Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Where the Coalition goes...
The Other Side forums - suitable for mature readers! > The Other Side forums > The Issues Forum
Calantyr
ABC News Link

QUOTE
KABUL, Afghanistan Mar 26, 2006 (AP)
An Afghan court on Sunday dismissed a case against a man who converted from Islam to Christianity because of a lack of evidence, and he will be released soon, an official said.

"The court dismissed today the case against Abdul Rahman for a lack of information and a lot of legal gaps in the case," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

He said the case has been returned to the prosecutors for more investigation, but that in the meantime Rahman would be released.

"The decision about his release will be taken possibly tomorrow," he said.

The court, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, had been under intense international pressure to drop the case against Abdul Rahman, who faced a possible death sentence for his conversion.

Some Islamic clerics had called for him to be put to death, saying Rahman would face danger from his countrymen if he were released.

Earlier Sunday he was moved to a notorious maximum-security prison outside Kabul that is also home to hundreds of Taliban and al-Qaida militants. The move to Policharki Prison came after detainees threatened his life at an overcrowded police holding facility in central Kabul, a court official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Gen. Shahmir Amirpur, who is in charge of Policharki, confirmed the move and said Rahman had also been begging his guards to provide him with a Bible.



I especially like this part:
QUOTE
Some Islamic clerics had called for him to be put to death, saying Rahman would face danger from his countrymen if he were released.


That's right, we must kill him to protect him from the barbarians in the countryside!

Gimme a break...
Astarael
It's a really bad excuse for putting him to death. The logic there is astonishingly bad. Incidents like this in other countries make religious freedom seem all the more valuable.
Calantyr
Ok, I think this is fitting so I won't open a new thread.

You know about that video of 'defence contractors' (mercenaries) gunning down civies in Iraq that was posted a while back?

If not I'll say what I recall. It's a video of one of these mercs gunning down some cars along a notorious road. At the time of the shootings 150 people had been killed by insurgents so tensions were high. However this guy got a little too jumpy (or sadistic).

He started killing people before they had a chance to be warned to keep their distance. The warning consisted of the sign on the back of the van, you can see it on the page linked. However the writing isn't too big and he started gunning people down some 200 meters behind him, too far to READ the sign.

For the record, I am not against the practice of shooting at vehicles that get too close in such a situation. It is a dangerous place where far too many people are killed by the 'insurgent' forces. What I am against is shooting indiscriminaly like this. At people who have no knowledge that they even SHOULD keep their distance. And the guy shooting seems get get pleasure from it, as far as I can tell.

At first the mercenary corperation denied that this was footage of their agents in action, even though there was evidence to the contrary.

However, recently the company has taken out a lawsuit against those who have posted the video. Basically they say the footage was shoot by their employees so copyright is being breeched from showing this.

They have admitted that it them performing the actions while carying out their contract.

But wait, it gets better.

The Iraqi government had previously been forced to sign an agreement that prevents mercenaries present in the re-construction from prosecution. So even though there is now solid evidence of a mercenary corperation going around killing civilians randomly... they are immune to prosecution.

You can feel the love, can't you?

I have no idea how bad this is going to affect the situation there. I almost wish the video was never posted at all... almost as much as I wish the murders didn't either.
pgrmdave
QUOTE
It's a really bad excuse for putting him to death. The logic there is astonishingly bad. Incidents like this in other countries make religious freedom seem all the more valuable.


This brings up an interesting point - at what point does religious freedom end? If part of my religion is to harass other people, does my freedom of religion extend that much, or must a religion be only intrapersonal to be protected by religious freedom?
Calantyr
QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Apr 6 2006, 08:31 PM)
QUOTE
It's a really bad excuse for putting him to death. The logic there is astonishingly bad. Incidents like this in other countries make religious freedom seem all the more valuable.


This brings up an interesting point - at what point does religious freedom end? If part of my religion is to harass other people, does my freedom of religion extend that much, or must a religion be only intrapersonal to be protected by religious freedom?
*



Religious freedom exists up to the point where is causes physical harm, incitement to harm, or direct legal preference by the state. Or at least should. It should also be stopped before mental harm can occur, but as I include indoctrination and brainwashing in that it becomes a lot more... blurry.

So picketing a funeral would still be legal... even if distasteful. However recieving exemptions from tax simply by virtue of being the 'correct' religion would be illegal. So would violent exorcisms, human sacrifice, etc.

