"Some Afghan way to short-circuit the case"

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Here's an interesting idea from National Review's editorial about the situation of Abdul Rahman, the Afghan citizen who has been charged with a capital crime for converting from Islam to Christianity.

It is important that, while we push for justice in the case, we donít play into the hands of [Afghan President] Karzai's enemies, who are eager to capitalize on the fears of a very traditional society. We should make it clear privately, but very firmly to Karzai ó who would have to sign Rahman's death warrant ó that we expect him to find some Afghan way to short-circuit the case before it ever gets to that point.

From a Washington Times story, I get the impression that such a way has been found:

But prosecutor Sarinwal Zamari said questions have been raised about [Rahman's] mental fitness.

"We think he could be mad. He is not a normal person. He doesn't talk like a normal person," he told The Associated Press.

Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Mr. Rahman would undergo a psychological examination.

"Doctors must examine him," he said. "If he is mentally unfit, definitely Islam has no claim to punish him. He must be forgiven. The case must be dropped."

Over on the Religion of Peace? blog, there's a comparison of American, German, Italian, and Canadian official responses to Rahman's prosecution. America looks pretty squishy compared to the more forceful responses of Germany and Italy.

On a related topic, the Nail Yale blog notices an irony in a 2001 editorial cartoon by Jim Borgman, who proposed terrorizing the Taliban by giving Afghan women scholarships to Yale. Instead, Yale is admitting a Taliban official as a special student.

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» Adbul Rahman, accused Christian from Danny Carlton -- alias "Jack Lewis"

The latest news is that the Afghani government may be pretending that Rahman is mentally unfit to stand trial. It... Read More

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