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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. Medical Advisor in Afghanistan - 2006

    The only thing that is news here is that the Western press does not make a big deal over this issue. I was in Afghanistan in 2006 when they held an "aspostate" for a death sentense at Pol-e-Charki jail on the same charges. The Afghan Supreme Court held that Afghanistan was an islamic country and that the koran said that apostacy was a capital offense. There is also a women in jail in Pakistan for "herrisay" against theislam for being a Christian.

    We all need to understand that islam is a cult of blood. Sure our Judeo-Chrisian roots have some nasty ideas (e.g. a man may sell his daughter) but the difference is we don't do it. These people still enforce islamic law and not just in the back woods, but in the halls of power and "justice"

    November 21, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  2. Bilo

    The funny thing is that Christian Europe spent centuries beating the hell out of the Jews for imagined reasons or no reason at all, and now Christian Europe basically shrugs in the face of overt assault on Christianity by Islam. I guess its more fun to just pick on inoffensive little guys. Now European Christianity is probably hoping they can lay low and let the Jews bear the main burden of fighting Islam.

    November 21, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  3. What about me

    NEWS FLASH: BLACKS TO START RECEIVING $ 750 BILLION IN REPARATIONS ( LETS GO)

    November 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  4. EvenKeel

    All this blather about things that have happened thousands of years ago is nonsense. The Shoah has been dealt with and the Nazis were defeated as is the case for McVeigh and the unabomber who by the way were not killing people in the name of some so-called religion. They were individuals who had twisted logic and killed innocents for their own made-up cause. The difference with islam is that they have millions of people believing nonsense and wanting to kill 'infidels' in the same way Nazi's wanted everyone who was non-Arian (sp?) dead. Until the US will completely destroy these punks in the same way we dealt with the Nazi's we will be listening to all this blather. The facts remain-islam is a violent religion bent on destroying and killing Americans and our allies.

    November 21, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  5. Gene

    I think muslims and christians who attempt to punish others "in the name of God/Allah" must have a very low opinion of their God. Because, if their God is as all powerful as they claim, he is more than capable of punishing any blastphemer. If a human being has to act on God/Allah's behalf, he must not be much of a god.

    November 21, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  6. What about me

    NEWS FLASH: BLACKS TO GET REPARATIONS (LETS GO).

    November 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  7. Alex

    Stop the three Abrahamic faiths nonsense. Judaism and Christianity have the concept of free will that is the foundation stone of our democratic societies. Islam does not have the concept of a free will. Once you're a Moslem you do not have the free will to convert to another religion.

    November 21, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  8. DarkSword

    Death to everyone! Everyone is going to die!!!
    DEATH!
    DEATH TO ALL!

    November 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  9. syntaxerror

    Maybe we should kill all the believers....then we can start again with some common sense...

    November 21, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  10. Humble

    Those of us from free nations balk at this article and are distrurbed by how this kind of justice could exist in the world. What we have to understand is that Afganistan is not a free nation. We would like to think that when we are done with this military campaign it will be, but as long as a religion is making the decisions for this country it will never be free. Countries must be led by logic, not religion. I have nothing against religion as a way of life for individuals, but it is a crime for religion to contaminate rationale in the leading of people as a group.

    November 21, 2010 at 4:08 pm |
  11. Cardinal

    Organized religions cause more pain and suffering than organized crime.

    November 21, 2010 at 4:00 pm |
  12. truthinrock

    As long as it reduces the number of Any fool who believes in a "religion", I'm all for it.

    November 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • GinCas

      Amen!

      November 21, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
  13. Reallyist

    "I have been made victorious with terror." Prophet Muhammad (Bukhari 4:52:220)

    “I have built my organization upon fear.” Al Capone (1899-1947), the American Gangster.

    November 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  14. EcoDan

    What's laughable is how political leaders and the media consider themselves the spokesperson for Islam and dupe the American people that Islam is a religion of moderation. Huh, what makes them experts, nada, zippo. The real experts are the imams in Saudi Arabia who interpret the Quran. Death to anyone who converts to another religion from Islam is the penalty. That is your so called moderate Islam.

    November 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  15. brian

    Great country we are supporting. I understand everyone there has healthcare too. Too bad we don't love america nearly as much.

    November 21, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  16. Hunter

    AH yes and they try to tell us that Islam is a peace loving religion. But then I don't see a vast difference between them and Catholics...OH wait wasn't it the Catholics the were behind the Crusades and the Inquisition?

