The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law. It’s based on the Qur’an: “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike. So do not take from among them allies until they emigrate for the cause of Allah. But if they turn away, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them and take not from among them any ally or helper.” (Qur’an 4:89)
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.”
“Muslim Brother of Christian Attacks Him with Machete,” Morning Star News, July 14, 2021:
NAIROBI, Kenya (Morning Star News) – A 39-year-old man in eastern Uganda who recently put his faith in Christ is still recovering from a machete blow to his head by a Muslim relative in late June, sources said.
Abudlawali Kijwalo, who comes from family of devoted sheikhs and hajjis (pilgrims to Mecca), was grazing his cattle on June 27 in Nankodo, Kibuku District when his brother, Musoga Murishid, confronted him, Kijwalo said.
Family members had warned Kijwalo against listening to gospel music or claiming that Jesus Christ was his Lord and Savior. Kijwalo told Morning Star News he had been listening to a Christian radio station earlier that day.
“Are you still a Muslim, or you are now a Christian?” Murishid asked him, according to Kijwalo.
“I am for Christ,” Kijwalo told him.
His brother revealed a machete that had been strapped beneath his long robe and struck him on the head, sending Kijwalo sprawling and screaming, the Christian said. As he bled heavily, Murishid walked away, likely thinking he had killed him, Kijwalo said….
Uganda’s constitution and other laws provide for religious freedom, including the right to propagate one’s faith and convert from one faith to another. Muslims make up no more than 12 percent of Uganda’s population, with high concentrations in eastern areas of the country.