Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

US and Nato allies urge Kabul to respect religious freedom of Afghan convert sentenced to death for apostacy

By Aussiegirl

Urged? How about demanded? While welcome, the weasel words uttered by U.S. Spokesnoid Burns are utterly despicable and mealy-mouthed. Talk about wishy-washy! Thy name is the State Department!

What is the meaning of idiotic PC and culturally-sensitive language like: "While we understand the complexity of a case like this and we certainly respect the sovereignty of the Afghan authorities and the Afghan system, from an American point of view, people should be free to choose their own religion."

Excuse me, but it is not a complex issue at all and neither is it merely a quaint American point of view that people should be free to choose their own religion -- it is a UNIVERSAL human right, and as a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Afghanistan is bound to rescind this obscene sentence. What is the point of fighting wars to give these savage people democracies when they are then free to institute Sharia law which negates all human rights and enshrines the unholy dictates of Islam on a supposedly free population. Is this what our boys are dying for? To give Afghanistan the right to execute Christians in the name of Islamic democracy? The mind reels!

For once, the European reaction is stronger and more forceful than the American one. Can it be that while America fights these terrorists on the ground, it is instead ceding the war on a cultural level? Remember it was only European newspapers who stood up to the Cartoon Jihad and re-published those cartoons, while American papers stood by in fear, all the while giving grandiose reasons for their editorial fecklessness -- while at the same time, The Bush administration's State Department issued what amounted to a condemnation of the cartoons, rather than a defense of the freedom to publish.

Exactly what war are we fighting? A limited little military one with clean wins and losses in Iraq? Or a wider civilizational war which we are bound to lose if our leaders do not wake up to it and continue to pussy foot around the elephant in the living room. We aren't fighting a pack of insurgents and ad-hoc terrorists in Iraq, we aren't even fighting Al Qaida - we are in a civilizational struggle with Islam for the future of the Western World -- it won't be won with incremental victories in one small area of Iraq, but in the wider sphere of faith and belief. If we won't stand up for Western values -- who will? And if there is no one will do it, then everything is lost no matter how many battles we win in Iraq.

International news from swissinfo, the Swiss news platform

The United States and three NATO allies with troops in Afghanistan urged the Kabul government on Tuesday to respect the religious freedom of an Afghan convert to Christianity who faces the death penalty there.

The United States, which counts Afghan President Hamid Karzai as a key ally in the region, raised the case with visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, calling on Kabul to uphold Afghan citizens' constitutional right to choose their faith.

"We hope that the Afghan constitution is going to be upheld and in our view, if it's upheld, then of course he'll be found to be innocent," said Nicholas Burns, the State Department's third-ranked diplomat.

An Afghan judge said on Sunday a man named Abdur Rahman had been jailed for converting from Islam to Christianity and could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again. Sharia, or Islamic law, stipulates death for apostasy.

"While we understand the complexity of a case like this and we certainly will respect the sovereignty of the Afghan authorities and the Afghan system, from an American point of view, people should be free to choose their own religion," Burns told reporters, flanked by Abdullah.

[...]Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga wrote to Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, now campaigning for reelection, and urged him to withdraw Italian troops from Afghanistan unless he wins assurances from Kabul over Rahman's safety.

"It is not acceptable that our soldiers should put themselves at risk or even sacrifice their lives for a fundamentalist, illiberal regime," Cossiga wrote.

German Development Minister Heide Wieczorek-Zeul said she would appeal to Karzai directly.

"We will do everything possible to save the life of Abdul Rahman," she told the daily Bild, which said Rahman had converted to Christianity while living in Germany for nine years.

Germany's top Catholic prelate, Cardinal Karl Lehmann, described the case against Rahman as "an alarming signal."

"German bishops will try to ensure Christians in Islamic countries enjoy the same rights as Muslims have in our country."

Christians are extremely limited in the ways they can practice their faith in some Islamic countries, notably Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. This has become an increasingly sore point in Europe, where Muslim communities are growing rapidly and demanding rights and respect.

Afghanistan is a conservative Islamic country and 99 per cent of its more than 25 million people are Muslim. A court sentenced two Afghan journalists to death for blasphemy three years ago but they escaped and sought asylum abroad.

1 Comments:

At 10:19 PM, Blogger no-nuthin said...

I think "urge" instead of "demand" because "demand" means coersion which means you have to back it up, with force when necessary.

How productive would it be to start bombing the crap out of Afghanistan again?

 

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