    November 21, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  17. God like Being

    The "Truth" is.... "WE" are GODS. I read it in the Bible.
    John10:33 The Jews answered him saying...
    "For good work we stone thee not...but for blasphemy.
    And because that thou... being a man... makest thyself God."
    Jesus answered them..."Is it not written, in your law...
    I said...Ye... are... Gods.
    If He called them Gods... unto whom the word came.
    And the Scripture cannot be broken.
    Say Ye of 'Him'.... whom the Father hath sanctified...
    and sent into the World.
    Thou Blasphemest! Because I said... I AM the... SON of God.

    November 21, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
  18. Zero10

    Wow this is messed up. This is exactly why I never leave the US to go anywhere near Islam practicing countries, never know when you'll be kidnapped and used as a political hostage.

    November 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
  19. Muneef

    The Quran is the word of God !!! Can you prove otherwise to be not??? Well Check this beauty:
    Very interesting findings Might grasp your attention:
    Holy Qur'an
    That mention one thing is equal to another ,
    I.e. Men are equal to women. Although this makes sense grammatically ,
    The astonishing fact is that the number of times the word man appears in the Holy Qur'an
    Is 24 and number of times the word woman appears is also 24 ,
    Therefore not only is this phrase correct in The grammatical sense but also true mathematically ,
    I.e. 24 = 24.
    Holy Qur'an where it says one thing is like another.
    See below for astonishing result of
    The words mentioned number of times in Arabic

    Holy Qur'an
    Dunia (one name for life) 115.
    Aakhirat (one name for the life After this world) 115
    Malaika (Angels) 88 .Shayteen (Satan) 88
    Life 145 ...... Death 145
    Benefit 50 . Corrupt 50
    People 50 .. Messengers 50
    Eblees (king of devils) 11 . Seek refuge from Eblees 11
    Museebah (calamity) 75 . Thanks 75
    Spending (Sadaqah) 73 . Satisfaction 73
    People who are mislead 17 . Dead people 17
    Muslimeen 41 . Jihad 41
    Gold 8 . Easy life 8
    Magic 60 . Fitnah (dissuasion , misleading) 60
    Zakat (Taxes Muslims pay to the poor) 32 .......
    Barakah (Increasing or blessings of wealth) 32
    Mind 49 . Noor 49
    Tongue 25 . Sermon 25
    Desite 8 . Fear 8
    Speaking publicly 18 . Publicising 18
    Hardship 114 .... Patience 114
    Muhammed 4 . Sharee'ah (Muhammed's teachings) 4
    Man 24. Woman 24
    And amazingly enough have a look how many times
    The following words appear:
    Salat 5 , Month 12 , Day 365 ,
    Sea 32 , Land 13
    Sea + land =
    32+ 13= 45
    Sea = 32/45*100q.= 71.11111111%
    Land = 13/45*100 = 28.88888889%
    Sea + land 100.00%
    Modern science has only recently proven that the water covers
    71.111% of the
    Earth , while the land covers 28.889%.
    Is this a coincidence? Question is that
    Who taught Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) all this? Reply automatically comes in mind that ALMIGHTY ALLAH Taught him.

    November 21, 2010 at 3:43 pm |
    • Yeah

      Muneef,

      You really need to be more careful in believing stuff you get in email. I hope you have not been contacted by that former N!gerian prince!

      " Using the Quran do a word search for the word 'man'. You will find it says the number of occ-urances is not 24 – but rather 771, and the plural form 'men' comes up 1013 times.

      Now check the word 'woman', you find only 22 (still not 24) and the plural 'women' appears 83 times.

      Now check out 'life' – 203! Now compare to the real number of 'death' – 100!

      'People'? – 524 and now compare to 'Messengers?' – 180

      'Angels' – 154 compare to 'Satan' 100 and 'devil' – 34"

      etc., etc., etc.
      http://islamnewsroom.com/emails-we-receive/58-quran-miracle-19-is-a-hoax

      November 21, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
    • Muneef

      @Yeah.

      Well I do not have such search facility that can assure me the number of times each word repeated to check these facts...but should have explained that the search should be for Arabic Quran only and not with any other lang-uage translations....

      November 22, 2010 at 11:46 am |
  20. William

    I dont care what one book or the other says. That was written thousans of years ago. The point is we are sending billions to Afganistan, Karzi is accepting bags of money from Iran and this man, who did nothing wrong and hurt nobody, is going to be put to death. Lets deal with facts, not debate religions dogma.

    November 21, 2010 at 3:41 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.