Sunday 15th of September 2019

blair wrestles with his conscience

let him believe in Oil!

From the NY Times

Afghan Clerics, in Friday Prayers, Call for Convert's Execution
By ABDUL WAHEED WAFA
Published: March 24, 2006
KABUL, Afghanistan, March 24 — Afghan clerics used Friday Prayers at mosques across the capital to call for death for an Afghan man who converted to Christianity, despite widespread protest in the West.

As the international pressure on Afghanistan grew, the clerics demanded the execution of the Afghan, Abdul Rahman 41, if he does not convert back to Islam. His conversion 15 years ago was brought to the attention of Afghan authorities as part of a child custody dispute.

The Bush administration and European governments have strongly protested the case as a violation of religious freedom.

In Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice reminded a questioner that she has already conveyed the concerns of the United States to Kabul "in the strongest possible terms" and that "we look to a favorable resolution of this case."

"It is a young democracy — I think that's worth saying — but it is a democracy," Ms. Rice said in a question-and-answer session with Mexico's foreign minister, Luis Derbez. "And that is very different than had we had this case come up in the context of the rule of the Taliban."

Gus fiddles: The cartoon of the Weasel above is as good as any to illustrate how people can mix god, religion, war, oil, intolerance, acceptance and stupidity, all in the same breath without beating an eyelid... If we think like El Bonsaio of the USA that we can solve the world's problem by bombing the s..t out of some people them shake hand like at the end of a Football game, we're in deep trouble. An when La Rice takes on the handles, diplomacy will be shakier, more hypocritical, with more meaningful words used in a meaningless way, and hopefully not more of bigger bombs... while the sea level rises, but not as fast as the stock market going through the roof.

From the ABCTension grows

From the ABC

Tension grows in Christian convert case
Afghan religious leaders have called for a Christian convert to be executed for denying Islam, amid growing international pressure for the country to respect the man's religious freedom.

The controversy over Abdur Rahman, 40, whose trial is due to begin next week, threatens to drive a wedge between Afghanistan and Western countries that are ensuring its security and bankrolling its development.

But President Hamid Karzai cannot ignore conservative proponents of Islamic law, or appear to bow too readily to outside pressure.

Religious and political figures meeting at a Kabul hotel, including former prime minister Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai and Shiite cleric Asif Mohsenia, who commanded anti-Soviet forces in the 1980s, have said the Government should ensure that Islamic law is enforced.

The leaders say if their demands are ignored, "the Muslim people of Afghanistan would consider struggle their legal and religious duty".

Gusbag:
So WE eliminate one form of tyranny to let worse Islamist tyranny take over...

The Russians fought — against their true desire — for Afghanistan liberation when the Afghan communists forced their hands for help, while WE the good-Christian-guys-where-killing-people-is-a-sin, were financing Talibanic extremists and Bin Ladens warriors to defeat the Ruskies... Then we fought those we just helped take civilisation a hundred years back — draconian to women — to install a puppet government that has no control over the other factions of extremists... Had we let the Russians win twenty years ago, we might not have the petrol flowing through our veins, but we would have a more stable region that would have mellowed... But oh no we have to solve everything from our perspective with a cross in hand even even if we screw up people... You shall drink your Freedomola or we shoot you... The dreadful Conquistadores were more civilised that the Bushit and previous administration... At least they pillaged without denying it.

Hope from the Pope

From tne ABC

Pope asks Karzai to spare convert
Pope Benedict has written to Afghan President Hamid Karzai asking that charges be dropped against a man facing a possible death sentence for converting from Islam to Christianity.

The appeal has been in the Pope's name by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

The Cardinal says the Pope's appeal is inspired by "profound human compassion" and by the "firm belief in the dignity of human life and by respect for every person's freedom of conscience and religion".

President George W Bush and several other Western leaders have expressed grave concern at the threatened death penalty for Abdur Rahman, 40.

Sharia or Islamic law, on which Afghan law is partly based, stipulates death for apostasy.

"I am certain, Mr President, that the dropping of the case against Mr Rahman would bestow great honour upon the Afghan people and would raise a chorus of admiration in the international community," the letter said.

The Afghan constitution says "no law can be contrary to the sacred religion of Islam" but also says it will abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines freedom of religion.

Cardinal Sodano told Mr Karzai in the letter that dropping charges "would then contribute in a most significant way to our common mission to foster mutual understanding and respect among the world's different religions and cultures".

International pressure on Afghanistan to respect Mr Rahman's religious freedom and release him from jail has been met in Afghanistan by calls for him to be tried under Islamic law and executed, and a threat of rebellion if the Government frees him.

The controversy threatens to drive a wedge between Afghanistan and the Western backers, who secure and finance the country.

Mr Rahman's trial is due to start in a few days.

