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Old 03-20-2006, 04:31 AM   #1
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US Sees No Problem With Religion in Constitution

Well I guess when you have a leader who shares an invisible friend they cut some slack for insane ideas to leak into a liberated nations legal system
Quote:
A MAN detained by police for converting from Islam to Christianity could face the death penalty if he refused to become a Muslim again, an Afghani judge said today.

Islamic sharia law proposes the death sentence for Muslims who abandon the religion. Afghanistan's new constitution says "no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam".

Supreme Court judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada said the suspect, Abdur Rahman, was arrested after members of his family informed police of his conversion.

He would be charged with abandoning Islam, Mr Mawlavizada said.

"The prosecutor says he should be executed on the basis of the constitution," Mr Mawlavizada said, who added that Mr Rahman could come back to Islam.

"If he does not ... he will be punished," he said...
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Limited Sharia? Yeah and my girlfriend is half pregnant
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:00 AM   #2
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Conversion out of Islam brings problems for individuals in many countries.

I wonder if this is just an extremist interpretation of Islam, or something that is far more accepted.
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:57 AM   #3
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The Deobandi school of Islam, the spiritual precursor of the Taliban, is alive and well in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India. It dates from the mid nineteenth century, and has much in common with Wahhabism. Many of the warlords who still control much of Afghanistan sympathise with this school of Islam. They can talk about democracy all they want to, but at the end of the day they've still got these people to deal with.
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Old 03-20-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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Ok, I have a question--your title says "US Sees No Problem With Religion in Constitution", but there is no mention of the US or of any US officials in the actual article...
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:04 PM   #5
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The implication is the US involvement in helping Afghanistan draft its constitution. Always the tension between intervension and self determination.
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Old 03-20-2006, 01:56 PM   #6
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Oh, I see. In other words the U.S. might be complicent in this enforcement of this particularly repressive form of Islam. This doesn't make us look good. It's not what we went there for.
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Old 03-20-2006, 02:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
Oh, I see. In other words the U.S. might be complicent in this enforcement of this particularly repressive form of Islam. This doesn't make us look good. It's not what we went there for.
"Complicent in enforcement" is probably too broad a description. I guess the suggestion is that the US should have prevented the Islamic law standard in the preparation of the Afghani Constitution. After all, we did help with other provisions on the structure of the governement.
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Old 03-20-2006, 03:13 PM   #8
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Afghanistan does have small Hindu and Sikh minorities (totaling about 1%); these policies do not apply to them. A couple bits from Wikipedia reagrding sharia and conversion:
Quote:
In most interpretations of an Islamic state, conversion by Muslims to other religions is forbidden and is termed apostasy. Muslim theology equates apostasy to the crime of treason, the betrayal of one's own country.
Quote:
However, this view has been rejected by some Muslim scholars both medieval (e.g. Sufyan al-Thawri) and modern (e.g. Hasan at-Turabi), who argue that the Hadith in question should be taken to apply only to political betrayal of the Muslim community, rather than to apostasy in general. These scholars argue for the freedom to convert to and from Islam without legal penalty, and consider the aforementioned Hadith quote as insufficient confirmation of harsh punishment; they regard apostasy as a serious crime, but undeserving of the death penalty.
It's interesting how the concept of conversion here gets bound up with concepts like "treason"--a connection it would not occur to most of us to make, because we think of treason as being a purely secular, political crime. Of course you could explain this by saying "God=state in Islam," but I wonder if that fully captures precisely how the offense is understood.

In India, for example, mass conversions of Hindus (usually Dalits, i.e. "untouchables") to Islam, Christianity or Buddhism is a not uncommon feature of the *political* landscape. I am not suggesting that all such conversions are merely political in nature, but they are usually publicly performed in a manner that carries decidely demonstration-like overtones. They generally aim, among other things, to send a message to the state, and the state in turn generally understands them as such--seeing in them a kind of uppity, subversive rebellion against both the social status quo and the demographic supremacy of Hinduism (which cuts close to the heart of Indian nationalist narrative). Thus, while conversion is certainly not forbidden, both the converts and the people who convert them are often bullied or harrassed by the state in various ways.

