Is this George Bush's Democracy in Afghanistan, Death sentence to christian convert??

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by mahram, Mar 24, 2006.

Is Democracy good or bad for the middleeast?

  1. good

    4 vote(s)
    36.4%
  2. bad

    7 vote(s)
    63.6%
  1. Im just wondering if this is what george bush, thinks democracy will bring to the middleeast. Already, in a democratic afghanistan, a man is being tried for converting to chritianity. This isnt the taliban, but a democratically elected government. Wow is creating democracy in the middle east grand.

    Top Muslim clerics: Convert must die
    Religious leaders urge courts to ignore West, hang Christian

    Friday, March 24, 2006; Posted: 12:24 a.m. EST (05:24 GMT)

    Television footage shows Abdul Rahman being interviewed last week during a hearing in Kabul.
    Image:


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    Testing the new Afghanistan (1:17)
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    • Democracy no guarantor of rights
    • Convert could face death
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    Manage Alerts | What Is This? KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Senior Muslim clerics are demanding that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."

    In an unusual move, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telephoned President Hamid Karzai on Thursday seeking a "favorable resolution" of the case of Abdul Rahman. The 41-year-old former medical aid worker faces the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws for becoming a Christian.

    His trial has fired passions in this conservative Muslim nation and highlighted a conflict of values between Afghanistan and its Western backers.

    "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 hard-line regime was ousted in 2001.

    The trial, which began last week, has caused an international outcry. U.S. President George W. Bush has said he is "deeply troubled" by the case and expects Afghanistan to "honor the universal principle of freedom." (Watch how Rahman's case troubles the West -- 1:17)

    Rice spokesman Sean McCormack said she told Karzai it is important for the Afghan people to know that freedom of religion is observed in their country.

    Her direct appeal to a foreign leader in a judicial proceeding in their own country was unusual. But in deference to the country's sovereignty, Rice evidently did not demand specifically that the trial be halted and the defendant released.

    "This is clearly an Afghan decision," McCormack said.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters she had received assurances from Karzai in a telephone call 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.

    But three Sunni preachers and a Shiite one interviewed by The Associated Press in four of Kabul's most popular mosques said they do not believe Rahman is insane.

    "He is not crazy. He went in front of the media and confessed to being a Christian," said Hamidullah, chief cleric at Haji Yacob Mosque. "The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed."

    Raoulf, who is a member of the country's main Islamic organization, the Afghan Ulama Council, concurred. "The government is playing games. The people will not be fooled."

    "Cut off his head!" he exclaimed, sitting in a courtyard outside Herati Mosque. "We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left."

    He said the only way for Rahman to survive would be for him to go into exile.

    But Said Mirhossain Nasri, the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul, said Rahman must not be allowed to leave the country.

    "If he is allowed to live in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can, too," he said. "We must set an example. ... He must be hanged."

    The clerics said they were angry with the United States and other countries for pushing for Rahman's freedom.

    "We are a small country and we welcome the help the outside world is giving us. But please don't interfere in this issue," Nasri said. "We are Muslims and these are our beliefs. This is much more important to us than all the aid the world has given us."

    Afghanistan's constitution is based on Sharia law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death.

    Hamidullah warned that the government would lose the support of the people if it frees Rahman, and "there will be an uprising" like the one against Soviet occupying forces in the 1980s.

    Human rights group Amnesty International said if Rahman has been detained solely for his religious beliefs, he would be a "prisoner of conscience" and that the charges should be dropped.

    Rahman is believed to have lived in Germany for nine years after converting to Christianity while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan. He returned to Kabul in 2002.

    It was not immediately clear when Rahman's trial would resume. Authorities have barred attempts by the AP to see him and he is not believed to have a lawyer.
     
  2. Anyone what Pat Robertson is saying about this? Am I going to wake up in the morning to find out that Pat had some crayons and paper on his show and drew the Prophet Mohammed with a bomb on his head? Pat's due for something stupid.
     
