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Afghans Won’t Kill Christian – Say He Is Crazy

A cop-out worthy of Solomon.

From the French AFP:

Afghan court drops trial of Christian amid doubts over his mental state

KABUL (AFP) – An Afghan court has dropped its case against a Christian who faces execution for converting from Islam, referring the matter to Kabul's top prosecutor for a final decision.

The Supreme Court had decided not to pursue its case against Abdul Rahman after hearing testimony that he was mentally disturbed, court spokesman Wakil Omari told AFP.

The attorney general's office in the capital would now decide if the case against Rahman, 41, should be pursued or dropped. Its investigation was likely to include medical tests, Omari said Sunday.

"The attorney general has the authority to either send back the case to this or any court or even can decide" to release him, Omari said.

Officials said at the weekend that Rahman was likely to be released within a few days.

The Supreme Court last week said that Rahman must revert to Islam or face death according to Sharia Islamic law on which the country's constitution is partly based.

He was arrested two weeks ago after his parents went to the authorities, reportedly following a family dispute.

"According to his relatives, his cousin Abdul Munir … and his daughter, Maria, he's not mentally fit. He's mad," Omari said.

"He himself has said that he hears strange voices in his head. His files have been sent back to the attorney general for further investigations."

Rahman, who is being held in a maximum security jail on the outskirts of Kabul, converted 16 years ago in Pakistan and spent many years in Germany before returning to
Afghanistan around 2002.

His case has provoked a storm of protest from many of the Western nations providing Afghanistan with military and financial support vital to battling an insurgency led by remnants of the former Taliban regime and rebuilding after years of war.

They have called on Afghanistan to honour its constitutional obligations to uphold human rights.

Many in Afghanistan point out that the constitution states "no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam".

President Hamid Karzai met Saturday with a range of parties to discuss the matter, which an official said he regarded as a "serious crisis".

But there was no let up in pressure from his Western allies, with Australian Prime Minister John Howard expressing "disgust" at Rahman's possible execution and linking the issue to his country's troop presence in Afghanistan.

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday added his voice to a chorus of criticism from the US, Britain, Canada, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Nations.

Discussions continued Sunday "among high-ranking officials of the government to find a way to meet the expectations of the international community and the internal expectations," an official said.

"We do understand the concerns of our friends abroad and we hope we could reach an agreeable solution."

Afghanistan became a byword for medieval punishments under the Taliban, removed in 2001 in a US-led campaign, with women stoned to death for adultery and thieves' hands amputated.

Besides being a test of how far the country has moved on since then, the case is also seen as a major challenge for Karzai — forcing him to choose between his country and his international friends.

"It is like a two-side drum. Beating any side makes a noise," a Supreme Court judge not involved in the Rahman case said.

"You have got the international community on one end and the Afghan community on the other end. Either way Karzai is a loser: if he takes the side of one, he has the other party standing against him."

This could lead to whole wave of converts in the Middle East.

If being a Moslem is sane, I would hope a lot of people would prefer to be crazy.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, March 26th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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