Sunday, March 26, 2006
Afghani Christian Convert Freed
Mark Steyn, as usual, writes well in a clear eyed assessment of the matter that really isn't any comfort at all. Money quotes:
There's talk of various artful compromises, such as Rahman being declared unfit to stand trial by reason of insanity on the grounds that (I'm no Islamic jurist so I'm paraphrasing here) anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity must ipso facto be out of his tree.
On the other hand, this "moderate" compromise solution is being rejected by leading theologians. Let this guy Rahman cop an insanity plea and there goes the neighborhood. "We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," says Abdul Raoulf of the nation's principal Muslim body, the Afghan Ulama Council. "Cut off his head! We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left." Needless to say, Imam Raoulf is one of Afghanistan's leading "moderate" clerics.
For what it's worth, I'm with the Afghan Ulama Council in objecting to the insanity defense. It's not enough for Rahman to get off on a technicality. Afghanistan is supposed to be "the good war," the one even the French supported, albeit notionally and mostly retrospectively. Karzai is kept alive by a bodyguard of foreigners. The fragile Afghan state is protected by American, British, Canadian, Australian, Italian, German and other troops, hundreds of whom have died. You cannot ask Americans or Britons to expend blood and treasure to build a society in which a man can be executed for his choice of religion. You cannot tell a serving member of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry in Kandahar that he, as a Christian, must sacrifice his life to create a Muslim state in which his faith is a capital offense.
But the whole thing is great.
A collective response to recent postings: railing @ liberals and liberal publications does not seem to evoke much commentary. I recommend this week's NYer Magazine. It contains an interesting article about Bill O'Reilly; a review of Francis Fukuyama's new book; and a moving piece by Calvin Trillin about his late wife, Alice.
I nevver read much Trillin but this piece makes me want to and to submit his wife's name to the church for beatification even though she wasn't religious.