Wednesday, March 22, 2006

What is your definition of Tolerance?

Abdul Rahman converted to Christianity about 15 years ago. He is now living in his native Afghanistan, and is on trial for his life. If found guilty of converting from Islam (and his has openly admited it) he will be sentenced to death. The officials involved have said they are very tolerant; if he converts back to Islam they won't kill him. Maybe they have a different definition of tolerance than we do.

Interestingly enough, the judge says he doesn't know what all the fuss is about; after all western countries allow two women to get married. In other words, we do something they consider totally indecent, so why shouldn't they do something we consider totally indecent. It's interesting how the same sex marriage crowd insist that this is a private matter between consenting adults and so it affects nobody. In actual fact it turns out that our moral actions have a far wider influence than we realize. To the judge who made this observation I only have one point to make... the issue at stake is freedom of religion. We permit people to convert to Islam in Canada, so why won't they permit people to convert to Islam in Afghanistan? Could it be that the Islamic religious leaders fear a level playing field? I'm willing to bet that if everyone is free, far more people will choose Christianity... and I bet the Muslim leaders think so too.

As for me, I wrote the Afghan Ambassador to Canada (and cc'd our Foreign Minister) expressing my strong support for Canada's involvement in rebuilding Afghanistan (an involvement in blood and treasure) and expressed my concern for Mr Rahman. We'll see.

The obvious answer is for the judge to declare that Islam is the true faith and that anyone who would convert from Islam is obviously crazy and cannot be held responsible for their apostasy. That way they can keep their (to my thinking offensive) laws on the books and yet join the 17th century.


Anonymous jgriffin said...

Hi Shawn,

Several points to make here:

1. From a Muslim point of view it makes perfect sense that we would allow people to be converted to Islam in our country. Islam is the one true religion, of course we would be subject to the will of God and allow these conversions to occur.
2. Afghanistan may have mentioned the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in their constitution but obviously Islamic law, God's law (in the Imam's mind), must take precedence.
3. The judge does not believe that Mr. Rahman is insane. I am not sure where that defense came from.
4. Islam, as it is currently taught, is not a religion of tolerance. To not believe in Islam, is an affront to Islam.

10:33 p.m.  

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