Hogan's Alley

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Afghan Trial Of Christian Convert, The Entire Bush Policy Hangs In The Balance

In spite of considerable pressure from the Bush Administration, the trial judge in Kabul claims he will not bow to any pressure he receives in the case of Abdul Rahman, who has admittedly converted to Christianity from Islam. Apparently this is worthy of death under Islamic law and apparently under civil legislation still effectively in force in Afghanistan, even though the new constitution adopted since the American ousting of the Taliban guarantees freedom of religion.

The outcome of this case could not be more important to the future America's efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. If this man dies, thereby proving to most Americans that there is no true freedom in that part of the world, what little support for continued sacrifices by our troops that remains will dry up an wither away. To be sure, Americans will be especially concerned because the man is a Christian. But those in the middle east should be assured that we in America care more about freedom of religion, which is a unifying and deeply held core value of our nation. We will not accept less for democracies that we midwife into existence with the blood of our young people.

Leaders in Washington, Kabul and Baghdad must understand the importance of this case. The future of the region is on the line.