America's #1 Balance Bike Destination

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22 March 2006

Afghanistan: Your Regression Is a Real Buzz-Kill: Christian Convert May Face Death Penalty

Death could await Christian convert
U.S. lawmaker: Christian-conversion prosecution 'outrageous'
Tuesday, March 21, 2006; Posted: 10:31 p.m. EST (03:31 GMT) WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the days of the Taliban, those promoting Christianity in Afghanistan could be arrested and those converting from Islam could be tortured and publicly executed. That was supposed to change after U.S.-led forces ousted the oppressive, fundamentalist regime, but the case of 41-year-old Abdul Rahman has many Western nations wondering if Afghanistan is regressing.
Rahman, a father of two, was arrested last week and is now awaiting trial for rejecting Islam. He told local police, whom he approached on an unrelated matter, that he had converted to Christianity. Reports say he was carrying a Bible at the time.
"They want to sentence me to death, and I accept it," Rahman told reporters last week, "but I am not a deserter and not an infidel."
The Afghan constitution, which is based on Sharia, or Islamic law, says that apostates can receive the death penalty. (
Watch how Rahman's case could cast doubts on Afghanistan's commitment to democracy -- 1:17)

Allies indignant
The U.S. has 23,000 troops in the country; Germany has 2,700. Canada has 2,300 stationed there, and Italy has 1,775, according to Reuters.
All four nations have expressed displeasure over the situation, some even saying that it is intolerable that soldiers of all faiths die to protect a country threatening to kill its own for converting to Christianity.
Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga wrote a letter to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, urging him to withdraw Italian troops from Afghanistan unless Kabul guarantees Rahman's safety, Reuters reported.
"It is not acceptable that our soldiers should put themselves at risk or even sacrifice their lives for a fundamentalist, illiberal regime," Cossiga wrote.


I heard this on NPR on the drive home after work, and boy did it grind my gears. I want to fly over there and crack skulls. The fact that this little blurb about the death penalty for rejectors of Islam, made it into the Afghan constitution, is astonishing and sad. After all of the death, destruction, crippling, maiming, widows and orphans created by decades of fighting, it was believed that the quality if life in Afghanistan was on the up and up. What repulsive thinking on the part of Afghani lawmakers. What a myopic view of the world. Okay I'm a little behind the curve here, and admit that I didn't know that the Afghan constitution was based upon Sharia Law. What a waste! Newsflash- Afghanistan had the chance to be an emerging democracy, and Islamic Law is the reason why it remains a third world back-water country. Once a pickle, always a pickle, I guess. -AT


The Infidel said...

It must have made sense to the government, I guess. They probably thought that a combination of democracy and Islamic law would equate to an Islamic democracy... Now that's a contradiction in terms if I ever heard one....
Good post, Murat. You beat me to it...

Murat Altinbasak said...

This morning we discover that the poor chap is considered a mental case, and thusly immune to any charges.

What turns my crank is that "nation-building" is using the incorrect or defective "raw materials". Including Islamic Law in the bill of materials is like using insect damaged wood for floor joists. Sometimes I wish Afghanistan had a Musharraf of it's own, right or wrong, to control the fundamentalists. The moral of this story is that you don't need be a Taliban to be a fundamentalist. They come in all flavors.

metin said...

Is this a conspiracy by the so-called 'Democratization of the Middle East' forces.

First, warmup the potential victim nation and show them in good light to the American people as progressive clients with a proud and self-serving 'see what we have done' attitude.

Then, allow them to freely inject their ridiculous anti-democratic and inciteful fundamentalistic signature on matters of close scrutiny.

Finally, now that we have everyone's attention, expose them for who they still really are: Barbaric, anti-semitic, and 'fundamentalist' wolves in sheep's clothing.

Before we rush to 'democratize' these people, shouldn't we at least perform some 'rocket science,' and possibly a few 'brain transplants,' possibly with some donors from the school of 'true libertarianism.'

Disclaimer: Libertarianism is being misrepresented by both conservatives and liberals nowadays. But the truth will soon set them (& us) free!

Left of Center said...

I found the story to be disturbing, as well as the "fundemental" underlying reasons for it.

Anonymous said...

The neo-cons apparently never considered that free Muslim people might democratically elect radicals. Or, that Islam, by its very nature, is both religious and political.

Christians fare very badly in Muslim countries around the world. Ironically, they did OK under Saddam because he had such a strong grip on the country. Now, they are being terrorized.

Read "From the Holy Mountain" if you want to learn more about the plight of Christians in Islamic countries. Sadly, Turkey's record isn’t so good.