Thursday, January 31, 2008

Afghan Reporter Asks Questions, Must Die:
Afghanistan Court, House, Senate, Defend Islam Against Discussion

"Afghan reporter to die for insulting Islam"

The first two paragraphs of this AP story, posted on WTOL-TV, Toledo, Ohio:

"Afghanistan's upper house of parliament lauded the death sentence handed down against a local journalist who was found guilty of insulting Islam, an official said Wednesday.

"In a statement signed by Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, the chamber's chairman, the Senate also condemned what it called "international interference" to have the sentence annulled, spokesman Aminuddin Muzafari said."

Please consider this post more "international interference."

The journalist with the death sentence is Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh. He's a 23-year-old journalism student, from what I can gather from the news.

He's guilty of passing around an article he found on the Internet. He gave the copies to journalism students and teachers at Balkh University.

The article raised an interesting question: since Islam (according to Islamic fundamentalists, anyway) allows men to have four wives, why can't wives have four husbands?

I suspect that the article's being from a Farsi website didn't help Sayed's chances of survival.

I'm no expert on Afghani or Islamic law, but the case seems open-and-shut. Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh raised a question about Islam that encourages thought and discussion. From what I've seen, a simple death sentence is a mild and humane judgment under Islamic law.

That doesn't mean that I approve of the sentence. Human rights groups across the world are protesting the sentence: a gutsy position, considering that they're 'attacking Islam' in the process.

One of them is the U.K. "Independent." has an online petition (, asking the British Foreign Office to "put all possible pressure on the Afghan government to prevent the execution of Sayed Pervez Kambaksh."

The Press Gazette (U.K.) offers an explanation for this outburst of Islamic passion: The Institute of War and Peace Reporting says that the Kaambakhsh case was arranged by Northern Afghanistan warlords. The target is the young reporter's brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, another journalist. Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi's investigative reports have exposed human rights abuses.

I mentioned this outburst of Islamic sensitivity in Afghanistan before, in "With Friends Like These, Does Islam Need Enemies?"

I keep trying to believe that America's infidel president was right, when he said that "Islam is a peaceful religion." The actions of Muslims and their application of Islamic law make this increasingly difficulty to do.
(Balkh University is Afghanistan's second-largest.)

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.