  3. Right, but why blame Bush instead of blaming Islam?

    It's Islam that is condemning this man to death, not Bush.

    Sure, Bush had clearly bought into the liberal fantasies that all people are really just liberals deep-down, underneath; they just need to be given a chance to prove it. Well, Afghanis were given just that chance, and they're proving they aren't really just liberals underneath. If the blame rests on anyone besides Islam itself, it rests on faulty liberal belief systems.
     
  4. Surely you know by now, everything is Bush's fault. Radical muslims attack innocent civilians - Bush's fault. Hurricane hits land - Bush's fault. I lost money in the market yesterday - Bush's fault. Riskarb has been banned - Bush's fault.
     
  5. but jz, bush claimed democracy was the answer. Thats why american troops are in the middleeast. Bringing democracy. Why are people dying in iraq for then. to me, it just sounds like bush brought in more hardline radicals, and kicked out others. Isnt democracy grand :D

     
  6. Well, he was clearly very foolish to think so. Obviously that's a very liberal idea, to think that everything in the world would be A-OK if only there was pervasive democracy.

    I'm just curious, is your angst all spent on Bush? Or does some part of you feel that some of it should be reserved for the brutal religion of Islam itself? Or would that require you to find something equally brutal in Christianity - you know, just to be fair and balanced - and you couldn't be bothered going through all that?
     
  7. Let's face it. Bush made a huge error by allowing two countries we had taken over, Afghanistan and Iraq, to purport to use islamic law. I say "purport" because in practice, it only applies to the poor, the weak and the non-elites. Like the wealthy hypocrites in Saudi Arabia with their booze, hookers and porn, they could care less what barbaric punishment is meted out in the name of islam to some day laborer or woman. The elites in these countries live by different rules, the judiciaries are subservient to the politicians and the clerics know exactly how far they can go without getting in trouble. If they wanted to resolve this, the government would arrest a half dozen of these clerics and that would be the end of it.

    If this guy is executed, the republicans can kiss the mid-term elections goodby. It's that simple.
     
  8. Would it, though?

    They seem awfully sure that if the state doesn't execute him, the people themselves will do the job. Would you bet against it?

    At some point, I think, we'll just have to accept that the "poor, weak and non-elites" are sincere in their Islamic beliefs. And Islam, whether we like it or not, makes quite clear that the punishment for apostasy is death, end of story.
     
  9. No, I don't accept that. I mean I accept that they claim that, but I don't accept that we put in place a government that allows it. These people understand one thing, force. Our whole approach has been wrong, and it may be too late to solve it now, in which case the Republicans are going to have to face the same fate as this guy. The idea that we wasted the lives of heroes like Pat Tillman to put in place a government that executes Christians is appalling.
     
  10. I'm not following you. You don't accept that Afghan Muslim masses are sincere in their beliefs, one of which is death to apostates?

    Again I don't follow. Isn't it clear that a government has been put into place that approves the killing of apostates? You know, such an event has taken place. What is there not to accept?

    Wasn't it all about 'democracy'? And isn't this democracy in action? The people are sincere Muslims, and they want to see Islamic law prevail. I don't see what there is to not accept.

    Or do you mean that it's intolerable that we'd allow such a regime to rule?

    Well, sure, we could have used force to enforce the liberal human rights that we had hoped democracy itself would bring (but tragically hasn't), but then we'd be installing authoritarian rule, not democracy.

    It's all rather confusing, because neocons have continually conflated 'democracy' with 'liberal values'. But the latter simply do not necessarily flow from the former. There's nothing undemocratic at all about executing apostates, if that's the will of the majority.

    Why has that happened, do you think? Isn't it reasonable to suppose it was caused by a complete misreading of Islam? The idea that, left to their own devices, Afghan people would show their true colours as the good little liberal democrats we knew they were?
     
    #10     Mar 24, 2006