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Abdul Rahman to be set free?

A diplomatic source tells NBC News:  In response to what the Afghan government is calling "the unprecedented international outcry," the Afghan government intends to release Abdul Rahman by Monday barring any unforseen circumstances. That would mean he would be out by Sunday U.S. time. This comes after a very tough call yesterday from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. In particular, Rice wants the issue resolved quickly before she has to testify at scheduled congressional hearings next week. The controversy threatens to blow up politically for the president at a time when billions of dollars in supplemental aid to pay for the Afghan war and reconstruction are pending.

The primary basis for the release would be the Afghan's claim that Rahman is not mentally competent to stand trial. However, Rice has warned Karzai that that is not an appropriate solution. In any case, he would probably be given security and taken out of the country -- most likely to Germany. 

Secondly:  NBC News has learned that Karzai will submit nominees for a nine-member Afghan Supreme Court to parliament for confirmation, along with his new, 26-member cabinet. The Supreme Court -- once confirmed -- would help avoid future conflicts between the Afghan Constutition's guarantee of free speech and the underlying premises of Islamic law. However, that is long-term -- the court would likely not be confirmed by the parliament for at least a month.

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COMMENTS

I find it interesting to see how much attention this case is getting in the media - and as a result how much conversation it is stimulating in many different circles of people. It doesn't surprise me that they would try to execute him when he returned to Afghanistan as a converted Christian. That is what their Islamic mandate requires. The high profile of this case hopefully is making that apparent to many who have seen Islam as a peaceful alternative view of God/Allah, but there is no room for tolerance in the Islamic religion. To say nothing about the bleak treatment of women and their lack of value as human beings.

Up date on the islam convert he has a mentil illness. The US most likely will let him live in the US. Now does that solve the problem for the US religious groups trying to convert Iraq/Afgan to be christens. Are we to deport all muslins that covert as Iraq/Afgan laws still forbid changing. We never learned to mind our own business and we keep getting deeper and deeper in trouble.

Once again islam, the religion of peace, has showed it's true colors. Where is the outcry from "moderate" islam denouncing this persecution of a Christian? Absent as usual. This so-called religion, more so a violent cult than a religion, reacts with predictable intolerance. Let this be another warning to the civilized world that islam will never live peacefully anywhere; even with itself. My prayers to the brave Afghan Christian and his defense of his faith. Let's hope we don't have to refer to him as a martyr.

Reading about this situation reminded me of a sentence that one young US Marine had written on his helmet cover when I was serving in Viet Nam. It seems like this philosophy has been adopted by most muslim governments. Quote: "Kill them all, Let God (Allah?) sort them out. At least the marine meant it somewhat humorously and "tongue in cheek". The muslim nations are deadly (a word chosen carefully) serious in this regard.........

That Rahman has denied being mentally ill and is facing the charges head on is a credit to his faith in Christ. He is not letting the govenment let him off on a technicality. He is not ashamed to stand up for Christ even if it does cost him his life. Hopefully it doesn't come to that.

What really irks me is that The US as well as Canada and other nations have spent alot of time, money as well as the lives of their military (including their families) to rout the Taliban and yet Afghanistan has really no more real freedom. Maybe it is time to look at why we are there, what has really been accomplished, and what we seek to accomplish. The Afghani people say they want freedom, yet without freedom to choose ones faith there is no real freedom.

WW2 in Europe was really faught over the same issue. The Issue of freedom and basic human rights. What is our responsibility to ensure that what happened under the Nazis doesn't occur again under any other regime? It is still a life and death struggle in many parts of the world. To equate those struggles with the ones we have in North America truly dismisses the life and death struggle for basic freedom in other parts of the world.

in responce to the last comment...have you ever left our country? Or do you live day to day life totally blinded to the rest of the world?? Actually that in itself is a HUGE freedom! There are people, adults, who are stuck in the country that they, and all their ancestors, have been raised in. The laws, religion, all ways of life are decided and forced on them. And they are traped in it. You can choose all these things...even to the smallest freedom of what job you want. The things and pain that other people have to go through... We would be helping humans in need, not "butting into" their buisness. If we liberated them, they could even choose to live the same life. We force nothing. People die fighting to give what we are so blessed to have. True we have our issues that need to be addressed, we always will. But we have come very far...to the point that americans are focused on how much they weigh instead of "what if I believe in a different religion and I don't want to die for it??"