It's really hard to find a balance that benefits everyone... and if it DOES benefit people they are so hung up on the parts that limit them that they can not see it.
Witless
Ok.. I'm biased on this view.. I'll disclaimer my post with that. I do believe that a world without organised (key word being organised) religion would be a more peaceful one.

I believe religious freedom extends as far as when it causes pain to others. Not mere physical pain, there needs to be a level of common sense pulled into situations sometimes. Since purely relying on technicalities seems to be cropping up more and more issues. "Technically that's copyright infringement" gets someone out of illegally gunning someone down. It's a rediculous situation, it really is.

I think there needs to be a level of highly monitored common sense brought into the law to really stop the stupidity of situations created by people just learning the law well enough to dodge the consequences of their actions.
pgrmdave
QUOTE
It should also be stopped before mental harm can occur, but as I include indoctrination and brainwashing in that it becomes a lot more... blurry.


Yeah, I've thought about that too. It's difficult to say "Yeah, you can teach your child to be a [religion #1] but not a [religion #2] because #2 is brainwashing, and #1 isn't". Or those religions which teach that God heals everything, so you should never see a doctor, no matter what, even if you have cancer, or broke your arm, or have diabetes...the parents just let the child die, praying over her/him...
Calantyr
Perhaps I should have split this thread into two parts, I didn't want to get religious debate intermixed with the legality of murder, afterall! wink.gif

QUOTE (pgrmdave @ Apr 6 2006, 08:53 PM)
Yeah, I've thought about that too. It's difficult to say "Yeah, you can teach your child to be a [religion #1] but not a [religion #2] because #2 is brainwashing, and #1 isn't". Or those religions which teach that God heals everything, so you should never see a doctor, no matter what, even if you have cancer, or broke your arm, or have diabetes...the parents just let the child die, praying over her/him...


I believe there are legal definitions that define 'Cults'. That could perhaps cover it. Most brainwashing/indoctrination would fall within that. However Jehova's Witnesses (I'm sure I mispelt that... doesn't Jehova begin with an I? /indianajohnsreference) are legal and I would consider them a brainwashing cult. One of the main foundations of their face is that they can not read, watch, or listen to any media without the consent of their leaders. Restricting the free flow of information is one of the key steps to tyranny and brainwashing.

QUOTE (Witless @ Apr 6 2006, 08:50 PM)
Ok.. I'm biased on this view.. I'll disclaimer my post with that. I do believe that a world without organised (key word being organised) religion would be a more peaceful one.

I believe religious freedom extends as far as when it causes pain to others. Not mere physical pain, there needs to be a level of common sense pulled into situations sometimes. Since purely relying on technicalities seems to be cropping up more and more issues. "Technically that's copyright infringement" gets someone out of illegally gunning someone down. It's a rediculous situation, it really is.

I think there needs to be a level of highly monitored common sense brought into the law to really stop the stupidity of situations created by people just learning the law well enough to dodge the consequences of their actions.


I understand that you are biased (perhaps we all have cause to be, but I digress) yet you raise important points.

Firstly... would the the world be better without organised religion? On first impulse I believe so. I guess I'm with the reformists in this, dogma and rigid worship structure interferes with ones personal connection with God. Also it is impassionate and has historically imposed its worldview with force and discrimination. However what is the alternative?

Before the age that religious structure was centralised in some ways, inter-religious warfare was extremely prevalanet. Tribe against tribe, etc. True the first true 'religious war' wasn't until the Persian emperor formalised a state religion, but a continual religious strife continued under the surface. I'm not sure if we have truly risen above that yet. Peoples actions constantly challenge my faith in humanity.

Yes, there is a constant struggle between 'the letter of the law' and 'the spirit of the law'. The trouble is that everyones version of common sense is different from everyone elses. With this disparity in opinion all that we have left is the law. But of course, that can be circumvented with legal gymnastics...

Again, is there a happy medium? I'm not sure. In a secular society don't we have to reply on the law as to not slip into the obscurantism of the past.

Of course there is a trend in the rural areas of the US and the UK that goes towards this.... ho hum.

EDIT: What the hell is wrong with the html in that post? The quotes arn't showing. Damnit! It looks fine to me.
EDIT2: Fixed. Gah, what an idiot. Didn't see a blatantly open tag.
Calantyr
Just an update to people who have been following this case.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4996140.stm

QUOTE
CIA 'torture' lawsuit thrown out

A US court has dismissed a lawsuit brought by a German citizen who says he was kidnapped and beaten by the CIA.

