News flash from U.S.-liberated Afghanistan.
Remember the 23-year-old Afghan journalist I recently mentioned, the one detained in a Mazar-i-sharif jail for three months on "blasphemy" charges? Well, his limbo is over, his cased resolved.
For "insulting" Islam, the Afghan court has sentenced Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh to death.
According to the law of that land, which, not incidentally, is supported and protected by U.S. troops, only Afghan president Hamid Karzai -- only U.S.-supported, Afghan president Hamid Karzai, that is -- can do anything on the young man's behalf. Will he? That's the first question that comes to mind. But there are others, including two for all presidential candidates currently perusing this column: Should the United States force Karzai into leniency? Also, given post-Taliban Afghanistan's dependency on U.S. troops for survival, would the implementation of this Sharia (Islamic law) death sentence against Kaambakhsh make us a party to a Sharia crime against universal human rights?
This last question takes us to a topic I wish someone in power would consider -- particularly those Americans now vying to lead this country for the next four years. (I regret to say the current administration is hopeless on this vital matter.) Does our "war on terror," which currently includes stabilizing U.S.-fostered governments that enshrine Sharia in Afghanistan and Iraq, in effect place the United States in the role of making the world safe ... for Sharia? That's one debate question I'd certainly like to see asked. And: Given Islamic terror groups' shared predilection for spreading Sharia, does this current U.S. strategy best serve what we like to think of as the cause of liberty?
Consider the Afghan blasphemy case. Calling on Karzai to intercede "before it's too late," Reporters Without Borders issued a statement saying, "We are deeply shocked by this trial, carried out in haste and without any concern for the law or for free expression, which is protected by the (Afghan) constitution."
Just to make sure all presidential candidates still reading this column are paying attention: Is the journalist rights group correct? Is it true that free expression is protected by the U.S.-midwifed Afghan constitution?
The answer is no. (And aren't you candidates lucky this isn't a nationally televised debate?) Sure, the Afghan constitution dubs freedom of expression "inviolable," but, like the U.S.-fostered constitution of Iraq, it makes Sharia supreme. "No law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam," says the Afghan constitution.
Goodbye, freedom of expression.