As a Muslim American I am very upset with this case in Afghanistan. Nowhere in Quran is this punishment described. To the contrary, man's freedom to choose or reject faith is mentioned several places.
The only basis for this type of conduct in early days of Islam was the nonbelievers pretending to accept Islam to infiltrate their ranks, learn their plans and then returning to their tribe, renounce Islam(and help fight against the Muslims)In today's world it would be like executing a spy. No such parallel exists in this case.It is most unfortunate that ignorant people pretending to practice this type of Islam, make this religion a target of ridicule and criticism. Muslims all over the world, need to speak up and present the true face of Islam which teaches compassion and mercy.

this man who converted to christianity is free to do so. the Prophit of Islam him self (pbu) has a treaty with the non moslems, the most fundamental condition in the treaty was if one of the non moslems converted to Islam , moslems will send him back to his own people. but if a moslem denounce Islam , moslems do not want him back. the wisdom behind that was. Islam is a religion of quality not quantity , further more ISLAM is a religion of solid belief and any moslem denounce ISLAM has a shaky belief, and ISLAM does not need that.

This poor, ignorant man "converted" about 16 years ago- probably in return for money or a visa- and has been in Germany all that time, so why would he return just now, do you think? He knows the penalty. Just another attempt at trying to tarnish Islam. A bit of propaganda. Why are people so wary of Islam ? Ignorance-that's what. It's his loss actually- and his alone. All Muslims believe in the one God, and all Muslims believe in Jesus (PUH), but as a prophet of God, same as Moses(PUH) and many others. Mohammed (PBUH) was the last prophet of God.

There is no reason in the world why that this man in Islamic or any other law or religion why he should be executed for being a Christian or any religion of his or her choice. But the United States MUST work harder and better to promote religious freedom here as well as fighting for all freedom elsewhere. If we can PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH HERE,there WILL be peace in all the world. And that's what we and our God really want.

The world screamed "brutality" for the events that occurred in the Abu prison. Where are those voices now? Those actions, although wrong, were against a captured, potentially dangerous enemy, not ministers or missionaries or religious converts. I am glad this situation has brought this ongoing behavior to light. Muslims have slaughtered thousands of Christians, just because they are Christians. Apart from Christian organizations who monitor such actions, the west is blind to these atrocities. In almost every country where islam is proclaimed, Christians are tortured and killed. I am tired of it. Christians and non-Christians need to take a stance against this nonsense. I, for one, am not willing to turn any more cheeks.

I for one assumed that The US was spreading "Democracy" - a " Secular" one! It is easy to offer one convert an asylum elsewhere. What if many out there want to convert too ( genuinely indeed)? The only remedy is a "secular government"! Otherwise,in a "Religious State" people will end up electing groups like " Hamas" in the name of democracy! This is not in the best interest of The US or (the rest the world)who spent and is continuing to spend precious human lives and billions of dollars to improve the standard of living of the people of Afganistan.

After the caricatures of Muhammad were released, Muslims around the world were voicing their opposition to them. They were holding signs reading, Tolerance, and Respect for Islam. Where is their tolerance, where is their respect when it comes to other religions. I pray that Mr. Abdul Rahman is released and I also pray that Muslims will see their hypocrisy.

