Updated 03/25/06; scroll down for the latest updates!
Michelle Malkin is covering the story of the Afghani Christian who was born into a Muslim family, who converted to Christianity, and is now facing death for converting from Islam.
“Under Afghanistan’s new constitution, minority religious rights are protected but Muslims are still subject to strict Islamic laws. And so, officially, Muslim-born Rahman is charged with rejecting Islam and not for practicing Christianity.”
“On Thursday the prosecution told the court Rahman has rejected numerous offers to embrace Islam. Prosecuting attorney Abdul Wasi told the judge that the punishment should fit the crime.”
“He says Rahman is a traitor to Islam and is like a cancer inside Afghanistan. Under Islamic law and under the Afghan constitution, he says, the defendant should be executed.”
“This is the first case in which the defendant has admitted to converting and is refusing to back down, even while facing the death penalty.”
We need to keep our brother in Christ in prayer.
03/22/06 Update: The Afghan government is trying to drop this case, by declaring Rahman unfit to stand trial (Broken link, active March 25, 2006):
“Doctors must examine him,” said [a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai]. “If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped.” … A Western diplomat in Kabul and a human rights advocate — both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter — said the government was desperately searching for a way to drop the case because of the reaction it has caused.”
President Bush is deeply troubled, and of course it is speculation on my part, but hopefully the President made a phone call to his good friend Hamid Karzai, and that may explain why all of the sudden the Afghan government is trying to drop this case.
Let us keep praying for our brother in Christ; if he is acquitted, this precedent will help other Christians who have converted from Islam.
03/25/06 Update: Mark Steyn weighs in on the Rahman case, with his usual insight (hat tip to Michelle Malkin). Jack Lewis (Broken link, active March 25, 2006) has the latest news and the roundup from the blogosphere; the judge presiding over the case is adamant in applying the death penalty despite mounting international outcry. From the New York Times:
…Ansarullah Maulavi Zada, the judge who heads the public security tribunal in Kabul, said, “There is no direct pressure on our court so far, but if it happens we will consider it interference.”