Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sentenced to Death

A 23-year-old Afghan reporter and college student has been sentenced to death for distributing a controversial article about Islamic treatment of women that he downloaded from the Internet:

Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh… a reporter for the daily Jahan-e Naw and a journalism student at Balkh University, was arrested Oct. 27 in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif, an area where mullahs hold particular influence over law and cultural life.

His alleged offense was distributing to classmates a report, printed from a Web site, commenting on a Muslim woman's right to multiple marriages. The article, written in Farsi, which is close to the Dari language spoken in Afghanistan, questioned why men are allowed to have four spouses in Islam while women are denied the same right.

Without a lawyer to represent him, Kambakhsh was hustled Tuesday into a small hearing room where three judges and a prosecutor conducted a five-minute proceeding, according to his older brother.

He was then handed a piece of paper saying he had acted against Islam and should be executed, said the brother, Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, who visited him in prison Wednesday night.

~The Washington Post, 25 January 2008: Read complete article HERE

For a more detailed report, click HERE

If I suffered from high blood pressure, steam would have been pouring from my ears when I heard this report of Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh’s “trial” and death sentence mourning on the BBC’s Reporting Religion. You may listen to what I heard by clicking HERE.

I am sick of the hatred, violence, prejudice, and injustice advanced by religious fundamentalism, no matter what the flavor—Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, etc. I have written about fundamentalism and the menace of its zealots to the peace and justice of the world. I won’t repeat myself here, but if you want to read what I wrote back in 2005, click HERE.

More and more words and thoughts are coming under attack. It’s crazy! What if you were to print this post and share it with some friends, then a few months later the police knocked on your door, placed you under arrest, held you in prison for months, and then, after a five minute trial, sentenced you to death for sharing something that I had written?

Absurd, you say, it couldn’t happen. But it has happened and will happen again. And I can bitch, and moan, and complain about it because, at least at the moment, I have the freedom to do so in this blog. But even that freedom is not guaranteed.

So I must do something regarding in injustice perpetrated by these Islamic fundamentalists on this young man, Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh. I understand that at this only Afghan President Hamid Karzai can save his life. So I am writing and emailing the President of Afghanistan pleading for justice. Will you join me?

Official Website of Afghan President Hamid Karzai

Email address of President Hamid Karzai

Snail mail address of President Hamid Karzai:

President Hamid Karzai
Gul Khana Palace
Presidential Palace
Kabul, Afghanistan

Norman Rockwell (1894-1978)


  1. Thanks for the info, and your site looks very nice in my opinion.

    Nice Rockwell pic...Too bad that these days it seems we are sometimes fighting the government from infringing upon those rights. Cheers!!

  2. This is horrible. I am sending an email and a letter.

  3. Thanks for posting about this. It's good to bring these atrocities out into the light of day.

    Sometimes I wonder if religious fundamentalism isn't just an excuse that some people use to justify their cruel behavior.

  4. Be careful what you write, Nick. Those fundamentalists rummage around the internet looking for people who say nasty things about Mohamed or good things about people who take the side of people who say nasty things about Mohamed and then they put a bounty on them like they did Salman Rushdie. Then one day you open your door and there is a suicide bomber standing there.

    I am just kidding. I hope I am just kidding. I will now send an email to the president of Afghanistan, asking him to reign in his zany Mohamedan clerics.

  5. I went onto President Karzai's website and was very interested to night that in the side bar on the right he had titles such as Human Rights, Justice and the Rule of Law, Empowering Women and so on.

    I found that at complete odds with the kangaroo court and sentencing of this young journalist.

    Email sent to that effect.

  6. Very interest to night??? That should be read...sorry.

  7. I am sending an email immediately.

  8. I hear what you say about fundamentalism. I must read the book. Now I am going to send an email to Afghanistan.

  9. i'm sending a letter, too.

    we'll all need to start watching out for the black helicopters, now. i still remember when gw called the taliban a "legitimate faith-based organization."

    but then he's all about oppression and kangaroo kourts.

  10. Good job posting about this travesty in Afghanistan, Nick. And thanks for your sentiments on my latest entry. I'll be sending an email directly to President Karzai.

  11. Hi Nick ~~ What a sad thing going on in Afghanistan and I fear in many parts of the world. This young man is so young and has his life ahead of him.
    I hope you got on well with your Doctor's appointments and all is well.
    I am enjoying the stories about Muffin who, like Alex got the best of you and ruled the roost. The limping amused me. Take care, Regards, Merle.

  12. Fundamentalism is the greatest enemy to all faiths, I agree with you. They allow no room for reason or critical thinking and are most definitely predicated on control through ignorance and advancement through hatred, most of it entirely unfounded. They want to keep you blind and dumb. I don't think the founders of all the worlds great religion had this in mind when they started them.

    Hope you are well, SSN.

  13. Sent an email. Time now to send up prayers.

  14. Nick, good post.
    I just posted about the fact that there are so many homeless Veterans in the United States, maybe you could give me some input, since you are a Veteran?????

  15. hectic, we take the freedom we have for granted... good post

  16. I don't think our troops have really "liberated" the Middle East much. It sounds like it's still pretty oppressive.

  17. Well - while I agree with you that I don't like rule by Shariah Law, that is what is accepted in the muslim religion. There is no separation of church and state - that, instead, is a western concept.

    I don't want this young man to die for questioning the traditions. However, perhaps this young man's life is really a part of a bigger picture: that of Shariah Law and human rights.

    It may seem odd, but the concept of human rights is not a concept that is accepted universally. It is largely based on a Western Christian ethic.

    Complex issues that need to be addressed are how can we create cross cultural standards when we have such divergent paradigms?


  18. Thank you for another informative, if chilling post.