There are a lot of people writing about Abdul Rahman, that man who can be another martyr in the 21st century. A man that, knowing what was going to happen to him, acknowledge his faith in Christ. A man whose own family denounced to a Shari’a tribunal for the very grave crime of converting to Christianity. I have written yet on the subject, but there are more news, and as a result I am going to make a summary of the posts I have read throughout the blogosphere, underlining that the difference between the cartoons and this case is that in here the life of a peaceful, valuable and good human being can be destroyed because of the intolerance of a country and its President Hamid Karzai, who has decided not to intervene to save his life.
Having said that, it’s reconforting to me that in a moment where we have so many self-interests and when so much people tend to hide what they really are to satisfy the political correctness, there are people as this man that has everything to lose, he keeps himself firm, as Pastorius notes:
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.
So simple, and serene and yet so important and brave. You can see the video in which he says that here.
Among the Governments, possibly the Italian Governemnt has taken the hardest position of all. We can see it in the Italian Blogosphere. For example, Libero Pensiero is commenting an article appeared in the Italian Newspaper Il Corriere della Sera, in which a paragraph at least is very important:
Con i Talebani non si sarebbe saputo niente (anzi, qualcuno avrebbe detto “sono i loro usi, Abdul lo sapeva e non doveva convertirsi o comunque non doveva dichiararlo”), non si sarebbe potuto protestare più di tanto (i Talebani non erano molto aperti ai consigli altrui) e, soprattutto, avrebbero fatto come volevano (vedi statue dei Buddha, distrutte nonostante e richieste dell’Onu).
Translation: With the Talebans this case would not have been known (or if it has been the case, they would have said, “these are our uses, Abdul knew it and he shuold not have converted, and do not talk more about this issue), there would have never been so much protests (the Talibans were not very open to discussion) and, above all, they would have acted as they wanted (just remember the Buddha statutes, destroyed, without taking into account the demands from ONU).
Even if what he says is true, there is something to be underlined: democracy is something that it’s based totally in the freedoms of each individual (all the XXth century dictatorships were specialists in reducing individual freedoms, whether that was because they were only owned by the State -as in the socialists and communists countries- or by the Nation -in the nationalistic, fascists and Nazi regimes-) and as a result in the Human Rights, that cannot be divided apart from them. So in this case, we are facing a clear lack of both, no freedom, no rights, and no proportion between the “deed” -I cannot name it a crime, whatever Mohammed claimed God has revealed him 1.400 years ago- and the punishment.
Wellington also writes about this subject, in a post titled “save the apostate“. Precisely this is the subject of his post:
Togliere i Talebani dal potere è stato solo il primo passo, e lo sapevamo tutti (almeno quelli di noi dotati di un’intelligenza minima). Nessuno poteva lontanamente pensare che l’Afghanistan si sarebbe trasformato di colpo in una democrazia jeffersoniana.
Translation:To throw out the Talibans from power was only the first step, and we all new it (at least, people with a minimum intelligence rate). No one could think that Afghanistan was going to be transformed suddely in a jeffersonian democracy.
While what he says is totally true we have to ask clearly, what are the rules nowadays in Afghanistan? How on earth in a democracy can Shari’a be The Rule if it’s opposed to all Human Rights and Freedoms? One thing is that socially at first, democracy could not fit very well, BUT we are talking here of the President of the Republic AND the Judge.
The Religious Policeman is one of my preferred Muslim bloggers. He is a free soul and really points to the target in every post he writes. Although he normally only writes about Saudi Arabia, he has written about this issue (read all, here only an excerpt):
His estranged family denounced him in a custody dispute over his two children.
Afghanistan’s post-Taleban constitution is based on Sharia law, and prosecutors in the case says this means Abdul Rahman….should be put to death.
Here’s a picture of the judge holding the incriminating evidence, a Bible. But he’s a humane man. And he regards Islam, just as Prince Alwaleed told us yesterday, as….
Islam….a religion of moderation and tolerance
….so he has a special message of moderation and tolerance for the accused man.
Trial judge Ansarullah Mawlazezadah told the BBC that Mr Rahman, 41, would be asked to reconsider his conversion….”We will invite him again because the religion of Islam is one of tolerance. We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him,”
Mmmmm, can’t you just feel the Brotherly Love? Doesn’t it just wrap its warm arms around you? Doesn’t it make you feel so good about the Human Race?
We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him.
If not, we’ll chop his friggin’ head off.
Scratch one Christian.
I had always thought that Mohammed Karzai was one of the Good Guys, but the BBC informs us that
Mr Karzai’s office says the president will not intervene in the case.
