Friday, March 24, 2006

A Tale of Two Converts

The first is a fellow in Afghanistan. You know, "free," post-Taliban Afghanistan. Abdul Rahman converts from Islam to Christianity, and now prosecutors are calling for the death penalty.

Why? Because, even though the new, USA-approved Afghan constitution claims to recognize international conventions regarding human rights, it also lets shariah prevail when there is any conflict. And under shariah, as we all know too well, apostasy is punishable by death. Oh, and if the court doesn't kill him, senior Afghan clerics have promised to incite mob violence that will.

(The guy may get off the hook because he's insane. The judge certainly hopes he will. Go ahead, my secular humanist friends, make your obvious jokes about Christianity. But remember that Stalin classified a lot of people as insane when they disagreed whith his party line, too.)

The second fellow is
Phillippe Troussier, a French soccer coach (or "le football," as they say). He and his wife have converted from Christianity to Islam. Nobody is calling for much of anything. Certainly not death. Why? Because France is actually a free country, in which basic human rights (such as freedom of religion) are protected by law.

Yes, yes, I know: the French won't let schoolchildren wear burkahs or crosses in class, which to American ears doesn't sound like freedom. But it is, in a convoluted Gallic way, because it keeps religious symbols, and any bias based on them, out of state schools.

Darkly funny remark from Islam Online, quoted in the article: "thousands of French revert to Islam every year in France, but not all of them declare their new faith outright, fearing discrimination at home or work and a stereotypical view that reverts tilt towards extremism."

Poor babies. They're afraid of job discrimination. And why is it that Muslim converts to Christianity, even in Western countries, often keep silent? Are they afraid of job discrimination, too? Oh, right: they're afraid of being murdered.

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