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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Monday, March 27, 2006

Free at last?

Abdul Rahman...who faced a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity is to be freed after a court Sunday dismissed the case against him, citing a lack of evidence, officials said.
(AP Photo/ Ariana Television via AP Television News)

A.P.: KABUL, Afghanistan - A court on Sunday dismissed the case against an Afghan man facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity, officials said, paving the way for his release.

The move eased pressure from the West but raised the dilemma of protecting Abdul Rahman after his release as Islamic clerics have called for him to be killed.

One official said freedom might come as soon as Monday for Rahman, who became a Christian in the 1990s while working for an aid group in neighboring Pakistan.

Muslim extremists, who have demanded death for Rahman as an apostate for rejecting Islam, warned the decision would touch off protests across this religiously conservative country. Some clerics previously vowed to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if he was let go.

Rahman was moved to Kabul's notorious high-security Policharki prison Friday after inmates at a jail in central Kabul threatened him, Policharki's warden, Gen. Shahmir Amirpur, said.

The case set off an outcry in the United States and other nations that helped oust the hard-line Taliban regime in late 2001 and provide aid and military support for Afghan President Hamid Karzai. President Bush and others insisted Afghanistan protect personal beliefs.

Authorities have barred journalists from seeing Rahman. But on Sunday, officials gave AP an exclusive tour of Policharki, which houses some 2,000 inmates, including about 350 Taliban and al-Qaida militants.

Amirpur said Rahman had been asking guards for a Bible but they had none to give him.

Well, it would be nice if they would just get his Bible out of the evidence locker for him, but at least they're not going to make a martyr out of him.

Now he will have to worry about someone killing him once he's released. It is a dreadful shame that he cannot exercise his "freedom of religion" under Afghanistan's new constitution, so that he may have to live in a self-imposed exile...which is what he did for years, until the Taliban was overthrown.

Some things never change, unfortunately, but we just have to take what we can get sometimes...

Update! A.P.: KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghanistan's parliament demanded Wednesday that the government prevent a man who faced the death penalty for abandoning Islam for Christianity from being able to flee the country.

His whereabouts are unknown but he likely is still in the country. The Italian government granted asylum to Rahman after Muslim clerics called for his death.

Afghan lawmakers debated the issue Wednesday and said Rahman should not be allowed to leave the country. However, they did not take a formal vote on the issue.

The plot thickens, and sickens...


Blogger Bob_inSpain said...

I am glad for him.

I wonder what they really meant by "lack of evidence"? After all, that is one of those standard things to make us think about whether we are actually following Christ, "If you were on trial for being Christian, would the case be dismissed for lack of evidence?"

Honestly, I suspect the judge was looking for some way out of the political jam, just like the judge at the end of "Miracle on 34th Street".

Unfortunately, it may not just be the constitution... it sounds like it is the people. After all, even if a stroke of the pen changed the constitution, it sounds like enough of his "countrymen" want him dead, there isn't a good enough police protection or witness relocation program to keep him safe - in Afghanistan, anyway.

I guess Salman Rushdie finally became old news and can go out in public now - after 20 years - and maybe not in Iran, dunno. One thing about a fatwa... apparently, it is supposed to have some sort of power, like an infallible papal statement... once given, even if verbally recanted, it is still valid and in force... or, so I have read.

So, to a real extremist, it may be God's will to whack this poor fellow at any time the opportunity presents itself.

So, I am glad for him, and sad for him, too. I guess it goes back to my comment the other day... keep quiet, keep your head down... (if possible, stay out of the news)... and run away!!!

March 27, 2006 12:53 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

It is a bittersweet victory, to be sure. I know he wants to live in his home country, which is why he returned there after the Taliban was defeated.

But this freedom of religion concept is a new one over there, and will take some getting used to. I hope it works out eventually...

March 27, 2006 1:30 AM  
Blogger mig said...

In Italy " civil suit in which an atheist activist attempted to criminalize Christian teaching on the existence and divinity of Christ.


March 27, 2006 3:06 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

I looked into that civil suit; the judge threw the case out. He also recommended that the prosecutors investigate the atheist for slander instead.

You can read about it HERE...

March 27, 2006 3:37 AM  
Blogger Ms. RightWing, Ink said...

Hellooo, here I am.

I wonder if the judge sought European law, or called Judge Ginsberg, before releasing him

March 27, 2006 7:07 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Ms. RightWing, Ink:
He probably sought a precedent in the "Court of Popular Opinion"...but whatever works in favor of justice will have to suffice.

March 27, 2006 7:29 AM  
Blogger onlineanalyst said...

What tremendous courage this man must have! It makes you wonder about those who may not have had his outcome after the fall of the Taliban. How many may have been executed or may still be lingering in jails? Are we back to the period of Christians hiding out in catacombs?

March 27, 2006 8:42 AM  
Blogger 'da Bunny said...

I pray for God's protection of this man once he is released, and that "no weapon formed against him shall prosper." What an incredibly brave man of great faith he is!

March 27, 2006 9:12 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

He is indeeda brave man! Good post Camo!

March 27, 2006 11:09 AM  
Blogger JR said...

I think he has a good case for seeking Asylum... Convert to Christianity and get a free trip to the US... US Embassies would need to double their staff… Now that would be fun to watch...

March 27, 2006 2:01 PM  
Blogger camojack_senior said...

