Monday, March 20, 2006

What would true martyrdom look like in Islam?

Afghan man faces death for Christian conversion

Right now, this has been covered by some of the important blogs, but it deserves mention even among us small fry:
An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a crime under the country's Islamic laws, a judge said yesterday.

Abdul Rahman, 41, was arrested last month after his family accused him of becoming a Christian, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada said. Mr. Rahman was charged with rejecting Islam, and his trial was held Thursday.

During the one-day hearing, the defendant confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, Judge Mawlavezada said.

"We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law," the judge said. "It is an attack on Islam."

I'm not an expert on religion -- not even really a participant in it -- but it seems to me, the attack on Islam would be in killing somebody for listening to his conscience. The attack on Islam would be in demonstrating intolerance for a good man who simply thinks differently from them. The attack on Islam would be in depriving its community of a valued humanitarian friend -- and all those who would stand with him.

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