The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Afghani Man Gets Asylum in Italy

Posted by iusbvision on April 4, 2006

Abdul Rahman faced a sentence of death in Afghanistan after seeking custody of his two children.  Rahman, who has spent the last nine years of his life living in Germany, returned to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban seeking to reunite with his daughters, now 13 and 14.

The grandparents who have raised the children fought Rahman’s request and a custody battle ensued.  During the investigation, Rahman was exposed as a Christian and was arrested for carrying a Bible.  Sixteen years ago, Rahman renounced Islam and converted to Christianity.  According to Islamic law, this is called apostasy and carries a penalty of torture and public execution.

This issue strained relations between western allies and the fledgling Afghan government over freedom of worship in a democracy.  President Bush and Secretary of State Condi Rice previously spoke with Afghan President Hamid Karzai about the importance of protecting personal freedoms.  Congressman Tom Lantos (D-CA), German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Pope Benedict XVI have also sent letters of concern over Rahman.

The Afghani Parliament, on the other hand, does not see the importance of religious freedom.  Rahman was released after a court found him mentally ill, but the parliament sought to keep him in the country because many Muslim clerics continue to call for his death.

Italy has given Rahman asylum the same way they gave former Afghani King Mohammed Zaher Shah asylum in Rome for the past thirty years, assuming he can safely leave the country.  Many Muslim clerics have threatened violence in response to the expedition of Rahman.  “This is a betrayal of Islam and the entire Afghan nation by our government,” a senior cleric in Kabul named Hamiddullah told Reuters. “This will have very dangerous consequences for the government. Muslim leaders will react very strongly.”

So far, all demonstrations have been peaceful with no casualties reported.  Most recently, over 700 clerics demonstrated in northern Afghanistan.  No protests have since been scheduled.

Jarrod Brigham
Editor

 

One Response to “Afghani Man Gets Asylum in Italy”

  1. Nick Adams said

    So let me get this straight. The only way they could accept him turning from Islam to Christianity is by declaring him insane? And even then they still wanted to kill him. I thought only Christians were the intolerant ones. Where is the ACLU, Afghanistani Civil Liberities Union?

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