounce their religion. One passage advises the death penalty for murder, adultery and apostasy. Another cites Muhammad as saying: "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him."
According to Mufti Abdul Barkatullah, senio imam at North Finchley Mosque, North London, Islam simply took over biblical tradition and practice in this regard. Jesus promised in John xiv,6: 'No one comes to the Father except by me." Several other passages in the New Testament condemn non-Christians to eternal punishment. Mufti Barkatullah cited the Inquisition as an example of Christian intorlerance.
Muslim scholars are divided over how the texts on apostasy should be interpreted. Muft Barkatullah said that some countries would follow the Shafii school of thought and eschew the death penalty for apostasy. But many, such as Afghanistan, adhere to the Hanafi tradition, and take a strict line on apostasy.'
This comment had followd an article on Abdul Rahman, a 41 year old Afghan, who was a Muslim who is facing the death penalty for becoming a Christian.