Afghan Christian convert could be executed

This is a discussion on Afghan Christian convert could be executed within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapc...ian/index.html Afghan Christian convert could be executed Western nations outraged Muslims who convert can be put to death WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In the days of ...

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Thread: Afghan Christian convert could be executed

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    JT [OP]
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    Afghan Christian convert could be executed

    http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/asiapc...ian/index.html

    Afghan Christian convert could be executed
    Western nations outraged Muslims who convert can be put to death

    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 and is on trial for rejecting Islam. The Afghan constitution, which is based on Sharia, or Islamic law, says that apostates can receive the death penalty.

    "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." (Watch how this case is testing Afghanistan -- 1:17)

    He had been arrested after telling 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.

    He said he converted to Christianity 16 years ago after working with a Christian aid group that assisted refugees in neighboring Pakistan.

    Mentally unfit?
    On Wednesday a state prosecutor said Rahman may be mentally unfit to stand trial, The Associated Press reports.

    "We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person," The AP quoted prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari as saying.

    Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Rahman would undergo apsychological examination, according to the AP.

    "Doctors must examine him," the AP quoted Baluch as saying. "If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."

    When the examination or the trial would take place was not clear. The AP said authorities barred it from seeing Rahman and reported that he was believed to not have a lawyer.

    A Western diplomat in Kabul and a human rights advocate said the government was desperately searching for a way to drop the case because of the reaction it has caused, the AP reports. The news agency said both spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

    Afghanistan's population is 80 percent Sunni Muslim and 19 percent Shiite Muslim, according to the CIA. The rest of the population is classified as "other."

    U.S. objects to trial
    Rahman's case raises thorny issues between Afghanistan and its Western allies, and U.S. officials this week made certain that Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, who is in Washington for talks on the U.S.-Afghan strategic partnership, understood their qualms.

    "We have underscored also to Foreign Minister Abdullah that we believe that tolerance and freedom of worship are important elements of any democracy," U.S. State Department spokesman Scott McCormack told reporters Tuesday. "We urge the Afghan government to conduct any legal proceedings in a transparent and fair manner."

    Abdullah was supposed to talk to reporters Tuesday about talks for the strategic partnership. Instead, Abdullah was bombarded with questions about the Rahman case.

    "I know that it is a very sensitive issue and we know the concerns of the American people," Abdullah said, adding that the Afghan Embassy in Washington had received "hundreds of messages" on the issue.

    He further said that the Afghan government had nothing to do with the case.

    "But I hope that through our constitutional process, there will be a satisfactory result," he said.

    Constitution ambiguous
    Rahman's case illustrates a split over the interpretation of the Afghan constitution, which calls for religious freedom while stating that Muslims who reject Islam can be executed.

    Nicholas Burns, undersecretary for political affairs, said he understands the complexities of the case and promised the United States would respect Afghan sovereignty. However, he said, Afghans should be free to choose their own religion, and he believes the nation's constitution supports that.

    "We hope the Afghan constitution is going to be upheld," Burns said. "If he has the right of freedom of religion, that ought to be respected."

    Rahman's case could force Afghan President Hamid Karzai into the undesirable position of mediating the matter. Karzai has to placate an ever-restless populace in turbulent post-war Afghanistan, but at the same time, he needs Western assistance to stave off the remnants of the Taliban and al Qaeda.

    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.

    Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, wrote a letter to Karzai asking him to intervene and uphold "core democratic principles and fundamental human rights."

    "In a country where soldiers from all faiths, including Christianity, are dying in defense of your government, I find it outrageous that Mr. Rahman is being prosecuted and facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity," Lantos wrote.

    One German official promised to intervene if necessary. Another, Development Minister Heide Wieczorek-Zeul, said, "We will do everything possible to save the life of Abdul Rahman," according to Reuters.

    Canada echoed that sentiment, saying human rights in Afghanistan was a top priority and that "Canada will continue to encourage the Afghan government to adhere to its human rights obligations," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Pamela Greenwell told Reuters.

    CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    I dare not comment on this!!!
    Chris - P95
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    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Member Array soflasmg's Avatar
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    Why not?

    I say fire up the crusademobile!!

    Islam is a Satanic religion.
    The Marshmallowist

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    Why not?

    Quite simply my views would potentially ignite too much (probably rather non PC) arguments - and the board is not into deep religious discussions - they go south way too easily!

    All I will say is, I don't like the way they do things!!! (My restraint is amazing)
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    JT [OP]
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    Yeah, I didn't mean to open any religious arguments by posting it. I was outraged and needed to share my anger.

    Lesson here...by very thankful for all the freedoms we have here. From guns, to free speech, to religion.
    Blessed be the Lord my rock who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalm 144:1

    Si vis pacem, para bellum

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    No sweat JT - I am as outraged as you - just reckoning not to say much or open a huge can'o'worms
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

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    Member Array chiefs-special-guy's Avatar
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    well it is apparently okay to kill Christians, just not anybody else....
    Christ commanded us to proclaim the gospel to all nations, baptising them, etc..
    this is historically a dangerous job, to be sure.
    this does rather make it harder for the president to point to our success in fostering democracy in Afghanistan.... or human rights at any rate (I imagine most people in Afghanistan favor executing apostates, so that may be the "democratic" outcome).
    I wish we could come to see that "spreading democracy" or whatever the slogan is is not a valid foreign policy goal- it is a good thing, but we cannot really "give" freedom to others- they need to get it themselves, pay the price. the goal of our foreign policy is or should be the protection of the US. i thought that is what conservative meant.
    God Bless this guy in Afghanistan.
    Six for sure...Uh, I mean Five. Five for sure..

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    I'm closing this thread as a preemptive strike against a likely impending forum rules violation. It's already sort of borderline.
    Folks will still be able to read what has been written here thus far but, there are many other Internet web forums far more suitable to discuss the topic of Islam VS Christianity than CombatCarry.com.

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