The Corner

In The New Afghanistan: Death For Apostasy

Back in mid-August, I was the spoil-sport raining on the Corner parade over the new Iraqi constitution. With key assistance from the U.S. State Department, that constitution installed Islam as the official state religion and made sharia a primary source of law. It also contained some human rights provisions, which is what its enthusiasts said we should be focusing on rather than all that nettlesome religio-cultural stuff.

At the time, I was reminded that we had birthed the same kind of constitution in Afghanistan, and that this was purportedly working out very well. Specifically, the Afghan constitution states that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” But not to worry. The State Department maintained that it also contained strong human rights provisions and was thus becoming a framework for the emergence of a peaceful and vibrant democracy.

Today comes this, from Fox News, via the Associated Press:

Afghan Man Faces Death for Allegedly Converting to Christianity

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan man who allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death, a judge said Sunday.

The defendant, Abdul Rahman, was arrested last month after his family went to the police and accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada told the Associated Press in an interview. Such a conversion would violate the country’s Islamic laws.

Rahman, who is believed to be 41, was charged with rejecting Islam when his trial started last week, the judge said.

During the hearing, the defendant allegedly confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago when he was 25 and working as a medical aid worker for Afghan refugees in neighboring Pakistan, Mawlavezada said.

Afghanistan’s constitution is based on Shariah law, which states that any Muslim who rejects their religion should be sentenced to death.

After over four years of American guidance, assistance and sacrifice, here is how the Afghan judge explained the situation: “‘We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law,’ the judge said. ’It is an attack on Islam. … The prosecutor is asking for the death penalty.’” (Italics mine.)

For his part, the Afghan prosecutor, too, explained that he had been eminently reasonable: “The prosecutor, Abdul Wasi, said the case was the first of its kind in Afghanistan. He said that he had offered to drop the charges if Rahman changed his religion back to Islam, but the defendant refused.”

Now I ask you, does it get any more moderate than that?

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