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Caesium asked:

If a Christian chooses to become a Muslim he is rightly welcomed into the Faith, however if a Muslim chooses to convert to Christianity can someone explain why by doing so they sign their own death warrant.

Internet seek machines below "irtidad" will give you a lot of explanations:

I give an example:
www.yahoodi.com/peace/apostacy/html


Why is Apostacy such a terrible crime in Islam?


* Apostasy (Irtidad) in Islam
?If a person is raised in a society which protects his soul from the impurities of kufr and shirk, or if a person is shown the Right Path accepts it willingly - can such a person reject the Islamic faith? Is he allowed to apostate (become murtad)? Can he declare that he does not believe in God, Prophet Muhammad and the Day of Judgement?
Once a person enters into the fold of Islam, the rules change. As soon as you become a Muslim by your own choice, you are expected to submit yourself to Allah totally and completely. "O You who believe! Enter into submission, kaffatan!" (2:208) he surrenders the right of making decisions to Allah and His Messenger. No believing man and no believing woman has a choice in their own affairs when Allah and His Messenger have decided on an issue." (33:36)
Now even the question of apostasy, irtidad or deserting of one's faith, for a Muslim, becomes a shar'i/religious issue - even in this issue he is governed by the laws of Islam. And Islam clearly says: No! You cannot become an apostate.After coming into the fold of Islam, rejection of the fundamentals is not tolerated. If there are doubts in your mind about the fundamental beliefs of Islam, then discuss, question, debate, study and solve them BUT you are not allowed to leave Islam, desert your own fitra!
On the issue of openly rejecting Islam, Islam cannot just stand aside and see one of its followers going astray. It would allow discussions to understand and solve the problems, but not allow its followers to lower themselves from the sublime status of "surrendering to the will of Allah-Islam" to the status of those "who have hearts but do not understand, ears but do not hear, and eyes but do not see."

* Apostasy is Equal to Treason
Why does Islam not allow apostasy? Apostasy or irtidad in Islam is equal to treason. ?In Islam, the concept of treason is not limited to political and military affairs, it also has a spiritual and cultural dimension to it. In the Islamic order of sacredness, Allah then the Prophet and then the Qur'an occupy the highest positions. Tawhid, nubuwwa, and qiyama form the constitution of Islam. Just as upholding and protecting the constitution of a country is a sign of patriotism, and undermining it is a form of treason - in the same way open rejection of the fundamental beliefs of Islam by a Muslim is an act of treason. Apostasy i.e. the public declaration of rejecting the fundamentals of Islam, has also negative influence on the Muslim society, it is indeed a major fitna.
And that is why Islam has prescribed harsh punishment for irtidad. It must be emphasized that irtidad which we are dicussing here involves open rejection without any force and with the realization of what one's statements or actions imply. The punishment prescibed by the shari'a for apostasy is death.
Even the terms used by the shari'a for apostates give the idea of treason to this whole phenomenon. "Murtad" means apostate. Murtad can be of two types: fitri and milli. (1) Murtad Fitri means a person born of a Muslim parent and then he rejects Islam. Fitri means nature or natural. The term "murtad fitri" implies that the person has apostacized from his nature, the nature of believing in God. (2) "Murtad Milli" means a person who converted to Islam and then later on he rejects Islam. Milli is from millat which means a community. The term "murtad milli" implies that the person that the person has apostacized from his community.
In the first case, the apostasy is like treason against God, whereas in the second case, the apostasy is like treason against the Muslim community. Probably, that is why there is also a difference in dealing with these two kinds of murtad.
A former kafir who becomes a Muslim and then apostates (Murtad Milli) is given a second chance; if he repents then he is not to be killed.
But one who is born as a Muslim and then apostates (Murtad Fitri) he is to be killed even if he repents. His repentance might be accepted by Allah but he still has to go through the punishment prescibed for his treason in this world.
This punishment is only applicable in case of apostasy by men; in case of women the punishment is not death but life imprisonment. And if such a woman repents, then her repentance is accepted and the punishment is suspended.
(Excerpts from "Left Shoe News")

Hope that helps

Abe
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