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Afghan man commits Christianity, may die

March 21, 2006

Prosecutors, judge, family insist convert should die

KABUL, Afghanistan—Abdul Rahman told his family he was a Christian. He told the neighbors, bringing shame upon his home. But then he told the police, and he could no longer be ignored.

Now, in a major test of Afghanistan’s fledgling court system, Rahman, 42, faces the death penalty for abandoning Islam for Christianity. Prosecutors say he should die. So do his family, his jailers, even the judge. Rahman has no lawyer. Jail officials refused to let anyone see Rahman on Monday, despite permission granted by the country’s justice minister…

“He is my son,” said Manan, crying. “But if a son does not care about the dignity of his family, the dignity of his father, God can take him away. You cannot make anything out of such a son. He is useless.”…

Afghan man faces death for being a Christian, By Kim Barker, Tribune foreign correspondent, Published March 21, 2006

Freedom appears not to be ‘on the march’ in Afghanistan. Go read the whole thing (free registration required).  Comments, anyone?

Update:

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. March 21, 2006 at 17:24 | #1

    I saw this and thought at the time ” Ask me again why I don’t want to live under a democracy” This is tryanny by the majority rule and as I have said many times Islam is not comatable with individual freedom

  2. March 21, 2006 at 19:43 | #2

    Comments? Here’s my comment: Islam and Christianity are not only stupid but dangerous religions. I’m tired of hearing Christians complain about how Islam treats women. Christianity really isn’t all that better.

  3. March 21, 2006 at 20:21 | #3

    Where does one start with such arrogant insanity? The intolerance, bigotry and hatred has not changed since the fifth century, not that it didn’t start long before that.

    “…God can take him away.” No, your asshole friends and your asshole theocracy will murder a man for not being like they are.

    Their god works in self-serving clerical ways apparently. Too bad we can’t get the poor followers to believe in one less god.

  4. March 22, 2006 at 23:00 | #4

    Likely the international pressure, including from countries who have committed troops and massive amounts of financial support to Afghanistan, will force the Afghan government and courts to find a way out.  It appears Rahman may be declared mentally unfit to stand trial, saving life … and face.

  5. March 23, 2006 at 08:23 | #5

    Strange, now if the man had converted to devil worship I wonder if the outrage would have been the same.

  6. March 23, 2006 at 08:33 | #6

    It wouldn’t change anything for me – it’s the lack of freedom that ticks me off.  To mangle a metaphor, we led a lot of Afghan horses to the water of freedom, and they have apparently not taken so much as a sip.

    Sad that he would have to claim insanity just to survive, hardly an advertisement for their religion to be sure.

    Bo$$, can you provide current-century examples of Christian mistreatment of women as bad as that of theocratic Muslim countries?

  7. March 23, 2006 at 19:34 | #7

    Women weren’t even allowed to vote until the 20th century.

    Women can’t become priests like men can in the RCC.

    This isn’t as bad as the Muslim countries, but the principle is still there.

    CAPTCHA = ‘effort’

  8. March 23, 2006 at 20:29 | #8

    As BO$$‘s last comment infers, things are fluid/evolving, not static/concrete.  I work with a lot of sales reps (read: idiots) that, if I were the employment decision-maker, I would fire today.  But the truth is, progress/change is normally measured in increments and steps, not in leaps.  Darwin is instructive.

  9. March 23, 2006 at 20:38 | #9

    Some wise old fool once observed that progress advances in the back of a hearse.

  10. March 23, 2006 at 22:52 | #10

    This isn’t as bad as the Muslim countries, but the principle is still there.

    There is a thread that runs through both of them, yes; and I am not defending any discrimination.  But it is hardly an apt comparison.  The barbarity with which women are treated in Muslim theocracies is staggering to contemplate. 

    Strangely, it seems freedom arrives in damaged condition when delivered through bomb bay doors.

  11. March 23, 2006 at 22:56 | #11

    Strangely, it seems freedom arrives in damaged condition when delivered through bomb bay doors.

    It’s strange how great thoughts sometimes sound like bumper stickers.  Another such thought I really like is something like

    “There is no way to peace, peace IS the way.”

    How can one achieve an ultimate end by through a means that is the opposite of that goal?

  12. March 23, 2006 at 22:59 | #12

    How about “Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity!”

    But clearly there are times when peace can only be achieved by killing an agressor.  Those times are: when foresight has been dismissed as ‘elitism’, and as a consequence diplomacy has failed.

  13. March 24, 2006 at 11:42 | #13

    Why are christians upset about this?  The family and community are doing exactly what is set forth in Deuteronomy 21:18-21.

  14. March 24, 2006 at 11:56 | #14

    I have pondered this a little more. The country now has duly elected govenment and that govenment makes the laws. I don’t like the law but it is their law. Did the lawbreaker have knowledge of the law? That is not important, ask any judge in this country. He broke their law. He broadcast the fact that he broke their law. He had the freedom to keep his mouth shut, he had the freedom not to return to a country knowing the law would execute him. Not all democracys are going to be like ours, and we should not be dictating to other people how to create their own version of democracy. I think executing someone over a religious belief is stupid, but we exectuedd people for helping run away slaves in the past.  Its not right but then again it is.

