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Abdul Rahman Is Screwed

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When we liberated Afghanistan, the hope was the new leadership would create a democracy where personal freedoms were respected. And true, their Constitution guarantees religious freedoms, but their judical system doesn’t seem to be respecting that. And in the case of Abdul Rahman, the Muslim who coverted to Christianity and now faces the death penalty, this just shows that the Islamic state that Afghanistan has set up is unforgiving and quite possibly broken. I mean, aren’t these Taliban tactics?

From the NY Times:

KABUL, Afghanistan, March 23 � Despite growing international concern, the judge presiding over the prosecution of an Afghan man facing the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity said today that international pressure would not affect his rulings in the case.

Ansarullah Mawlavi Zada, the head of the public security tribunal here in the Afghan capital, said he had received no international pressure to date, but vowed to resist it.

“There is no direct pressure on our court so far, but if it happens we will consider it as an interference,” said Mr. Zada. He added that he expects to rule in the case in the next several days.

I certainly hope that the judge rules in Rahman’s favor, but if Islamic law has dictated that this guy is subject to death for his religious beliefs, I don’t like his chances. Please illuminate me if Islamic law doesn’t state this.

Here’s more on why Rahman’s chances may not be good…

Prosecutors have described Mr. Rahman as a “microbe” and said conversion is illegal under Islamic law. Conservative Afghan religious leaders dominate the country’s courts and prosecutorial offices, but Afghanistan’s American-backed constitution guarantees freedom of religion.

The case illustrates the continued tensions between President Karzai, an American-backed religious moderate, and religious hardliners who dominate the country’s courts. Over the last several years conservative judges have threatened to close Afghan television stations that aired material they deemed indecent and charged journalists with publishing material they declared blasphemous.

Listen, Afghanistan is better off without the Taliban, but if a guy can be executed for converting to another religion, then the Islamic state is broken and our strategy on spreading freedom throughout the Islamic world has a fatal flaw, does it not?

Of course…what’s the alternative? And how can we fix this?