Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Vanishing Act

Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert from Afghanistan who was on trial for his life and was released after worldwide attention and pressure, was released overnight and has vanished from sight.

He still fears for his life, as numerous mullahs continue calling for his head. Hopefully, he will be able to make his way to a safe haven and gain entry into a friendly nation under amnesty.
Rahman, 41, was released from the high-security Policharki prison on the outskirts of Kabul late Monday, Afghan Justice Minister Mohammed Sarwar Danish told The Associated Press.

"We released him last night because the prosecutors told us to," he said. "His family was there when he was freed, but I don't know where he was taken."

Deputy Attorney-General Mohammed Eshak Aloko said prosecutors had issued a letter calling for Rahman's release because "he was mentally unfit to stand trial." He also said he did not know where Rahman had gone after being released.

He said Rahman may be sent overseas for medical treatment.

On Monday, hundreds of clerics, students and others chanting "Death to Christians!" marched through the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif to protest the court decision Sunday to dismiss the case. Several Muslim clerics threatened to incite Afghans to kill Rahman if he is freed, saying that he is clearly guilty of apostasy and deserves to die.

"Abdul Rahman must be killed. Islam demands it," said senior Cleric Faiez Mohammed, from the nearby northern city of Kunduz. "The Christian foreigners occupying Afghanistan are attacking our religion."
One can clearly understand why Rahman would choose to go into hiding; these Islamic fundamentalists do not accept any view of Islam other than their own, and anyone who converts away from Islam must be put to death. These views are hard and fast, and are incompatible with multiculturalism, which puts all kinds of views on an even playing field.

Sister Toldjah adds that no one quite knows where Rahman went after his release. He was apparently released into the custody of his family, who happen to be among the same folks who turned him in to the authorities in the first place. No one has any idea where he is, and has apparently fallen off the map.
The issue began as a private matter between Mr. Rahman and his family. When he tried to regain custody of his two daughters, family members told the authorities that Mr. Rahman had converted to Christianity about 15 years ago.

Afghanistan's Constitution ensures citizens' religious freedom, but it also states that Islam is the supreme law. While the criminal code does not specify that converting from Islam to Christianity is forbidden, Islamic law considers it a sin punishable by death, according to conservative clerics and the prosecution in this case.
As we've seen over the past week, Afghans take the Islamic law far more seriously than the religious freedom portion of the Afghan constitution.

Others wondering where Rahman went, and blogging the ongoing fallout from the Rahman case: Michelle Malkin, Church and State, The Political Pit Bull, and Independent Conservative.

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