Friday, March 24, 2006
Abdul Rahman, an Afghan citizen who converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago while living in Germany, has been sentenced to death by a court in Afghanistan. His crime is apostasy, or renouncing Islam. After a one-day trial at which Rahman refused the opportunity to revert to Islam (as is required by Sharia) and thus spare his own life, Rahman was convicted and sentenced to death. Sharia law is quite specific and inflexible with regards to his punishment, and only mounting international pressure on Afghan president Hamid Karzai can save Rahman's life.
But a presidential pardon alone won't do it; Abdul Rahman will die if he is released from prison but forced to remain in the country, because his crime was the topic of most Imam's sermons at Friday prayers, with calls for him to be torn apart into little pieces until nothing remains of him, for example. Rahman must be granted political asylum in another country (such as the USA) in order to survive, assuming he can even make it out of Afghanistan alive in the first place.
The most sickening aspect of this whole mess is the fact that Rahman's own parents exposed him as an apostate to the authorities because of a custody battle over his two daughters. Of course, no court in Afghanistan will grant Rahman custody of the children because he is a Christian, so that battle is lost. I would suggest to him that, if he gets out alive, to change his name to Smith, Jones, or even Schwartz.
Afghanistan's much-heralded constitution, which acknowledges human rights and freedom of speech, conscience, and religion, also contains a so-called "repugnancy clause," which states that no law may conflict with Islamic law (Iraq's constitution has this clause as well). Since no system of laws can conceivably be more repressive to human rights than Islamic Sharia, the conflict of interests is all too obvious. Did the USA and other countries expend so much blood, sweat, tears, and money to prop up an Afghanistan that turns out to behave just like the Taliban it replaced? Apparently so.
Sharia law was devised in medieval times by a violent, perverted pedophile who is revered today as a prophet. It has no relevance to the modern age or any society with the most basic set of values. Sharia Law is the antithesis of civilization. And until Sharia law is eliminated, Islam's borders will remain bloody. Wafa Sultan was right.
Update: After immense international pressure, Afghan prosecutors announced that there was insufficient evidence that Rahman was mentally fit to stand trial, and he was released. He was immediately whisked away to a secret, secure location by [shudder] his family. These are the same people who turned him in, remember? Several countries offered Rahman political asylum, with Italy being the first (it should have been the USA at the head of the line, but whatever). As of this writing he has indeed landed safely in Italy.
Meanwhile, the mobs in Afghanistan who didn't get their hands on Rahman are still there, and probably even more pissed off. Look for an assassination attempt on President Karzai very soon.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Wafa Sultan: The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete.
Host: I understand from your words that what is happening today is a clash between the culture of the West, and the backwardness and ignorance of the Muslims?
Wafa Sultan: Yes, that is what I mean.
The other participant in the segment was an Islamic scholar who, shocked by her bold statements, asked if she was a heretic. Her response was, "You can say whatever you like."
Wafa Sultan's message is nothing less than one of the most relevant and important of our time. I hope that she lives long enough to spread it far and wide.
Read excerpts of the english translation of her interview here. And keep her in your prayers.