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. That sux

    Just isolate those goofballs and they will more than likely kill themselves off with out any need from outside help. Anyone attempting to leave must go through a TSA screening which automatically sets off any bomb devices / bomb vests.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  2. Altee11

    This shows how oppression is justified by religions. If people in Islam do this, then members of other religions will ultimately react by doing the same. This shows how members of Islam, Christian and other religions often use phobias of others to justify oppression. Clearly there are members of Afghan society who suffer from Christianophobia.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:25 am |


    November 21, 2010 at 10:24 am |
  4. Nonbeliever of Islam

    Read the Qu'ran and it has more lies and contradictions than you can imagine. It was supposedly put into writting after Muhammads death by someone who probably could not remember all the gibberish spoken by Muhammad while high on hashish mixed with camel dung. Has been retranscribed differently numerous times since with more falsehoods. It's no wonder those idots think the way they do.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:21 am |
  5. kerry

    This proves how the Muslims are only about peace and love. Wake up people before it is to late.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  6. Ron

    I think we should have an all-out drag-down duel between the western imaginary friend and the eastern imaginary friend and settle this battle once and for all. Whichever imaginary friend wins, we'll all abandon the fantasy of the losers and adopt the fantasy of the winners. Frankly, I'm going for the eastern team, I find the fantasy of 27 virgins waiting for me much more appealing than the fantasy of sitting on a cloud in a white robe for all eternity. Go east Go!!

    November 21, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • kerry

      You must have missed the memo. They ran out of virgins some time ago. Now the offer is females wearing burkas and it is not allowed to look under the burka, or sheep.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:25 am |
  7. JCFreak

    Eliminating Islam will not solve the "problem." This is a spiritual battle.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • RightWingMark

      Yes JC – the final battle between good and evil.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:20 am |
  8. DMA

    True Islam is a restrictive religion but so is Xtianity. We all think we are in the right. I Christians did not feel they have the obligation to convert the world we would not be in these messes. In ways we are just as violent.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:17 am |
    • Paul

      Blame ourselves, because X is bad, but Y is bad too. Let's do nothing.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:19 am |
  9. Ed Ward II

    Welcome to Planet Obama. I am sorry but there is no escape. You are all doomed.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • asrael

      Doomed to live on Planet Ed Ward II...?

      November 21, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  10. ConvertfromIslam

    Any religon which advocates lying to anyone and killing of its followers for choosing to leave its teachings is not a religion but is nothing more than a cult with idiots for followers. Muhammad has a forked tongue and maggots in his mouth.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:11 am |
  11. David Blackburn

    This is the type of regime or Government this country is defending – one that denies rights and common decency to its citizens to express their beliefs without harrassment or risk of death!

    November 21, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  12. ILdude

    It only took 9 comments to blame Bush. How constructive, not to mention typical in the sense that somehow blaming the past is going to solve our problems.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  13. paa

    this is the fact about Islam. they kill when you convert. that is not peace. that is not love that hate and crime and sounds islam is cult. We dont need sharia law or islam in america. it is bondage

    November 21, 2010 at 10:07 am |
  14. ConvertfromIslam

    Muhammad is a false prophet (probably due to eating bad pig meat which made him delusional), a pedophile, rapist, and is lower than dog scat. It's amazing the people of his time couldn't see through his BS.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • asrael

      You had me at "lower than dog scat" .... such an astute commentary...

      November 21, 2010 at 10:40 am |
  15. twiddly

    There are christian fundamentalists in this country that are just as whacko.
    Taking the bible literally is no better than taking the koran literally.
    Both books are mumbo-jumbo and steeped in barbaric medieval practices.
    The problem is organized religion in general, not any particular one.
    It's time to stop believing in santa claus!

    November 21, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • paa

      Name one or two. christians dont go about killing people. christian dont kill theor family members becuase they dont share their belief or faith. christian dont kill other for not converting or converting to other faith. Islam does period. it is criminal and plain evil. period.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:14 am |
    • Paul

      I think the problem is these arm chair peace-niks who distract everyone by saying....Oh it's okay that X does this, because we have Y here in America and they are just as bad, so let's not focus on X.

