By Claus Christian MalzahnA few caricatures in a Danish newspaper caused bloody riots in the Muslim world. But now an Afghan man has been sentenced to death for converting to Christianity. Afghanistan has told the West it should mind its own business. Come again?
The response to Western criticism of the Kabul verdict is being dismissed as a case of foreigners “meddling” in Afghanistan’s “domestic affairs.” This means it’s high time to send a clearer message. It’s not just about Abdul Rahman, who has chosen to become a Christian for reasons that are no one’s business but his own. It’s also about the women locked away in Afghan prisons for having been accused of adultery. It’s about female students who can’t walk down the street by themselves because a few male illiterates might get it into their heads to attack them. And it’s about the many hundreds of thousands of Afghan women forced to live their lives behind walls –without access to education, without the right to happiness.�There is a good chance that President Hamid Karzai will pardon Abdul Rahman, as he has many of the imprisoned women, who are often convicted on bogus adultery charges made up by men who simply want to get�rid of them. But this is not about mercy; it’s about basic human�rights. The West should insist on nothing less.
I have not commented on the Abdul Rachman case, because I strongly believe that it is not our business to interfere in the internal politics of another country. Yes, we helped form the government in Afghanistan and Iraq, but once that government is formed, the Afghanis and Iraqis have to determine the direction that government takes. It is not our business if they kill someone for converting to Christianity, or abuse their women; we can condemn it, and dislike the Afghanis, and refuse to trade with them, because we find their policies objectionable, but they have the right to tell us to go to hell, anyway.
We are in Afghanistan for our own purposes, to ensure that Afghanistan does not become, again, a base for terrorists. To do this, we have to fight the Taliban, because the Taliban once did harbor terrorists in Afghanistan. That is why we are there, and as long as the government of Afghanistan is stable, that is our concern. I would be glad if Rachman were freed, but will not come down in opposition to the Afghani position.
Some other points of view:
…Under the interpretation of Islamic Sharia law on which Afghanistan’s constitution is based, Mr Rahman faces the death penalty unless he reconverts to Islam.
Please, BBC, give us another interpretation. All the schools of Islamic jurisprudence agree on this issue.
“The Prophet Muhammad has said several times that those who convert from Islam should be killed if they refuse to come back,” says Ansarullah Mawlafizada, the trial judge.”Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, kindness and integrity. That is why we have told him if he regrets what he did, then we will forgive him,” he told the BBC News website….
From Reuters, with thanks to all who sent this in:
KABUL (Reuters) – Afghanistan faced growing international pressure to resolve the case of a man who could face the death penalty for converting to Christianity, but many Afghans said he should be put on trial and punished.The controversy over the man who gave up Islam threatens to drive a wedge between Afghanistan and Western countries that are ensuring its security and bankrolling its development….
Death is the punishment stipulated by sharia, or Islamic law, for apostasy. The Afghan legal system is based on a mix of civil and sharia law.
The case has sparked an outcry in North America and Europe but the clamor appeared to be only hardening the position of some Afghans.