Sunday, February 20, 2011

Said Musa About to be Executed

"Whoever changes his Islamic religion, kill him." -Muhammad (Sahih Al-Bukhari 9:84:57)

And that is exactly what the government of Afghanistan is bent on doing to Christian convert Said Musa. Unfortunately, most news sources in America and Canada refuse to report this egregious violation of human rights (which is odd because they seem to have no qualms about publicizing some backwoods Florida pastor's decision to burn Qur'ans), so it is up to the rest of us to make these kinds of things known. Pray that this brother in Christ will be released from prison and find safe asylum in the west.

A terrible drama is unfolding in Afghanistan: There are reports that Said Musa, whose situation ... will soon be executed for the ‘crime’ of choosing to become a Christian.

Musa was one of about 25 Christians arrested on May 31, 2010, after a May 27 Noorin TV program showed video of a worship service held by indigenous Afghan Christians; he was arrested as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy. He converted to Christianity eight years ago, is the father of six young children, had a leg amputated after he stepped on a landmine while serving in the Afghan Army, and now has a prosthetic leg. His oldest child is eight and one is disabled (she cannot speak). He worked for the Red Cross/Red Crescent as an adviser to other amputees.

He was forced to appear before a judge without any legal counsel and without knowledge of the charges against him. “Nobody [wanted to be my] defender before the court. When I said ‘I am a Christian man,’ he [a potential lawyer] immediately spat on me and abused me and mocked me. . . . I am alone between 400 [people with] terrible values in the jail, like a sheep.” He has been beaten, mocked, and subjected to sleep deprivation and sexual abuse while in prison. No Afghan lawyer will defend him and authorities denied him access to a foreign lawyer.

Any and every human being who is imprisoned, abused, or tortured for the free and peaceful expression of their faith deserves our support, but Musa is also a remarkable person and Christian. In a letter smuggled to the West, he says, “The authority and prisoners in jail did many bad behaviour with me about my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For example, they did sexual things with me, beat me by wood, by hands, by legs, put some things on my head.”

He added a thing much more important to him, that they “mocked me ‘he’s Jesus Christ,’ spat on me, nobody let me for sleep night and day. . . . Please, please, for the sake of Lord Jesus Christ help me.”

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Internal Conflicts within the Toronto Muslim Community

I've been to Masjid Qurtaba in person, and I heard about the cancelled debate from Bartimaeus, but I didn't know this story would find its way into the National Post. Interesting cover story on the internal conflicts between conservatives and secular/liberal Muslims in Toronto.

HT: Prof. Tony Costa

More than 600 people showed up at the North American Muslim Foundation on a recent Saturday to hear a debate over secular liberalism in Islam.

It would have been something of a face off. The prospective debaters, Tarek Fatah, author and self-described secular Muslim, and Sheharyar Shaikh, president of NAMF and a conservative imam at Masjid Qurtabah, are known polemicists who have not shied away from very public disagreements in the past.

In fact, the event only came about after an open challenge to Mr. Fatah was published late last year by Mr. Shaikh, who called on the controversial author to publicly defend his moderate views, which have been called unIslamic by some in the Canadian Muslim community. Mr. Shaikh-- who has openly defended polygamy and opposed secular education for Muslims -- is among them.

When it was announced shortly after 6 p.m. that the debate was cancelled after Mr. Fatah declined to participate at the last minute, more than 600 people were disappointed.

Read more about it here: