After days of international outcry, an Afghan court has dismissed the case against a man threatened with being put to death for having converted from Islam to Christianity, a court official said Sunday.
The charges of apostasy against Abdur Rahman, a 41-year-old medical aid worker, were being dropped for lack of evidence, said Abdul Wakil Omari, a spokesman for the Afghan Supreme Court.... Omari, the court spokesman, cited two factors for the case's dismissal: signs that Rahman might be mentally disturbed and the possibility that he had become a German citizen.
Naturally, a "dropped for lack of evidence" result is far from perfect. But here the perfect may be the enemy of the good. Sometimes liberty progresses through small steps and legal fictions. That's better than liberty not progressing at all, which is what might have happened had Rahman's defenders insisted on all (a rousing decision affirming religious freedom) or nothing.
What's worth remembering about the case, though, is that "even moderate Muslim clerics, as well as members of Rahman's own family, have said that death is the only fair and logical punishment for him." If that's "moderat[ion]" as Muslims go, that's mighty troubling.
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