      Sure, the KKK was bad, but that didn't mean we shouldn't have gone out to kick some NAZI butt.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:18 am |
  16. barbarainPA

    BTW – I'm Muslim.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:03 am |
    • K_a_m_R_a_n

      BTW- Me too

      November 21, 2010 at 10:35 am |
    • Then To Hell With Both of You

      Lying sacks. One more act of terrorism and I doubt if your people will be safe here. Let alone be allowed any further immigration. We-have-had-enough-of-you.

      November 21, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  17. Zoey

    All i have to say is that everyone here who is bad mouthing Islam is racists not only that but are ignorant ! Go education your self before you post stupid comments that do not even make sense. Islam is not a religion of hate. Like every religion there are extremists who make up there set of rules and do crazy things. All u ignorant people should go out and look for a true muslim person and have them educate you.you then will become best friends and might be convert after you learn something.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • Matt

      blah blah blah.... you're all nuts.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • paa

      this is extremist. everything extremist. this is what Islam stand for. kill if they convert. that is criminal in all sense.that is hate. you could talk about other religions but jesus and for the matter christanity does not say kill any one who convert. you pray for them and still love them. Islam is has many wicked criminal act it full of fear and destruction. Why people practice honor killing. it is sick. let preach the truth expose the evil of Islam or in Islam.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:12 am |
    • abracadabra

      Im no expert on any religion but why is it that all i ever hear or read about muslims/Islam is violence or some sort of threat of violence, (I would love to hear good things but never seem to) but then when i hear or read something in defense of muslims/Islam, its seems like its always in a blog by somebody stating that anybody who claims Islam is bad or violent is ignorant and that all these violent acts are committed by a very small percentage, etc, etc... Why are these same muslims and or people that defend Islam not raising their voices to that small percentage. If they are truly that small, would it not be relatively easy to deal with or take away their power? If somebody continously claimed i was something bad by association, i would distance myself from them. Am I flawed in my thinking?

      November 21, 2010 at 12:29 pm |
    • Grrrr

      @ Zoey

      What are you – 14 years old? I hope so, as that would be the only excuse for your blind ignorance. Back to the X Box, sweetie.

      November 21, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • Alexis

      I agree Zooey..You tell them......
      We should have Justin Bieber play a concert over there...
      Everyone will be best friends..............

      November 21, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  18. AZ

    Why do we even care? This happens all the time. And for those of you who think this is strictly an Islamic thing, read some history. Christians have throughout history and continue to do their fair share of killing in the name of the Lord. I try very hard to respect all people and their religious beliefs, I really do see the value for those who need it. But getting that respect and understanding back when you don't believe what they believe, well don't count on it – Its a universal trait.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  19. Z

    I am a Christian who converted to Islam and I can tell you this has nothing to do with Islam. I am also of Afghan heritage. This is a cultural issue. For those smart enough to know anything about Islam would see this. A true Muslim believes in equality and freedom of religion. There are extremists is every religion not just Islam. There are some people that claim they are Christians, Muslims or Jews but truly aren't. For example look at the Christians "priests" who abuse innocent children. I must say I'm not surprised by some of these posts. Unfortunately there are some individuals in our country who simply aren't educated enough to make a real assessment in this issue.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • Eric G.

      I would argue that because no religion can prove it's validity or provide evidence to their gods existence, everyone and anyone who claims to be a "true believer" must be considered a "true believer". Your arrogance to claim that others cannot be "true muslims" because they do not believe as you is disturbing.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:08 am |
    • Peace2All


      To talk about what a "true Muslim" believes, I think is a dicey statement to make. I see it all over this and other blogs about what a "true Christian" believes, and seems that they all have varying opinions on what it means to be a "true Christian."

      So, given your statement and as-sumption about what it means to be a "true Muslim".... I am definitely in agreement with @Eric G.

      November 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  20. Joe Williams

    Where is the outrage of the American Muslim community. You guys have a radical religion!

    November 21, 2010 at 10:01 am |
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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.