Friday, March 24, 2006

And they wonder why people think they are crazy....

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Senior Muslim clerics are demanding that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."


The 41-year-old former medical aid worker faces the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws for becoming a Christian.


His trial has fired passions in this conservative Muslim nation and highlighted a conflict of values between Afghanistan and its Western backers.


"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001.



I’m all for respecting Muslims and their beliefs. Heck, I’m usually the lone person in the room standing up for them when it becomes Muslim bashing time. However, I can’t back them this time. I’m not a religious person, but I do think that a person’s religious belief, whatever it is, is sacred and should be respected. There is no valid reason why a man should be killed for changing his religion. This is just craziness.


The cleric, Abdul Raoulf, isn’t helping the situation. Where are the moderate clerics that preach understanding and tolerance, words that are not easily practiced through much of the Muslim world? Taking a step back, I don’t think any Christian leaders here really have a leg to stand on in regard to arguing against Raoulf or other Muslim clerics. I mean, Pat Robertson, love him or hate him, is technically a religious leader here in the states. Wasn’t it Robertson who called for the killing of the Venezuelan President not too long ago? I don’t think people who called for anyone’s death can be involved in stopping someone else who has been called to be killed from being killed. Check the grammar on that last sentence, I don’t know if it was correct or not.


At any rate, all this crazyness backs up an argument that I’ve had over and over again. Organized religion can be a very dangerous thing in the wrong hands. Imagine if you were part of the “People who like red” club. Your life revolved around the color orange. Then, one day after seeing the color red, you decide you want to be part of the “People who like blue” club. Even though red and blue are all part of the primary color wheel, and the basic elements for all color, the “People who like red club” demand you be killed. Doesn’t that sound crazy?





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