Thursday, March 23, 2006

You should be

Bush Troubled by Afghan Convert's Case

President Bush said Wednesday that he is "deeply troubled" that an Afghan man is being tried for converting to Christianity.

Abdul Rahman, 41, faces a possible death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago. He has been charged with rejecting Islam, a crime under this country's Islamic laws. Bush said in a speech that a young democracy is growing in Afghanistan, but he's concerned about the case.


"We expect them to honor the universal principle of freedom," Bush said. "I'm troubled when I hear, deeply troubled when I hear, the fact that a person who converted away from Islam may be held to account. That's not the universal application of the values that I talked about. I look forward to working with the government of that country to make sure that people are protected in their capacity to worship."

Rahman's trial started last week, but a state prosecutor said Wednesday that he may be mentally unfit to stand trial. Moayuddin Baluch, a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai, said Rahman would undergo a psychological examination and the case will be dropped if he's found mentally unfit.