Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Brian Whitaker:
"Remember how we 'liberated' Afghanistan and transformed it into a freedom-loving democracy before turning our attention to Iraq? Well, take a look at this.

A 41-year-old man is facing possible execution for converting to Christianity.

According to the reports, Muslim-born Abdul Rahman converted 16 years ago but it only came to light when he got into a family quarrel over custody of his children and relatives took their revenge by reporting his religious beliefs to the authorities.

The US and other countries have complained, though not very vigorously for fear they may be accused of interfering with Afghanistan's sovereignty (which they have been doing for years, of course).

In theory, the Afghan constitution guarantees freedom of religion but that doesn't count for much with the country's reactionary judges and their equally reactionary interpretations of Islamic law. We can probably expect the same in Iraq when their legal system gets up and running.

If we look at the Qur'an - the supreme scriptural authority for Muslims - it is clear that none of this should be happening. 'You have your religion, and I have mine,' the holy book says ... 'There is no compulsion in religion.'

Unfortunately quite a lot of people who regard themselves as Muslims have other ideas."

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