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. K_a_m_R_a_n

    You're a Racist

    November 21, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • Islam Convert

      And you suk too.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:21 am |
  2. Average American

    Isam, such a peaceful, kind, caring and loving religion. mohammed & islam suk!

    November 21, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  3. Gary

    Wether it be christianity, islam or judaism; they share core principles; the subjugation of individual will and lack of tolerance. They are nothing more than a tyranny over the independent mind of mankind

    November 21, 2010 at 11:05 am |
  4. Mubaraka

    I am a American Muslim who has studied both the bible and the holy Quran. What I have found from my studies is there are many of the bible stories in the holy Quran. Take the 10 commandents for instance. The first commandent is "thou shall have only one God" that would be the creator. That I believe is Allah. Now, if God aka Allah said to only worship Him, a muslim who has converted from one God to 3 gods then God is the one to punish or to forgive the convert, not sharia law. If most of you who have commented were to do your research, you would not ignorantly bash or condemn Islam. I'm happy to be an American living in a society where we have religious freedom.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:04 am |
    • rey

      I beg to disagree with your understanding of God in the Bible. There is only one God in the Bible but having 3 personality.to give you a rough analogy
      For example, a book has length, width, and thickness. The length is not the book’s width, the width is not the book’s thickness. These three dimensions can be described separately, yet they are connected together. If you remove one dimension, you are no longer describing a book. In the same way, the Godhead has three separate members that are connected together, and if you try to remove one you no longer have the Godhead."

      November 21, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  5. Mohammed

    Originally when I wanted to start a religion I had other plans...... clearly it has not worked out the way I intended it too... I am afraid that my teachings have been abused and been misunderstood..... take your korans and burn them. I propose a new holiday....its called kill a muslim day..... grab a gun and shoot the first muslim in the head you see.... occurs every day of the week except saturday...thats the day you can drink and tell the great stories from the week before..... alla akbar

    November 21, 2010 at 10:51 am |
    • K_a_m_R_a_n

      What a moron you are. You're pretending to be Muhammed (PBUH) when you can't spell Quran and Allah Akbar? EPIC FAIL!

      November 21, 2010 at 11:00 am |
    • Paul

      Watch out, this is exactly what those innocents did, complain about Mohammed. Even the Christian pak woman BiBi is on trial for words against Mohammed and could get the death penalty. Repeat, a non-muslim.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Muhammad

      Sorry about my ramblings. I get carried away at times. I really mean that all terrorists (muslim or whatever) should just commit suicide in order for them to be granted virgins in the hereafter.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:25 am |
  6. hankers

    The problem is that it states that in the absence of Consitutional clarity, Sharia law will apply. I don't understand why the consitution does not include freedom of religion or association? That is the real failure here I think.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:50 am |
    • K_a_m_R_a_n

      Yes, definitely

      November 21, 2010 at 10:51 am |
  7. K_a_m_R_a_n

    I'm from Paksitan and they don't use Sharia law there

    November 21, 2010 at 10:45 am |
    • Islam Convert

      You've been eating those camel pies again – haven't you?

      November 21, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • K_a_m_R_a_n

      You have

      November 21, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • Islam Convert

      Have what? Camel pies – nope.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:06 am |
  8. K_a_m_R_a_n

    I am a Muslim and I don't think the person should've gone to jail. Islam is the best religion, with the WORST followers

    November 21, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  9. Jon

    Muslims as a group need to reject Sharia Law, in unequivocal terms. The Koran is not bad, and it has much wisdom. But Sharia Law is not based on the Koran, and is full of brutal, absurd evil. Any version of Islam that values Sharia Law deserves zero respect and should be despised.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • K_a_m_R_a_n

      exactly, jon

      November 21, 2010 at 10:46 am |
  10. Scott

    Where is the tolerance Muslims boost about? A man to be executed for converting, a woman to be hung for blasphemy, and another woman to be stoned to death for adultery. If death is the only tolerance Muslim will show Muslim how will Islam ever convince people like me that Islam is anything other then man made evil incarnate?

    November 21, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Islam Convert

      They are all talk and no action. I'm still alive and well.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:49 am |
  11. Rama

    Wake up...this guy is probably being used by the media and christian organizations to elicit negative responses about Islam and Muslims from people like you!! They probably paid him to convert so that they could get a story out of it...how else would a guy in Afghanistan be exposed to Chrisitanity and why would he go public about his conversion???

    November 21, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • Islam Convert

      I converted when that idiot instructor of ours refused to lead by example (he would not show us how a bomb vest works).
      That's when I woke up and realized that we were being duped and led astray.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Paul

      Because there is no way someone wants out of Islam, it has to be a conspiracy by the WEST! Ha!

      November 21, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  12. Really Now

    But I still can not trust any follower of Islam/Qu'ran who believes Sharia law should be allowed.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:39 am |
  13. ladykaka

    This kind of mind control comes so easily when the majority of the group can't even read a book. Just feed them lies that they will be saved by religion and to fear everyone who isn't like them and to live in poverty while their leaders make all the money and decisions for them.

