The plot against Abdul Rahman thickens
It appears that the Afghani Islamic zealots in charge of prosecuting (persecuting) Abdul Rahman for apostasy are casting about for an exit strategy that does not involve executing Mr. Rahman or admitting the moral degeneracy of Sharia law where it calls for the death penalty for those who convert to Christianity.
The Globe & Mail is quoting prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari as asserting Mr. Rahman is unfit to stand trial.
We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person," prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari told the Associated Press.By Afghanistan's Muslim standards this may well be true. Since he accepted Christianity a decade and a half ago, Mr. Rahman, no doubt, does not accept the moral legitimacy of polygamy, suicide bombers and the abysmal Islamic treatment of women. He certainly does not accept the Muslim view that Jesus was only a prophet who did not die on the cross, or that the Judaic-Christian scriptures were deliberately corrupted by Jewish and Christian clerics in order to spread error among the people. He would be against the view that Sharia Law ought to prevail everywhere and that non-Muslims ought to be treated as inferior persons to be maintained in a state of Dhimmitude.
From their perspective, by rejecting Islam and many of its primary tenants, he must be mad. Personally, I find a certain degree of madness to be an endearing quality, but fundamentalist Muslims have demonstrated that they lack a sense of humour on such matters. Wait, scratch that. I just read a story (hat tip to Lifesite News) that has this quote.I
If he recants, he will be "forgiven," said trial judge Ansarullah Mawlazezadah. "We will invite him again because the religion of Islam is one of tolerance. [emphasis is mine] We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him," the trial judge told the BBC on Monday.I guess they do have a sense of humour, after all. Nor are they completely crazy themselves. As the Globe reports:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper telephoned Mr. Karzai on Wednesday to discuss the case, The Globe and Mail has learned. Canadian government officials were also in direct contact with their Afghan counterparts yesterday afternoon to express concern about the case, sources familiar with the situation said.In the end, I suppose labelling Abdul Rahman a crazy man may help the prosecutors avoid proceeding with a case that would be sure to enrage the public of Afghanistan's most loyal allies. Perhaps not all the public, for there is in Western nations a growing faction of left listing secularists, feminists, and gay rights activists that delights in opposing any and all manifestation of Christianity in the public square.
The Prime Minister's Office issued a statement late in the day, after Mr. Harper's phone call.
"I called President Karzai today to express my deep concerns regarding the Raham case and the issue of freedom of religion in Afghanistan. President Karzai listened to my concerns and we had a productive and informative exchange of views," Mr. Harper said in the statement.
He added: "Upon the conclusion of the call, he assured me that respect for human and religious rights will be fully upheld in this case."
The insanity dodge does not, however, address the underlying salient political issue, let alone respect Mr. Raham's rights to life, dignity, respect, religious freedom and protection against slander by state officials. But let us for the moment leave aside the personal human rights of the victim, vastly important those may be, to consider the salient strategic issue.
The new Afghani constitution accepts the primacy of Islamic law. If, however, Islamic law requires converts such as Mr. Rahman to be put to death, then the question arises if Islam is compatible with liberal democracy. The growing body of empirical evidence would suggest that it is not. If that is so, we have a grave problem on our hands, as the entire Afghanistani/Iraqi intervention of the West is now based on the premise that it is. If it is not, what are we to do?