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THE RELIGION OF PIECES

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 24, 2006 12:39 AM

WAKE-UP CALL (via AP/WaPo):

Senior Muslim clerics demanded Thursday 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.”

“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.

…On Wednesday, authorities said Rahman is suspected of being mentally ill and would undergo psychological examinations to see whether he is fit to stand trial.

But three Sunni preachers and a Shiite one interviewed by The Associated Press in four of Kabul’s most popular mosques said they do not believe Rahman is insane.

“He is not crazy. He went in front of the media and confessed to being a Christian,” said Hamidullah, chief cleric at Haji Yacob Mosque.

“The government is scared of the international community. But the people will kill him if he is freed,” Hamidullah said.

Raoulf, who is a member of the country’s main Islamic organization, the Afghan Ulama Council, agreed. “The government is playing games. The people will not be fooled.”

“Cut off his head!” he exclaimed, sitting in a courtyard outside Herati Mosque. “We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there’s nothing left.”

…Said Mirhossain Nasri, the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul, said Rahman must not be allowed to leave the country.

“If he is allowed to live in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can too,” he said. “We must set an example. … He must be hanged.”

“We are a small country and we welcome the help the outside world is giving us. But please don’t interfere in this issue,” Nasri said. “We are Muslims and these are our beliefs. This is much more important to us than all the aid the world has given us.”

Australian PM John Howard speaks for me:

The case of an Afghan man facing a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity is “appalling,” Australian Prime Minister John Howard said.

“We’re putting the lives of Australian soldiers on the line and this sort of thing is allowed,” Howard told Melbourne radio station 3AW today. “When I saw the report about this I felt sick.”

Speaking of feeling sick, check al-Reuters’ latest shenanigans in its coverage of the Rahman case at LGF.

***

I’m on the road Friday morning, but will be in Washington, D.C. at noon for the Support Abdul Rahman event. Come join us:

noon to 1pm
Outside the Afghan Embassy
2341 Wyoming Ave NW.
Washington DC

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