The following is an excerpt from the text of a controversial interview that Asharq al-Awsat conducted with Sudanese Islamist leader Dr. Hassan Turabi, which resulted in him being branded an apostate by Sudan's Muslim scholars.
Q) You believe that apostasy should not be punishable by death. There has been a recent case of an Afghan who was about to be killed for apostasy but was saved under the pretense of mental illness. The case was recognized internationally as Italy wants to grant him asylum.
A) There are too many Quranic verses to recite (regarding this). We are ordered to debate with Christians and Jews except those who are unjust. We believe in their prophets who are our prophets too. We believe in their books even if some distortion took place. We are ordered to treat them cordially.