Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Speak Up for a Christian Brother in Afghanistan

Abdul Rahman is the Muslim-born man facing the death penalty in Afghanistan for converting to Christianity. Michelle Malkin has posted emails she received from readers who contacted the Afghan embassy. Here's an excerpt from one:

You and everybody else can do something by calling the Afghan embassy - here is the phone number (202) 483-6410, please post it on your site; be polite but let them know that if Rahman is not freed and his life secured then this will be the end of your, the caller's, support for U.S. involvment with Afghanistan and you the caller will do everything possible to bring the end of this support about.

I followed this reader's advice a few minutes ago and urge you to do the same. After stating the nature of my call I was transferred to the voice mail of the media relations person.

Michelle also posted this link to a video of Abdul along with the following translation excerpt:

Abdul was taken into custody and a court case has followed. The story hit public TV on Thursday, March 16. The newscaster stated that an Afghan citizen by the name of Abdul Rahman converted to the Christian religion 16 years ago.

He was questioned, "Do you confess that you have apostacized from Islam?"

He responded, "No, I am not an apostate, I believe in God."

Question: "Do you believe in the Koran?"

Response: "I believe in the Injil (New Testament) and love Jesus Christ.

Today the AP is reporting that Abdul may be judged unfit for trial due to mental illness. An advisor to President Karzai is quoted as saying, "Doctors must examine him. If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."

I suspect this is just the government's way of trying to placate everyone. Dismissing the case on the grounds of mental illness would appease the international community, secure Afghanistan's support from the U.S., and assure Muslims that their law was not being violated. But this doesn't fully settle the issue. In the event that Rhaman is ruled "mentally incompetent" will he face a life of imprisonment in the name of treatment?

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