Friday, March 24, 2006

Will Bush let this man be killed for becomming a Christian? Don't we finance this country?

In a television image broadcast on Wednesday,
Abdul Rahman was shown in a Kabul court with a Bible.

New York Times Letter to the Editor:

To the Editor:

What a sad irony it is that a Christian convert in Afghanistan managed to survive the rule of the Taliban but is in danger of not surviving the rule of a democratically elected, American-supported government.

What this case proves is just how hollow the rhetoric about 50 million people "liberated" in the Middle East really is.

Perhaps those who are eager to spread American-style democracy around the world will now realize that freedom is as much about the culture and customs of a society as it is about the spectacle of heavily guarded elections and purple-stained fingers.

Alan Rusk
Trenton, March 23, 2006

The Story:
KABUL, Afghanistan, March 23 — The judge presiding over the prosecution of an Afghan man facing death for converting from Islam to Christianity said Thursday that he would resist any interference, despite mounting international condemnation.

To Afghan prosecutors, the case appears equally clear cut. One described Mr. Rahman as a "microbe," said conversion is illegal under Islamic law, and requested the death penalty.

If he is convicted, Mr. Rahman will be able to appeal his sentence to two higher courts. Maulavi Zada, the judge overseeing the case, said Thursday that the next court session would be held in several days. It was unclear whether Mr. Rahman would present any defense. To date, no lawyer in Kabul has been willing to represent him.

Moderate Afghan officials are eager to quietly dispose of the case, but the vocal criticism from American and Western officials makes that more difficult, according to Mr. Rubin. One possible compromise would involve the court's declaring Mr. Rahman mentally ill and allowing him to leave the country.

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