February 01, 2008

Afghanistan Blasphemy Death Sentence: A Kinder, Gentler Taliban?

In Afghanistan, a university student of journalism has been sentenced to death for the crime of downloading from the internet and seeking to discuss with others material that questions whether Mohammed cared about the rights of others — in this case, women. Not only was this "crime" of free inquiry enough to draw a death sentence, it also resulted in Afghanistan's democratically-elected House of Elders (roughly equivalent to the US Senate) passing a resolution praising the Islamic court's decision to have the blasphemer executed. The Afghani senate later withdrew the resolution in response to international criticism, which doesn't mean a thing. The end result is that a young man is faced with being put to death for questioning the infallibility of religious dogma.

Afghan journalist faces death sentence for 'insulting Islam'

...Last week a three-judge panel in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif condemned 23-year-old Parwez Kaambakhsh for downloading allegedly blasphemous material from the internet.

The material, written in Farsi, the language of Iran, asked why a Muslim man may have four wives but women can't have multiple husbands.

The material also said Muslim fundamentalists err in their interpretation of the Qur'an by insisting women have to be subject to men.

Kaambakhsh, a journalism student, copied the material and gave it to other students.

The court said Kaambakhsh had confessed to blasphemy and had to be punished...

The Afghan Senate withdrew its endorsement of the death penalty on Thursday.

Kaambakhsh is the younger brother of another journalist, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, who has written investigative reports exposing human rights abuses...
This is what post-Taliban, supposedly democratic Afghanistan looks like. This is the result of an attempt to forcefully export democracy (read: shove a foreign political ideology down the throat of a conquered nation).

Afghanistan under the Taliban: religious law executes anyone who speaks up and questions faith.

Afghanistan after the Taliban: religious law executes anyone who speaks up and questions faith.

Notice the difference? Neither do I. One set of monsters has been swapped for another set of monsters. Or has it? Who can tell the difference?

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