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Afghanistan’s new Constitution, established just seven years ago, guarantees that people are “free to exercise their faith,” although Islamic, or Sharia, law may still apply when it comes to certain religious issues. It may sound simple enough from a U.S. perspective, but the New York Times reveals the complications of religious freedom in the country through the story of Sayed Mussa. The 46-year-old Afghan man, who converted from Islam to Christianity nine years ago, could face the death penalty for his beliefs. Following incidents in which Westerners allegedly were proselytizing Christianity and baptizing Afghans, some Afghan lawmakers recently called for known converts to be executed.
Mussa’s case has prompted Congressman Doug Lamborn, a Republican from Colorado Springs, and U.S. Representative Trent Franks of Arizona—co-chairman of the International Religious Freedom Caucus—to write a letter to Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry, stating, “We cannot justify taxpayer dollars going to a government that allows the same restrictions on basic human rights that existed under the Taliban.” Lamborn has taken strong positions on religious issues and touted the public posting of the 10 Commandments on the 2010 campaign trail, notes ColoradoPols.
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Meanwhile, Nabil Echchaibi, an associate professor at the University of Colorado, is documenting the “cultural history” of Muslim communities in the Rocky Mountain West, reports 7News.