Islam seems to be in that blissfull 15th century of its existence where it claims that arrogance that comes with absolute power over its adherents: death to runaways and apostates. The Medieval Catholic Church had a similar policy and has rued the day ever since it lost the power to be able to burn at will "heretics" and assorted free thinkers, who wished to escape the yoke of the Church.
Now a court in Afghanistan, aiming to uphold Sharia law, is deliberating a death sentence on a Muslim who converted to Christianity.
I guess the difference between religion and a cult lies in its handling of apostates. Cults demand total submission and want complete control, while religion is more of a private affair between you and your chosen deity. Islam thus is an example of the former, while, say, Quakerism, is an example of the latter.
I can but imagine what the convert guy would have gotten as punishment had he actually gone atheist. But since New Zealand has SAS troops in Afghanistan I think they should be withdrawn because of this issue. I can't think why the Helen Clark Labour Government would want to support this medieval system of thought control and swift summary executions for wanting to get rid of that very system.
Of course, it doesn't only apply to individuals wishing to leave an oppressive cult behind, it also applies to secessionist movements everywhere: try being a Taiwanese independence supporter, or secede from the United States. Europe, as usual, does it better: the Basq Country creeps ever so slowly towards independence with the ceasefire declaration from ETA.