Sunday, October 2, 2011

Modern Day Christian Martyrdom

The barbarians of Central Jihadistan (or as Barack Hussein Obama calls it, the Islamic Republic of Iran) are in the final stages of deciding whether or not to hang a Christian pastor for his religious belief. The primitives are debating among themselves whether he is an apostate, a capital crime among Islamists who believe they commune directly with Mohammed the Prophet.

So far, they've largely decided it doesn't matter if he's actually a sharia-defined apostate. He's a Christian, and that's good enough. Evangelical Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani accepted Christianity as his faith at age nineteen. He was not a convert, which would be clear apostasy under Islamic law. He says that he was never a practicing Muslim, and the Iranian authorities have never proved otherwise. But there's always that handy-dandy thing about being born into a family where mom or dad or both are practicing Muslims.

Apostasy, even in Muslim lands, has the definite meaning of having been a practicing member of the religion of peace, then consciously leaving that clan of cave-dwellers to become a member of one of the false religions which Allah condemns (through his prophet Mohammed and the Book of Mass Murder). The Koran actually is unclear on whether apostasy by proxy such as Pastor Nadarkhani's is a crime punishable by death. But what the heck, it could be, so the Iranian clerics have found ways to make sure their blood-lust is satisfied.

Under the form of sharia law embedded in Iran's political system, the punishment for apostasy is death, but the statute under which Pastor Nadarkhani was convicted uses the far more nebulous word "abandonment" of Islam. In order to protect his parents, Pastor Nadarkhani "abandoned" the family when he was baptized as a Christian. By Iranian logic, he abandoned a Muslim family, so he abandoned Islam, and he is therefore an apostate, even though he never professed Islam himself.

The statute was passed in September of 2008, and Pastor Nadarkhani was one of the early prominent Christians to be arrested under the statute in 2009. By then, the now thirty-two year old pastor had a wife and two small children. So far, the Iranian government hasn't managed to find a sharia rule that provides death for apostasy by association, so the pastor's wife and children are temporarily not being prepared for the gallows. Still, I have no doubt that the ghoulish mullahs and ayatollahs are searching mightily for a way to take their lives as well.

Iranian "law" provides that the accused apostate must be given three opportunities to renounce his apostasy and return to the gentle arms of the religion of peace. Those opportunities were presented to Pastor Nadarkhani, and on each occasion he said "I cannot reject Jesus Christ." The founder of my church, Martin Luther, said something similar at the Diet of Worms just short of five hundred years ago. One would be hard-pressed to find an American Lutheran today who would be willing to repeat the words echoed by Pastor Nadarkhani when facing death: "I cannot, I will not recant. Here I stand. God help me I can do no other."

After passage of the statute by Iran, the European Union sent the Iranian government a letter of protest (the Europeans are very good at protesting rather than acting). It said: "In the past, the death penalty has been handed down in apostasy cases [in Iran], but it has never before been set down in law." What exactly do they think Islamic law (sharia) is? They fail to understand that in throwback Islamic nations such as Iran, the law is a creature of the religion, not a thing apart from it. All Iran did was codify what the ayatollahs had already determined was what Mohammed and Allah want.

Pastor Nadarkani's plight is only one highly-publicized case of religious suppression and state-sanctioned murder in Iran and its barbarian fellow-travelers throughout the Middle East. Thousands of less high-profile religious martyrs are being held in Iranian prisons, with drastic sentences ranging from life in prison to hanging awaiting them. Christian organizations throughout the world have been attempting to get world-wide assistance in stopping the pending execution of Pastor Nadarkhani.

Barack Obama's mouthpiece Jay Carney read a statement from the President: "A decision to impose the death penalty would further demonstrate the Iranian authorities' utter disregard for religious freedom, and highlight Iran's continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens. We call upon the Iranian authorities to release Pastor Nadarkhani and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion."

The statement of course is something less than a revelation to anyone except possibly Obama himself. Perhaps he should have used the words of his own former pastor to say "No, no, no. God damn Iran." At least I think that's what Rev. Jeremiah Wright said. The statement comes from the same president who did everything in his power and utilizing every bit of his lack of skill in foreign diplomacy to miss the opportunity to give strong and material support to the freedom movement in Iran. He lifted not a finger to help the pro-civilization movement as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's thugs beat and murdered them by the thousands. Does he think the primitives are going to listen to him now?

