Monday, February 23, 2009

No freedom of speech in Afghanistan

Ahmad Ghaws Zalmai is a publisher in Afghanistan. Two years ago, he produced a Persian translation of the Koran. A Muslim cleric, Mushtaq Ahmad, signed a letter endorsing the translation as accurate. Now both have been sentenced to twenty years in jail for doing so. It's just another sad example of how Afghanistan has turned into a theocracy which infringes on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. But the thing to remember is that we are supporting it. New Zealand currently has a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Bamiyan Province, which is helping to prop up the government which is doing all this.

As I've said before, we should not be doing this. We would not send troops to prop up Iran's theocracy, and we shouldn't send them to prop up Afghanistan's. Instead, we should bring them home - and the sooner, the better.