Afghan Clerics, in Friday Prayers, Call for Convert's Execution

by Elsewhere 1 Replies latest jw friends

  • Elsewhere

    JH ran out of his thread limit for today and asked me to post this news article for him...

    Here are his comments:

    This article is about someone living in Afghanistan, wanting to convert to Christianity. They want to put him to death because of that.

    This sounds hard to believe, but don't the JW'S DO THE SAME, when one decides that he is fed up with the JW religion and wants to change. Don't they shun him and wished he was dead? If only the JW's could be pointed out the same way these extremists are being shown here in this article.

    March 24, 2006

    Afghan Clerics, in Friday Prayers, Call for Convert's Execution


    KABUL, Afghanistan, March 24 — Afghan clerics used Friday Prayers at mosques across the capital to call for death for an Afghan man who converted to Christianity, despite widespread protest in the West.

    As the international pressure on Afghanistan grew, the clerics demanded the execution of the Afghan, Abdul Rahman 41, if he does not convert back to Islam. His conversion 15 years ago was brought to the attention of Afghan authorities as part of a child custody dispute.

    The Bush administration and European governments have strongly protested the case as a violation of religious freedom.

    In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reminded a questioner that she has already conveyed the concerns of the United States to Kabul "in the strongest possible terms" and that "we look to a favorable resolution of this case."

    "It is a young democracy — I think that's worth saying — but it is a democracy," Ms. Rice said in a question-and-answer session with Mexico's foreign minister, Luis Derbez. "And that is very different than had we had this case come up in the context of the rule of the Taliban."

    Mr. Rahman's case has drawn such a strong reaction in Afghanistan because many hard-line clerics believe there is no greater offense than apostasy.

    One speaker, Mawlavi Habibullah, told more than a thousand clerics and young people who had gathered in Kabul that "Afghanistan does not have any obligation under international laws."

    "The prophet says when somebody changes religion, he must be killed" he said.

    He and others demanded that the country's political leaders and judges resist international pressure over the case, placing them squarely at odds with President Hamid Karzai, who has promised to bring democracy to Afghanistan.

    Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany told reporters today that she had received assurances from Mr. Karzai in a telephone call that Mr. Rahman would not be sentenced to death, The Associated Press reported.

    The case has exposed the contradictions within Afghanistan's constitution, which promises freedom of religion on the one hand, and on the other declares Islam supreme. Secretary Rice acknowledged that problem today, when she observed that "Afghanistan is in its evolutionary state as a democratic state and will have to work to resolve these contradictions as they move forward," she said. "But we've been very clear. The freedom of religion is a fundamental principle of democracy."

    Shiekh Asif Muhsini, a Shiite cleric, emphasized that the constitution says, "No law can contradict Islam and the values of the constitution."

    The case had fueled feelings among many here of a sense of assault against Islam worldwide, coming after widely publicized cases involving the desecration of the Koran in Guantánamo Bay in 2004 by American soldiers interrogating prisoners and, more recently, cartoons published in Europe of the Prophet Muhammad.

    Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Niyazi, an Egyptian educated in Islamic law, who attended one of the gatherings today, said, "There have been serial attacks on the Islamic world recently, starting with insulting the Holy Koran Quran, insulting the prophet of Islam, and now converting to Christianity by an Afghan."

    Dr. Niyazi objected to warnings from Italian leaders, who threatened to protest the case by withdrawing from Afghanistan the forces who are part of an international security force here.

    "Do your troops come to Afghanistan to incite apostasy?" Dr. Niyazi said. "We thought your troops were here for security."

    David Stout contributed reporting from Washington for this article.

  • poppers

    Even if the government decides not to execute him I bet it will be only a matter of days or hours before someone kills him.

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