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Is this what we’re fighting for? (Part II)

A few days ago, I wrote about Abdul Rahman, an Afghan man who converted to Christianity and was being prosecuted under Islamic Sharia law as an apostate, the penalty for which can be death. Indeed, the prosecutor was seeking the death penalty.

It looks like someone finally came to their senses:

KABUL, Afghanistan – An Afghan court on Sunday dismissed a case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity because of a lack of evidence and he will be released soon, officials said.

The announcement came as U.S.-backed President Hamid Karzai faced mounting foreign pressure to free Abdul Rahman, a move that risked angering Muslim clerics here who have called for him to be killed.

An official closely involved with the case told The Associated Press that it had been returned to the prosecutors for more investigation, but that in the meantime, Rahman would be released.

“The court dismissed today the case against Abdul Rahman for a lack of information and a lot of legal gaps in the case,” the official said Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

“The decision about his release will be taken possibly tomorrow,” the official added. “They don’t have to keep him in jail while the attorney general is looking into the case.”

Abdul Wakil Omeri, a spokesman for the Supreme Court, confirmed that the case had been dismissed because of “problems with the prosecutors’ evidence.”

He said several of Rahman’s family members have testified that the 41-year-old has mental problems. “It is the job of the attorney general’s office to decide if he is mentally fit to stand trial,” he told AP.


No doubt all the international pressure had something to do with this. I’m guessing that President Bush got an earful from his fundamentalist Christian base, whipped up through conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin and others, and called his “good friend” Hamid Karzai to express his “concern” about this case.

Sadly, they’re going to label Rahman as mentally ill and somehow unfit to stand trial as an out. If he’s smart, he’ll leave the country as soon as he’s released, because his fellow Muslims want him dead. If he sticks around, it’s only a matter of time before he’s toast.

I ask again: Is this what our soldiers are fighting and dying for, an intolerant theocracy that kills those who reject Islam?

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

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