I have been following the story of Abdul Rahman. I must say, as an Arab-American and as a person who has lived in the Middle East for over 14 years, I am saddened by the way in which this man's fait is being handled and at the same time I am not entirely surprised. This is, unfortunately, the nature of Islam to recognize only its own beliefs and show zero tolerence.
Although no human religious group is free from mistakes or sins (past or present), I wish that one of these days a Muslim cleric would have the self-respect and respect for others to follow the lead of the late Pope John Paul II and appologize to the world of all past and historical sins and crimes commited against humanity in the name of religion.
I am baffled by the statement made by Shahnawaz Farooqui that quotes "On the contrary, there is not a single instance in Muslim history in which people were forced to change their religion, and even if there were an isolated incident, it would never be endorsed by Islam or by unified Muslim opinion". This is a flat out lie and any intellectual person would know that there existed "el-jizyah" in the early days of Islam during the "futuhat": convert to Islam or pay a fine or be killed.

It is dis-heartening that such a strongly upheald religion such as Islam would be threatened by one convert. What are Muslim clerics afraid of losing by showing forgiveness, compassion and giving God the final say-so? It is not for human beings to judge the fait of a convert from any religion. God gave humans brains to think for themselves. He has allowed us that priveledge. Who are the Muslim clerics to want to take that right away? It only makes me believe more and more that the only way to keep the maximum number of people Muslim is to force them to stay in the religion or else kill them as a threat and example to all those who may have second thoughts of their own. Tell me, won't a person who has done a good deed out of his own will receive a much greater reward from God than a person who is doing so begrudgeoningly because he feels forced to do so? God knows what is in each person's heart and mind.

I hope that one day soon, the Muslim nations will open their eyes to see how they have become an alienated group who continuously lose leverage and credibility by allowing extremism to overpower human freedom and dignity and respect.

This isn't a matter of what Americans think, it is about the right to your religion.

One knows the rules and the punishments when those rules are violated.

Governors, mostly republican governors, have carried out executions of prisoners over the objections of the Pope and leaders of other countries. George Bush refused to commute the sentence of women prisoners on death row and those who claimed to be borned again. The law's the law, no exceptions.

Why is this case any different?

I think it is our business to get involved with this poor man's plight for this reason: the current administration in Afghanistan is there because of our military muscle. They cannot claim to be a bourgeoning democracy and yet cry out for the blood of a man who searches for the promise of faith in a direction that does not face Mecca.

I do believe that we would strive to help this individual whether he converted to any other religion and risked execution for doing it. The freedom of religion is something Americans hold dear. This is not a Christian issue. The heart of the matter lies with the nature of Islam.

What other major world religion, I ask you, has the right to execute you for converting to another religion? What religion will wage war when criticized? What might that say about that religion and its insecurities?

I think what this issue has done is given the world another reality check regarding the problems the West faces in this region.

I wonder if we are facing a new Crusade, for the problems of today really go back thousands of years. I fear what the answer might be.

And to think, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all stem from the God of Abraham!

C. Gonzalez
Texas

Of course he needs to be saved from a certain death. Why do we have to turn everything into us vs. them, muslims vs. christians. Both Christians and Muslims have done the same type of killings in the name of their religion. Organized Religion is the one and only thing remaining on the way of a Peaceful Existence. As long as humans seek power and influence using the religion, this will continue. I refuse to blame either the True message of Islam or the True message of Christianity. Please wake up and don't try to change the world... Change yourself.

Thank God for each of you who has voiced thier opion to help save our fellow Christian, and those of different faiths who see the killing of a man for his convictions to be a human rights offence. We all need to be more supportive of each other in all aspects of life. It is a shame that this is not the only person being prosecuted for a belief that is contrary to thier Governments, we need to thank the media in Afganistan for letting this story come out. The real war in this world is over religion and many of these wars will continue for many more years but what ever anyone of us can do to help keep people from being killed for thier beliefs we should. Violence is never the answer, and any religion that has a basic policy to kill those who do not follow thier doctrine is not a religion. It is a rulershihp of men over men passing from one genration to another fear. The real fear they all have is that we will see them for the fakes they are. Bullies who keep thier followers through threats and intimidation, even death. If it was a religion that was worth the paper it was written on then they would not be afraid of loosing followers. May God bless each person who stands up for thier faith whereever they may be.

