Skip to comments.TN Religious Leaders: Free Jailed Afghan (GOOD NEWS: Said Musa Moved to Different Jail)
Posted on 02/22/2011 11:15:06 AM PST by Mrs. Don-o
Said Musa (left), an Afghan Red Cross volunteer who worked for the rehabilitation of amputees, faces death penalty for his conversion to Christianity.
Religious leaders in Nashville and across the U.S. want Afghanistan's government to live up to [a] sacred Islamic text [about "no compulsion in religion"]. They've organized a Twitter campaign on behalf of Said Musa, a former aid worker in Afghanistan imprisoned since May.
His crime? Apostasy, for leaving Islam.
According to published reports, Musa, sometimes referred to as Sayed Mossa, faces the death penalty.
That's not acceptable, said Ed Stetzer, president of Nashville-based LifeWay Research.
"We have to get to the place where the world speaks out and says it's unacceptable to kill a man for changing his religion," Stetzer said.
Stetzer has joined megachurch pastors the Rev. Rick Warren and the Rev. John Piper in a Twitter campaign to advocate for Musa's release.
Piper, of Bethlehem Baptist in Minneapolis, addressed his Twitter message directly to President Barack Obama: "Mr. President, speak wisely and boldly, in private if necessary, for Said Musa, imprisoned in Kabul." Warren, an Orange County, Calif., pastor who claims more than 245,000 followers on Twitter, accused journalists of ignoring Musa's plight.
Musa's story has been publicized in Europe but has received scant media attention in the United States. An amputee who lost a leg after stepping on a land mine, he was working for the International Red Cross assisting other land mine victims at the time of his arrest.
Richard Land, president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said Monday that he had been following Musa's story for about a month and had talked to U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn about him.
He urged Twitter users to call their representatives in Congress. "Urge them to work for the release of Brother Musa," he said. "This is contrary to everything we said we are fighting for in Afghanistan."
Musa was arrested after Afghan television aired footage of aid workers baptizing converts. Musa wasn't in the video, but authorities learned he was a convert.
"This footage stirred up a lot of controversy," said Aidan Clay, Middle East regional manager for International Christian Concern, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that focuses on religious persecution.
Clay, who has been following Musa's case, said the former aid worker hasn't been officially charged with a crime and has no legal representation. But he has been sexually assaulted and beaten, Clay said.
Clay said that Musa, 46, was moved recently to a new jail, after American officials intervened on his behalf, and there's no immediate threat of execution. He credited media reports about Musa for the improvement and predicted more public outcry could lead to his release.
Even if Musa were to be released, however, he would remain a controversial figure and would not be safe, Clay said. Another convert, Shoaib Assadullah, 25, also has been jailed and faces death threats. Officials from the United States and other nations are trying to get both men released.
"It would be safer for them to leave the country," Clay said.
Amir Arain, spokesman for the Islamic Center of Nashville, said Musa should be released from jail. Converting to another faith is no crime, he said.
"If one chooses to convert to Christianity and or be a nonbeliever, then they can do so whatever they please," he said. "Islam does not hold anyone practicing Islam against their will, as there is no compulsion."
The Twitter campaign started over the weekend with posts from Piper and from Denny Burk, a blogger and professor at Boyce College, a Southern Baptist school in Louisville, Ky. Warren joined in Sunday, and other Twitter users repeated their messages.
The Rev. Eddie Poole, pastor of LifeChurch of Mount Juliet, tweeted about Musa on Monday.
"I read the story about him and thought, good grief, that could very well be me," he said. "Sounds like he is a guy to be admired, standing up for what he believes."
Tony Shepherd, a Nashville-based music producer, heard about Musa this year from a friend in Washington, D.C.. He tweeted about the jailed amputee.
He said many Christians around the world face trouble because of their faith.
"I would like to see an awareness of the reality of Christian persecution," Shepherd said. "More prayer and more support."
Sounds like a semi-anarchy there. This can’t be official Afghan policy.
I am so encouraged to see that his situation is getting some “big name” attention. After reading of the murder of the Bible distributors off the coast of Somalia, it is good to hear some good news.
Lord, hear our prayers, help Said be released safely to his family. Save many through his witness. Amen. Also Lord please heal and protect him from abuse.
We have provided sample text for email messages below to save your time, but writing in your own words is even better if you have the time.
1) Call or email your congressman TODAY via https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml. Ask them to call Afghanistan Ambassador, save life of Said Musa.
2) Call or email your senator TODAY via http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm. Ask them to call Afghanistan Ambassador, save life of Said Musa.
