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Friday, March 24, 2006

That's gross 


OK, let's move to real press releases. The Embassy of Afghanistan has issued this press release (also here) regarding Abdul Rahman:


Embassy of Afghanistan: Response to Public Inquiries About Mr. Abdul Rahman

To: National Desk

Contact: Joshua R. Gross, Media Relations Officer, Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington, 202-483-6410, ext.802, 203-895-7734 cell, gross@embassyofafghanistan.org

WASHINGTON, March 22 /Christian Wire Service/ -– The Embassy of Afghanistan greatly appreciates public concern about Mr. Abdul Rahman. We have received a significant number of inquiries about Mr. Rahman’s case, which initially involved a civil lawsuit in child custody filed by his family.

Please note that the Government of Afghanistan is fully aware of and pursuing the best ways to resolve Mr. Rahman’s case judicially. It is too early to draw any conclusion about the punishment, and we appreciate public understanding of the sensitivity of religious issues.

Afghanistan’s judicial system is currently evaluating questions raised about the mental fitness of Mr. Rahman, the results of which may end the proceedings. Hence we kindly request that the judicial process be given time to resolve Mr. Rahman’s case.

The Constitution of Afghanistan provides protection for freedom of religion. The Government of Afghanistan will ensure that the constitutional rights of its citizens, international principles, and the due judicial process are respected and implemented.



Regarding the last paragraph, the Government of Afghanistan, and for that matter Islam itself, has no problem with freedom of religion per se. If I go to Afghanistan, I will not automatically receive a death sentence. However, freedom of religion after renouncing Islam is another matter entirely, which I addressed here. Similarly, the mental competence issue, which may be the Afghan government's way to dodge this bullet, may not work here either, because even those proclaimed as Afghan moderates state that "[t]he government is playing games." (See quote from cleric Abdul Raoulf in this article.)

Here is some information from the Afghanistan Embassy web page on travel:


Afghanistan is an Islamic country. An estimated 84% of the population is Sunni, following the Hanafi school of jurisprudence; the remainder is predominantly Shi'a, mainly Hazara. Despite attempts during the years of communist rule to secularize Afghan society, Islamic practices pervade all aspects of life. In fact, Islam served as the principal basis for expressing opposition to the communists and the Soviet invasion. Likewise, Islamic religious tradition and codes, together with traditional practices, provide the principal means of controlling personal conduct and settling legal disputes. Excluding urban populations in the principal cities, most Afghans are divided into tribal and other kinship-based groups, which follow traditional customs and religious practices.


Nothing about the constitution on THIS page.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Comments:
This is the biggest dilema with supposedly "liberating" these Islamic countries. You cannot change culture and religion. The religion says he should die. They probably will declare him insane and let him immigrate to the US or another country, but the truth is his life is only saved because it became a big issue. What about the next one?
 
This is the first trial of this type under the new government.

Or at least the first formal trial. Frontier justice may be alive and well.
 
This kind of injustice based on ignorance is the worst kind of injustice to deal with. Couple of good posts OE!
 
I'm striving for 1% good posts, and I have a chance of making that percentage.
 
Thanks for the great information, Ontario. This case has really brought to light what HB said, the problem of liberating Islamic countries. It also brings to light the indisputable truth of violence that is at the very core of Islam. So many people have been led to believe that it is a religion of peace, when that is not the case.
 
I guess the issue is preaching vs. practice. Certainly there have been Christian practices over the centuries that have been deplorable, but is that the essence of our faith? Christ said that he brought a sword, and he did overturn the moneychangers' tables, but the revolution that Christ was aiming for was spiritual, not physical.

Some Muslims would probably argue that all of the Quran references to killing were meant for the time of Muhammad and do not apply to the present day. Others, such as the "moderate" Afghan spiritual leaders and Al Qaeda, would argue that they DO apply.
 
And now Abdul Rahman is alive and well and living in Italy. In a worldly sense he's not safe, but that's only in a worldly sense.
 
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