writing rengeek magpie mind

November 2014

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writing rengeek magpie mind

More on the Abdul Rahman case, or why things always seem to be more complicated than they appear in a 20-second sound bite:

At least according to an interview on NPR this morning with a BBC reporter who is working the story, the case against Abdul Rahman (The Afghani man who is charged with converting to Christianity and could face the death penalty) is a bit more complicated than it seems on the surface.

Specifically, what's going on here is that Mr. Rahman converted to Christianity some 16 years ago (reports vary: I have heard that he was in either Germany or Pakistan at the time.) Charges are being brought against him not by the Afghan government, but rather by his own family, as a weapon in a child custody battle. As the Afghan constitution specifies a reliance on Sharia law, it's not so simple as "just changing the law to allow him freedom of religion."

This is not just an issue of human rights abuse, in other words. It's a constitutional issue that encompasses issues of religious freedom. (And yes, it's why even "Jedi" should be protected as a religious denomination, if you ask me, even if I happen to think it's silly. It's also why a government reliance on religious law seems to me problematic, but I'm not here to editorialize. Um, right this second, anyway. (look! paralipsis! synchronicity strikes again!))

So the insanity defense is actually being offered by the judge and the prosecutor in this case. (The judge actually seems to think Rahman may not be quite right in the head. The prosecutor may be looking for an excuse not to, er, prosecute.) Because under Sharia law, as under our own English-common-law based system, insanity is a defense.

Of course, this still does not help Mr. Rahman in his custody battle, we may presume.

Comments

OTOH, this does make the US's response--asking the government to intervene on Mr. Rahman's behalf--a bit problematic. Because nobody in the world, at this point, likes to be seen backing down from the bullies, and that is the world perception of my nation now.
And yet, the crux of the matter still remains, despite the evident complexity of the situation; if Sharia law were not dominant, the family would have to find a different way to fight a custody battle. (The sparkle of good news, I suppose, is that the Afghanis are able to fight custody battles in the courts, but it is a bit overshadowed at this point.)

Just as the West did, the Middle East is going to have to find a way to follow the more progressive elements and separate church and state. Unfortunately, they may experience the same sort of growing pains that the West did on the way to separation.
Have you looked at our drug enforcement codes recently? Or the number of lawmakers who seem to think "it says so in the Bible" is a good excuse for legislation?

I'm feeling hesitant to claim I'm not a barbarian, currently. *g*
I guess what I'm saying is that this looks to me like a cautionary tale rather than one exemplifying the merits of *our* judicial system.

OTOH, our judicial system could be worse. Moussaoui is getting a freaking kangaroo trial, but at least we aren't handing him in the public square without benefit of jury.
Well, right. I never said we'd Achieved Perfection... but yes, we're well ahead of a constitution that allows for executions based on religious preferences. I think we've crested the big hill, and now we're engaged in the process of maintenance. Which many have forgotten needs to be constant.
heh. we can hope, anyway. *g*

*gets out and pushes*
As in America where people are accused of Homosexuality, drug abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse, and mopery and dopery on the King's Highway in a large number of everyday divorce actions?.. I cite the recent Supreme Court case where the wife turned in hubby's coke straw in a domestic dispute case...

It used to be that felony adultry was the only grounds for divorce in the USA.

Any stick to beat a dog.
Tribal Islam is not a particularly tolerant religion*, but then most people in this world do _not_ feel tolerant. Even in the US, tolerance seems to be a minority position. And traditional Islam does decree death for apostasy. Also for any attempts to convert a Muslim to any other faith, for blasphemy, and for many other offenses. The Afghan courts are following their "rule of law." Western democracy lives in a different world than Islam.

"East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet."

*When my cousin served as a translator for the US State Department in such places as Qatar, she was warned not to bring a Christian Bible with her, or other religious objects.
yes.
And traditional Islam does decree death for apostasy. Also for any attempts to convert a Muslim to any other faith ...

Oh! So that's why my crazy second cousins on my dad's side are always talking in their Christmas letter about getting thrown out of some Middle-Eastern country or another for Preaching the Word...
What struck me about this article when I read it is that if this is law, how many people are being executed for not following Islam, and we're just not hearing about it? Isn't this guy in some kind of position of authority? That seemed to be the only reason why this case is making the US papers.
No, apparently it's not usually prosecuted. The significant thing here is that his *family* brought charges.
Paralipsis -- right here in River City! It starts with P, which rhymes with T, which stands for Trouble.

(Expanded lurve.)

---L.
you rock.
Not as much as The Space Child's Mother Goose.

I feel the need to declare an International Honor Your Influences Week.

---L.