3) Call or email Political Counselor Abdul Atarud TODAY at Afghanistan Embassy via http://www.embassyofafghanistan.org/Atarud.html. Ask that Afghanistan free Said Musa.
4) Email Afghan President Hamid Karzai c/o Nazer Husain Rahimi, Special Secretary to the President, firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that Said Musa and Shoaib Assadullah Musawi be set free.
5) Tweet @AfghanMissionUN and ask that Afghanistan free Said Musa.
6) Send an email message to Dr. Zahir Tanin, Afghanistans ambassador to the United Nations, asking that Afghanistan free Said Musa and Shoaib Assadullah Malawi immediately! The online form to submit a message is here: http://www.afghanistan-un.org/contacts/.
7) Email President Obama at http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and ask that he continue working to free Said Musa and Shoaib Assadullah Musawi.
8) Like our Facebook Page at http://facebook.com/WeAreAllSaidMusa to increase the number of friends. Share and ask your friends to Like and Share this page as well.
9) Follow our Twitter account at http://twitter.com/#!/WeAreSaidMusa to increase our number of followers. Ask your friends to Follow it as well.
10) Pray that Said Musa and Shoaib Assadullah Musawi be freed.
STEP 1: Send to your Member of Congress at https://writerep.house.gov/
Dear Representative -
I am deeply concerned that an Afghan judge has threatened to order the execution of Said Musa within days if he does not re-convert from Christianity back to Islam against his will. Please personally call the Afghan ambassador TODAY and demand that the execution of Said Musa be stopped and that Afghanistan free Said Musa and Shoaib Assadullah Musawi immediately and permit them and their families to depart the country if they wish to.
Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and the rights to life, liberty, and due process of law are some of our fundamental American values. Please convey to the Afghan ambassador that if the Afghan government does not show basic respect for the right to life, liberty, and freedom of religious choice, many Americans will begin to question whether we should continue to send our own children to fight and die on its behalf or continue to support it financially.
Please ensure that Afghanistan fulfills its obligations as a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that all Afghans are free to practice the religious faith of their choice without fear of prosecution, intimidation, or harm.
KABUL | Tue May 5, 2009 4:15pm IST
KABUL (Reuters) - Bibles in Afghan languages sent to a U.S. soldier at a base in Afghanistan were confiscated and destroyed to ensure that troops did not breach regulations which forbid proselytising, a military spokeswoman said.
The U.S. military has denied its soldiers tried to convert Afghans to Christianity, after Qatar-based Al Jazeera television showed soldiers at a bible class on a base with a stack of bibles translated into the local Pashto and Dari languages.
"I can now confirm that the Bibles shown on Al Jazeera's clip were, in fact, collected by the chaplains and later destroyed. They were never distributed," spokeswoman Major Jennifer Willis said at Bagram air base, north of Kabul.
That’s wonderful thank you great ideas. As I said yesterday it seems Facebook can draw a huge audience. I hope someone on site who uses it can start a page about this issue as well. I don’t do social networking or I surely would but I can barely manage what I do now on the computer.
I cannot thank you enough for getting this information out, this gentleman and his family, along with others persecuted for their Christian faith, have been in my fervent prayers!
Certainly he is not safe, but safer, and my prayer now is that he can join his wife and family, even though in exile, and that others whose lives are threatened for their faith will be sustained and protected. In Christ’s Holy Name I pray, amen.
An abomination to God too, but you’re talking apples and oranges. Not wanting to create a stink by refraining from evangelizing Afghan Muslims is one affair, for an Afghan Muslim to want to be a Christian is another affair.
Thanks for those links and samples. I will get right to it.
AS Mark Krikorian eloquently says in The Natl Review:
The Afghan justice ministrys chief of staff says They must be sentenced to death to serve as a lesson for others and were providing his salary and our men are bleeding and dying to protect him from his fellow barbarians in the Taliban.
If this is the nation building we are up to - I want no part of it!
Awesome... we have been praying for this man since we heard. Lets continue to storm heaven.
We did NOTHING for the 4 million Christians slaughtered in Asia Minor and Thrace by the Turks and we did nothing for the 2 million slaughtered in South Sudan. Dittoes for those behind the Iron Curtain.
I am not hopeful unless we change the moral compass in this nation. Specifically the one that reigns in our capital where it concerns itself with making the world safe for business not faith.
Thank you very much for the post. This is appalling!
Where are they going to go in the Muslim world without having a similar problem. I was hoping more on the lines of the State Department getting them into the USA or Canada.
Thanks Mrs. Don-o.
“This shows that prayer, publicity and public pressure are starting to make a difference.”
Yes I’ve been prayeing the Lord will open his prison doors and set him free. 50% there i guess.
Thanks for the ping!