Today's Top Five

1. 'Is this the fruit of democracy?'
It doesn't look good for Abdul Rahman. The judge in his case says the 41 year old clearly violated Islamic law by converting to Christianity. "If he doesn't regret his conversion, the punishment will be enforced on him," the judge said. "And the punishment is death."

The Chicago Tribune has changed its headline from "Afghan man faces death for being a Christian" to "Afghan man faces death for abandoning Islam." But both the judge and prosecutor (Rahman doesn't have a defense attorney) have said his crime isn't just conversion.

"It is illegal to be a Christian and it should be punished," the judge was quoted as saying in the Toronto Globe and Mail. Prosecutor Abdul Wasi told The Times of London, "We are Muslims and becoming a Christian is against our laws. He must get the death penalty."

A human rights expert in Kabul lays out the problem in The Times: "The constitution says Islam is the religion of Afghanistan, yet it also mentions the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 18 specifically forbids this kind of recourse. It really highlights the problem the judiciary system faces."

The judiciary seems not to have a problem. It's just disregarding what it considers Western law. It's all a matter of perspective, the judge explained to The Times: "In your country two women can marry. I think that is very strange. In this country we have the perfect constitution. It is Islamic law."

The Chicago Tribune notes that "Islamic rules are violated in Afghanistan every day—whether by alcohol being sold openly on the streets, or by prostitutes who cater to both foreigners and Afghans, or by the booming opium trade." But religion is still a hot button, the paper says: "One ...

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Weblog
Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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