Afghanistan Death Penalty
For Man Who Spread Koran Translation
Karachi, 23 June (AKI) –
by Syed Saleem Shahzad
Afghan journalist accused of distributing an unacceptable translation of the
Koran should be put to death, says former Prime Minister Ahmad Shah Ahmadzai.
Former journalist Ghows Zalmay,
who was also the spokesman for Afghanistan's
Attorney-General, was arrested in November last year for distributing a
translation of the Koran into Dari, one of Afghanistan's two official
Ahmadzai, who ran in the 2004 presidential election
against current President Hamid Karzai,
told Adnkronos International (AKI) he supported the
death penalty for Zalmay.
is full of vices. Several Afghan restaurants serve liquor, despite it being
illegal and on top of it, such material is distributed," Ahmadzai told AKI.
"I am in favour of his death."
Muslim scholars in Afghanistan reportedly said that the new
version of the Koran misinterpreted verses about alcohol, begging,
homosexuality and adultery. They also complained that this version was
not accompanied by the original version of the Koran in Arabic.
Ghows, 50, is reportedy in
jail after being accused of blasphemy and his lawyers say he risks the death penalty.
He is expected to face charges in an Afghan court within the next week.
"This is all an American conspiracy to deviate Afghans from their
faith," said Al-Hajj Farooq Hussaini,
the leader of a Muslim prayer association in the western city of Herat in an interview
with Adnkronos International (AKI).
"They want us to be converted Christians or simply atheists. This American
occupation of Afghanistan is
worse than the occupation of Afghanistan
by the Soviets," he said.
Hussaini also referred to the case of Abdul Rahman, an Afghan Christian convert who was granted asylum
in 2006. Rahman escaped a possible death sentence in Afghanistan for
becoming a Christian.
"Earlier they protected Abdul Rahman who left
Islam and converted to Christianity and now they are encouraging the
distribution of the fake translations of Koran," said Hussaini
who is also the leader of a group led by Ismail Khan,
Afghanistan's Energy Minister.
"Ghows Zalmay should
be given an exemplary punishment for his crime," he said.
Many Muslim bloggers have labeled some new
translations of the Koran, as the "American Koran", which they say is
unauthentic and aimed at distracting Muslims from their faith.