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Freedom of Thought and Religion

 
 
Reply Mon 20 Mar, 2006 10:08 am
Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity
Sunday, March 19, 2006

The defendant, Abdul Rahman, was arrested last month after his family went to the police and accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada told the Associated Press in an interview. Such a conversion would violate the country's Islamic laws.

Rahman, who is believed to be 41, was charged with rejecting Islam when his trial started last week, the judge said.

During the hearing, the defendant allegedly confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago when he was 25 and working as a medical aid worker for Afghan refugees in neighboring Pakistan, Mawlavezada said.

Afghanistan's constitution is based on Shariah law, which states that any Muslim who rejects their religion should be sentenced to death.

"We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law," the judge said. "It is an attack on Islam. ... The prosecutor is asking for the death penalty."

The prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, said the case was the first of its kind in Afghanistan.

He said that he had offered to drop the charges if Rahman changed his religion back to Islam, but the defendant refused.

Mawlavezada said he would rule on the case within two months.

Afghanistan is a deeply conservative society and 99 percent of its 28 million people are Muslim. The rest are mainly Hindus.

Fox News
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blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Mar, 2006 10:12 am
Why prefer one set of fairytales over the other? Might as well be condemning him to death for preferring Winnie the Pooh over Dr. Suess.
0 Replies
 
Doktor S
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Mar, 2006 04:39 pm
Further evidence that religion is a sort of mental illness.
0 Replies
 
mesquite
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Mar, 2006 04:44 pm
In another thread, a muslim apologist offered this.
muslim1 wrote:

Many reasons justify the death penalty as a punishment for apostasy:

1) This is the ruling of God (Allah) and His Messenger, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "Whoever changes his religion, kill him." (reported by al-Bukhaari, al-Fath, no. 3017).

2) The apostate is not to be killed without warning. Even though his crime is so great, he is given a last chance, a respite of three days in which to repent. If he repents, he will be left; if he does not repent, then he will be killed.

3) The one who has known the religion which God (Allah) revealed, entered it and practised it, then rejected it, despised it and left it, is a person who does not deserve to live on the earth of God (Allah) and eat from the provision of God (Allah).

4) By leaving Islam, the apostate opens the way for everyone who wants to leave the faith, thus spreading apostasy and encouraging it. Islam, the one true religion, is not like a shop or store which a person can enter when he wants and leave when he wants.

5) If the punishment for murder and espionage (also known as high treason) is death, then what should be the punishment for the one who disbelieves in the Lord of mankind and despises and rejects His religion? Is espionage or shedding blood worse than leaving the religion of the Lord of mankind and rejecting it?

6) None of those who bleat about personal freedom and freedom of belief would put up with a neighbor's child hitting their child or justify this as "personal freedom," so how can they justify leaving the true religion and rejecting the Sharee'ah which God (Allah) revealed to teach mankind about His unity and bring justice and fairness to all?

By Sheikh Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid

God (Allah) knows best.

Assalamo Alaykom.
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=1385934#1385934

Will the dark ages never end?
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Mar, 2006 04:49 pm
Mesquite wrote:
Will the dark ages never end?


I am convinced that the world is sliding on the slippery slope into another dark age. And I don't think that it is just happening in the middle east. It may be a matter of degree, but IMO, the irrationality of religion is gaining a large foothold even in some of the so called "western" nations.
0 Replies
 
mesquite
 
  1  
Reply Mon 20 Mar, 2006 04:51 pm
Yep, a lot of that goin on in alligator country.
0 Replies
 
InfraBlue
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Mar, 2006 03:06 am
Phoenix32890 wrote:
Mesquite wrote:
Will the dark ages never end?


I am convinced that the world is sliding on the slippery slope into another dark age.


But if history is any indicator, the ages after that oncoming dark age will truly be renascent, enlightened, etc., etc. . . .

The world seem to be cyclical.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Mar, 2006 03:55 am
blacksmithn wrote:
Might as well be condemning him to death for preferring Winnie the Pooh over Dr. Suess.
Poo is the only way, kill for poo!
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Mar, 2006 06:58 am
Chumly wrote:
blacksmithn wrote:
Might as well be condemning him to death for preferring Winnie the Pooh over Dr. Suess.
Poo is the only way, kill for poo!
No, heretic! Only the Doctor can show the way to true enlightenment! Death to infidel Pooh!
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Mar, 2006 07:10 am
blacksmithn wrote:
Chumly wrote:
blacksmithn wrote:
Might as well be condemning him to death for preferring Winnie the Pooh over Dr. Suess.
Poo is the only way, kill for poo!
No, heretic! Only the Doctor can show the way to true enlightenment! Death to infidel Pooh!


