A Letter from Shoaib

Though Shoaib’s letter is not as powerful as the letter we posted from Said Musa last week, there is an urgency about this letter.  It is clear from the letter that Shoaib is appealing to the Afghan Government based on its own constitution.  He is appealing to the government for justice, which is what the government is supposed to provide.

However, governments often forgo justice in the name of political expediency.  Indeed, Shoaib’s biggest fear is that the government will yield to Islamic pressure and follow Shariah law, which he says would surely mean his death.  So, I think our first priority is to appeal to the Lord of the universe, the one for whom the mountains melt like wax (Ps 97:5).  Remember Proverbs 21:1, “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases.”

Beyond appealing to the Lord Almighty, we may also wish to appeal to the U.S. Embassy.  The contact information (courtesy of ICC) is as follows:

Afghanistan embassy in the U.S.
Phone: (202-483-6410).
Web address is www.embassyofafghanistan.org.

Also, courtesy of Baptist Press and ICC, there is a translation of Shoaib’s Letter:

“My name is Shoaib Said Assadullah. I am 23 years old. For the last four months I have been imprisoned in Qasre Shahi prison, Mazar-e Sharif for the crime of apostasy, which means I’ve changed my beliefs.

“Not only has my freedom been taken from me, but I [am] undergoing severe psychological pressure. Several times I have been attacked physically and threatened to death by fellow prisoners, especially Taliban and anti government prisoners who are in jail.

“These assaults on my human dignity have affected me negatively, close to the point of death. On the other hand, the court has delayed their decision so that my apparent psychiatric problems will be cured. I do not think this is possible in prison.

“My case is supposed to be sent to the court shortly, because the prosecutor has the right to hold a case only for 30 days. The court’s decision is most definitely going to be the death penalty for me, because the prosecutor has accused me under the Clause 139 of the [Afghan] criminal code which says, ‘If the crime is not cited in the criminal code, then the case has to be referred to the Islamic Shariah law.’

“Furthermore, my mother died less than a month ago from the grief that her beloved son was jailed with the threat of the death penalty over him. The authorities did not even allow me to attend the funeral ceremonies and pay my respects to her. This is against Clause 37 of in the [Afghan] law regarding prisons.

“Not seeing my mother for the last time was more painful than anything else. I would like to add that freedom is a gift from God. This means that we have to respect human freedom and dignity. Clause 24 of Afghan Constitution says, ‘Human freedom and dignity is an unalterable right. The government is committed to respect and protect human freedom and dignity.’

“Article 3 of the [U.N.] Universal Declaration of Human Rights is violated if the Afghan government does not respect Articles 18 and 19. [1] Article 3 of Declaration of Human Rights says: ‘Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.’ Simply stated, if Sharia law is implemented in my case, the Articles 1, 2, 3, 18 and 19 of the Declaration [of] Human Rights will be violated.

“I request that you follow my case.



» Pray for Said Musa | Denny Burk

» Pray for Said Musa | Denny Burk.

My good friend Denny Burk has done a great job compiling articles, information, and suggested action concerning Said Musa at his blog, which you can reach by clicking the link above.  Thanks, Denny.

We spoke of and prayed for Said Musa during our service today. I am still trying to get an update on his situation.  I have not yet found anything updating his status. I have prayed for him, of course. Hopefully, you have, too. This is one of the stories that should be covered but isn’t.

The entire world was in an uproar when a single, fringe pastor threatened to burn a Quran. Do you remember that? General Petraus and even President Obama spoke out against the threat of burning a book.  Now, we have a real human atrocity being played out before our very eyes.  A man has been tortured, abused, sexually assaulted in prison, unjustly convicted of the “crime” of converting from Islam to Christ, and, now, is likely to be executed by a judge simply because he chose to not to be a Muslim.  There have been no statements by the President.

Afghanistan says that they allow freedom of religion, but they are about to kill someone for daring to exercise it.  And the world is silent. Leaders are mute.

Contact President Obama and politely urge him to speak up against this violation of human dignity.  http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

The Names We Do Not Know

You have heard of Matthew Shepard, haven’t you?  Of course you have.  He is the young homosexual man who was robbed and then brutally murdered in Wyoming in 1998.  He was 21 years old.  His case has become synonymous with hate crimes legislation.  His name is well known to us all.

But there are names we do not know.  We do not know Noor Almaleki.  And we don’t know Aasiya Hassan.  When the news media chooses to make a case for a particular cause, they find an example who then becomes the banner carrier or the flag bearer for the cause.  Conversely, when the news media choose to ignore a cause, they take the examples for that cause and stick them in a different pile, in hopes of not calling attention to that cause.  Such is one of the ways we end up being influenced by the news media.  We are influenced by the names we do not know.

Aasiya Hassan

We do not know Aasiya, although she was once featured—along with her husband—on national TV.  She was a successful architect, and she and her husband were starting the Bridges TV network to help people understand moderate Muslims.  Concerned about the perception many Americans have of Muslims, the couple sought to show how most Muslims are not violent people.  The Bridges TV thing did not work out so well.  Failing to garner either financial support or viewers, the network folded, in spite of the fact that it was featured on NPR, NBC, and other major media for its promise.

The TV attempt to put Islam in a better light ended poorly.  Aasiya’s husband—Muzzammil Hassan—was convicted this week in the murder of his wife.  And it wasn’t just murder.  He beheaded his wife in accordance with his Muslim convictions.  Whether right or wrong about his theology, Muzzammil thought he was acting in according with Islam.  He thought he was justified in conducting an honor killing.

Likewise, Noor Almaleki’s father thought he was justified in killing his 17 year-old daughter.  She had become too westernized.  So, he rammed his jeep into the car she was driving and killed her.  It was an honor killing in the name of Islam.  His trial is now underway in Phoenix.  So, in Phoenix and in Buffalo, Muslim men are killing their wives and daughters for honor in the name of Islam.

With Steyn, we wonder, “Why aren’t Noor Almaleki and Aasiya Hassan as famous as Matthew Shepard? They weren’t in

Noor Almaleki

up-country villages in the Pakistani tribal lands. They were Americans – and they died because they wanted to live as American women.”

And also with Steyn, we can be “relieved that an American jury is not as mired in ‘cultural sensitivity’ as our leaders. Even so: Matthew Shepard was hung on a fence in Wyoming – and ever since there have been plays and TV movies and pop songs memorializing him. Aasiya Hassan had her head chopped off in Buffalo. How many playwrights and pop stars will tell her story?”

Sometimes, the names we do not hear are speaking a very important message which we desperately need to hear.  Noor Almaleki and Aasiya Hassan can help us understand why Rifqa Bary left her Muslim family in Ohio to live with a Christian pastor and his family in Florida.  There are others in America, too, whose names we do not know as well as we otherwise might.  Sara and Amina Said—two teenage honor students from Texas—died as victims of honor killings when their own father shot them repeatedly as they were sitting in a taxi.

There is a good chance that these honor killings will continue until we start to hear the names of the victims and see their faces.  Then, perhaps, we will shut up the silly political correctness that causes us blindness in the face of the brutal facts of Islam’s oppression of women.  Is every Muslim guilty of honor killing? No, of course not. But that isn’t really the point, is it?  The point is that some Muslims feel justified killing their wives and daughters in the name of Islam.

For Muslims, the question is whether Noor Almaleki, Aasiya Hassan, Amina Said, Sara Said, and other women dead by honor killings represent the name of Islam.  For us, we should ask if these names we do not know represent American women.  If so, we must confront the evil of honor killings honestly.

Amina and Sara Said