  15. March 24, 2006 at 12:10 | #15

    Religions have many components, including cultural and textual.  In the case of Christianity, such textually-driven enforcement (common during the middle ages) have been largely superceded by more enlightened cultural forces.  By ‘enlightened’, I mean precisely the cultural enlightenment era that began right around Galileo’s time, picked up steam during the renaissance, and exploded during the industrial revolution.

    Some factions of Islam are stuck in the textually-driven eighth century and as a matter of fact I think only other Muslims can wrestle them out of it. 

    As a side-note, Wafa Sultan, the Arab psychologist who said on Al Jazeera that Islam is too violent and stuck in the 8th century, has received death threats.  Figures. 

    See transcript at:
    http://www.memritv.org/Transcript.asp?P1=1050

    Not all democracys are going to be like ours, and we should not be dictating to other people how to create their own version of democracy.

    Yep. They have the ‘right’ to their own laws and of course the convert apparently wants to become a martyr, which is his right.  Their government is ‘duly elected’ but I guess democracy and freedom are not synonymous. At great expense we rooted out Al-Queda (which we had to do) so they could elect themselves into another tyranny.

  16. March 24, 2006 at 12:23 | #16

    ” but I guess democracy and freedom are not synonymous.” No they are not and never are. Democrazy generally leads to a tyranny by the majority whether it is over material wealth where the democratic socialists loot those who have produced the wealth or a religion that murders non-blievers. I had rather live under a dictator than a democracy—at least I would know who I would have to shoot to maybe get some relief.

  17. March 24, 2006 at 12:35 | #17

    I’m sorry DOF but killing can never lead to peace.  The reason being is simple.  You kill person A who killed person B or a group of people, lets say people D through M.  Person C is pissed because he had a personal connection to Person A.  Does this lead to peace?  I know I can’t apply this to every situation, but essentially this is how violent actions perpetuate themselves.  Someone is killed because they are bad, and that pisses off another because they do not see our side of the story.  Why do you think terrorists we are fighting in Iraq keep showing up?

  18. March 24, 2006 at 12:40 | #18

    Websie, I’m a little curious as to what your response to 9/11 (or Pearl Harbor) would be.

  19. March 24, 2006 at 13:24 | #19

    If my memory of ancient history is at all functional, the phrase you may be looking for is “pax romanum”, often said cynically in reference to how peaceful a village can be when every living thing has been put to the sword.

  20. March 24, 2006 at 14:06 | #20

    Point well taken DOF, but I do not thinks it’s fair to peace activists to make that point.  Being a peaceful person myself and living and the US I can say that this country puts me in a catch-22.  If I stay true to my beliefs than I’m a wimpy liberal that wants terrorists to walk all over this country, if I say well I would go over to where they live and “mess ‘em up”, then I’m a pro-American, that truly loves my country, oh and by the way I’m also a hypocrite because I’m a peace activist.

    I did give your question some real thought though, and here’s what I have come up with.  What if our country never had any foreign policies that were not based off of greed, money, or power, that pissed off the rest of the world?  What if we had always been a peaceful loving nation that actually had good foreign policy?  Then you probably would not be asking me about 9-11, because that day would have been the same as any other day.

    To try to answer the question, if I was in charge, and everything had happened how it did, I would have went after Osama Bin Laden.  But you cannot start a war with no intention of finishing it, or with no intention of it leading to peace.  I would have went after Osama Bin Laden, and at the same time took a step out of my US government shell to look at our policies and to try to find out truly what caused the attacks.  If the world hates us and that is what caused the attacks, then the question becomes why do they hate us.  There is an answer as to why Al Qaeda attacked us on 9-11, and even though “They hate our freedoms” might be part of it, I can guarantee there is another reason, and our current government doesn’t give a crap about it.  If you want real answers, don’t waste your time with politicians.

    By the way, LOL Dale.

  21. March 25, 2006 at 13:59 | #21

    While there’s certainly room for examining and reexamining our policies, I’m not in the least convinced that even if we were paragons of virtue we would be proof from hatred and attack.  Heck, just looking at the story that started this thread indicates to me that there are some real whackos out there. 

    (There are some here, too, to be sure.)

  22. March 25, 2006 at 14:11 | #22

    I absolutely agree Dave, but you have to admit that it certainly minimizes the risk.  The point is not to be the agressor, and to show others that we are willing to be a peaceful nation.  Which is why I think the grassroots movement for a Department of Peace is a great idea.  By the way DOF, thanks for showing that to me.

  23. March 26, 2006 at 22:06 | #23

    Case dismissed, “Not enough evidence.”  Good outcome.

  24. March 28, 2006 at 08:06 | #24

    “Good outcome” – well, not exactly a blooming of enlightenment, unfortunately:

    AP: On Monday, hundreds of clerics, students and others chanting “Death to Christians!” marched through the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif to protest the court decision Sunday to dismiss the case. Several Muslim clerics threatened to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if he is freed, saying that he is clearly guilty of apostasy and deserves to die.

    “Abdul Rahman must be killed. Islam demands it,” said senior Cleric Faiez Mohammed, from the nearby northern city of Kunduz. “The Christian foreigners occupying Afghanistan are attacking our religion.”

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