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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. muhamed the Dog

    Attention Everyone , This article is a great reason why nobody should convert to Islam or most religions , because once you join you can only leave by punishment of death and ridicule . So do yourself and the world a huge favor do not join organized religions , or ones that will never let you leave . Obviously Muslims are clearly insecure about their holy god that they have to take judgment and punishment in their own unholy mortal hands , That kind of behavior is much like inner city gang mentality . Maybe that's where gangs get it from ...? I cant remember the last time Christians or any religion put 19 of their followers on a plane to go murder thousands of Americans . Some of the extremist muslims see 9/11 as a holy act , and when they need medical help ...they come running over here just like the king from Saudi Arabia and others ...And then some muslims will say , " oh I'M not the extremist type " How are we supposed to know which are the "extremist" muslims and who are peaceful ones . I know if they will kill you for leaving , they are insecure and EVIL to the bone . It's not like these criminal muslims are wearing a sign that says "terrorist muslim " or " non-terrorist muslim " I just know for certain some are terrorists waiting for the call , and I must treat them all the same until Muslims make the distinction between extremist and normal muslim . All muslims best make a choice how they want to be perceived , because without serious distinction it is in the best intrest of people to stay away from all muslims until their "terrorist status " can be determined .
    I know like many people in America , that I feel very uneasy when muslim folks board a plane that I am on , and for very legitimate reasons.
    Time for all folks to look inward and find God within themselves and peace and reason without caring about what some cleric or supposed holy leader has to say . Use your own mind , read everything be aware , be awake and realize God does not want you to commit some terrorist act somewhere . I also realize many folks are brainwashed and will not be able to have their own reality , and those are dangerous programmed folks , or drones I should say .
    I pray for their forgiveness and enlightenment every day .

    November 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  2. Victor C

    I have read the Koran. It is book that is remarkable for its emphasis on hell. It seems every page reverberates with the threatenings of an everlasting, tormenting, painfully brutal life after death for those who are "losers", those that don't get it right. You can say what you want about Christianity but in all of it's forms, true some more than others, it is filled with redemption and hope and uplifting of the human soul. That's why Christianity is noted for it's music and art which is all but absent in Islam. Islam is a religion totally characterized by fear of an insecure God who can only get a following through fear.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
  3. Victor C

    I have read the Koran. It is book that is remarkable for its emphasis on hell. It seems every page reverberates with the threatenings of an everlasting, tormenting, painfully brutal life after death for those who are "losers", those that don't get it right. You can say what you want about Christianity but in all of it's forms, true some more than others, it is filled with redemption and hope and uplifting of the human soul. That's why Christianity is noted for it's music and art which is all but absent in Islam. Islam is a religion totally characterized by fear of a boogeyman God and his buddy the Prophet.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  4. TheRationale

    And there's another one for the religion of peace.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
  5. Victor C

    I have read the Koran. It is book that is remarkable for its emphasis on hell. It seems every page reverberates with the threatenings of an everlasting, tormenting, painfully brutal life after death for those who are "losers", those that don't get it right. You can say what you want about Christianity but in all of it's forms, true some more than others, it is filled with redemption and hope and uplifting of the human soul. That's why Christianity is noted for it's music and art which is all but absent in Islam. Islam is a religion totally characterized by fear of a boogeyman God and his buddy the Prophet.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  6. Candace

    Muslims, Read : Galatians 1:8,9 - Sorry MoHamhead, your Religion is false. (as is yours MorMons)

    November 21, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
  7. Holly

    Our great nation was founded on freedom of (OF, not from) religion. We've had masses of immigrants for hundreds of years who have sought to live here because of that. We have also tried to force our values on other nations. Now, I am in no way condoning the sharia law, but how does bringing war down on these nations change anything? The Bible teaches that it is not our job to convert people to Christianity. We are to plant the seed (by living compassionately, benevolently, etc) so that others will be ripe for the Holy Spirit to harvest. From what I have read of the Koran (and admittedly, not all of it) it preaches fear and hatred. Why would anyone want to live under that?

