Wednesday, March 22, 2006


The case in Afghanistan of the man who converted from Islam to Christianity is fairly well known by now. To sum up, a man faces a death sentence in Afghanistan for apostasy.

This case (while I hope has a favorable outcome) is the focus of how much do we interfere with a society such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Obviously, we went into Afghanistan and taught the Taliban (talib is Arabic for student, add the "an" and it becomes plural) a lesson, there is no argument that invasion was interference. However, we interfered with a government not a society.

Now, Afghanistan is an Islamic state and while it is not governed strictly by the Sharia its law is definitely sharia based. That is, the whole body of traditional Islamic law may not be adhered to the last vowel and is insuffiently "Islamic" to please Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban, but it is essentially based on the Koran.

The Koran commands apostates be put to death. Now, in our society that a convert be killed is completely unimaginable (a good thing). Many in our society see what is happening to the apostate in Afghanistan and are shocked. Why? Because, we toppled the Taliban and therefore any government setup under our occupation/guidance should be every bit as liberal as ours. Many will say, why did we bother toppling the Taliban only to allow apostates to be put to death, surely any government setup under our supervision should prohibit such barbarism.

Should it? The left will use this case to paint Afghanistan a failure another case of bungling by the Bush Administration. However, I have written here before anything short of having the Vagina Monologues showing in trendy Kandahar coffeeshops would be considered as a failure by the left. The President had it right when he asked Hamad Karzai to stop the sentence of death but in the end admits it is ultimately an Afghani decision.

Concerned people and organizations are free to work through other channels to pressure Afghanistan to put an end to such practices and they should work to that end. People may say "Wow, we just took them to the 12th century, what use was that?" Well, Dinesh D'Souza said that going from the 7th to the 12th century is still—progress.