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Lady Liberty

Give me your tired, your poor,
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Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.


Thursday, March 23, 2006

If Afghanistan Executes Abdul Rahman
posted by Bathus

One hopes some wise soul has mentioned to George Bush that if Afghanistan executes Abdul Rahman for the crime of converting from Islam to Christianity, it's all over.

If Afghanistan executes Rahman, you can start bringing the boys home.

If Afghanistan executes Rahman, "We the People of the United States," who are just about damn well fed up with Muslims already, will in November begin to instruct our leaders that we wish to wash our hands of Afghanistan and Iraq and the whole effing lot of them, and ultimately that we would prefer to deal with the followers of the religion of peace somewhat differently: at longer range with heavy bombers and cruise missiles and at shorter range by imprisoning and/or deporting any Arab or Muslim--citizen or not--whose devotion to America permits the slightest doubt.

It's not that one would want things to go that way, but if Afghanistan executes Rahman, that's how things will end up.

This is one of those moments that matters.

A few choice quotes from the story linked above. From cleric Abdul Raoulf who, so the AP tells us, is "considered a moderate":
Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die. Cut off his head! We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left.
And from Mirhossain Nasri, whom the AP story identifies as "the top cleric at Hossainia Mosque, one of the largest Shiite places of worship in Kabul":
If [Rahman] is allowed to [seek asylum] in the West, then others will claim to be Christian so they can too. We must set an example. He must be hanged. We are a small country and we welcome the help the outside world is giving us. But please don't interfere in this issue. We are Muslims and these are our beliefs. This is much more important to us than all the aid the world has given us.
On that we can agree. To us here in America too there's hardly anything that could prove more important than Afghanistan killing a Christian for converting from Islam.

If Afghanistan executes Abdul Rahman for the crime of converting from Islam to Christianity, America's collective sentiment will settle into something like this:
Okay, you 7th century Islamic zealots, we see we made a very big mistake. You've convinced us you can't learn how to govern yourselves in a sane way any time soon. There's nothing we can do to help you right now. So we're getting out. It's all yours to make as big a mess of as you want.

Bag your women and treat them like cattle. Raise your children in slavish ignorance. Degenerate your society back to Mohammad's Year Zero. Behead all your heretics and install bin Laden as your final messiah. That's your business, and we'll leave you to it.

Sell us your oil or drink it for tea. We don't give a damn, because we can manage without it if we have to (and if we can't somehow manage without it, we'll just take what we need).

But at the first threatening whisper we hear from your direction, what happened to Dresden in late winter and early spring of 1945 will seem like a pillow fight.
It's not just Abdul Rahman's innocent life at stake here, though that is enough.

America cannot spend its treasure and spill the blood of its youth for regimes that kill Christians for becoming Christian. I hope you understand that, George Bush. Because if you don't understand that, it's all over.

posted by Bathus | 3/23/2006 10:00:00 PM
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Blogger Tiercel said...

Rahman a dispute about sharing bride price?

7:15 AM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous haroon said...

Not sure if you care about the opinion about a Muslim, seeing that you don't us much, but this is what I (and actually many others that I know from Afghanistan) think about it:

First of all, the not so backward people of Afghanistan think that it is the individual's personal business what religion he/she is a follower of. When my family lived in Afghanistan (Kabul) before the Soviet/Afghan war, my family had many Christian, Jewish and Hindu friends there.

The problem now is that Mr Karzai, a person that not only in my opinion is much to over-hyped in the western media and in certain diplomatic circles, has not been hard enough against fundamentlist and racist movements and groups in Afghanistan. The guy Karzai has appointed as Supreme Court judge (Shinwari) is one of the worst types of conservative, fundamentalist people you can find in Afghanistan (I have also heard often that he wasn't too much against the Taliban...). Some people might also know, that Karzai has repeatedly said, that the Taliban are actually good people, only 10-50 people of them are bad (and with those I think he only means the Arabs). All in all for people who know a little bit about the society and history of Afghanistan it is becoming for visible, that Karzai is slowly bringing the Pashtuns into a more dominant position and ignoring dangers regarding fundamentalism, xenophobia and other risks that come with that.

Hopefully some intelligent people will see that Karzai's "we are all brothers after all, my dear Talibs" approach is not working and will slap his fingers or support others who are genuinely against fundamentlist tendencies.

haroon

9:41 AM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Bathus said...

Haroon,

Thanks for your comment.

Please understand, my post was not meant to be a commentary about Muslims or Afghanistan in general.

The post was about Americans, not about Muslims. Specifically, it was about three things only:

1. How the American people will react if a Christian in Afghanistan is executed for converting from Islam.

2. What that reaction will ultimately lead to, which is the American people fully and finally rejecting Bush's project to encourage liberalization and democratization in Islamic countries.

3. The replacement of Bush's liberalization/democratization project with a different approach, an approach that seeks to establish America's long term security against terrorism and Islamism, not by encouraging freedom and democracy among Muslim peoples, but by threatening (and if necessary preemptively using) overwhelming force against any who might contemplate attacking us.

Up to now, the two primary elements of Bush's national security foreign policy have been "nation-building" and "preemption." In Afghanistan and Iraq, for example, preemption has been followed by nation-building. First we destroy the threat, and then we help to re-build the broken society.

But if Afghanistan executes Rahman, in the future we will destroy the threat (repetitively if necessary), and leave it at that, without staying around to sort through the rubble.

As I wrote in my post, "It's not that one would want things to go that way, but if Afghanistan executes Rahman, that's how things will end up."

5:20 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous haroon said...

OK, bathus, maybe I have misunderstood you there, but the observation stands, that the guys who are doing the nation-building in Afghanistan do not seem to have the knowledge or competency for it. This episode is just one thing that could have been prevented if the responsible people would have looked more careful at what Karzai namely appeasing the religious and ethnic extremists

11:46 AM, March 25, 2006  

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