Monday, March 20, 2006

Now Here Is A Problem

An Afghani court may elect to execute a 41 year old man for converting to Christianity when he was 25 years old.

This is a very serious problem for the U.S. If the man is killed it could prove to the world that even a moderate Islamic government is too far gone to deal with today's modern world in a civilized manner.

The court has said that while it has no problem with people of another religion, it is against Sharia law, which the Afghan government is based, to covert from Islam to another religion. Sharia has no problem with people becoming Muslim. Such behavior could be expected under the Taliban or in Iran, but not from a government that was specifically set up to integrate modern elements with Islam.

One would hope that calmer heads will prevail in this case and that the Afghani government is counseled that a free and democratic country does not kill those who disagree with the state religion. With a little luck this case will gather the same level of international outrage that helped spare the Nigerian woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for having a supposedly adulterous relationship.

So far this story has not gained any front page headlines. It was buried in several newspapers and merely mentioned on the Fox News and CNN web sites. This is a rather odd reaction considering half of the world breaks out in protest every time the U.S. executes a crimminal. Where is the outrage from the EU or even the ACLU?

What should be feared is what the Afghani court's ruling represents. That Islam is only a religion of peace if you strictly obey its rules. If you deviate in the slightest you risk having your head chopped off.

On the flip side the Afghan court could make history by deciding that Sharia is wrong and spare the man in question. Such a decision potentially could have a far reaching impact. It would show the world that not all Muslims live in the Middle Ages and that with some serious thought Sharia can be interpreted.

Let's all hold out hope for this option to take hold.


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