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Afghan Man Detained For Abandoning Islam

(RFE/RL) March 19, 2006 -- An Afghan Supreme Court judge is quoted today as saying a man has been detained for converting from Islam to Christianity.

Reuters quotes Supreme Court Judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada as saying the man could face the death penalty if he refuses to become a Muslim again.

Islamic Shari'a law proposes the death sentence for Muslims who abandon the religion. Afghanistan's constitution says "no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam."

Correspondents say they cannot recall a previous prosecution for abandoning Islam in Afghanistan.


Islam In A Pluralistic World

Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)


CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)


Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media


Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media

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