Afghan Senate backs death sentence for student journalist

[UPDATE-02/01/2008] – The Afghan Senate, apparently realizing their dumbassery, has withdrawn their statement of support. 

Last week, as part of my ongoing series on ‘religion gone mad’, I blogged about 23 year-old Pervez Kambaksh, sentenced to death for allegedly insulting Islam. I say ‘allegedly’, because it’s all an elaborate frame-up designed to put pressure on Kambaksh’s brother who has been reporting on the human rights abuses of local tribal authorities.

Now the Afghan Senate wants in on the corruption too! Despite lacking the legal authority to do so, they released a statement today supporting the verdict. Not surprisingly, the statement included the normal ‘butt-out, Buttinski’ language, expressing outrage that other nations would dare to criticize the Afghan nation. An interesting position to take, especially since large segments of the world are sending soldiers to die for the continued survival of the gong show they apparently call a government. And yet, Canada has remained strangely quiet on this issue. Since we’re shouldering a heavy load in Afghanistan, shouldn’t we be piping up on an issue that offends any number of our values (freedom of speech, religion, anti-death penalty)?

Let me run a sentence by you: “Man sentenced to death for insulting Santa Claus”. Sound ridiculous? Well, a death sentence for insulting religion is equally absurd. Canada needs to say something about this, and say it damn soon.