If you thought we were liberating Afghanistan from religious fanaticism, among other things, when the United States went after Osama Bin Laden, please explain this. “Afghan Man who became Christian may face Death for Rejecting Islam”
I’m waiting for President Bush to speak out on this. Will he speak out? Will he ask this man’s life be spared? Or will he keep silent out of fear of offending Islam? Is this religion or fanaticism?
An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under this country’s Islamic laws, a judge said Sunday.
The defendant, Abdul Rahman, 41, was arrested last month after his family accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada said. Rahman was charged with rejecting Islam, and his trial started Thursday.
During the one-day hearing, the defendant confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago while working as a medical-aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, Mawlavezada said.
“We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law”, the judge said. “It is an attack on Islam.”
Where is the US Congress on this? Don’t tell they can’t rush back into session to pass some type of international plea for this person’s life to be spared. They did it for Terri Schiavo. Even President Bush showed some hustle for once and rushed back. And this person isn’t even brain dead! And, My God, he’s of the Right religion.
This isn’t a cartoon. This is about a real person. This is a question of religious intolerance, of religious intolerance within a religion. This is a clear issue for humanity that needs a response and a clear rallying cry from the world community to declare that this is wrong and inhumane. But it is a day later for this story and I don’t hear a peep. Isn’t something wrong here?
This story is about both religion and humanity. It is about the distinction about tolerating other religions and religious intolerance within a religion and what is reasonable and humane and just. Will the world conscience speak up?
Will individuals and individual nations speak up? Will the United Nations introduce a resolution declaring that this is barbaric and not acceptable to the world? Or have they been cowered by religious fanatics? Are their tails between their legs and they are hiding out of fear of a repeat of what happened over the manufactured and purposely inflamed outrage over some scribbling on a piece of paper?
The AP story continues:
Afghanistan’s constitution is based on Shariah law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death, said Ahmad Fahim Hakim, deputy chairman of the state-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. Repeated attempts to interview Rahman in detention were barred.
The prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, said he had offered to drop the charges if Rahman converted back to Islam, but he refused.
“He would have been forgiven if he had changed back. But he said he was a Christian and would always remain one,” Wasi said. “We are Muslims and becoming a Christian is against our laws. He must get the death penalty.”
Will the world react to this or not? Or are they too cowered by the reaction of some Islamic fanatics to a few Danish cartoons?
Stories like this make me wonder what it is we are fighting for.