Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Apostasy = Death

In Afghanistan. Lots on the case of Abdul Rehman at CaNN. Round up at Relapsed Catholic and Open Book as well.

Definitely go to the Afghan Times to watch the video of this courageous man proclaim, in the face of death, that he is not an apostate, but a follower of the Gospel, and of Jesus Christ.

Would that any of us would have this kind of courage.

The latest seems to be that President Karzai has promised the Canadian Prime Minister that Christians will not be persecuted in Afghanistan. Here's the kicker though:
"We will invite him again because the religion of Islam is one of tolerance. We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him," the trial judge told the BBC on Monday.
Recant or die!

[Oh, and read the interesting comments at the Open Book thread. A commentor there -- rightly I think -- points out that while in the past, Catholic tradition would not call for the outright murder of an apostate, there'd be a lot that would affront modern sensibilities. Her point is that Catholic traditionalists -- Lefevbrists and their ilk -- still cling to these notions, and condemn the Declaration on Religious Liberty of Vatican II. I, for one, am so darn glad for the Council itself! (If not for the aftermath, necessarily :-) On the issue of the development of doctrine with respect to religious freedom, there's an interesting article by Cardinal Dulles over at Pontifications. For the a cogent, traditionalist (i.e. conservative, not schismatic!) analysis of the whole concept of development, see this series of essays, also at Pontifications. Which, I admit, is definitely on my "to read at some point" list.]


assiniboine said...

Well indeed. And from the MSNBC news website:

"'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.'

"Raoulf is considered a moderate cleric in Afghanistan. He was jailed three times for criticizing the Taliban's policies before the hardline regime was ousted by U.S.-led forces in 2001."

On the other hand, one might consider that he *is* a little mad for being so forthright about his faith in the circumstances. It's not as though it comes as any surprise that apostasy from Islam is a capital offence under Sharia; indeed, I've had the odd inquiry from not-terribly-thoroughgoing Muslims in such places as to whether converting to Christianity wouldn't give one a credible claim to refugee status in the West. (Answer: probably yes. But at the cost of waiting for years to be processed.)

Gashwin said...

Yes -- with the risk that in those years waiting to be processed one's head might just separate from one's shoulders!

I forget where I read that he converted 16 years ago and was only recently denounced to the authorities by some disaffected family members.

Mad? Hmm -- the madness of the martyrs!