    November 21, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
  8. Candace

    2 Points- Pull out our troops. Why are good humans dying to save people who follow Sharia Law? Disgusting. 2 : God haters - Read The Case for Christ and The Case for the Creator. Until you do, please keep silent.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  9. Arglebargle

    Islam's god must be a terribly insecure god if he's afraid of someone leaving the faith. Or, more likely, some clerics somewhere are afraid that they will lose their sway over the people if they are allowed to exercise free will. If all the mullah's and muftis and clerics were laid end-to-end at the bottom of the ocean, it would be a good start.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  10. Alan

    If Christians were killing a Muslim for switching, what do you think the response would be? Yea, riots and massive protests. Threats of future bombings etc. Will the Christians be making a similar protest when they kill this person??? I doubt it. In the end the muslims will win because they are more aggressive so start learning what direction Mecca is. Personally, I'm rooting for all of them to go extinct.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  11. Nature

    For the time been, dear, reporters. The word "religion" has done more harm than good to mankind. it all started from the fall of humanity, immediately when human deviated from the actual concept of the so called religion . both christianity,muslim etc has been distorted with wrong conception. Non strives for what is pure and noble but for earthly influence. Let me start by saying that what the so called islamic sect are doing today is not in harmony with Prophet mohammed's earthly mission and the christendom, they as well deviated from the real earthly exemplary life of Jesus christ. Mankind is far from the real truth because of over ripeness of the HUMAN INTELLECT ( The narrow perceptive capacity). I admonish each and every one of you to strive, live and act aright in this GROSS material world.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:24 pm |
  12. aie

    Islam IS Terrorism.

    We ARE at war with Islam.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  13. vizi

    dont know one single +ve point about religion

    it only divides society like caste system , color and countries

    such a sense less article

    November 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm |
  14. Guest

    The only way they can keep people in this particular religion is by having a law that you die if you leave it.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  15. laser

    This is news? I am guessing this happens all the time. I've been hearing about this type of punishment for years.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:18 pm |
  16. kkjkjkljl

    The would would be better off w/o religious people. They are stupid and/or violent.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • somedude

      I hate religion- that's why I choose Christianity.

      November 22, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @somedude

      God... I hope that was meant to be a funny...? 🙂

      November 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
    • somedoody

      yeah i heard mother teresa used to be a ufc fighter and she was really bad at sudoku...

      November 22, 2010 at 8:21 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @somedude

      Or should it be... 😯 ...?

      November 22, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  17. Hallux

    ANOTHER POSSIBILITY WE SHOULD DISCUSS:

    I've read a lot of posts on here, and didn't see anyone mention this, but, isn't it just possible we're overreacting? Surely there are a few people who convert, do they really kill every last one? Or could it be that they've decided to kill this guy (if indeed they have decided) on the grounds that he converted away from Islam, not actually because he converted, but because they think he's an as hole?

    Could it be the religious conversion is just an excuse they're using because they don't want to be seen killing someone just on account of the fact that they hate his guts, religious affiliation notwithstanding?

    November 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • MicheleG

      Well, we could come up with lots of excuses for murder...but murder is murder no matter the pretext.

      November 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  18. Brian

    I like to think I am open minded but there is one thing I don't understand about Islam. Why are people so enthusiastic about a religion that was forced upon them literally at the point of a sword. In the eighth century people in the Middle East had a choice; they could convert to Islam or have their throat cut. This is why Islam mushroomed during the eighth century.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
  19. Secureman10

    This nothing more than control and true hatred.These radicals are devils here on earth.May these evil people burn in hell for eternity.

    November 21, 2010 at 6:09 pm |
  20. Rhonda

    This death to someone who converts to Christianity is so not of God. God does not want ANYONE on the face of the earth to be FORCED into believing in Him, or forced into loving Him. He gives us a choice. We should also give everyone a choice. This barbaric law is not of God.

    November 21, 2010 at 5:58 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.