First Person Life

2006-03-26

You know you've watched Perry Mason too much when...

I think I may have found a solution to Afganistan's problem with the Christian Convert from Islam.

The problem for them is that under the law of their constitution, a convert from Islam to Christianity must die. This is because their constitution is based on Sharia law which is derived from the Koran. However, they are under intense international pressure to release him.

In this instance, as it appears from the press reports I've read, the man actually did not convert from Islam to Christianity in Afganistan, but rather in Pakistan while he was there helping Afgan refugees. He then spent 9 years living in Germany before returning to Kabul in 2002.

If all of this is true, the Afgan government technically has no jurisdiction. The alleged "crime" (i.e. his conversion) did not happen in Afganistan. Therefore, he did not convert while under the jurisdiction of Afgan law.

Let's look at a different example. Johnny, an 18 year old high-school senior lives on the border between Indiana an Illinois. Let's say the drinking age in Indiana is 21 and the drinking age in Illinois is 18. Johnny's friend (a designated driver) takes him out to a bar in Illinois and Johnny drinks himself into a stupor. This is perfectly legal since Johnny is 18 and he's drinking in Illinois.

As I understand it, when he returns to Indiana, the Indiana police could not arrest Johnny for drinking because he was not drinking in Indiana (where it is illegal). I know that this concept in fact applies in international cases (i.e. Canada and the U.S. because I used to live near the Canadian border when Canada's drinking age was 18 and New York was 21 --- Of course, *I* never did it... but I've got this friend... oh, never mind.)

It seems the same basic rule applies. If he left Afganistan a Muslim, converted in Pakistan, then lived in Germany and returned to Afganistan a Christian, he did not convert from Islam to Christianity under the jurisdiction of Afgan law. Therefore, they can not put him on trial for converting to Christianity from Islam because they had no jurisdiction when the crime occurred. (This same concept is used by Abortion activists to evade parental notification laws all the time in the U.S....)

As I see it, the only way he can be tried for converting is if it is illegal to convert from Islam to Christianity in Pakistan. Pakistan could extradite him and try him for converting. But the Afgan government has no ability to try him since the "crime" he is on trial for did not happen in their jurisdiction.

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Anyone have Condolezza Rice's phone number --- I doubt she reads my blog.

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