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Afghan convert freed from prison

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Afghan convert freed from prison

An Afghan man who faced the death penalty for converting to Christianity has been freed from prison in Kabul.

 

Mr Rahman, a Christian for 16 years, was charged with rejecting Islam but his case was dismissed because of gaps in evidence, Afghan officials said.

UN officials are meeting in Kabul to discuss Mr Rahman's plea for asylum in another country.

 

 

A UN spokesman said he expected asylum would be granted by a country "interested in a peaceful solution".

 

 

Mr Rahman, who was held in Kabul's main Pul-e-Charki prison, has been freed, Afghanistan's deputy attorney general Mohammed Ishaq Aloko told the BBC.

 

 

He said Mr Rahman will undergo some medical tests to confirm that he is unfit for trial.

 

Execution call

 

 

UN spokesman Adrian Edwards said the organisation was working with the Afghan government to solve the asylum issue.

 

 

 

 

Mr Rahman was arrested about two weeks ago and under Afghanistan's Sharia legal system could have faced execution if he had refused to renounce Christianity.

 

'Disturbed'

 

 

There was also been anger in many of Afghanistan's Western allies at the treatment of Mr Rahman.

 

 

 

 

The US, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy and Sweden were among those demanding Afghanistan respect international laws on freedom of religion and human rights.

 

 

The two arguments have created great difficulties for the Afghan government and the country's President Hamid Karzai.

 

 

Mr Rahman's family had asked the Supreme Court to dismiss the case against him, saying he suffered from mental illness.

 

 

Judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada told the BBC there was considerable doubt that Mr Rahman was fit to stand trial.

 

 

According to Judge Mawlavizada, Mr Rahman appeared "disturbed".

 

 

The judge also said it was not clear if the accused was really an Afghan or a citizen of another country.

 

 

Several hundred people protested on Monday against the case's dismissal.

Mr Rahman has lived outside Afghanistan for 16 years and is believed to have converted to Christianity during a stay in Germany.

 

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/south_asia/4851666.stm

 

Published: 2006/03/28 05:30:08 GMT

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I'm glad they finally let him free from the prison. We went into Afghanistan to try and make them better. And yet, if people want to change their religious beliefs and convert to another religion, the will be put to death. That's a bit harsh.

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The apostasy laws in Islamic legal tradition vary greatly and are often said to pertain more to "treason" and "sedition" than a spiritual choice. I can explain this in more detail if anyone wants.

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The apostasy laws in Islamic legal tradition vary greatly and are often said to pertain more to "treason" and "sedition" than a spiritual choice. I can explain this in more detail if anyone wants.

 

From what i've heard about this, is it because the apostasy laws were written in a time of an explicitly islamic government, so that converting away from islam would be akin to treaso?

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From what i've heard about this, is it because the apostasy laws were written in a time of an explicitly islamic government, so that converting away from islam would be akin to treaso?

 

Somewhat. Back in the day, when Islam was young and enemies abound, those who didn't want to see their idols dethroned in the city of Mecca and those who felt intimidated that God would send a prophet from Ishmael's pedigree (especially in the post-Jesus world) tried to do anything to damage or destroy the small community of believers. They made alliances, attempted to assassinate the Prophet Muhammad (numerous times), waged battle, slandered galore, and other tricks to do the deed. There were hypocrites among "the believers"; they would be Muslim by day and plotting maniacs by night, allying themselves with those who, on their own accord, chose enmity as their reception to Islam and its folk. They would change their "faith" for political expedience and promises in order to do some impolite things to a budding religious community. Their aim was not subtle.

 

In the aftermath of the passing of the Prophet, some Arab tribes (especially in the eastern half of the Arabian Peninsula) decided to edit out a core tenet of the faith and withhold their charitable requirement, and thus impale the very economic basis of a contiguous people and nation.

 

Now back to Afghanistan, a nation smitten in recent history by invasions, revolutions, extremists, and entrenched tribal logic. Anyone who has any awareness of the country will know that, like the so-called "honor killings" of India and Pakistan, this episode of apostasy "ruling" is informed not by Islamic sacred law or paradigms, but by a people poorly confronting their own ignorance and psychological traumas. Just like the destruction of the Buddhist statues in Afghanistan, which existed for centuries unmolested by the Muslim authorities that ruled the region (which once contained many centers of high learning, if one can imagine that), this Afghani fellow, a Muslim turned Christian, just may be another victim of the contemporary Muslim "funk" and, a lesser issue, may add to the misunderstanding of Islam and lend further credence to questionable theories of civilizations and their inevitable clashes.

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"honor killings"? I thought India was a democratic nation Fareed, I'm confused :(

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Have you never heard of them? The honor killings I'm talking about are murders of women by family members excused by removing some imputed stain on the family's honor. This "stain" on the family honor comes from a variety of alleged offenses, such as allegations of premarital or extramarital sex, refusing an arranged marriage, attempting to obtain a divorce from an abusive husband, or simply talking innocently with any man who is not a relative. Honor killings occur in a distressingly large swathe of the world, not only from Pakistan and India, but from North Africa, Middle East (including Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, the Gulf Countries, and Iran), Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

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Have you never heard of them? The honor killings I'm talking about are murders of women by family members excused by removing some imputed stain on the family's honor. This "stain" on the family honor comes from a variety of alleged offenses, such as allegations of premarital or extramarital sex, refusing an arranged marriage, attempting to obtain a divorce from an abusive husband, or simply talking innocently with any man who is not a relative. Honor killings occur in a distressingly large swathe of the world, not only from Pakistan and India, but from North Africa, Middle East (including Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, the Gulf Countries, and Iran), Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

 

I was being sarcastic. Yes, I've heard of them and I don't think any word can describe how disgusting the practice is.

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