American Muslims insist death for apostates not mandated
Apr 18, 2006
After a week of intense lobbying by Western governments for his release, Abdul Rahman, an Afghan who faced the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity, arrived in Italy, where he received political asylum.
You don’t have to knock before entering Shkiba’s flat in the southern section of Kabul. Just walk up three flights of poorly aligned stairs in a vacated school building, and avoid the rubble and large holes caused by rocket explosions. Shkiba lives in what was once a classroom; the space is large, but the windows are without glass.
When she was ten years old, Deora Bodley was in a play called Compukids in which she sang a song written by her father: “My daddy always said / when he’d put me down to bed: / Rest easy, little one, and don’t you cry.
One of the objectives of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent pro-Western diplomacy is to reduce instability along Russia’s southern borders. In the troubled area to the north of Afghanistan are five predominantly Muslim countries—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
After a particularly heavy U.S. bombardment of Kunduz, al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters initially refused to surrender. Northern Alliance factions argued over how to arrange the surrender of Kunduz, provoking one U.S. official to describe the situation in and around the city as “chaotic.” His word reminds me of an exchange in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons.
Star-crossed toys: Although reluctant to seize bank accounts of terrorist organizations, U.S. ally Saudi Arabia has been diligent about intercepting what its government regards as illicit contraband. For example, the Saudi Ministry of Commerce recently confiscated a shipment of 10 million bags of potato chips from Thailand.
It’s a cliché to observe that since September 11 we are living in a different world, that everything seems different now. But it is true. I heard Harvard’s Peter Gomes say recently that things sound different now. Phrases read and spoken for thousands of years suddenly sound immediate, as if they were written last week for us.
It was much easier to oppose the gulf war. The situation that evoked the U.S. military response ten years ago was not personal, unless you count the loss of a plentiful oil supply as personal. Certainly Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait didn’t carry anything like the emotional impact of the September 11 attack that killed 5,000 citizens.
In the hours after the attacks on New York and Washington, many EuropeanChristians found themselves feeling a solidarity with Americans that some would not have thought possible. Thousands, perhaps millions, of Europeans bore witness to their grief and outrage about the attacks in mass gatherings in cities and villages across the continent.