This isn't a matter of America butting in on another countries laws. This is about a universal right to freedom of religious belief. No one should be executed for converting to a religion. Can you imagine if we decided to execute someone in the USA for being a Muslim, or some other non-Christian religion? Can you imagine the outcry from Afghanistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai and other places?

The comparisons between Islam and the Christian crusades are not completely inaccurate, however, Christianity and the West in general have moved beyond these ideals in the last 800 years. It is clear that Islam and the Middle East has not. It was only after the power of “the church” was broken that the inquisitions and crusades stopped. I find it highly unlikely that societies locked in the Middle Ages, ruled by totalitarian religious regimes that did not participate in the Renaissance, the Reformation or the Enlightenment have a chance to implement a 21st century political system.

I am not a fundamentalist Christian, but a moderate Catholic with a ministry in my Church. The mere idea that in this day and age a Christian might die a martyr because of his choosing Christ, is simply unacceptable and repugnant.
"good luck tonight nova" wonders if we should be butting in another country's business. Well, wake up and realize that we already have since shortly after 9/11, and we have spilled the blood of our children so that Afghanistan might be free, and that should include the freedom of religion.
If the Afghan convert is released because he is "mentally deficient" that would be a huge insult, too. It would mean that, in the opinion of the Afghan government, you would have to be crazy to be a Christian. It'an insult to us all.
And by the way, I am not a Bush supporter. It just takes common sense to be outraged by this action of the Afghan government.

Organized Religion... This is the root of all that we're witnessing. Both Islam and Christianity have shown to be all about power and control. Stop being so religious and peace will prevail. The fact that you're badmouthing Islam and they bad mouth Christians proves my point. Shut up and stop being a sheep. bahh, bahh. Wake up and start living your God given life.

This clearly demonstrates that no secular, democratic country can afford to let in people who want sharia law. Truly moderate muslims are secular-minded. We need to clearly state what 'moderate' means and ensure people's commitment to basic human rights, secular government and local law before they can immigrate.

This is not 'islamophobia', but rational protection of the human rights we have developed over centuries.

while i agree overall that the man should not be executed and this islamic law is fundamentally wrong, i don't know if we should set the precedent of butting into other countries business. it's their country, it's their laws. who are we to come in and tell them how to run their country? I know most will say that our men and women in uniform have died fighting for freedom. this is absolutely true and i understand those feelings. however, do we want to be seen as a country that liberates people and then pressures them to circumvent the laws they come up with no matter how despicable those laws are? this is why i believe that you go to war for OUR nation's security and not for LIBERATING other countries. if liberation is a by product of securing ourselves that is great. i do believe the war in afghanistan was for our security so i agreed with it. (the mess in iraq is another issue altogether for another time. i didn't agree w/ iraq, i'll say that. ) the only thing then i guess is that when we want to change these places like afghanistan, we need to make sure that the proper rulers step forth in the first place. in summary, we can't just invade countries, ask them to be democracies, and then demand that these countries subvert certain laws no matter how appalling they are. (and this one is appalling and it makes me sick-if there any muslims out there, I would like to know if they will denounce this absurd law which is pure and utter nonsense.)

I do think this man's human rights are being violated, and I hope America, hypocritical though it may be, is successful in stopping the injustice, if only for the sake of this man. All people of all religions should be open-minded enough to respect and tolerate those they disagree with religiously. That is crucial to peace.

I also hope this ispires those of us who are Christian Americans to take a good, honest look at ourselves and eliminate the areas in which we are committing similar violations on a less dramatic scale. I hope we can come to realize the importance of seperation of church and state. We commit the same sin in a more subdued way every time we try to pass legislation that has no legitimate rational outside of religious belief.

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