The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.
In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.
the state of having rejected your religious beliefs or your political party or a cause (often in favor of opposing beliefs or causes) [syn: renunciation, defection]2:
the act of abandoning a party or cause
That, of course, is the Western definition of "Apostasy". You know, all balanced and objective. The Islamic definition, however, is "someone who leaves Islam". But what, you ask, is the word for someone who comes to Islam from another religion? Well, that word is "Reversion", meaning that all humans were born as Muslims, but many were tricked by cruel fate into being Hindus or Mormons or Southern Baptists, and those who "come back" to their "natural religion" have thereby "reverted". I know, sounds pretty arrogant.
Now there's arrogance, and then there's extreme arrogance. And when we talk about Wahabbi Islam, as invented in Saudi Arabia, we are always talking about extremes, we are right at the Pat Robertson end of the spectrum, if not beyond. We are way out in Tooty-Frooty Land, the Land where the Bong Tree grows.
So what happens to Apostates in Saudi Arabia? Well, we don't seem to have many, if at all. When there's a group of guys sitting together having coffee, you won't see someone suddenly jump to his feet and say "There's something I need to share with you. I've taken Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Saviour. I am saved, Halleluja!"
There are no doubt a few Saudis, particularly those who have travelled abroad, who may feel that. There are certainly quite a few who have absorbed the teachings of other religions into their own religious world view. But Saudi Arabia is not a safe place for some wannabe Ned Flanders. Because, under Shariah Law, Apostacy is not only a Sin, it is also a Crime, and a Crime punishable by Death. So that's why you don't come across many Apostates, and why discretion is the better part of valor for those who are. Our clerics and lawyers will justify this situation as being perfectly acceptable; for them, it's just the same as the Spaniards did four hundred years ago. You know, those good old days, when you were most likely to die of Bubonic Plague before the age of thirty, having had three out of thirteen children survive.
But, Joy Oh Joy, it gets better. Because we don't just keep this bit of Muslim Brotherly Love to ourselves. We export it! And Afghanistan, thanks to all our zealots and Imam University graduates who went to join the Taliban in former years, is where it has also taken root! A number of readers have mailed me details of the story below. I did start off by replying that I don't cover Afghanistan, if I did cover it and Iraq I'd be here all day, but I'm going to make an exception in this case, because it's absolutely appalling.Afghan on trial for ChristianityAn Afghan man is being tried in a court in the capital, Kabul, for converting from Islam to Christianity. Abdul Rahman is charged with rejecting Islam and could face the death sentence under Sharia law unless he recants. He converted 16 years ago as an aid worker helping refugees in Pakistan. His estranged family denounced him in a custody dispute over his two children.Afghanistan's post-Taleban constitution is based on Sharia law, and prosecutors in the case says this means Abdul Rahman....should be put to death.
Here's a picture of the judge holding the incriminating evidence, a Bible. But he's a humane man. And he regards Islam, just as Prince Alwaleed told us yesterday
, as....Islam....a religion of moderation and tolerance
....so he has a special message of moderation and tolerance for the accused man.Trial judge Ansarullah Mawlazezadah told the BBC that Mr Rahman, 41, would be asked to reconsider his conversion...."We will invite him again because the religion of Islam is one of tolerance. We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him,"
Mmmmm, can't you just feel the Brotherly Love? Doesn't it just wrap its warm arms around you? Doesn't it make you feel so good about the Human Race?We will ask him if he has changed his mind. If so we will forgive him.
If not, we'll chop his friggin' head off.
Scratch one Christian.
I had always thought that Mohammed Karzai was one of the Good Guys, but the BBC informs us thatMr Karzai's office says the president will not intervene in the case.
If that's the case, why waste lives and money on a multinational force to go in there in the first place? Instead, couldn't we just pay the billions of dollars into their bank accounts, and let them practice their "moderation and tolerance" all by themselves?
Join me, contact them here
or at your local embassy.Postscript 03.23.06
Thanks to all who emailed or smailed the Afghan government. Hopefully we will, together with thousands at other blogs, make a difference. There is now a suggestion that he might be "declared insane" and released by the court, which would suit them on three counts:
- it would get them off an embarassing hook which is becoming increasingly visible, world-wide.
- it allows them to imply that Christians are, by definition, insane.
- it would demonstrate their tolerance and enlightenment after all, in spite of all that has been said about them.
Whatever. Nobody's fooled. As long as they let him go.