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Smearing Abdul Rahman

John on March 30, 2006 at 9:47 am

I haven’t been following all the details of the Rahman story, mostly because Michelle Malkin and others have been doing such a good job.

Today however, along with news that Mr. Rahman is safe in Italy, I became aware of this outrageous hit piece by Time magazine. Author Rachel Morarjee lets us know where she’s coming from in the first paragraph:

Rahman, 40, has become the poster boy for the Christian right and for religious freedom. Closer up, however, the picture painted by the local police who arrested him shows a candidate not quite ready for family values. Rather, a portrait emerges of a deadbeat dad with psychological problems who couldn’t hold down a job, abused his daughters and parents and didn’t pay child support.

And where did Time get this portrait? From the witness statements given to the court by his family memebers. The same family members who were cooperating with the prosecutor trying to put him to death. I’m not a lawyer and clearly I don’t know Mr. Rahman, but doesn’t the fact that his family wanted him killed for apostasy have some bearing on the credibility of their statements?

Truth and Terrorism blog points out that in most Islamic countries a wife has to claim abusive behavior in order to be granted a divorce. If the family wants to be rid of him, what would you expect them to say? Indeed some of the statements used by the piece’s author seem to suggest that Rahmans conversion was the main issue. His father said:

[Abdul Rahman] wanted to change the ethics of my children and family. He is not going in the right direction. I have thrown him out of my house.

Here is the summary of cause by his 14 year old daughter:

He threatens us and we are all afraid of him and he doesn’t believe in the religion of Islam.

To report these claims without any attempt to verify them is the equivalent of doing a straight report on the election of Saddam Hussein with 100% of the vote. At some point, a real reporter needs to point out that there may be more going on that meets the eye.

Truth and Terrorism also notes a story from Expatica which sheds some interesting light on the issue:

The 41-year-old Afghan national fled his native country in 1990 with his family. He then worked in Pakistan in refugee camps for a Christian NGO and converted to Christianity.

This sparked the departure of his wife and their children and Rahman then tried to build a new life in Greece, Germany and Belgium before returning to Afghanistan where he tried to regain contact with his daughters.

Again, it was his conversion that sparked the seperation. The article also makes much of Mr. Rahman’s joblessness, something which he admits. Here again however, it seems entirely possible that Mr. Rahman’s religion would have something to do with that. How easy is it for a Christian, an apostate from Islam, to get a job in Afghanistan? It’s not like it could be kept a secret. The first time he refused to pray at one of the 5 appointed times of day the secret would be out.

In short, a situation like this cries out for some understanding of cultural context, but author Rachel Morarjee seems more interested in bashing the religious right than she does in getting the facts.

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Category: MSM & Bias |

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