Dispatches from the Creation Wars

This Quote Says It All

You can’t find a more perfect statement of the warped mindset that leads to people being threatened with death over their religious views than this statement, from the father – the father – of Abdul Rahman, the Afghani man who faced the death penalty for converting to Christianity and has now fled to Italy and is under the protection of the government there:

Rahman’s 75-year-old father, however, believes his son must be punished.

“We are Muslim, our fathers were Muslim, our grandfathers were Muslim,” said Abdul Manan, according to the Chicago Tribune. “This is an Islamic country. Imagine if your son told a police commander, also a Muslim, that he is a Christian. How would this affect you? It’s very difficult for us.”

If it’s difficult for you, that is only because you are, to be blunt, deranged. People are affected by the religious views of others all the time. It’s not hard to see why a parent might be upset by their child changing to a different religion than the one they were raised in. But if you think that being bothered by that means they should be killed, then you are simply insane and you must be prevented, by whatever means necessary, from enforcing your disturbed views on others.

Comments

  1. #1 Corkscrew
    March 30, 2006

    I’m from the UK – a Christian country. I wonder how these nutjobs would react if we announced an intent to lynch for blasphemy anyone who converted from Christianity to Islam.

    Special pleading is a horrible thing to see in a supposedly grown-up individual.

  2. #2 steve s
    March 30, 2006

    and people wonder why I think religion is a usually-mild form of insanity.

  3. #3 Soldats
    March 30, 2006


    I wonder how these nutjobs would react if we announced an intent to lynch for blasphemy anyone who converted from Christianity to Islam.

    Well, Christianity did go through its lynching stage and got it out of its system (for the most part – certain fundies notwithstanding). Islam is just going through now what Christianity went through a few hundred years ago.

    It’s just that when Christianity went through it, I doubt there were people of another religion scratching their head wondering where the madness was going to end.

  4. #4 ThePolynomial
    March 30, 2006

    “Mom, Dad, we have to talk. There’s something I’ve been wanting to tell you for a long time. I think…no, I know I’m a Christian.”

    “What? But how long have you known?”

    “My whole life, as far back as I can remember. I’ve always believed in Christ…”

    “But you’re so young. How can you be sure? Just don’t tell anybody yet. It’s probably just a phase…a lot of people go through them. Your father was Zoroastrian for a few months when he was a teenager.”

    etc.

  5. #5 Troy Britain
    March 30, 2006

    His father isn’t alone. From the AP article Ed linked to yesterday:

    Muslim clerics condemned Rahman’s release, saying it was a “betrayal of Islam,” and threatened to incite violent protests.

    Some 500 Muslim leaders, students and others gathered Wednesday in a mosque in southern Qalat town and criticized the government for releasing Rahman, said Abdulrahman Jan, the top cleric in Zabul province.

    He said the government should either force Rahman to convert back to Islam or kill him.

    “This is a terrible thing and a major shame for Afghanistan,” he said.

    As I understand it conversion from Islam to another religion warrants the death penalty in much of the Islamic world.

  6. #6 Michael LoPrete
    March 30, 2006

    If I remember correctly, the death penalty for converting away from Islam would now be something of an anacronism. Don’t quote me on it, but one of the big problems that the early Muslim community faced (especially when allying with nomadic tribes in the arabian peninsula) was groups converting to Islam to take resources from the community, but then revealing that the conversion was false but keeping the resources for themselves their old tribe. The punishment for leaving the faith was thus meant as a deterrent.

    I’d have to dig it up, but I thought the hadith that referred to the deconversion punishment included in it a provision whereby one could avoid the death penalty.

  7. #7 WJD
    March 30, 2006

    If it’s difficult for you, that is only because you are, to be blunt, deranged. People are affected by the religious views of others all the time. It’s not hard to see why a parent might be upset by their child changing to a different religion than the one they were raised in. But if you think that being bothered by that means they should be killed, then you are simply insane and you must be prevented, by whatever means necessary, from enforcing your disturbed views on others.

    I would give a lot, and I mean a LOT, to hear an American president make this same statement in a public speech.

    Well we can dream, can’t we?

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