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. DenverVet

    Well what did you expect from these people? Anything different?

    November 21, 2010 at 11:59 am |
  2. Thomas

    To me the Muslim religion seems to be a religion of faithless people and a powerless God. If Allah has power, why can't the believers pray to him to remove their enemies and leave it up to him? If they had true faith in Allah, they would rely on him. But no, since Allah has no power, they have to act to blow themselves up or to kill others to try to make it seem like Allah were real. I challenge them: pray to Allah and leave it up to him and see what will happen...

    November 21, 2010 at 11:58 am |
    • Steve

      Out of the park, Thomas...great comment.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:02 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Read Deuteronomy 13: 6-9, 17: 3-5 sounds like Judaism had a pretty powerless God too, by extension Christianity.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • STerry

      Too bad the muslims cant remove the Jews out of Israel. But that land was given to them by the real God.As long as Israel is Gods chosen nation the muslims wont be able to touch the Jews.

      November 21, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Muneef

      Well guys seems you got to go with your words until you read some of this book:

      The Bible, The Qur'an and Science
      by Dr. Maurice Bucaille
      Translated from French
      by Alastair D. Pannell and The Author


      November 21, 2010 at 8:15 pm |
    • Muneef

      And particular this page of the book:


      November 21, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
  3. J.R.

    I read these comments and I'll tell you what. You are all missing the point.






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

      Try "what"?

      November 21, 2010 at 11:57 am |
    • hin

      and the one was allah. allah is the source of the virus .

      November 21, 2010 at 11:59 am |
    • J.R.


      Try NOT participating in hate. Try the opposite and see if it works.

      YOU KNOW it works when you do it in your personal life.

      Or as I suggested - let's just blow our heads off and solve the problems.

      You start and then i'll do it.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  4. crawbar

    I perused this blog and got disgusted again with liberal imbecility. Should I actually be? Aren't they the people who pulled and continue to pull our country to socialism starting last century if not even earlier? Aren't they the people who wanted to convert America to the society similar to the USSR in 40-50ths? Do they learn? Ne-e-e... Their imbecility makes this impossible. But they are ready to immediately throw personal insults at people like this Katherine with her sheepish brains is doing and some others. They, like Katherine, count on their right opponents' decency for not getting spits back into their faces. Don't count on this from me, Katherine. If you allow yourself again to insult anybody, you will get back from me 10 times more.

    We are at war. We are at war with Islam. We are going to lose like we lost in Vietnam because liberals and we ourselves hold our hands tied and not fighting the full force. Islam is on attack ideologically, culturally, and militarily on the Western world and they almost won this war in Europe. They may win in in here too. Whenever we speak about it, liberals are digging out vices of our country and trying to show to us that we are not better. They speak about religious freedom and other BS which does not have any relation to the problem.

    I would agree with many who said that we have to pull out of Afganistan. But then I immediately remember who will fill in the vacuum – Iran and Al Quada.
    I woud put the Karzai to the wall and demand from him to free the woman immediately and even more so – put to trial those who started her persecution. I would demand from him to change loudly the law that led to that. Otherwise – replace him!
    I would not conduct the war in half force – it costs American life. Carpet bomb the areas that houses Taliban.
    As to us, here is what I would do:
    1. An intensive propaganda explaining to Americans that we are at war with Islam, and the methods Islam is using in this war – immigration, builiding mosques, anti-American and anti-Western propaganda in mosques, making mosques the headquarters of terrorists organizations, pushing Sharia laws into our country.
    2. Moratorium on building new mosques anywhere in the USA.
    3.Moratorium on muslim immigration to the USA.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:53 am |
    • J.R.

      Seig Heil!

      November 21, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • Alex

      Great idea. And we can put on trial anyone who converts to Islam. Oh wait.. that's what THEY do.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Very well, what is to be our state assigned religion?
      When we lose that stupid, destructive and evil first amendment, we lose free press (good thing, as we SEE what Fox et al has brought us) and freedom of speech (again, a good thing, as people like you will NOT be permitted to speak).
      And we'll have the threefold doctrine:

      Go back to your two minutes hate.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
    • Willow

      We have already lost. We are now surrendering our privacy for faux security. And you know the bad guys will find a way around it, anyway.

      November 21, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  5. blah9999

    Here are the "moderate" muslims that the world keeps saying exist.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:51 am |
    • Bill

      The reason moderate muslims don't stand up to this BS, is because they AGREE w the extremists. They just keep it on the down low.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  6. J.R.

    Tired of all the nastiness everyone?

    Don't participate.

    Be nice.

    Be kind.

    Hold doors for people.

    Say thank you.

    Keep your gun loaded (just a precaution)

    And don't ever, ever let yourself act like a victim. When you do you become a target for those who thrive on victims.

    When they can't find a target, they can't do what they do.

