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Canada concerned over Afghan facing death for being a Christian

2006-03-22 07:40:05

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(Shariah is the legal code of Islam, based on the Qu'ran.)

We could start a whole debate here but I largely agree with the concerns of this article and the unfortunate thing is that people are now going to believe this is what Islam teaches.  I reject that all Shariah laws are based on the Qur'an and even Saudi Arabian scholars questioned their own laws prohibiting women from driving are really based on the Qur'an.

Nowhere in the Qur'an does it say to kill a man for rejecting Islam, nor did Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ever persecute or kill anyone who not accepting Islam.  I am still waiting for someone to proove to me this is in fact the case whether historically of early Muslims or what verses from the Qur'an support such harsh punishments.  It is easy to see where people get so many stereotypes of Muslims from, such as this article but I read the Qur'an everyday with an open heart and mind and cannot fathom how people can believe the Qur'an commands someone to be put to death for abondoning faith, it only harms their own soul and they will have to answer to God.

Full Article:

Canada concerned over Afghan facing death for being a Christian

Canada has joined the list of countries closely watching a court case in Afghanistan, where under Islamic law a man could be sentenced to death for converting to Christianity.

"Canada will continue to encourage the Afghan government to adhere to its human rights obligations," Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Pamela Greenwell told Reuters Tuesday.

Italy and Germany, two other Western countries with troops stationed in Afghanistan, have also started to express concern over the case amid calls that their troops be pulled out.

Abdul Rahman became a Christian 16 years ago while working in Germany, but he was charged with rejecting Islam only in February, when his family denounced him during a custody battle over his two children.

Rahman, 41, is now in jail in Afghanistan and faces the death penalty unless he agrees to convert back to the faith in which he was raised, said the judge at the Shariah court. (Shariah is the legal code of Islam, based on the Qu'ran.)

"We will invite him again [to renounce Christianity] because the religion of Islam is one of tolerance," trial judge Ansarullah Mawlazezadah told the BBC on Sunday. "We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so, we will forgive him."

The accused man's mental state will also be taken into account before the court passes sentence, Mawlazezadah added.

Constitution may prevent president's intervention

About 99 per cent of the 28 million citizens of Afghanistan are Muslim, and conservative Muslims dominate the country's judicial system.

The nation's constitution, drafted after the ultra-conservative Taliban government was forced from power four years ago, is based on Shariah law.

That factor makes it hard for liberals such as President Hamid Karzai to intervene in the Rahman case, though he is dependent on financial aid and military support from the West to fight off continuing threats from Taliban militants.

Western nations hint at pulling out troops

On Tuesday, politicians from Italy and German signalled they are unhappy that a man could be put to death merely for being a Christian.

Germany has about 2,700 soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. Italy has 1,775, compared to Canada's 2,200.

A former president of Italy, Francesco Cossiga, has proposed the country pull its troops out unless Rahman's life is spared.

"It is not acceptable that our soldiers should put themselves at risk or even sacrifice their lives for a fundamentalist, illiberal regime," Cossiga wrote in an open letter to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who faces a re-election battle next month.

Two German cabinet ministers have expressed similar concerns.

On Monday, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack also addressed the Rahman case.

"Tolerance, freedom of worship, is an important element of any democracy," he said. "These are issues, as Afghan democracy matures, that they are going to have to deal with increasingly."


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