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November 21st, 2010
08:49 AM ET

Afghan Christian faces trial for alleged conversion from Islam

From Matiullah Mati for CNN:

An Afghan Christian, detained for months for allegedly converting to Christianity from Islam, could face trial as early as next week - and could face a potential death penalty, officials said Sunday.

Said Musa was arrested by Afghan Interior Ministry intelligence authorities near the German Embassy in Kabul because of the allegations, said Qamaruddin Shenwari, director of the Kabul courts' north zone. The exact date of his arrest is not known.

The case against Musa has not yet been finalized, said Mohammad Najim Hamidi, director of public security at Zone 3 of the Kabul courts. He could face trial next week if the case is prepared by then, Hamidi said. It was earlier thought Musa's trial would begin on Sunday.

The Afghan Constitution does not mention converting from one religion to another, so the judge will take Islamic law into account, officials said.

"According to Afghanistan's constitution, if there is no clear verdict as to whether an act is criminal or not in the penal code of the Afghan Constitution, then it would be referred to sharia law where the judge has an open hand in reaching a verdict," Shenwari said.

Under sharia law, converting from Islam to Christianity is punishable by death.

It was not immediately clear where Musa was being held and whether he has access to his attorney or relatives.

The U.S. State Department said last week in its annual International Religious Freedom Report that "respect for religious freedom" decreased in Afghanistan in the last year, "particularly toward Christian groups and individuals."

Christians, Hindus and Sikhs - as well as Muslims whose practices don't satisfy the government or society - suffer "intolerance in the form of harassment, occasional violence, discrimination and inflammatory public statements," the report said. It estimated the Afghan Christian community ranges from 500 to 8,000 people.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Afghanistan • Christianity • Islam

soundoff (669 Responses)
  1. HPNIII

    Let's stop the BS for once folks, these idiots are as bad a Hitler and I refuse to respect their religious beliefs.

    December 1, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
  2. Sadia

    if conversion from Islam to Christianity is punished by death,then what will be for Christians converting to Islam

    November 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm |
    • William

      There is no punishment for converting from christianity to any other religion. The authority to judge anyone is with God. As Jesus said "Those who did not sin can throw the first stone". You can write any kind of theory against Jesus, still nobody will kill you. This is the biggest difference between Christians and Muslims

      July 5, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  3. MicheleG

    so...once a comment gets the "awaiting moderation" thing it stays there forever and no one but the cnn moderators can see it? EVEN if the post is legitimate (no "secret" words embedded in it) and has ideas worth a wider review and there is NOTHING in the post that is objectionable?

    November 23, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
  4. somedude

    THEY KILLIN PEOPLE FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE. WE DIE FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE.

    November 22, 2010 at 7:09 pm |
    • somedoody

      who we?

      who they?

      November 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  5. somedude

    WE DIE FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IN... THEY KILL PEOPLE FOR WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN! Point blank period!

    November 22, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
  6. NM

    please check out http://www.islamicsolutions.com/islam-gave-the-world-the-gift-of-liberty/

    November 22, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
    • mohammy

      hahaa the muslim world gave liberty

      i didnt realize that hahahahahaha!

      November 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  7. Ilpalazzo

    Chris Henslow wrote – "It's written in the Koran and the Koran is the word of god."

    No, you dolt, the Koran is the word of ONE MAN named Mohammed. At least the Bible had different sources instead of from one bi-polar nutjob out in the desert.

    November 22, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • William

      New testament written by 4 people in differnt time but similarity is awesome. Works and deeds of Jesus, which is by far the greatest.

      July 5, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  8. Ilpalazzo

    This story is fake – Islam is the religion of peace and tolerance, sometimes known as the most peaceful of ALL religions....

    right?

    November 22, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • Jockey

      Iipalazzo I think you need to stop being in denial and get off Ivory tower and start looking at your Islamic peoples behaviour over time. I've seen to many times people like you saying Islam is the religion of peace when in Arabic it means "Submission" . Stop closing your eyes and open them. I know this is hard for you and many others as your taught not to question your religion since birth. Why don't you question it know and find out it's false. Look in history of non peacful Islamic behaviour. Why not start at the "Armenians" . Their are some really horrid photographs of proud Muslims with Christian heads here, dead men, weman and children, naked straved, abused and badly treated all in the name of the Islamic religion.

      April 2, 2011 at 6:50 am |
  9. rukiddingme

    Who would care if you went to heaven or not if any of this garbage was the path? Wrap it in any package, call it Holy...it's all about controlling the masses. Mankind has been crippled by this tribe mentality. Religion is the Anit-Christ.

    November 22, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  10. Peace2All

    @.308

    Some more for ya'...