Of course Islam is different, and historically speaking you could not really analogize it to "the Hindu state" in any consistent fashion; in some times and places the idea of "one united Islam" has been strong, in other times and places not. Still I think it is interesting how these ideas of national identity and religious identity intertwine.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:35 PM   #9
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A person might be executed because he converted to the Christian faith.

Does this not bother you?

I'm not really concerned about Islamic Law or George Bush.

To hell with any man-made law that kills a person for their religious beliefs.
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Old 03-20-2006, 09:38 PM   #10
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But it is not really man made law to these people, it comes from the same imaginary friend.
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:32 PM   #11
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Theocracy Watch: Afghanistan

Toronto Globe and Mail
Quote:
The judge deciding whether an Afghan man should be executed for converting to Christianity does not understand what all the fuss is about.

"In this country, we have [a] perfect constitution. It is Islamic law and it is illegal to be a Christian and it should be punished," Judge Alhaj Ansarullah Mawawy Zada said in an interview yesterday. "In your country, two women can marry. I think that is very strange."

Judge Zada, head of Kabul's primary court, has already heard initial evidence in the case of Abdul Rahman, a 41-year-old who converted to Christianity from Islam more than 14 years ago. The judge is expected to deliver his verdict within two weeks.

Mr. Rahman converted while in Pakistan where he worked for a Christian aid agency. He was arrested after he returned to his birthplace and tried to regain custody of his daughters, who had been living with his parents. His family turned him in, and he was arrested with a Bible in his possession.

"It is a crime to convert to Christianity from Islam. He is teasing and insulting his family by converting," Judge Zada said. "The Attorney-General is emphasizing he should be hung."

If sentenced to death, Mr. Rahman has two avenues of appeal: to the Provincial Court and to the Supreme Court. The death sentence also would need President Hamid Karzai's approval to be carried out.

Prosecutor Abdul Wasi said the charge would be dropped if Mr. Rahman converted back to Islam, which he has so far refused to do.
I realize that the fact that this is happening in Afghanistan should not come as a huge surprise. However, is this not exactly the sort of thing we are in the middle east for in the first place? I thought we were trying to give them a free Democratic society where the citizens would no longer need to live in fear of their government.

I am dissapointed that this much lauded constitution of theirs allows for the execution of those whose religious beliefs don't line up with those of the state. And maybe that's just this judges opinion and the story was ran just to influence weak minded persons like myself.

However, if things like this are still alllowed to continue, what were we doing there ine first place? Just blowing stuff up for the sheer fun of it, grabbing some oil, and handing power back over to the same corrupt regimes?
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Old 03-21-2006, 02:48 PM   #12
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Re: Theocracy Watch: Afghanistan

Quote:
Originally posted by shrmn8rpoptart

However, if things like this are still alllowed to continue, what were we doing there ine first place? Just blowing stuff up for the sheer fun of it, grabbing some oil, and handing power back over to the same corrupt regimes?
Good question. Maybe some people would answer that we need to respect their religious beliefs I don't see Bush doing anything about homosexuals being executed in Iran either.
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Old 03-21-2006, 03:46 PM   #13
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This is so complicated. This is exactly why it's impossible to make such an Islamic country a democracy as we know it. They've had to base their constitution on Islamic law, sharia, because of the power of the warlords. As long as they base their rule on this they're going to have laws forbidding apostasy because that's part of the Islamic heritage. The only predominately Islamic country that is not run with a sharia based constitution is secular Turkey, and even they are having a hell of time stopping "honor killings". A recent poll found that a quarter of the Turkish people support honor killings.
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76
The only predominately Islamic country that is not run with a sharia based constitution is secular Turkey
Not true--Indonesia and Bangladesh, the first and third largest majority-Muslim countries in the world respectively, do not have sharia-based constitutions. Indonesia's is based on a homegrown legal philosophy called pancasila, while Bangladesh follows a modified English system. In both cases some elements of Muslim family law are incorporated into the constitution, and Aceh province in Indonesia does have its own quasi-autonomus sharia system, but neither country's constitution could be described as "sharia-based."
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Old 03-21-2006, 04:21 PM   #15
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OK, you win, I lose. It is impossible to learn everything there is to know about the Islamic countries.
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