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Legal systems of the world today punish people for treason.
Apostasy, the abandonment of Islam, is punished because it considers apostasy as treason and rebellion against the whole Islamic system.
The people who apostates can affect other to rebel against Islam and to reject the laws and order of the Muslim society.
When punishing the apostates, Islam instructs rulers to give them the chance to repent and not to hunt down or assassinate them.
The death penalty deters those who belittle Islam. Islam is keen to have serious followers. Islam does not enforce any one follow it, but when any becomes a Muslim, he has to be serious.
However, the death penalty is mainly for apostates who gather people against Islam.
But, if a person keeps this conviction private and does not try to establish rebellion against the Muslim state, then his punishment will be life imprisonment until he/she returns back to Islam.

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