This man deserves all the respect
and admiration that we can give him. how many of us could stand
up and profess our belief in our
God when the penalty of death or
worse is staring us in the face?
I am elated that such a strong
adherent of Christanity has proven his faith to the world.
May God Bless him,And all like him.I praythat I could be as strong
under similar circumstances

March 27, 2006 4:51 PM  
Blogger darth_meister said...

Hey, is this blogspot stuff working now?

March 27, 2006 6:27 PM  
Blogger darth_meister said...

Well, I guess it does.

The significance of this case being dropped is far more reach than most people know. This is like heresy compounded by heresy in most corners of the radical Muslim world. But radical clerics did get their digs in with implication that this brother was insane for having converted to Christianity in the first place.

March 27, 2006 6:30 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

What tremendous faith he must have, too.

I'm glad that this situation has been so heavily publicized, to set an important precedent.

'da Bunny:
We should all pray for this man's protection...he is incredibly brave, indeed.

I'm just reporting the news; but the good news I'm delighted to report.

I think he has a good case for seeking asylum, too.

Unfortunately, he wanted to live in Afghanistan, his home country.

He certainly has my respect and admiration.

May we never be forced to have our faith tested under the penalty of death.

I too am elated that the case against him has been dropped.

Welcome aboard.

This ground-breaking case is highly significant and far-reaching as a precedent. Even though the motivation for it ending the way it did may have been political and/or peer pressure, the end result is a positive one...

March 27, 2006 6:50 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

....before I forget"Happy Cesar Chavez Day".

Where is Johnny Cohcran(sp?)when you need him?
Oh yeah,he is dead and OJ is still alive.

March 27, 2006 8:11 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

Why would we need Johnny Cochran? We've got a better "J.C.".
(The BEST, in fact...)

March 27, 2006 10:27 PM  
Blogger Bob_inSpain said...

ha-ha. I have a friend who goes by "JC". I have pointed out to him that he is the SECOND most important JC in history. OK, perhaps I overly flatter him for humor value, but I don't think that OJ's attorney is so much competition for this friend.

March 28, 2006 12:02 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Yes, you probably do overly flatter your friend "JC".

But what are friends for, after all?

March 28, 2006 12:21 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

I'm happy on one hand that the case was dropped, he surely did not deserve to be killed for his "crime".
On the other hand, it's a shame that the matter was not "settled" in some way, that just leaves the door open for the same thing to happen again and again. I guess this latest outcry might test the waters a bit more, we will see.
Again a very brave man, worthy of much respect!

March 29, 2006 9:04 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

I'm quite certain we haven't heard the end of this...

March 29, 2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger Bob_inSpain said...

It seems to me that the best thing now is for MI-5 to do its good deed for the month.

What? He disappeared? Nope. No idea where he is.

But this guy named Luigi Abdulramennoodleini I met in this village in Tuscany sure looks a bit like the picture.... :-)

March 29, 2006 9:21 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

I just hope he can get safely "out of Dodge", as 'twere.

Tuscany ain't half bad, though...

March 29, 2006 9:35 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

I hope he was able to make it to an American facility or soldiers.God help him.

March 29, 2006 10:12 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

From the latest A.P. article:
"Italy granted asylum to Abdul Rahman, 41, and the Foreign Ministry said he would arrive there 'soon,' maybe within the day."

March 29, 2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

maggie, I just saw that too, looks like he made it! Good for him

March 29, 2006 10:36 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

He's not there yet. Hopefully he will be soon though, like the article said...

March 29, 2006 10:41 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Camo and boberin
Thanks for the update...Thank God.

March 29, 2006 1:53 PM  
Blogger darth_meister said...

Well, what do you expect from people who swear fealty to the self-described "religion of peace."

March 29, 2006 3:48 PM  
Blogger Bob_inSpain said...

Actually, for this guy, Italy might be safer than the USA. Last I checked, the Catholic church - which claims to be Christian - was the big power there, and history has pretty much set it up so there are few if any Moslems (or Jews) there.

So, it will be easier for him to stay safe, to spot some crazed maniac killer from Afghanistan when he hits the county (whatever they call them there) and get outta town, in a bunker, etc.

Salman Rushdie was pretty much not safe for a long time, and he spent his time in USA and England.

March 29, 2006 5:00 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

You're quite welcome, as always.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately.

The "religion of peace" has been co-opted by a bunch of people who want to use it to justify their own agenda. Theirs isn't the only religion that has ever done so. A good example would be Northern Ireland; it isn't really about Catholics vs. Protestants, it's about pro-British vs. Anti-British. Another example would be the Inquisition.

I liken it to another (secular) situation; I ride a Harley, and 1% of the riding populace (biker gangs) have given the rest of us a bad name...so it is with Islam.

A lot of people over there are afraid to speak up, lest they be labeled heretics and executed, too.

I realize that the Vatican is over there, but there are less and less adherents to the various Christian denominations in Europe all the time. A lot of those countries are trending towards "secular humanism", and there has been a large influx of Muslims, hence the cynical nickname "Eurabia"...

March 29, 2006 8:25 PM  
Blogger Bob_inSpain said...

hmmm... well, i admit i haven't been to Italy.

for some weird reason, i had the idea that Italy was one place that discouraged Arabian migration... not officially, just through normal human inertia.

but, i am first to admit, ain't been there yet. do wanna go, tho.

March 31, 2006 12:47 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

I've only been to Northern Italy, (Turin, A.K.A. Torino area) not to Rome...but it was beautiful in the Italian Alps.

April 01, 2006 1:34 AM  

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