The case has sparked an outcry in North America and Europe and led to some calls for peace-keeping troops to be withdrawn.

read more at the ABC

Gus thinks (like many people do) that this case is very important in determining the reality of what we are doing fighting wars on behalf of extremists... Unless this fellow can live in peace in HIS country and not be killed by fanatics even if he wins his court case, then all "our" rhetoric about "freedom" and "liberation" becomes void... Our attitude already on shaky ground with porky galore, the "wrong" outcome would show some more that our little wars are not worth fighting...
The only way to peace is via peaceful means. Negociations, compassion and better sharing in a less corrupt business environment with a greater protection of nature. We still have long way to go... With Johnnee, Blairee and Bushee we've gone at hundred miles an hour backwards.

Good on you, Mr Howard

From the ABC

Afghan convert case 'disgusts' PM
Prime Minister John Howard says he intends to raise with his British counterpart concerns about the possible execution of an Afghan man, who has converted to Christianity.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair flew into Australia last night and will attend the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games this evening before heading to Canberra.

The controversy over Abdur Rahman, 40, whose trial is due to begin next week, threatens to drive a wedge between Afghanistan and Western countries that are ensuring its security and bankrolling its development.

Mr Howard says he is filled with disgust about the possibility that an Afghan man could be put to death for converting from Islam to Christianity.

He says he will be raising the matter with Mr Blair.

Mr Howard says Australian soldiers are not risking their lives in Afghanistan to allow such treatment to occur.

"This is fundamental stuff, you cannot support a regime which allows people to be executed because they have changed their religion," he said.

"I mean, that is as about as fundamentally intolerant and as medieval as you could possibly get."

Freedom of saying nofin'

From Reuters/ABC

Writer jailed for defamation
A Kurdish writer has been sentenced to one and a half years in prison for accusing Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani of abuse of power.

Kamal Karim, who also has Austrian citizenship, had originally been sentenced to 30 years in prison for defaming Mr Barzani.

But he was released and retried.

The case has raised questions about freedom of the press and democracy in the Kurdish north, which prides itself on having a better human rights record than public bodies elsewhere in Iraq.

Karim was originally found guilty in December under a law passed by the Kurdish regional parliament in 2003.

The region has a high degree of autonomy, including the power to enact legislation.

Kurdish leaders promised to help deliver democracy and freedom of the press in Iraq after the fall of Saddam Hussein, who oppressed the Kurds for decades.

Intolerance exposed

From the Guardian

Afghan Christian Should Be Released Soon
Monday March 27, 2006 2:01 AM
By DANIEL COONEY
Associated Press Writer

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - A court on Sunday dismissed the case against an Afghan man facing possible execution for converting from Islam to Christianity, officials said, paving the way for his release.

The move eased pressure from the West but raised the dilemma of protecting Abdul Rahman after his release as Islamic clerics have called for him to be killed.

One official said freedom might come as soon as Monday for Rahman, who became a Christian in the 1990s while working for an aid group in neighboring Pakistan...

etc...
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Gus asks: Who is going to protect him and expose the inttolerance of the people we're "helping"?

Clarke, of the secret flat earth society

From the Guardian

Lazy and deceitful

Media discussion of the balance between liberty and security is simplistic and wilfully misleading

Charles Clarke
Tuesday April 25, 2006
The Guardian

There is an entirely noble view of the free media as a fundamental bastion against dictatorship and totalitarianism. The advance of democracy has been profound - witness the changes in South Africa and eastern Europe for example - and there are many examples of the media playing an important part in bringing this about. But a pernicious and even dangerous poison is now slipping into some parts of this media view of the world. In the absence of many of the genuinely dangerous totalitarian regimes, the media has rhetorically transferred to existing democracies, particularly the US and the UK, the characteristics of those dictatorships.

So some commentators routinely use language such as "police state", "fascist", "creeping authoritarianism", while words such as "holocaust", "gulag" and "apartheid" are used descriptively in ways that must be truly offensive to those who experienced those realities.

As these descriptions and language are used, the truth flies out of the window, as does any adherence to professional journalistic standards. In the case of complex debates, for example, on the appropriate balance between liberty and security, much media comment reduces itself to simplistic and flowery rhetoric.

Writing on these pages, Jenni Russell claimed that "Tony Blair's administration is removing the safeguards that protect all of us from the whims of a government and the intrusion of a powerful state. It is engaged in a ferocious power-grab." These are ridiculous assertions, unsupported by any hint of understanding of the balance of powers that exist in our society. ...

Read more at the guardian....

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Suddenly Gus felt worried as if he had missed a cog of reality somewhere in the engine of political necessities... and then Gus read the byline of this article:
Charles Clarke is the home secretary www.homeoffice.gov.uk

Gus had a sigh of relief... The earth was still spherical... and Charles de Menedez was...