- KABUL, Afghanistan - Senior Muslim clerics said Thursday that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity should be killed regardless of whether a court decides to free him.
Abdul Rahman, a 41-year-old former medical aid worker, faces the death penalty for becoming a Christian under Afghanistan's Islamic laws.
- But yesterday, Rahman was briefly brought before the news media. According to a report by the BBC, he said: "I am not an infidel or a fugitive. I am a Christian. If they want to sentence me to death, I accept that."
- "He is not crazy. He went in front of the media and confessed to being a Christian," said Hamidullah, chief cleric at Haji Yacob Mosque.
"The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed. He is not mad. The government are playing games. The people will not be fooled," said Abdul Raoulf, cleric at Herati Mosque. "This is humiliating for Islam. ... Cut off his head."
- The execution will make a martyr out of this man. Christian organizations will use this as a lightning-rod to demonstrate the resolve of the Christian spirit in the face of tyranny. Not only that, it'll give Bush some stronger talking points. Don't need that.
- What is it about the Christian religion that was so compelling? His act of defiance in the face of death may cause a lot more people over there to wonder about Christianity, read books, listen to such propaganda. Is Christianity worth death? What did he know that made the Clerics frightened?
- And, of course, the worst sentiment would be, "Why do we have to force people to stay Muslims? Does our religion suck that bad?"