It's not a crime to convert... it's a crime to kill

I don't often agree with CBC Cross-Country Check-Up host Rex Murphy, but he was dead-on when asking, in light of this case, whether Canadian troops should be in Afghanistan to protect this country's "right" to execute people for freedom of thought.

As usual, the insightful Br. Sondjata at Garvey's Ghost has articulated some of the most distressing and disgusting problems inside the Islamic world (especially as faced by Afrikans). I've spent my life speaking up for underdogs, and for much of the time, that's included Muslims, especially when they're the victims of imperialist (i.e. Western) wars of murderous plunder and racist violence; I'm proud to call many Muslims friends, and of course, my greatest hero, the honourable Malcolm X, was a Muslim.

But when (certain) Muslims are the oppressors, then their actions, too, must be condemned in no uncertain terms.

The issue must never be pro-Muslim, pro-Jew, pro-Christian, pro-Rastafari, pro-Ifa, pro-Africentrist, pro-whatever group. It must be pro-human rights, pro-fair play, pro-children, pro-education, pro-health care, pro-justice, for whomever, wherever, regardless of creed, race, gender, sexual orientation, or anything else that is irrelevant to treating fellow human beings and our environment with compassion.

I understand that when one's group is under attack from outside, one is reluctant to criticise the group's genuine problems publicly--one wants to avoid giving support to those who may be trying to destroy one's group, or at least harm it. But this thinking prevents, for instance, some Afrikan-American leaders from condemning the brutal dictatorships of countries such as Sudan and Zimbabwe (and only a few years ago, Zaire and Nigeria), prevents some Jews from condemning Israeli government atrocities, and prevents some Muslims from condemning the viciousness and oppression of governments in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Indonesia, Pakistan and, only a few years ago, Afghanistan.

I urge everyone, of whatever background, to follow the path demonstrated by people such as Malcolm X and Noam Chomsky: challenge the abuse inside your own community. Challenge it from integrity, compassion and love. Doing so doesn't make you a wanna-be media darling, a phoney, an apostate or a sycophant for the Neo-Conservative media establishment... not unless you want to be one.

Afghan convert seeks asylum
Tuesday 28 March 2006, 0:02 Makka Time, 21:02 GMT

"An Afghan man who faced the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity [16 years ago] has appealed for asylum abroad.

"Afghan officials could not immediately confirm that Abdul Rahman had been released after the case against him was dismissed on Sunday, but a UN statement on Monday appeared to confirm growing speculation he was being freed.Adrian Edwards, a UN spokesman, said: 'Mr Rahman has asked for asylum outside Afghanistan.

"'We expect this will be provided by one of the countries interested in a peaceful solution to this case.' Rahman was arrested last month after police discovered him with a Bible and put him on trial last week for converting 16 years ago while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

"He had faced the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws."


sondjata said…
You are too kind to cite me as a source of info.
I will simply co-sign the sentiment.
Anonymous said…
The death sentence on an apostate is the sharia law and denouncing islam by a muslim is a great insult to the prophet and allah.
sondjata said…
Why is Allah threatened by a mere mortal deciding that the particular way of thinking is not right?

Mohammed is dead. He can't be insulted. If Mohammed was such a man of peace then he could not condone the killing of another person. He would leave the judgement and the sentance to Allah. Of course if Mohammed is not a person of peace then he would be advocating the killing of a person and hence the Danish cartoons would be spot on. Now which would you choose?
Anonymous said…
Those are interesting concerns that you raised sondjata. Why don't you bring them up with the local mosque and let us know what they think? Tell them that you have an issue with their sharia law, which many muslims believe is the divine law, and then let them choose between the insult-proof man-of-peace (muhammad) idea or the violent-muhammad/spot-on danish cartoons idea. I'd be interested to see their reaction to that.

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