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ICC Note: I love it when Islamic leaders speak plainly. Leaving Islam is a crime. It’s called apostasy and by the way (not mentioned) Mohammed called for the death of apostates.

Top Cleric Denies ‘Freedom to Choose Religion’ comment

By Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent

Egypt (Gulf News) Cairo : Egypt ‘s top cleric yesterday denied in a statement that he had said a Muslim can give up his faith without punishment.

Ali Goma’a, the mufti of Egypt, was quoted as saying in a posting on a Washington Post-Newsweek forum that Muslims are free to change their faith and this is a matter between an individual and God.
“What I actually said is that Islam prohibits a Muslim from changing his religion and that apostasy is a crime, which must be punished,” Goma’a said.

The alleged fatwa coincides with an uproar over the case of 12 Egyptians who converted to Islam from Christianity and now want to re-embrace Christianity.
“There is a campaign by secularists to distort the image of Dr Ali Goma’a,” a senior official in Al Azhar told Gulf News.

“He cannot deny punishment in this life for the apostate,” said Mustafa Al Chaka of the Islamic Research Centre