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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. JAB

    Its all madness ending only when the stupid human race extinguishes itself over it.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  2. concerned

    What about the inquisition someone asked? That was a LONG time ago. The moslems are living in the past still. A very cruel and violent religion. They need to look in the mirror and see just how horrible they look.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  3. JAB

    When will the madness known as religion end? Probably only when humans extinguish themselves over it.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
  4. Sonny Red

    religion, all religion is for the weak minded. Any inteligent person knows the difference between right and wrong and how to treat their fellow man, so why would you need some made up set of policies to rule your life. There will be a day when all these flawed ideologies will go the way of the Dodo Bird and all of humanity will be able to advance to a peaceful coexistence

    November 21, 2010 at 12:36 pm |
  5. glen

    islam has no tolerance for other religeons. this country is cursed and there will be neverending mayhem. why we the west are there befuddles me leave them to wallow in there barbaric ways. you build a school sooner or later the taliban will blow it up. gigantic waste of resources.

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

    Religion and Politicians will cause the death for us all.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
  7. Thomas

    Wzrd1 – read the posts before writing. Your statements are factually wrong.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:24 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Pity you don't use the reply button so I'd know the context you refer to. Or are you claiming that Deuteronomy doesn't say what it says?
      As for facts, I only have the facts of direct, personal experience of nearly 5 years of deployment in the Persian Gulf and 27+ years of military service to this nation, at least facts in things military AND Islamic nations.
      So, WHAT do you claim is wrong?

      November 21, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I'm guessing your are objecting to:
      If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying: Let us go and worship other gods, do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him. You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people."

      Deuteronomy 13: 6-9

      "And has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones."

      Deuteronomy 17:3-5

      12 ...the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; 14 Then shalt thou inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; 15 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. 16 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again. 17 And there shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine hand: that the LORD may turn from the fierceness of his anger, and show thee mercy, and have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; 18 When thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all his commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.
      (Deut)

      So as you can see, the punishment of apostasy in Christianity is DEATH, and not only that, the one who tries to convert you is also to be put the death. Even whole cities are to be destroyed!

      Therefore, Christians are the last one to talk about the punishment of apostasy, since the punishment for apostasy according to the Bible is DEATH.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:54 pm |
    • Salvor Hardin

      @Wzrd1

      You are certainly no Bible scholar. Paul in many verses clearly and very specifically stated that Mosaic law does not apply to Christians. You've used these verses 4 or 5 times in these comments when your knowledge of Christianity is clearly lacking. You may want to try a little research rather than just using Google to look up keywords.

      November 22, 2010 at 3:19 am |
  8. ChristineF

    Life is so much easier as an atheist.....

    November 21, 2010 at 12:19 pm |
  9. MicheleG

    George Orwell's 1984, Animal Farm, and mind police have been around far longer than we knew and they came from a theocratic dictatorship rather than a secular one. History is full of weird and horrible twists and turns. I devoutly hope this man gets the help and rescue he deserves. And not because the the Christian vs moslem issue but rather because of the repression, lack of choice and free will, and the whole "thought police" agenda behind this.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Nineteen eighty four is alive and well here, in the USSA.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  10. J.R.

    Ahh forget it.

    Just found out. December 21st, 2012 this movie ends.

    Good, it was a pretty bad story from the start.

    Th, th, th, that's all folks...........................................................

    November 21, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  11. Eve

    All religions are peaceful, it's the people who use it to control and for greed who are the problem. Imagine this world were there is no belief of an afterlife. People would become animals. If used correctly, religion is a tool that helps society progress. It's the small percentage of extremists/ fundamentalists who use it for their own benefit who must be stopped.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:09 pm |
  12. Stephen

    Islam is not a religion.....it's a disease.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      This, from the poster child for the local abortion clinic.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
  13. J.R.

    Hey! I've got a solution.

    Eliminate "ist" from all languages.

    Without "ist" nobody has anything to fight for/over/about.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
    • Willow

      Not true. You underestimate your fellow humans. As long as we exist, there will be disputes over land, food, water, etc. Natural resources. Religion is just an excuse people use to start wars over them. They will find other excuses if religion goes away.