Yes, that's right THE Doctor (as in Doctor Who).
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Mar, 2006 08:30 am
Wolf_ODonnell wrote:
blacksmithn wrote:
Chumly wrote:
blacksmithn wrote:
Might as well be condemning him to death for preferring Winnie the Pooh over Dr. Suess.
Poo is the only way, kill for poo!
No, heretic! Only the Doctor can show the way to true enlightenment! Death to infidel Pooh!


Yes, that's right THE Doctor (as in Doctor Who).
Aggh! More heresy! I need to alert the Inquisition!
0 Replies
 
Wolf ODonnell
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Mar, 2006 08:40 am
blacksmithn wrote:
Wolf_ODonnell wrote:
Yes, that's right THE Doctor (as in Doctor Who).
Aggh! More heresy! I need to alert the Inquisition!


Hey! You can't report me! I didn't actually call him Doctor Who!
0 Replies
 
blacksmithn
 
  1  
Reply Tue 21 Mar, 2006 08:54 am
We'll just let the boys at the Inquisitor's Office sort things out. A good racking always gets to the truth of the matter.
0 Replies
 
Eorl
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Mar, 2006 09:01 pm
Oh, for the love of Christ-opher Robin !!

Interesting that 99% of Afhans are muslims. I wonder if the death penalty for NOT being a muslim helps to keep those figures up?
0 Replies
 
Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Mar, 2006 09:00 am
Top Muslim clerics: Convert must die
Religious leaders urge courts to ignore West, hang Christian


Friday, March 24, 2006; Posted: 12:24 a.m. EST (05:24 GMT)

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Senior Muslim clerics are demanding that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."

In an unusual move, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned President Hamid Karzai on Thursday seeking a "favorable resolution" of the case of Abdul Rahman. The 41-year-old former medical aid worker faces the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws for becoming a Christian.

His trial has fired passions in this conservative Muslim nation and highlighted a conflict of values between Afghanistan and its Western backers.

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001.

The trial, which began last week, has caused an international outcry. U.S. President George W. Bush has said he is "deeply troubled" by the case and expects Afghanistan to "honor the universal principle of freedom." (Watch how Rahman's case troubles the West -- 1:17)

Rice spokesman Sean McCormack said she told Karzai it is important for the Afghan people to know that freedom of religion is observed in their country.

Her direct appeal to a foreign leader in a judicial proceeding in their own country was unusual. But in deference to the country's sovereignty, Rice evidently did not demand specifically that the trial be halted and the defendant released.

"This is clearly an Afghan decision," McCormack said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters she had received assurances from Karzai in a telephone call that Rahman would not be sentenced to death.

Diplomats have said the Afghan government is searching for a way to drop the case. On Wednesday, authorities said Rahman is suspected of being mentally ill and would undergo psychological examinations to see whether he is fit to stand trial.

But three Sunni preachers and a Shiite one interviewed by The Associated Press in four of Kabul's most popular mosques said they do not believe Rahman is insane.

"He is not crazy. He went in front of the media and confessed to being a Christian," said Hamidullah, chief cleric at Haji Yacob Mosque. "The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed."

Raoulf, who is a member of the country's main Islamic organization, the Afghan Ulama Council, concurred. "The government is playing games. The people will not be fooled."

"Cut off his head!" he exclaimed, sitting in a courtyard outside Herati Mosque. "We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left."

He said the only way for Rahman to survive would be for him to go into exile.

But Said Mirhossain Nasri, the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul, said Rahman must not be allowed to leave the country.

"If he is allowed to live in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can, too," he said. "We must set an example. ... He must be hanged."

The clerics said they were angry with the United States and other countries for pushing for Rahman's freedom.

"We are a small country and we welcome the help the outside world is giving us. But please don't interfere in this issue," Nasri said. "We are Muslims and these are our beliefs. This is much more important to us than all the aid the world has given us."

Afghanistan's constitution is based on Sharia law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death.

Hamidullah warned that the government would lose the support of the people if it frees Rahman, and "there will be an uprising" like the one against Soviet occupying forces in the 1980s.

Human rights group Amnesty International said if Rahman has been detained solely for his religious beliefs, he would be a "prisoner of conscience" and that the charges should be dropped.

Rahman is believed to have lived in Germany for nine years after converting to Christianity while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He returned to Kabul in 2002.

It was not immediately clear when Rahman's trial would resume. Authorities have barred attempts by the AP to see him and he is not believed to have a lawyer.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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