U.S. President George W. Bush said he was deeply troubled by the case of Abdur Rahman, who an Afghan judge said this week had been jailed for converting from Islam to Christianity and could face death if he refused to become a Muslim again.
"Afghanistan is an Islamic country and its judiciary will act independently and neutrally," Supreme Court judge Ansarullah Mawlavizada told Reuters.
"No other policy will be accepted apart from Islamic orders and what our constitution says," Mawlavizada said, adding he was saddened by the international outcry.
"Saddened"? Well, he may be, but it can hardly be unexpected, surely? You are trying to have a man executed because he doesn't believe in your religion—he having converted from said religion about a decade and a half before you had a constitution or an elected government—and you are attempting to dress it up as justice by sullying your courts with this totalitarian muck. What's next? Hanging poofs from cranes? Stoning women for being able to read?
The United States, which counts Karzai as a key ally, has raised the case with Afghanistan.
"It is deeply troubling that a country we helped liberate would hold a person to account because they chose a particular religion over another," Bush said on Wednesday.
As I said in the comments to Justin's post on this subject, this was the big mistake that Bush and Blair made: they thought that, given the choice, people wouldn't actually choose to behave like barbarians and nor would they choose to elect those who would behave thus.