      November 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  14. Augustine

    This is not the true face of Islam. It is the true face of bigotry and hatred, forms of which have been used by believers and atheists alike to vicitimize others they deem threatening. It is tradtion, chauvinism and misogyny taken to such extremes that it overwhelmes and replaces the principles of the Holy Quran. It is archaic tribalism on modern, international display. It is not religious or good or God-like behavior of any kind. It is intolerance borne of inflexible interpretation. It is not Islam.

    Islam is a peaceful religion whose adherents are mostly moderate and civilized, just as you find in the majority of the faithful of any religion. But it's always the wackos and extremists who get the headlines and for the same reason a car crash does: if it bleeds it leads. It gets our attention and sells newspapers and magazines. Nobody watches a cop show for the love scenes.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  15. Zanzibar

    Religion and Politicians will be the death of us all

    November 21, 2010 at 12:07 pm |
  16. Somali For Jesus

    Sounds like peaceful Islam!

    November 21, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      I recall clearly a biblical verse telling the faithful to do the very same thing. I guess Judaism and Christianity are violent, evil religions too then.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:47 pm |
  17. Randy

    This is the argument for not considering Islam a religion but a gang like the Mafia or military organization.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Except for one thing that causes your theory to fall apart.
      The Mafia and the military are organized.
      Islam is anything BUT organized. Just as Christianity isn't very organized, though Christianity has more sects than Islam does presently.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
  18. db

    What is so hard to figure out here. If Islam is such a peaceful religon they why would they care if a person converted from Christian to Muslim or Muslim to Christian? If the USA sees atrosities that occur in a country and not our bliefs, then why are we supporting them? Pull out and let them decay into the abismal pit of h-ll. We would be so much better if we just put the world on notice that we will no longer support with foreign aid, money or materials, any government that condones or supports terrorism either internally or externally. Who made up the rules that Muslims are today practicing? Radical Islamic Clerics that interpert warped to their points of view. Compliance through fear and threats. Seems that was what the Nazi's did in WWII, and since the Arabs were alligned with the Nazi's and trained by them, it continues today.

    November 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm |
  19. davegeorgia

    So we should tolerate these Mulsim lunatics here in the US for the same intolerance they show to our freedom of religion? I say do not tolerate any change they want to bring here in the US. Islam is a backward, debasing, revolting, ridiculous religion. Since when do you force a religious belief on anyone? How can any religion justify that? Moron Muslims want to kill anyone that does not beleive the way they do......

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

      So, I guess we shouldn't tolerate the 10000 Muslims in our military or the 3000 currently fighting in Afghanistan? Just kick them out of the military, leave the units undermanned. JUST to satisfy your hatred of people you never met.
      How about we follow your next logical step? We'll put them into camps. Camps with really big ovens and waterless showers.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:46 pm |
    • @Wzrd1

      hmmm.
      why not?
      Or something...hmmm.

      November 21, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Dhimmitude

      @ Wzrd1

      Major Nidal Malik Hasan attended the same mosque in 2001 as the September 11 hijackers. So don't just arbitrarily kick them out. But do investigate each one. Polygraphs, too. Then make the decisions. Don't like that? Think it's unfair? Maybe I'm a racist? Then FU and those who think like you. This is going to get very, very ugly, very quickly, so choose a side.

      November 21, 2010 at 4:13 pm |
  20. hin

    i will soon get a death threat for my truth about how much i hate islam, especially after seeing their moronic acts. the more these morons do such dumb acts the more they will be hated.

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

      You hate Islam. Why? DO tell us EXACTLY what it is that you hate? I'm willing to bet that any religious text in their Quran is reflected in your bible.
      So, by definition, if it is said in both texts and you only hate one faith, you DO hate yourself and your own faith as a matter of course.

      November 21, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • Rhonda

      @wzrd! we don't hate Islam, we hate the violence.

      November 22, 2010 at 3:40 am |
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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.