The case against Abdul Rahman, the Christian convert, has been dropped. This AP article quotes a prison authority as saying, “He keeps saying he’s hearing voices.” The Afghan government is still getting full mileage out of the excuse that Rahman is “insane.” I can’t tell whether to believe this official or not. Given what I know of God’s dealings with martyrs, I wouldn’t put it past Rahman to be hearing some real voices. That does not make him mentally incompetent, any more than Peter and Paul were.

The local Muslims aren’t putting too much credence in this story, either. CNN reports protests across Afghanistan at the possibility that Rahman will be freed. It is so obliging of Muslims to be frank in such matters. When upset at the cartooned hint that Islam might be violent, they roundly disprove the charge by deadly riots. When the suggestion is made that Islam and Afghan law do not permit freedom of conscience, they organize riots (which I fear will prove deadly to Rahman) at the thought that Westerners might force them to appear liberal or humane.

Don’t think that he is out of danger, simply because the Afghan government is feeling some diplomatic pressure. It is a well-known event in this part of the world, for a Christian to be released, inadequately protected by police, and murdered by a mob.

Mark Steyn’s article on this subject is too delicious not to quote:

In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “suttee” – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:

“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”