Saturday, March 25, 2006

Afghan Convert: Fight for Freedom or Crusade for Christianity

Saving the Life of Abdul Rahman,
Fight for Freedom or Crusade for Christianity

by Mahmood Ketabchi
March 24, 2006

The case of Abdul Rahman, a 41 year old Afghani man, who converted to Christianity, is getting a lot of international attention and media coverage. Mr. Rahman, who used to be a Muslim, is being tried for apostasy. Under Islamic Sharia Law that dominates the Afgahni Constitution and judiciary, Mr. Rahman faces the death penalty. An Afghan cleric has compared him to “a germ” and urged that he be killed.

What is quite bizarre is that an institution designed to defend the human rights of Afghani people, the government-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has also called for Rahman to be punished. Only in a US made democracy such an oddity can occur.

The US government and western powers that have built what they call an “Afghani democracy” have expressed their grave concern over the fate of Mr. Rahman and are pressuring the government of Hamid Karzai to drop the case against him. As a result of the international pressure, the Afghani convert might be saved from execution on the basis of “insanity.” The prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about his “mental fitness.” "We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person," Zamari said.

Mr. Rahman’s life might very well be saved, not because it is his choice to switch from one religion to another, but because he is an insane man for converting from Islam to Christianity. In other words, only mad people go from Islam to Christianity!!!

Mr. Rahman’s religious freedom has to be respected. As he said, he is not an insane person, and he made a choice to become a Christian. Nonetheless, it is questionable to see how the US and the western governments are raising such a great commotion over Mr. Rahman’s religious rights. This is an outright hypocrisy. It looks like more of a crusade for Christianity than a sincere concern with freedom. The Islamic government of Afghanistan is committing crimes on a daily basis against the Afghani people and in particular against women.

For Example, just a few months ago, a women’s magazine was shutdown by the government and its editor sentenced to two years in prison. Why didn’t George Bush, this great fighter for democracy, call Hamid Karzai and express his concern over the women’s publication and the fate of the editor? Why don’t we see these hypocrites get so excited and all hyped up about the dire situation of women in Afghanistan, a country in which women are considered subhuman and Islamic gender apartheid rules? Not only don’t they get upset—they actually hail the great “progress” that women are supposedly making there!

What a great democracy the US and the western governments have built in Afghanistan! They cannot do any better. The world can’t wait to see Bush regime gone and his democracies replaced with societies where respect for human life, freedom, and equality becomes the number one priority.

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