KABUL, Afghanistan, March 24 — Afghan clerics used Friday Prayers at mosques across the capital to call for death for an Afghan man who converted to Christianity, despite widespread protest in the West.
Granted, if this guy hadn't converted to Christianity, and was going to be executed for say, being gay, it's doubtful it would have received much attention at all. Ok, it's not actually doubtful, it's certain not to have received any attention whatsoever unless Iran is involved, in which case you can be sure that the neo-con hawks and their dippy cheerleaders will be
Now beyond the Christian aspect is the obvious P.R. issue for an Administration who frequently boasts of bringing freedom to the previously archaic Afghanistan. That their first democratic experiment is producing, well, no less barbaric results is somewhat embarrasing.
But to be fair to the administration, this isn't their fault. These allegedly moderate religious leaders make Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell (two men who also repeatedly call for executions and mass murder, by the way) look like hippies.
Check out this asshole:
Dr. Mohammad Ayaz Niyazi, an Egyptian educated in Islamic law, who attended one of the gatherings today, said, "There have been serial attacks on the Islamic world recently, starting with insulting the Holy Quran, insulting the prophet of Islam, and now converting to Christianity by an Afghan."
You know, I can understand the outrage over the Koran toilet thing because it happened during a war and was a larger symbol of western imperialism and cultural hegemony. I can understand the cartoons because it was a blatant attempt to smear an entire religion under the guise of an intellectual argument. But when one (1) guy converting to another religion shakes the foundation of your beliefs, your religion sucks and you should kill yourself for being such an unbelievable bane on humanity.
Condi's spinning her ass off being in the unenviable position of trying to stop a highly publicized human rights offense while still respecting the soveriegnty of the new country they just helped create. Now I know the though Afghani sovereignty is a joke and the U.S. caring about their autonomy even more laughable, but the fact is that it is important for Afghanistan to have the illusion of independance, even if its not accurate. To be too heavy handed in these cases reinforces the accurate perception that when we spread democracy what we really mean is we're making you our puppet. Yes the problem is the way we spread democracy and not the issues we choose to flex our muscles over, but its too late to debate that in this case - damage done, time for someone else to clean up the mess.
It's too bad Condi and the rest of the administration can't get off their asses a little more frequently to speak about the myriad of human rights violations, many which they support and helped create.
more to come...