Khaled el-Masri aimed to sue former CIA chief George Tenet and other officials for their alleged role in the "extraordinary rendition" programme.

Mr el-Masri says he was picked up in Macedonia in 2003 and flown to Kabul, Afghanistan, where he alleges torture.

The judge did not rule on the truth of the allegations, but said letting the case proceed might endanger security.

Rights group the American Civil Liberties Union brought the case on behalf of Mr el-Masri - who was never charged with any terrorist offences.

Besides Mr Tenet, the case named 10 other CIA employees, as well as three other companies and their employees.

However, the district court judge in Virginia rejected the challenge, saying Mr el-Masri's "private interests must give way to the national interest in preserving state secrets".

Lebanese-born Mr el-Masri had demanded compensation and an apology from Mr Tenet and several other CIA figures.

He has alleged he was beaten and injected with drugs after being seized near Macedonia's border with Albania, before being taken to Afghanistan and held for five months.

'Exceptional steps'

In his ruling, Judge TS Ellis stressed that by rejecting Mr el-Masri's lawsuit he made no judgement on the strength or otherwise of his allegations.

"[The result reached here] is in no way an adjudication of, or comment on, the merit or lack of merit of Mr el-Masri's complaint," he said.

"Further, it is also important that nothing in this ruling should be taken as a sign of judicial approval or disapproval of rendition programmes.

"In times of war, our country, chiefly through the executive branch, must often take exceptional steps to thwart the enemy."

His case has attracted the attention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who raised the issue with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Ms Rice has admitted that the US has used so-called "extraordinary rendition" - or secret flights - to move suspects across international borders.

But the US has refused to discuss individual cases and insists it does not condone torture.


It's nice to know that whenever a government declares war on a word it gives them the ability to abduct people around the world with absolutely no accountability. Doesn't it make you think that the War on Terrorism is being won? No? Pehaps because their actions are bloody terrifying in themselves.

Couple this with Rumsfields rhetoric on 'The Long War' and you have a recipe for curbing our freedoms... forever.

Your government shouldn't scare you more than being blown up, not when you've done nothing wrong at least. But thats the way I feel now.
Calantyr
Another update on the ongoing conflict to anyone who bothers reading this rather depressing thread. sad.gif

Man, I don't just kill threads. I kill entire sub-forums.

Sunday Times article on the Haditha massacre.

Seems that it is official. The marines went berserk and murdered 24 innocent civilians (including 2 year old children) after their patrol was hit by an IED. Not only that, attempts were made to cover it up. The coverup was done by the people involved and their direct supiers, NOT the administration or military as a whole though.

That's a charge of murder against the people directly involved, which I believe for US troops could carry the death sentance. I'm not sure what will be done against those who just tried to cover it up, but I doubt it will be much prettier.

Something like this was bound to happen sooner or later. Really it's a testament to the training and dedication of the troops that more such events don't happen.
pgrmdave
QUOTE
That's a charge of murder against the people directly involved, which I believe for US troops could carry the death sentance.


Ironic...


QUOTE (article)
Comparisons are being made to the My Lai massacre in 1968 in Vietnam, in which American soldiers slaughtered up to 500 villagers.


While I understand that they are both murders, I don't think that a comparison can really be made between the two - one is the killing of two dozen, one is the killing of a village.
Calantyr
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5068606.stm

In a nutshell, some Guantanamo inmates committed suicide after being imprisoned for years under dubious circumstances. And then the US military declared their deaths as an Act of War. Can this get any more perverse?

Is it a persons ultimate choice how to end their life, or have they used their life as a weapon? I'm reminded of The Life Of Brian. Towards the end the Judean Peoples Front send their Crack Suicide Squad to resque Brian, but end up just stabbing themselves to death in front of him. Of course that was a complete farce, this is real.

I suppose theres many reasons why they may have killed themselves. Note that there have been many suicide attempts in Guantanamo, these are just the first to succeed.

1. They had valuable information and killed themselves to stop them revealing it.
2. They knew this would be fantastic ammunition for the anti-Guantanamo crowd.
3. They knew they would spend the rest of their lives in prison, so just ended it.
4. To spite the Americans. You can't lock up us and dicide our fate.
5. Any torture that may have occured finally got to them.

Pick any reason you like, we'll never know for sure. But to declare a suicide as an act of war? Hows that any better than calling someone the aggressor in a fight they didn't start.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.