What if the reverse is practiced, meaning if one were to leave Christianity, one will be punished by imprisonment? Would there be enough jail cells in Europe and North America to contain them, as millions have already denied their faith? Would it cause general disorder in society? What happens when faith in God is not politicized?
Dar El-Ifta: Grand Mufti’s statements misinterpreted
By Yasmine Saleh
First Published: July 25, 2007
Nagm's comment came a day after local newspaper dailies Al-Akhbar, Al- Masry Al -Youm published a statement from Dar El-Ifta, which included a reply to local press coverage of the Grand Mufti's posting on the Washington Post-Newsweek forum. The dailies reported that in the posting the Mufti said that Muslims have the right to convert to any other religion.
However, according to Nagm, "the Mufti did not say that," adding that the article was misinterpreted because it was translated from Arabic to English and then back to Arabic. It was also edited by the Washington Post, which made it "lose its original [meaning]."
In a previous interview with The Daily Star Egypt, Sheikh Ibrahim Atta El Fayoumi, secretary general of the Islamic Research Center, said that “the words of the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa were misinterpreted. What he means is that if there is a traitor he should be punished and the
Al-Masry Al-Youm’s headline ("Mufti: Muslims can leave their religion and God will not judge them on Judgment Day”) was not what the Mufti said, according to a statement sent to The Daily Star Egypt.
"The Grand Mufti has confirmed that Islam prohibits Muslims from leaving their religion, and that this practice should be punished," the statement read.
Gomaa had reportedly based his opinion on several verses of the Quran, which appear to promote religious freedom. “Unto you your religion, and unto me my religion,” [Quran, 109:6], “Whosoever will, let him believe, and whosoever will, let him disbelieve,” [Quran, 18:29], and, “There is no compulsion in religion. The right direction is distinct from error,” [Quran, 2:256].
However, the statement sent to The Daily Star