Sunday, March 26, 2006

Abdul Rahman free, but circumstances too legalistic

An Afghan court released accused apostate Abdul Rahman from jail today. The court cited legal problems as the reason for the release. Rahman, a Christian convert, faced the death penalty under the charges.

While I'm very glad that Rahman's is free, I'm still troubled by the details of his release. By pointing to legal problems, it looks like the court is hanging on to its right to try Afgahns on charges of apostasy. I admire Hamid Karzai, but it looks like he played a weak hand in putting a stop the human rights violation at least for now. I appreciate the tough position he's in, but he faces a crucial moment in promoting the evolution of democracy in Afghanistan. It also will be interesting to see if the ayatollahs in Iran try stir up outrage similar to the cartoon wars if this doesn't go the way of those determined to persecute or kill Rahman.

It goes to show that the more we learn about Islam, the less we know about Islam. It's unfair to indict all Muslims for a Medieval view of apostasy, but it seems a majority of the clergy, at least in the heart of Islam, are determined to see it enforced. They seem to see backing down on this issue as the equivalent of denying God. Islam does not seem to face salvation as the other great religions do. The others may tell you of the doom you'll face for forsaking the religion of your birth, but in the end it's your decision with which to live.

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