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

      your philosophy is sappy and ineffective

      November 21, 2010 at 11:24 pm |
  7. MP

    'If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be
    no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel '. –Benjamin Netanyahu

    November 21, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  8. J.R.

    oh and god, if you are there, thanks for this incredible planet we live on, and for kids laughter, and for the way the moon shine brightened the night last night, and for how incredible it is to look up at the stars and realize that we have the brains to understand how lucky we are....... if we want to.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  9. DorianD.

    its simple. Governments do not have the right to impose their thoughts and opinions on us. we think for ourselves not for them. Governments are meant to serve the people not to govern us, despite that the word govern is in it.The only thing this is , is inhumane. The government has no right to say anything about his conversion it doesn't make sense

    November 21, 2010 at 11:47 am |
  10. J.R.

    Mumbo jumbo, toil and trouble, cauldron bubble. Nothing wrong with religion, it's simply how people use it to enhance their personal prejudice, their power trip or whatever is on their selfish agenda.

    If there were a god, and there may be I can't personally be sure one way or the other, I would hope that he or she or it, would not require that we praise or destroy each other in its name.

    Hey god! If you are there, it's probably about time you said something so these people can stop killing each other.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  11. hindu

    where are the mronic islamic p*gs who always say islam is a tolerant religion ? now they will hide .. its a shame on islam if there is such a force. you can convert to islam and from islam you cannot convert to any other ?? islam is worst religion, i think it should be abolished, otherwise the world would be filled with just p*gs.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:45 am |
  12. Mubaraka

    God bless the ancient scribes, otherwise I wouldn't have the pleasure of meeting Adam, Noah, Abraham Ismeal and Isaac (his sons), Lot, Moses, Samuel, David, Solomon, Jesus and Muhammad.
    Do you know their stories, Steve?
    I know that they all followed God's law and were great men in their communities with pure hearts which is why they were chosen as prophets.
    If these ancient stories quicken my heart with love for the One who created all things, who are you to question my belief. fanatic NOT!!!
    believer.......... Allah U Akbar

    November 21, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • Steve

      Here's the problem in a nutshell folks... (By the way, yes...I do know their stories Mubaraka, better than you I'm guessing, gauging from your comments). Mub as a Muslim can question "me"...call "me" stupid, but when I point out that sort of exchange is steeped in ignorance...he goes viral. This little exchange mirror's the issue being discussed (except someone is about to lose their life for a religious belief) and shows the intolerance responsible for such a travesty in the first place.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:54 am |
    • J.R.

      Let's just all kill ourselves and get this crap over with. Seems that we love this violence. Everyone from the Nazi crawbar, to the whacko me.

      Ok. Here we go.

      You shoot yourself, the I'll do it.

      You go first. OK.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:00 pm |
  13. chuckmartel

    I see the PC libtards are still using the crusades, inquisition, etc. in order to justify importing more of the dark age belief system known as islam. Do these idiots know the crusades, etc ended hundreds to a thousand years ago? Do they know muslims and everyone else was at war with someone else back then?
    There might have been a stupid attempt at a McVeigh analogy as well. These libtards must be the most stupid excuse for human life that ever existed.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:43 am |
  14. SmokeyWaterz

    Let's see... Our troops are losing their lives and our government is spending what to defend Afghanistan from "terrorists"?!?!?!?! Our government touts it's commitment to freedom, yet it's actions signify a different agenda.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:40 am |
  15. Omar Traore

    My heart goes out to Said Musa. He has allegedly been tortured, which I think is likely true. He and his family are suffering. I really hope that this world attention will bring justice to his case in a land where justice is very rare indeed. Be glad this news is getting out!

    November 21, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • muslimpig

      justice is only given by people with brains, the very fact that they are standing fir trial indicates the islamic mental retardation. nobody can help thme except allah , who is the head of this bad thing called as islam. islam is a virus.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  16. slupdawg

    I remember when I changed from Methodist to Lutheran, I got a lot of death threats

    November 21, 2010 at 11:39 am |
    • Alex

      lol... those Methodists can be pretty hard-core.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  17. Mark Silvers

    What are we doing in this God forsaken country??? This religion seems to have only one law....death. Insult Mohammad you die (Pakistan woman to be stoned...CNN story), convert, you die? Scary!

    November 21, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  18. Name*Chedar

    Afghanistan used to be Buddhist. This us evidence from the two statue of the Buddha sculpted by the soldiers of Alexander The Great in Bamiyan (later destroyed by the Taliban) The mandatory conversion to Islam by the muslim is pretty evident. Whether these people belong to a good sect or bad, they will and can join another Muslim sect that later imposed Sharia law.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  19. Dorian Dehaven

    to pope13: you have a point but just almost all religions have caused a war or harmed some one in a way , but it has to do with the person itself. we shouldnt force our beliefs in other peoples throats its better to have an idea and think on that, beliefs are just too confident to state i think. its arrogant to think we are so right when we have not died ourselves. but im not against religion i just believe we should be open minded and maybe even compare and contrast each one to possibly find what is "right".

    November 21, 2010 at 11:35 am |
    • Steve

      Pope is only partly right with his recitation of Christian religious history and seems to forget the slaughter and such was comitted by many different "religions" throughout time. He's doing the politically correct thing by trying to make some outdated comparisions about ancient Christians and modern Muslims...just doesn't fly anymore.

      November 21, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  20. Vnonymous

    This is exactly why we need to just pull out and let these people all kill themselves.

    November 21, 2010 at 11:32 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.