Once again we are seeing a call for death in the name of religion. No, I’m not talking about someone strapping a bomb to himself so he can explode in a crowded shopping area. I’m talking about Muslim-born Abdul Rahman, who converted to Christianity. For this act of heresy, his family turned him over to the Afghani leaders, who have put him on trial for the crime of leaving the Muslim faith. If Rahman is found guilty of apostasy, he will die.
I’ll write it again: the punishment for leaving Islam, the Religion of Peace ™, is death. I’ll give you a moment to ponder the irony of this idea.
As a church-going Christian, I have seen people choose to leave my faith. While I am sad to see them go, I’m not going to kill them for leaving. It is a basic tenet of my faith that everyone has the privilege to “worship how, where, or what they may.” (Article of Faith 11) But in Afghanistan, Rahman does not have that privilege because the government has determined that he may not leave his Muslim faith. Doing so is apostasy, a crime worthy of death.
It is particularly painful for me to watch this unfold. Years ago, a friend of my family left his Muslim faith to become a Christian. When he returned to his native Pakistan in the late 1980s, he was brutally killed for his “crime” of apostatizing from Islam.
If Rahman is killed, I can envision the ACLU using his death as an example of what the U.S. would look like under the auspices of the Christian Right. If you worry about the Christian Right telling you what to do, I’d like to give you a challenge: list all the laws that have been passed in the United States because of Christianity. I’ll match you 2-for-1 with laws that have been passed thanks to pressure by environmentalists.