Extremism is un-Islamic
Former Indonesian president KH Abdurrahman Gus Dur Wahid writes a good piece in the Washington Post highlighting the recent court-ruling hype in Afghanistan in which a Muslim who converts to Christianity got the death sentence but then sidestepped by the Gov on the ground of unfitness on the part of the accused.
Quoting an early precedent of Islamic history he says,
The Koran and the sayings of the prophet Muhammad do not definitively address this issue. In fact, during the early history of Islam, the Agreement of Hudaibiyah between Muhammad and his rivals stipulated that any Muslim who converted out of Islam would be allowed to depart freely to join the non-Muslim community. Nevertheless, throughout much of Islamic history, Muslim governments have embraced an interpretation of Islamic law that imposes the death penalty for apostasy.
He elaborate further that Muslim and non-Muslim alike should differentiate between Islamic law (Sharia) derived from Quran or the man-made ones.
It is vital that we differentiate between the Koran, from which much of the raw material for producing Islamic law is derived, and the law itself. While its revelatory inspiration is divine, Islamic law is man-made and thus subject to human interpretation and revision.