Yesterday I wrote about Sean Stone, Oliver Stone’s son, and his decision to embrace Iran and Islam. Today I am writing about Youcef Nadarkhani, whose predicament puts the lie to any and all claims that Stone was making about Iran’s peacefulness.
“What I am trying to do is open up a dialogue about religion. There is such Islamophobia in the West. Islam is not a religion of violence any more than Judaism or Christianity is,” Stone told The New York Post, after going to Iran to convert to Shia Islam and meeting with top Iranian officials, including its dictator, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
On his feted trip throughout Iran, Stone didn’t meet with Youcef, the Christian pastor of four hundred and father of two who has been languishing in prison for nearly two and half years, who was just recently sentenced to die by a trial court.
Youcef with his family
His crime? Apostasy-that is, leaving Islam, what Stone would have you believe is a “religion of peace.”
According to Fox News-one of the precious few news outlets to pick up Youcef’s story- he was given an order that he will be hanged.
His lawyers appealed the decision under the premise that Nadarkhani was never a Muslim at the age of majority, and the case was sent to Iran’s Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court’s decision of execution, provided it could be proven that he had been a practicing Muslim from the age of adulthood, 15 in Islamic law, to age 19, which was when he converted.
The lower court then ruled that Nadarkhani had not practiced Islam during his adult life but still upheld the apostasy charge because he was born into a Muslim family.
The court then gave Nadarkhani the opportunity to recant, as the law requires a man to be given three chances to recant his beliefs and return to Islam.
His first option was to convert back to Islam. When he refused, he was asked to declare Muhammad a prophet, and still he declined.
In America, we have a word for that: thought crime. And we have a word for his response: courage.
Hillary Clinton and Rep. Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania have highlighted his case, as has the American Center for Law and Justice, but President Barack Obama hasn’t said anything about it.
I guess he is just too busy forcing the Catholics in America to violate their religious tenets.