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On The Case Of Mr. Abdul Rahman

Dear Hakeem

I am glad you brought up the issue of the Mr. Abdul Rahman, the Afghani man who converted to Christianity while living in Germany for 15 years. The latest news from Afghanistan is that his case is being dropped for lack of evidence and that he will be released “soon”. Abdul Wakil Omeri, a spokesman for the Supreme Court, confirmed that the case had been dismissed because of “problems with the prosecutors’ evidence.” And that several family members of Mr. Rahman have testified that he has mental problems. Abdul Waki added, “It is the job of the attorney general’s office to decide if he is mentally fit to stand trial”, The Associated Press reported.

So it is not enough that this poor man was arrested and his life is still under threat unjustly, and it is not obvious to the authorities in Afghanistan that this man should not be behind bars for one second in the first place, but the only legal escape they can find to avoid international pressure and increased isolation is to claim that he is mentally unfit to stand trial. Mr. Abdul Rahman denied that he is insane but that does not matter. Leaving Islam is, in itself, a valid reason for declaring a man insane or criminal. There are no other possible pleasant outcomes here.

Notice how his release was not immediate, and that his case remains under investigation by the attorney general’s office. The government of Afghanistan made this tactful move in order to avoid the wrath of the deranged masses in Afghanistan. The same deranged masses that generally rejoice at the news that a famous rock star in the West has converted to Islam or that a new Afghani mosque has been opened in any Western city. The level of duplicity and total lack of humanity is indeed astounding. But that is not where it stops.

I was having dinner last night with an Arab Muslim acquaintance, that, unlike the masses in Afghanistan, does not lack education or knowledge of Sharia laws. This man is a graduate from universities both in the Arab world and the West, and is completely fluent in Arabic and English and living comfortably in the West. In essence, this friend can be clearly defined as an educated Arab/Muslim man. Yet his views on this matter were as shocking as the views of the deranged authorities in Afghanistan. Without any hesitation, this highly educated Arab man declared that this convert to Christianity in Afghanistan should be put to death. My friend does not appear violent or criminal, in fact he was extremely candid. He was simply expressing the official position of Islam on Muslims who leave this religion; a position that he clearly supports.

This man went on to explain why killing this convert was important and how keeping him alive will endanger the faith of other Muslims. This acquaintance holds a position that is clearly supported by authorities in Afghanistan: In order to keep all other Muslims within the faith, and to prevent any temptation to leave Islam, it is vital to deal with those that leave Islam harshly and without any mercy. When I pressed this man further on this inconsistency, and that keeping people in Islam by force only enforces hypocrisy, he simply responded by stating that it is our duty to save people from their own temptations and sins. In my personal opinion, when a man takes such position he crosses all lines of reason. This is no longer a spiritual movement, but as I have always suspected, a form of mental illness.

Islam is not unique in declaring itself the only true religion. Judaism and Christianity take a very similar approach. However, Islam is very unique in enforcing this belief system by any means possible. The potential punishments for leaving Islam cover the range from total social isolation or declaring one insane to the actual murder of innocent human beings. The level of intolerance is beyond belief.

Muslim scholars and authorities will not stand tall and declare their opposition to this level of intolerance; they are too spineless and corrupt to take such bold moral position. If we continue to display this level of intolerance and disrespect of other cultures and faiths, it is only a matter of time when Western cultures respond in kind and institute harsh and discriminatory measures against Muslims living in the West.

Bertrand Russell, an influential British philosopher and mathematician, delivered a lecture on March 6, 1927 to the National Secular Society in London titled Why I Am Not a Christian. That was 1927 and not 2006. Mr. Russell lived to the age of 98 and his life was never under any threat. To this date, not a single person anywhere in the Arab or the broader Islamic world could publish a book titled Why I Am Not a Muslim and still survive the deranged masses that will kill him, burn his house, divorce him from his wife, burn the publishing house and maybe burn some cars and churches in the process.

Best regards,

Ziyad B.

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