Our moral dilemma in Afghanistan that we never discuss

With our endless political “debates” this country, here’s the kind of issue that is never debated: A 23 year old Afghan journalism student, Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, was sentenced to death January 22 for downloading “blasphemous” writings from the Internet and distributing them to other students. Apparently the writings referred to Muhammad as a murderer and a womanizer.

Should we be helping sustain a society and government the fundamental laws and customs of which require the execution of people for distributing a negative opinion about Muhammad? Obviously not, since to do so is not only wrong in itself but means supporting a religious system that seeks to subdue us to the same law. What then should we do? Obviously we do not have the ability to modernize or democratize a society ruled by a religion that executes people for expressing opinions. Nor do we have the ability to destroy that religion, short of destroying the country and killing most of its people. Nor do we have the ability to assimilate the followers of such a tyrannical religion into our society and into any international order that recognizes basic human rights and liberties. What then can we do? We should withdraw our forces from that country, and end our connection with that country, while promising that if a regime, such as the Taliban, comes to power there that threatens us, we will return and destroy it. (Or alternatively we should wage a standalone war of extermination against the Taliban, without connecting that war with support for the existing sharia government.) As I’ve said over and over, a three week war once every ten years will be infinitely less costly to us than permanent occupation. Other than that, we have no interest in the internal affairs of Afghanistan. We cannot, in the name of democracy, be propping up an Islamic sharia regime which executes people for questioning Islam.

This fundamental contradiction in our present policy is never discussed, and so we continue in our absurd and self-debasing course of “defending democracy” in a sharia country.

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Ben W. writes:

Concerning the topic “Moral Dilemma in Afghanistan,” here is an interesting point of view that bears upon the subject of Sharia and democracy and our involvement:

No one ever leaves Islam, according to a judge in Egypt who has cited Islamic religious law in rejecting a request from a Muslim convert to Christianity to be allowed to change his religious affiliation on his national identification card.

In a decision that forecasts more and more decisions being based on Shari’a, Islam’s religious law, Judge Muhammad Husseini has concluded it violates the law for a Muslim to leave Islam.

According to a report from Compass Direct News, the judge found that the convert, Muhammad Hegazy, “can believe whatever he wants in his heart, but on paper he can’t convert.”

The report said Husseini cited Article II of the Egyptian constitution, making Islamic religious law the “source” of Egyptian secular law, as the basis for his conclusion.

Since Islam is the “final” and “most complete” religion, Muslims already have full freedom of religion and are not allowed to return to the “less complete” Christianity or Judaism, the ruling said.

Ben W. continues:

The Egyptian judge’s assertion that,

Since Islam is the “final” and “most complete” religion, Muslims already have full freedom of religion and are not allowed to return to the “less complete” Christianity or Judaism, the ruling said.

should raise concerns both intellectually and theologically for Christians. Either Islam or Christianity is the final and complete revelation. Since this Muslim legal authority has raised the issue in this way, there cannot be any hiding of which is the final and complete revelation as an issue. He thus destroys the basis for any ecumenical discourse between Christianity and Islam.

Bill Carpenter writes:

We should perform the same mental triage with respect to Afghanistan you recommend to John Zmirak. Instead of treating it as a budding democracy and newborn sibling of the Western nations, we should regard it as an Islamic republic in which we are only involved to pursue our interests in the region—that is, the new state of Afghanistan is not all good, but it is tolerable as long as it is not harmful to us. That change in perspective would enable us to focus on our interests and invest appropriately, instead of overinvesting in the development of a sharia state. Or we might decide that Afghanistan is terrible, as you say, and we should leave and only return to crush opponents.

It is possible, however, that this mental triage has been performed by our military and that propagating the “noble myth” of Islamic democracy is part of what enables us to stay there to pursue regional interests, such as preventing the aggrandizement of Iran.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 01, 2008 01:09 PM | Send

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