Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Face Of Taliban Fear

A TV frame grab, aired on March 22, 2006, shows Abdur Rahman holding a translated version of the Bible at a Kabul court.
(Reuters TV/Reuters)

What will happen when Abdur Rahman, 40, goes to trial in Afghanistan for believing that Jesus Christ died for his sins and, by believing this is so, he will have everlasting life?

This simple belief, shared by billions of humans throughout the world, is against the constitutional law in Afghanistan ... save for one small caveat. The Afghan constitution says it will abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines freedom of religion.

News item from Reuters -

Afghans grapple for solution to convert crisis
By Robert Birsel – Reuters

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan officials, trying to resolve a crisis over an Afghan who may face the death penalty for converting to Christianity, struggled on Saturday to satisfy conflicting international and domestic demands.

The controversy over the man who abandoned Islam, Abdur Rahman, 40, threatens to drive a wedge between Afghanistan and the Western backers who ensure its security and finance its development. Rahman's trial is due to start in a few days.

International pressure on Afghanistan to respect Rahman's religious freedom and release him from jail has been met in Afghanistan by calls for him to be tried under Islamic law and executed, and a threat of rebellion if the government frees him.
Read More>>

UPDATE - AP, 5:26 AM, PST

Case Dropped Against Afghan Christian

POLICHARKI, Afghanistan - An Afghan court has dismissed the case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity for lack of evidence, an official said Sunday.
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On Sunday, he was moved to a notorious maximum-security prison outside Kabul that is also home to hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaida militants. The move to Policharki Prison came after detainees threatened his life at an overcrowded police holding facility in central Kabul, a court official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Gen. Shahmir Amirpur, who is in charge of Policharki, confirmed the move and said Rahman had also been begging his guards to provide him with a Bible.
Raed All>>

This is very good news but the question has to be asked.

Is not a dismissal due to a lack of evidence a whitewash of the issue before the court, shouldn't there have been a ruling that - in fact - religious freedom is legally enforced in Afghanistan? And on that basis, Abdur Rahman was wrongfully charged in the first place?

Give the man a Bible! The fear is still here.

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