2006/03/23

Muslim clerics demand execution of Christian

A few days ago I posted on the story of Abdul Rahman, an Afghan man who converted from Islam to Christianity, who is on trial in Kabul and faces a sentence of death.
Since then there have been several interventions from Western leaders with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, including one by PM Harper. Karzai has left them with the impression that Rahman would not be sentenced to death.

Diplomats have said the Afghan government is searching for a way to drop the case. On Wednesday, authorities said Rahman is suspected of being mentally ill and would undergo psychological examinations to see whether he is fit to stand trial.

Meanwhile senior Muslim clerics in Kabul demanded Thursday that Rahman be executed, warning that if the government caves in to international pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces." CTV.ca
"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die,'' said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hardline regime was ousted in 2001.

Said Mirhossain Nasri, the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul, said: "We are a small country and we welcome the help the outside world is giving us. But please don't interfere in this issue. We are Muslims and these are our beliefs. This is much more important to us than all the aid the world has given us."

Another cleric warned that if the government frees Rahman, "there will be an uprising" like one against Soviet occupying forces in the 1980s.

This case raises important questions about the fragilty of the new government in Afghanistan and what exactly it is that western troops are fighting to defend.

1 comment:

Billy Byrne said...

If the trial and execution of this man proceeds, Canadian troops should be withdrawn from Afghanistan immediately. What is it we are fighting for? The imposition of Muslim law on those who do not wish it? I think not.