In the long run if the pastor's life is spared, which we should all be praying will be the ultimate result, it will be because citizens and governments from the West put enough pressure on Iran to make it worthwhile for them to call off the hanging. It won't be because a pathetically weak American president threatened not to hug Ahmadenijad at the next U.N. confab. In order to save face, the ayatollahs will suddenly have to find a passage in the murder manual which revisits the way the pastor became a Christian so that his act of conscience does not amount to apostasy. After all, Humpty Dumpty sharia law means exactly what they say it means, no more, no less.

Lest it sound like I am not exactly a devotee of Islamic law, let me point out that I'm aware that Islam treats women far more fairly than you have been led to believe. The penalty for male apostates in Iran is death by hanging. For women, it's merely life in prison without possibility of future release.


JG said...

The penalty for male apostates in Iran is death by hanging. For women, it's merely life in prison without possibility of future release.

My guess is, that's only so prison workers and other officials can abuse them for the rest of their lives. But that's my Western cynicism talking.

I saw a tweet going around that said to go to Amnesty International's website and do a search for Troy Davis. Then do one for Nadarkhani. Amnesty for murders, not for non-violent apostates.

AndrewPrice said...

Huh? And here I thought Islam was the religions of peace. Who knew?

** rolls eyes **

Unknown said...

JG: That figures. They'll get their panties in a twist over a cold-blooded murderer, but not over a man of God who has never harmed anyone. Amnesty International is just a stalking-horse for left-wing causes.

Unknown said...

Andrew: I know what you mean. Why do people always misunderstand the sweet Islamic governments which are known for their humane treatment of everyone? That's why the UN always has two or three of them on the Human Rights Commission--to keep the barbaric Christians and Jews from persecuting innocent Muslims.

T-Rav said...

Haven't you heard, LawHawk? They're not thinking of executing him for "apostasy" now, they're thinking of executing him for rape. Don't you feel foolish now? That'll teach you to go around defending hypocritical Christian rapists.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: I missed that one. But it shouldn't surprise me. And who exactly was he supposed to have raped, pray tell?

T-Rav said...

LawHawk: They don't say, because, wouldn't you know, it's not mentioned in any of the documents released thus far. Of course.

I wonder what's really going on behind the scenes. Rumor has it Iran has a much larger and faster-growing Christian population than anyone has been willing to admit; could be Tehran is getting nervous. Then again, knowing Ahmanutjob, they might end up sentencing Nadarkhani to death and then commute it or pardon him at the last minute, just to show the world how forgiving and magnaminous they are. Where they're concerned, nothing surprises me anymore.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: Well, historically speaking, the more the early Christians were oppressed, the faster the religion grew. I just wish we could restore what one conservative called "muscular Christianity" without the need for martyrs. But a quietly growing Christian community in Iran would definitely tick the ayatollahs off.

As for the charges against the pastor, one of the things we got rid of in Anglo-American jurisprudence about the time of King Charles I was secret proceedings and unspecified public charges. In fact, that was so important that we built it into our Constitution in Amendment VI (speedy and public trial by an impartial jury, confrontation of witnesses, and the right to know the exact nature of the accusations prior to trial and conviction).

I'm thinking that you may be right about the last minute reprieve (much like the dumbass hikers). It makes Imadinnerjacket look beneficent, and will probably raise money through back channels.

rlaWTX said...

Do you ever get the overwhelming feeling that you are not worthy to stand on the same planet?? I truly doubt that I would have the same strength... humbling.

Unknown said...

T-Rav: So far, I still haven't heard the rape charge, but now they've added "Zionist" and "threat to civil order" to the charges of being an apostate. It looks like they're doubling-down either to rub our noses in their ability to commit barbaric acts no matter what we do, or they're upping the ante for the "bail."

Anonymous said...

informed rational freedom loving people have all the reasons in the world to fear islam...

the twin fogs of political correctness & ignorance must be dispersed before western society better understands this menace. even a brief review of islamic theology & history quickly exposes the deadly roots of this evil ideology....

Mohamhead was a 7th century murdering warlord who rose to power on a river of blood surrounded by thugs and gangsters using intimidation, violence, deception and trickery to expand their criminal empire while mercilessly suppressing and killing their opponents and enriching themselves on stolen booty.

The evil koran is a collection of sayings and speeches by this diabolical madman claiming divine guidance from some mythical sky-god which has inspired generations of crazed fanatics to abhorrent behavior resulting in historys worst ever crimes against humanity starting 1400 years ago and still continuing even today.

Islam is just another fascist totalitarian ideology used by power hungry fanatics on yet another quest for worldwide domination and includes all the usual human rights abuses & suppression of freedoms.

graphics version, great for emailing...

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