I posted, a couple days ago, on the situation of Abdul Rahman, the Afghan Christian who was facing the death penalty for his conversion from Islam. CNN is reporting that he will be released “in the coming days.” (Link to follow)
In case you haven’t heard, yet, Abdul Rahman, an Afghan man who converted from Islam to Christianity has been arrested and is awaiting trial, at which he faces the possibility of the death penalty. CNN.com has the full story.
This is, obviously, an outrage. While freedom of religion is hardly universal and while other nations routinely persecute Christians and others for their beliefs, Afghanistan has a government the United States helped to create and which the United States is still actively protecting with military force. I’m fairly certain the possibility of people being executed by the new Afghan government for expressing a religious preference other than Islam was not in the minds of any Americans who helped oust the Taliban from power and install the current Afghan government. As Rep. Tom Lantos, the ranking Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said in a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, “In a country where soldiers from all faiths, including Christianity, are dying in defense of your government, I find it outrageous that Mr. Rahman is being prosecuted and facing the death penalty for converting to Christianity.”
It appears that our own government and the governments of Germany, Italy, and Canada, are expressing the appropriate level of outrage, at this point; let’s pray they keep it up until Mr. Rahman is free to go home.
UPDATE: In an unsurprising move, Muslim clerics in Afghanistan are saying that Rahman must die. If he is freed, some clerics say, the population will kill him (and some of the clerics seem intent on ensuring that outcome).
This morning, as I’m sure you’ve heard, four bombs exploded in the London transit system, killing at least 33 and wounding hundreds. A group calling itself the “Secret Organization Group of al Qaeda of Jihad in Europe” is claiming responsibility. Also, this morning, the al Qaeda organization in Iraq claims that it has killed the Egyptian envoy to Iraq.
Speaking as somebody who has spent a fair amount of time in the Muslim world, I really can’t fathom what the terrorists who committed these crimes might be thinking. So many of the motivations cited – for example, the “facts” that there are 101 Jewish United States Senators, one I heard surprisingly frequently, and that the CIA sends huge numbers of Christian missionaries to the Middle East to convert Muslims – are obviously wrong.
The stated goals are usually ridiculous, as well – some of my Muslim friends told me that the 9/11 victims weren’t innocent, because they should have pulled American troops out of the Arab peninsula. Most of the time, my efforts to explain that American democracy does not mean that each citizen has personal, governmental powers fell on deaf ears.
Of course, some moonbats are claiming that this is because the United States failed to go after terrorists in the aftermath of 9/11, instead launching quixotic campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. Right.
Meanwhile, the Democratic governor of Virginia, Mark Warner, on Wednesday decided to blast Bush for failing to unite the country in a “call to common purpose,” after 9/11. I thought, at first, that Warner surely meant Bush should have built more support for the actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, so they would not become divisive. No, Warner meant that 9/11 presented an opportunity to work on health care and the deficit. Instead, for some inexplicable reason, Bush used to the sense of unity, post-9/11, to actually deal with the problem of 9/11. You know, Karl Rove was right.
America – the whole world, really – needs to snap out of it. After the 1993 WTC bombing, after the attack on the USS Cole, after 9/11, after the Madrid bombings, and after two intifadas, more than half of the citizens of democratic nations still don’t get it. Our enemies don’t care if we’re nicer to them; our enemies don’t care if they die fighting us; our enemies will never stop. If we are attacked again – and we will be – and if, huddling together in fear, we decide to talk about health care and the deficit, rather than how we will prevent more senseless death and carnage, we are all doomed.