Apologists who describe Islam as a Religion of Peace …
Apologists who describe Islam as a Religion of Peace often paraphrase Verse 5:32 from the Quran as “Whoever kills an innocent person, it is as if he killed the whole of humanity, and if anyone saved a life it is if he had saved the whole of mankind” in order to show how highly Islam values human life.”
However, put these verse fragments together with the start and end of the verse and the part omitted from the middle and the meaning changes:
“Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land – it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one – it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.” (Sahih International 5:32)
Now we can clearly see that this statement refers to the Jews alone, who are the people most reviled by Islam, and so does not apply to Muslims at all. Even if it is applied to Muslims, the exception for “corruption”, which is also often translated as “mischief”, can be widely interpreted to allow killing for a wide range of “offences”, such as insulting Islam, Mohammed or the Quran.
If we refer this verse to the preceding verses 5:27-31, which are the story of Cain and Able, then the context of 5:32 is the slaying of a family (or community) member. Consequently, in applying 5:32 to Muslims Ibn Kathir writes in his commentary: “Sa’id bin Jubayr said, “He who allows himself to shed the blood of a Muslim, is like he who allows shedding the blood of all people. He, who forbids shedding the blood of one Muslim, is like he who forbids shedding the blood of all people.”
Furthermore, Mujahid commented on the verse “He who kills a believing soul [i.e. a Muslim] intentionally, Allah makes the Fire of Hell his abode, He will become angry with him, and curse him, and has prepared a tremendous punishment for him, equal to if he had killed all people, his punishment will still be the same.”
Thus, we can see that Islam does place a high value on human life, provided that, and only provided that, the life is Muslim.
You can find various translations of Surah 5:32 by following the link below
The fact that the intention of this verse is far from peaceful becomes clear if we read on to Surah 5:33
“The recompense of those who fight Allah and His messenger, and seek to make corruption in the land, is that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from alternate sides or that they be banished from the land; that is their disgrace in this world and in the Hereafter they will have a great torment.” (Qur’an 5:33)