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March 21, 2006

Saving The Life Of Abdur Rahman - It's time for a line in the sand!

Topics: Faith

Please note action items in extended post! There are many times that the blogosphere steps forward and takes a community stand on an important issue. Saving the life of Abdur Rahman calls for such a stand, and it appears that the blogosphere is beginning to step up to the plate to do exactly that.

abdulrahman.jpegLate evening update (hat tip - Michelle Malkin): Click here to watch the video (apparently works only with Internet Explorer - Michelle has a translation excerpt) of Muslim-born Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert facing the death penalty in Afghanistan for possessing a Bible and openly professing his faith.. (hat tip - Afghan Christian Web Ministries Team via Michelle Malkin).

On March 19 we posted on the story of Abdur Rahman in Afghanistan, who was arrested by police after members of his "loving" Islamic family informed police of his conversion to Christianity, and who now faces the death penalty for "abandoning Islam." Sixteen years ago Abdur converted from the Muslim faith to Christianity - see the TimesOnline.UK for much more background on the story.

Today, Mark Tapscott asked "Who will save Abdul Rahman from those that wish to cut him into little pieces for his Christian faith".

(...) ... he may also soon lose his life for his faith in Jesus because it is a crime under the Muslim law of Sharia to profess anything other than the Islamic religion. Muslims claim their religion is one of peace, but the fact is that it is a capital crime to be a Christian in a nation subjected to Sharia.

That is why one of Rahman's fellow Afghans recently told the media that "we will cut him into little pieces."

Michelle Malkin is following this story with her usual intensity and has lots of links here, here and here. Also, don't miss LaShawn Barber on the Bible and the story of Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

As Mark so appropriately points out, in addition to Hyscience and Mark Tappscott, other bloggers such as Michelle Malkin, LaShawn Barber, John Hinderaker of Powerline, Jawa Report, Debbie Schlussel, Below The Beltway, Myopic Zeal, A lady's Ruminations, and a plethora of other bloggers, are rising to the occasion. Italy and Germany are also coming forward.

Yet, where is President Bush, Congress, and the mainstream media? Where are Barry Lynn and Americans United for Separation of Church and State? Again, from Mark Tapscott:

(...) Where are Hollywood and the Glitterati? Where are Barbara Streisand? Where is Cindy Sheehan? George Clooney? Sean Penn? All the rest of the intellectual elite of the entertainment world who think it their inherent right to instruct the rest of us on the virtues of tolerating everything from porn to persecution? Everything except the simple faith of one Christian man standing by himself in a Muslim nation.

(...) Where are the leaders of the liberal mainline Protestant Denominations and the National Council of Churches?

(...) Where are the Evangelical and Fundamentalist leaders challenging their flocks to candlelight vigils, protests and prayers on behalf of Rahman?

From John Hinderacker Powerline (via Mark Tappscott) - a perspective:
"This is, I think, a watershed moment. The American people will bear a great deal of sacrifice, but only on behalf of principle. If, after our liberation of Afghanistan, a man may still be executed for being a Christian - or a Jew, although to my knowledge that case hasn't arisen -there is no logical basis on which our government can continue to request the ultimate sacrifice from its most devoted supporters."
John's point of there being no logical basis upon which our government can continue to request the ultimate sacrifice from our men and women if a man can still be executed for simply being a Christian or a Jew, serves well as our line in the sand.

If after spilling American blood in Afghanistan to not only remove it as a safe haven for Al-Qaeda but to also free it's people from the repressive Taliban regime, a man can still be executed for converting from Islam to Christianity, then we have completely wasted precious American lives, and the Islamists of Afghanistan are too deeply locked into the barbarism of the middle ages and too backward, to be brought into the modern world.

Simply put, neither of these two scenarios are acceptable for America or the Afghans. The world needs to let it be known that killing a man because of his religious belief is unacceptable in the eyes of the world, it crosses a line of reason, tolerance and humanity that has powerful political, financial, and religious implications. It labels Islam as a backward and barbaric religion in the eyes of the non-Muslim world, and unfairly reflects negatively upon moderate Muslims throughout the world.

To put it bluntly, taking the life of Abdur Rahman because of his religious belief, irregardless of a barbaric interpretation of the Koran that calls for his killing because of Islamic law, is a line in the sand that must not be crossed.

And the blogosphere needs to make sure that message is heard throughout the world in such a vociferous collective diatribe that even the mainstream media and the politicians that are not yet involved - get it!

Update (hat tip - Tim at ProLifeBlogs): Family Research Council President Tony Perkins will appear on Fox and Friends tomorrow morning at 7:50 AM ET to discuss the reports of Abdul Rahman facing the deathy penalty for converting to Christianity.

International Christian Concern, an interdenominational human rights organization based in Washington, has urged "all concerned parties to contact the Embassy of Afghanistan to express their opposition to this violation of freedom of conscience and urge the immediate acquittal of Abdul Rahman."

The contact information is Embassy of Afghanistan, 2341 Wyoming Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone, (202) 483-6410; fax, (202) 483-6488; e-mail, info@embassyofafghanistan.org.

"Afghanistan has already had enough of religious extremism under the Taliban," ICC stated.

Afghanistan's constitution affirms the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights, ICC pointed out. Article 18 of the declaration states in part, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

ICC also cited several verses from the Koran as evidence that the Islamic holy book can allow for freedom of conscience.

The judge in the case, Judge Ansarullah Mawlavezada, told AP he would issue a decision within two months.

Hyscience will be posting the video of the Tony Perkins discussion, tomorow.

Action Items (via Debbie Schlussel):

Call the White House: 202-456-1111
Call the State Department: 202-647-4000
And call the Embassy of Afghanistan: 202-483-6410
(Or e-mail.)
Sign a Petition in support of Abdur Rahman, E-mail President Bush, and write the embassy of Afghanistan (hat tip - A Lady's Ruminations):
Ambassador Said T. Jawad
Embassy of Afghanistan
2341 Wyoming Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008
info@embassyofafghanistan.org

Register your outrage. Help save the life of this innocent man, Abdul Rahman.

Ironically, Rahman means "the merciful." It is one of the many names Muslims use for Allah. Tell them to show some mercy to this innocent man. (hat tip - Debbie Schlussel)

Cross posted to the international collaborative blog Freedom's Zone.

Technorati: Abdul Rahman

Posted by Richard at March 21, 2006 8:49 PM



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