    Am I talking about:

    A. Muslims
    B. Republicans
    C. Any fringe group, organized religion, cults, Eco-terrorist etc. etc.
    D. All the above

    November 21, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • Really Now

      You left out the Dems and Indeps and you're fulla your 3d and 4th syllables.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:41 am |
    • ladykaka

      It's multiple choice which means you didn't even read the instructions. Just like a typical con, always jumping to conclusions. You failed.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Really Now

      Answer "C" is the only "multiple" choice answer but you itemized specific groups aside from that.
      Evidently you do not understand "multiple choice".

      November 21, 2010 at 10:55 am |
    • ladykaka

      Multiple choice means exactly that, multiple choices which I have provided for you. Then you pick one of those choices. Really not that difficult. Once again you failed...at life.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:12 am |
    • Really Now

      "Multiple choice means exactly that, multiple choices" – your words not mine.
      Choice means "choices" – then I'll take A,B,C,& D along with Dems and Indeps.
      Satisfied now?

      November 21, 2010 at 11:33 am |
    • hin

      haha .. all of the above, good question.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:50 am |
    • hin

      with republicans .. add the 2% rich, some percent old people who are sucking out money for medicaid ... republicans are like muslim extremists, who are against the general good of people. i would add the usesless woman palin to the list. now islam seems a little better 🙂

      November 21, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • hin

      republicans are like muslim extremists, who are against the general good of people. i would add the usesless woman palin to the list. now islam seems a little better 🙂

      November 21, 2010 at 11:54 am |
  14. Final solution

    Use a nuclear device that will only steralize those idiots and leave them to themselves. They wont be many of them to bother anyone in about 10 to 20 years. Anyone left then will be too old and feeble to be much good for anything except worm food.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:34 am |
    • asrael

      Would that be before or after "we" sterilize those who can't spell sterilize...?

      November 21, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Final Solution

      Geez, a spelling bee chump. What difference does it make – you understood my meaning.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • stefan

      WOW–you are probably missing some teeth and lots of brain cells... did you ever finish high school.. I can't believe human like you exist...I thank the Taliban are recruiting, you should join, you find a lot of them share your views.

      November 21, 2010 at 3:45 pm |
    • stefan

      yeah before you say it (Think not Thank)

      November 21, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  15. A Human

    I am muslim myself and I don't think that act was fair. All I have to say is that Islam is the best religion with the worst followers.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:32 am |
    • Paul

      I can respect that, if every muslim were so open like this, then we'd all be friends.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:34 am |
    • Really Now

      For once a comment I can totally agree with.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:35 am |
  16. Tom C

    Mark Holt said it better than anyone. I am not a religious person but I believe in everyone's right to make their own choices when it comes to religion. I cannot fathom why our government would support any country that would allow this to happen. Let alone sacrafice american lives in the process of that defense. All I hear is how much the Afgan government and people hate us and don't want us there. If there are people in that country that want us there and are serious about creating the freedoms that we in the US enjoy, then it is time they stand up and fight instead of being posers and running everytime the going gets tough.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:31 am |
    • Buddy

      Tom – They're doing it so that the West will yank support. The radicals want the West out, so they do things that the west will beileve are atrocious. These atrocities will reduce support for the reigning regime, hastening the exit of Western influence.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  17. CRG

    If Islam is a cult, it is a big one.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:30 am |
    • TruthInAdvertising

      They are not true believers of Islam and the Koran. It's actually an inflated numbers game to avoid the Sharia police (they are following the Koran by telling lies when it suits them). That is the only teaching of the Koran they follow for self preservation.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:03 am |
    • Willow

      You may not realize this, but to an atheist, all religions are cults. Some just happen to be more popular than others.

      November 21, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  18. David Catleugh

    Just a minute! A Muslim told me that the Koran says that there is "no compulsion in religion".

    November 21, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • Correction

      That was a "typo" – it was supposed to say " no expulsion".

      November 21, 2010 at 11:35 am |
  19. Thomas

    It amazes me to see so many who will write in to comment about an article on Islam to point out that somehow comments about against Christianity are relevant. This only serves to sidetrack the conversation and the point of discussion. But worse, they select scriptures from the Mosaic law to try to make some point against Christianity, ignoring that the Mosaic law was a law used to govern a particular state (ancient Israel) at a particular time where said laws were not intended to be laws to govern mankind in general. Ancient Israel was a country that was set up based on a single religion to govern those of that religion. In fact, those living in Israel during that period were those who had accepted those laws for governanace and if they wished to not to be governed by them, they could leave that state having those laws. Those, such citations of the Mosaic law are completely irrelevant.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Buddy

      The problem isn't that the Christians are pointing these passages out. The problem is that many Muslims take them out of context as an excuse to exercise their psychotic fantasies. Christians would have no need to point them out in the first place if everyone interpreted them with sane intent.

      November 21, 2010 at 10:52 am |
  20. Tinsoldier

    We train and equip their soldiers and police, put guns in their hands and establish their government. I see that by many of the posts here that killing Christians is money well spent. What is more vial, the hate filled people around the world that slaughter Christians or the monsters that live right here with us and gloat over the suffering and injustice done to those who's only crime is praying for them.

    November 21, 2010 at 10:26 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.