If that’s the case, why waste lives and money on a multinational force to go in there in the first place? Instead, couldn’t we just pay the billions of dollars into their bank accounts, and let them practice their “moderation and tolerance” all by themselves?
Yes, that is the Golden Question. Why? Why on earth the International force who had “overthrowned” the Talibans let the Shari’a be law in Afghanistan?
The Catholic News Agency questions if the world is doing enough:
Mollie Zeigler, a writer for the website GetReligion, wondered today if the world body, particularly the U.S., was doing enough to see Rahman freed.
Many countries, she wrote, “seem to be officially condemning the action more than US officials have thus far. German and Italian officials have condemned the human rights violation but at press time, the only words from America’s executive branch came from the third-highest senior official at the State Department.”
Nicholas Burns, the diplomat in question said yesterday that “We hope that the Afghan constitution is going to be upheld and in our view, if it’s upheld, then of course he’ll be found to be innocent.”
The problem is not the result of the process -grave as it could be- BUT the PROCESS in itself. Religion is, as a matter of fact, a PERSONAL decision, so related with real Freedoms and Human Rights that this thing should never had begun nor be stated as a punishable crime by law.
BUT looks like some Muslims still believe Shari’a should be law. Reading yesterday The Big Pharaoh blog, there was a very interesting post over the reactions this process has arisen in Internet.
In Eurabian News, AMDG has written about the explanations the Italian Ambassador has asked to the Afghan Government. (link in Spanish)
Where are Hollywood and the Glitterati? Where are Barbara Streisand? Where is Cindy Sheehan? George Clooney? Sean Penn? All the rest of the intellectual elite of the entertainment world who think it their inherent right to instruct the rest of us on the virtues of tolerating everything from porn to persecution? Everything except the simple faith of one Christian man standing by himself in a Muslim nation.
Do not worry: in Spain, for what I know, no prominent “intelectual” has said anyhing about this matter, although everyday we have them in the MSM speaking about Iraq.
There has been very surprising and curious things, though: von Schlichtningen writes about it in IBA:
The government must act on this issue and show that Denmark is at the forefront in the fight for human rights and an international community of law. That is why we are in Afghanistan. If necessary the Danish troops in the country must liberate Abdul Rahman, and Denmark should offer him asylum. This matter underlines the necessity of fighting Sharia law, wherever you find it«, says political spokesman on foreign affairs, Naser Khader, of the “Radikale Venstre” party (left to center wing).
»I could not care less about the country’s laws and rules. In a certain manner we are an authority in Afghanistan, and the President must avoid an execution, or we promise trouble. If not the Americans, English and Danes were in the country, President Hamid Karzai would within 5 minutes lie maltreated by a road side. I have no doubts he knows what this is about, and he has no choice but to obey orders from the allies on this issue«, says political spokesman on foreign affairs, Søren Espersen.
Head of “Socialistisk Folkeparti” (socialists), Villy Søvndal, condemns the trial against Abdul Rahman and has stated in a letter to foreign minister, Per Stig Møller (conservatives), that if the execution is fulfilled Denmark should withdraw its military forces from the country.
“Venstre” (right wing liberals, the main government party) desires to see how the matter develops, before the party will decide whether the Danish soldiers shall stay in Afghanistan.
The curious thing is, as von Schlichtningen notes that the ones who are asking for a military intervention are SOCIALISTS.
There is no Spanish answer to this case, though, even when Mr. Zapatero signed a letter with Mr Erdoga, Turkish President, for the International Herald Tirbune condemning the violence derived from the cartoons BUT speaking about the respect between religions and the need to reduce the freedom of the press, bla, bla. In fact, there is very little informations.
AS I have finished the post, I see that Bush has made a statement:
I’m troubled when I hear, deeply troubled when I hear, the fact that a person who has converted away from Islam may be held to account. That’s not the universal application of the values that I talked about. I look forward to working with the government of that country to make sure that people are protected in their capacity to worship.
I really do not think that letting the Shari’a being the Rule of the country was really a good idea.
But there is a big problem… folks who become believers in Jesus Christ are not insane. The insanity is with those whose religion sends their children as suicide bombers to kill and maim women and children. The insanity is those whose religion only keeps its adherents by force and fear and terror.
President Karzai, it is time to admit you are wrong. Killing people because they believe different from you is not only morally wrong it is also a violation of your own constitution. Sir, your judge is unqualified to hold his position. His thinking and action are archaic and barbaric. Hiding behind some face saving “insanity” rendering is ludicrous. You may think it will look good, but the reality is the world will see right through it.