Today, after Secretary Rice let it be known that we seriously need Mr. Rahman freed, a bunch of top Muslim clerics have said he must die.
“Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die,” said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001.
(after all these years I wouldn’t think God was so sensitive, but whatever)
So a couple of things are going around right now. 1) bloggers are saying that declaring Mr. Rahman insane isn’t good enough to end our outrage and 2) Reuters apparently caused enough complaints about it’s story yesterday when trying to put some perspective on this that they’ve changed their story.
To address number one, I’d have to say, back off guys, for now. Afghanistan has some inconsistencies in it’s constitution that says both, there is religious freedom and if you reject Islam, you will be executed. Right now Mr. Rahman is on the block. If the only way for that exTaliban judge to save face (and face is hugely important there) is to declare this guy insane, then please do. AFTERwards, we can follow up on making sure the constitution means religious freedom if we are to stay there.
To address number two, here’s the original:
ROME (Reuters) – The strong Western response to a threatened death sentence for an Afghan convert to Christianity looks something like a mirror image of the Muslim reaction to the Prophet Mohammad caricatures printed in the European press.
There have been no riots or sackings of Afghan embassies, unlike the violence that marked the uproar in Muslim countries after the Danish cartoons were published, but the shock and mutual incomprehension expressed in both cases are similar.
Reuters’ bottom line is the “shock and incomprehension expressed in both cases are similar”, not that they circumstances are equal, so give them a break. The cartoons exploded because (I think) Muslims had had enough of being made fun of. They want to be taken seriously and not be run by the west. It’s horrible, it’s wrong, and it’s babyish, but we can have a little understanding. (no, I’m not saying it’s ok) It’s especially not ok for the Muslims in Denmark to be upset about the cartoons, but the ones in the Middle East who have been brought up to believe and get to see it all the time, that the west runs the world exploded.
We here in the west, in this circumstance, know we’re right about freedom. We are willing to die for it. We’ve given it to the Afghani’s and they need to know that while yes they are sovereign and get to do what they want, so are we. The American people will not stay in Afghanistan and watch one more young man or woman hurt, or dead for them if they choose Sharia law over freedom. This is our boiling point. I’m not positive our government realizes it, but by having Secretary Rice call yesterday I suspect they are getting a clue.
So, yes, the Muslims were shocked and couldn’t understand what the heck we were doing spreading idolotrous (sp?) cartoons. (actually, if you made them racist instead of religionist, it’s easier to comprehend some outrage. Personally, I think God has a sense of humor and perspective) And yes, the west is shocked and can not understand why Mr. Rahman must be put to death. Give Reuters the benefit of the doubt if we are ever to have peace between left and right and let this one go.
UPDAT: Ps if you’re in DC, join the ‘Support Abdul Rahman’ event outside the Afghan embassy.
noon to 1pm
Outside the Afghan Embassy
2341 Wyoming Ave NW.