Tuesday, November 23, 2010

No Freedom of Conscience for Afghans, Mr. Obama?

Robert Spencer--Afghan Interior Ministry intelligence authorities have arrested an Afghan citizen, Said Musa, for apostasy – converting from Islam to Christianity, in yet another case that raises serious questions about what the U.S. is hoping to accomplish in Afghanistan, and how likely it is to be accomplished.

This has happened before. In 2006, an Afghan named Abdul Rahman made international news for being arrested and facing the death penalty in Afghanistan for converting from Islam to Christianity. Rahman was ultimately spirited away to live in freedom, albeit in hiding, in Italy. But the questions his case raised about the Karzai regime and the nature of the “freedom” that the U.S. was bringing to Afghanistan were never answered, and have reappeared with the Said Musa case.

Qamaruddin Shenwari, director of the Kabul courts’ north zone, explained that Islamic law – which mandates a death penalty for apostates from Islam – would be a determining factor in Musa’s case: “According to Afghanistan’s constitution, if there is no clear verdict as to whether an act is criminal or not in the penal code of the Afghan Constitution, then it would be referred to sharia law where the judge has an open hand in reaching a verdict.”

Indeed, the Afghan Constitution stipulates that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” It declares that “the religion of the state of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is the sacred religion of Islam,” and that “followers of other religions are free to exercise their faith and perform their religious rites within the limits of the provisions of law.” And the “beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam” forbid Muslims to leave that religion, on pain of death. The Islamic death penalty for apostasy is as old as the Muslim Prophet Muhammad’s command that if a Muslim “discards his religion, kill him.”

The Said Musa case thus offers the Obama Administration an opportunity to clarify what exactly it intends to accomplish in Afghanistan, and to demonstrate its commitment to human rights, including the freedom of conscience that is denied by Islamic law. Obama has spoken repeatedly about according Islam and the Muslim world “respect,” and about his determination to fight for the rights of women who wish to wear Islamic headcoverings in the U.S. He has even said that he considers it his duty as president to fight against negative characterizations of Islam. (Read more.)

2 comments:

minoria said...

Please sign the following petition the FRENCH PRESIDENT so that he will do something to help ASIA BIBI,the Pakistani Christian lady condemned to be hung on 7 NOV for "blasphemy":

http://www.petitionpublique.fr/?pi=P2010N3807

I already have.

To know more about her:

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pakistani-Christian-sentenced-to-death-for-blasphemy:-a-campaign-like-for-Sakineh-19963.html

TO SIGN ANOTHER PETITON FOR HER (campaign led by ASIA NEWS):

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Your-signature-to-save-Asia-Bibi-and-Pakistan-19997.html

APB said...

and here is another news for you guys ...

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/115387/donating-blood-un-islamic-fatwa.html

In a potentially controversial decree, Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has said that donation of blood and body parts was against the tenets of Islam, but observed that giving blood to save the life of a near and dear one was acceptable.

However, the opinion of the prominent Islamic seminary has not gone down well with several Muslim intellectuals who have asserted that religious bodies have already stated that there was no (no) problem with blood donation.

In a 'fatwa' issued in response to a question, the seminary said donating blood or body parts was not permitted in Islam as human beings are not the "owners" of their bodies.

The decree is posted on the website of Darul Uloom's fatwa section dealing with 'haram and halal' issues, where a questioner asked the seminary its opinion on whether taking part in blood donation camps is right or wrong.

Terming the fatwa as 'incorrect,' noted scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan said it should not deter the Muslim community from donating blood.

In the fatwa, the seminary said, "We are not owners of our body parts to handle them freely. So it is unlawful to donate blood or body parts."

However, it added, "If someone donated blood to save the life of a near relative, it is allowed."

He said a fatwa is only an opinion.