    Adolf Hitler: Christianity and the Holy German Reich
    "As long as leadership from above was not lacking, the people fulfilled their duty and obligation overwhelmingly. Whether Protestant pastor or Catholic priest, both together and particularly at the first flare, there really existed in both camps but a single holy German Reich, for whose existence and future each man turned to his own heaven."

    – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 3

    Adolf Hitler: Significance of the Religion of Love
    "The more abstractly correct and hence powerful this idea will be, the more impossible remains its complete fulfillment as long as it continues to depend on human beings... If this were not so, the founders of religion could not be counted among the greatest men of this earth... In its workings, even the religion of love is only the weak reflection of the will of its exalted founder; its significance, however, lies in the direction which it attempted to give to a universal human development of culture, ethics, and morality."

    – Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf, Vol. 1 Chapter 8

    November 22, 2010 at 12:05 am |
  11. Jose M. Pulido

    JustHuman51: Were the 19 9/11 Arab murderers Christian? Were the shoe bomber and the underwear bomber Christians? Good thing the latter two were caught on time.

    November 21, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  12. Muneef

    How about if we read this valuable book which could prove to become your best friend for facts and informations that you have always wanted to know about...kindly check this link to contents:

    The Bible, The Qur'an and Science
    by Dr. Maurice Bucaille
    THE HOLY SCRIPTURES EXAMINED IN THE LIGHT
    OF MODERN KNOWLEDGE
    Translated from French
    by Alastair D. Pannell and The Author

    http://www.witness-pioneer.org/vil/Books/MB_BQS/default.htm

    November 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm |
    • Reality

      A better book and an excerpt:

      From Sir Salman Rushdie's book "Satanic Verses", p. 376, paperback issue – for those 1 billion Muslims to read as they are forbidden to purchase or read said book:

      One of the passages that prompted the crazy Ayatollah Khomeini to issue a fatwa against Sir Rushdie:

      Mahound = Mohammed
      Gibreel = Gabriel

      "The faithful lived by lawlessness, but in those years Mahound – or should one say the Archangel Gibreel? – should one say Al-Lah? – became obsessed by law.

      Amid the palm-trees of the oasis Gibreel appeared to the Prophet and found himself spouting rules, rules, rules, until the faithful could scarcely bear the prospect of any more revelation, Salman said, rules about every da-mn thing, if a man farts let him turn his face to the wind, a rule about which hand to use for the purpose of cleaning one's behind.

      It was as if no aspect of human existence was to be left unregulated, free. The revelation – the recitation- told the faithful how much to eat, how deeply they should sleep, and which se-xual positions had received divine sanction, so that they leamed that so-domy and the missionary position were approved of by the archangel, whereas the forbidden postures included all those in which the female was on top.

      Gibreel further listed the permitted and forbidden subjects of conversation, and earmarked the parts of the body which could not be scratched no matter how unbearably they might itch.

      He vetoed the consumption of prawns, those bizarre other-worldly creatures which no member of the faithful had ever seen, and required animals to be killed slowly, by bleeding, so that by experiencing their deaths to the full they might arrive at an understanding of the meaning of their lives, for it is only at the moment of death that living creatures understand that life has been real, and not a sort of dream.

      And Gibreel the archangel specified the manner in which a man should be buried, and how his property should be divided, so that Salman the Persian got to wondering what manner of God this was that sounded so much like a businessman.

      This was when he had the idea that destroyed his faith, because he recalled that of course Mahound himself had been a businessman, and a damned successful one at that, a person to whom organization and rules came naturally, so how excessively convenient it was that he should have come up with such a very businesslike archangel, who handed down the management decisions of this highly corporate, if noncorporeal, God."

      November 22, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  13. Libby

    It's really hard to believe that somewhere in the world a man could be MURDERED because he changed religion! I am so grateful to live in a country where any religion is open to anyone.

    November 21, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  14. Reality

    How Muslims of all races can save themselves:

    The Five Steps To Deprogram 1400 Years of Islamic Myths:

    ( –The Steps take less than two minutes to finish- simply amazing, two minutes to bring peace and rationality to over one billion lost souls- Priceless!!!)

    Pakistanis, are you ready?

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs/tenets.

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) alone."

    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Walk these Five Steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    November 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  15. Ken

    Yep, Islam is the religion of peace... sure thing, we believe you now... I'm sure it's all been said before me, but, how is Islam a religion of peace??? Can someone please tell me that??? If the official word is to MURDER someone just because they don't believe like they do??? Come on!!!! Everybody just get over the past, with the Crusades and the Inquisition or all that junk from way back. Sheesh!!! Where's the peace NOW???

    November 21, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
  16. outawork

    As I remember this same thing happened a few years ago and the fellow was brought to the US

    November 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.