by John Hawkins | March 22, 2006 9:15 am
Evangelist Charles Colson on the travesty of justice unfolding in Afghanistan:
Abdul Rahman is on trial for his life in a Kabul court. His crime? Converting to Christianity.
According to reports, Rahman converted to Christianity sixteen years ago while working for a Christian group that helped Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan. When he returned to Afghanistan in 2002, he tried to regain custody of his daughters from his parents. They referred the matter to the police, and his conversion came to the attention of Afghani authorities.
While the Taliban no longer rules the country, conversion from Islam to another religion, called apostasy, is still punishable by death. The prosecutor offered to drop the charges if Rahman converted back to Islam, but Rahman refused. According to the prosecutor, Rahman “said he was a Christian and would always remain one.”
That fidelity could cost Rahman his life if the judge decides that his “attack on Islam” meets the requirements of apostasy.
The irony is inescapable: This is the country that we rid of the Taliban because of its religious oppression. This is the country in which we have spent at least $70 billion to establish a free democratic government. This is the country whose freedom cost us three hundred American lives and eight hundred casualties. And this is the country that is preparing to execute a man for becoming a Christian after he witnessed other Christians caring for his countrymen.
Is this the fruit of democracy? Is this why we have shed American blood and invested American treasure to set a people free? What have we accomplished for overthrowing the Taliban? This is the kind of thing we would expect from the Taliban, not from President Karzai and his freely elected democratic government. (via Kathy Shaidle)
No one expected Afghanistan to become Amsterdam overnight, but this is a slap in the face to every member of the Canadian Forces risking his life to rid that blighted country of the last remnants of the Taliban. If the last remnants of the Taliban are still running the judicial system, with the full knowledge and consent of Hamid Karzai and his government, then serious questions are raised about what we’re doing there at all.
It’s not surprising to see Christians speaking out against the impending martyrdom of Abdul Rahman – and I have no hesitation about using the word “martyrdom,” since that brave man is risking no one’s life but his own – but this is a golden opportunity for “mainstream” Muslim groups to show us just how moderate they really are. And not surprisingly, they aren’t using it: there’s not a word about Rahman’s case on the websites for Cair, the Canadian Islamic Congress or the Muslim Council of Britain.
This content was used with the permission of Daimnation!
*** Update #1 ***: They must be feeling the heat in Afghanistan because it looks like they’re reaching for a face-saving out:
An Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity may be mentally unfit to stand trial, a state prosecutor said Wednesday.
Abdul Rahman, 41, has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country’s Islamic laws. His trial started last week and he confessed to becoming a Christian 16 years ago. If convicted, he could be executed.
But prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his mental fitness.
“We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn’t talk like a normal person,” he told The Associated Press.
Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Rahman would undergo a psychological examination.
“Doctors must examine him,” he said. “If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped.”
So they’ll probably rule that Rahman is crazy, they’ll drop the charges, and he’ll likely end up moving to Germany or some other civilized Western nation so that the radical Islamists don’t murder him in the street for the “crime” of converting from Islam to Christianity.
Even if that’s how it turns out, this is a disgraceful case that has undoubtedly destroyed a lot of goodwill Americans felt towards Afghanistan. Despite everything that America, a Christian nation, has done for Afghanistan, here they are getting ready to murder a man in cold blood for becoming a Christian. It’s sick, it’s sad, it’s wrong and these sort of depraved practices are part of the reason why so many people have come to believe that Islam is a backwards and bloody religion.
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