And pointed out that instead of being summarily executed as he would have been under the Taliban, Abdul Rahman faces a trial. Why, I feel better already. "U.S. Backs Afghan Man Who Converted to Christianity," from AP, with thanks to Quietwatcher:
WASHINGTON — The Bush administration issued a subdued appeal Tuesday to Afghanistan to permit a Christian convert on trial for his life to practice his faith in the predominantly Muslim country.
The State Department, however, did not urge the U.S. ally in the war against terrorism to terminate the trial. Officials said the Bush administration did not want to interfere with Afghanistan's sovereignty.
The case involves an Afghan man who converted from Islam and was arrested last month after his family accused him of becoming a Christian. The conversion is a crime under Afghanistan's Islamic laws.
Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns and department spokesman Sean McCormack asked Afghanistan to conduct the trial "in a transparent way." Burns said he told Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, with whom he held talks at the department, that "we would follow the case closely."...
This is outrageous. The man is on trial for exercising his freedom of conscience. Burns and McCormack should be demanding that the trial be immediately stopped and Abdul Rahman freed. Instead, they just hope for a "transparent" proceeding. What transparent dhimmis they are. They weren't so worried about Afghan sovereignty when the Taliban controlled Kabul.
State Department spokesman McCormack contrasted the government in Kabul with its fundamentalist predecessor.
"Under the Taliban, anybody considered an apostate was subject to torture and death," he said. "Right now, you have a legal proceeding that is under way in Afghanistan."
McCormack said the administration underscored to Abdullah "that we believe tolerance and freedom of worship are important elements of any democracy.
I'm glad they're finally getting around to crossing the t's and dotting the i's about what democracy really means. Better late than never.