CommunityPam's House Blend

Afghan faces death penalty for converting to Christianity

How’s that “bringing democracy to the Middle East” thing going, anyway?

KABUL, Afghanistan, March 20, 2006 — Despite the overthrow of the fundamentalist Taliban government and the presence of 22,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, a man who converted to Christianity is being prosecuted in Kabul, and a judge said Sunday that if convicted, he faces the death penalty.

On the bright side, at least he’ll get to meet Jesus earlier.

A number of Christian nonprofit groups do humanitarian work in Afghanistan. Dominic Nutt of Christian Aid calls the Rahman case a step backward for the country, especially if Rahman is executed.

Nutt, who has spent time in Afghanistan, tells ABC News “few practitioners are used to the concept of democracy and toleration … [many] are educated only in Islamic law.”

Hell, few Americans are familiar with democracy and toleration! I wonder how Dominic feels about gay marriage or women’s reproductive freedom?

The post-Taliban constitution recognizes Islam as Afghanistan’s religion, and decrees that Islam’s Sharia law applies when a case is not covered by specific legislation. The prosecutor says under Sharia law, Abdul Rahman must die.

The judge, however, holds hopes for a solution.

“We will ask him if he has changed his mind about being a Christian,” Mawlazezadah says. “If he has, we will forgive him, because Islam is a religion of tolerance.”

…and if he has not, then off with his head! There’s your Islamic tolerance for ya!

Rahman’s case contradicts Article 7 of Afghanistan’s constitution, which assures that “the state shall abide by … the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” That declaration states that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought … to change his religion or belief.”

Would that be that horrible document of secular humanism, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as Adam is always referring to in his Ten Commandments arguements?

However, the constitution also states that Islamic law takes precedence over secular law and international treaties. Furthermore, the supreme court of that country has the right to veto certain provisions and interpret compliance with such treaties.

One expert in Islamic law explains that Afghanistan’s penal code divides into two parts: the religious “huduud” dictated by the Koran and secular “ta’zir,” which is regulated by the state. Conversion to another religion is a crime under religious law, which takes precedence over the secular and more tolerant policy.

Well, there you have it, Christians. Live by the Crusade, die by the Crusade.

[Hat tip: AMERICAblog] and crossposted at Radical Writ by the will of Allah

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