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Did you know that under the Taliban, Afghans could be executed for blasphemy?

Did you know they still can be?
Journalist Convicted of Blasphemy in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan, Oct. 23 - For the first time since the fall of the Taliban's Islamic government four years ago, a journalist has been convicted by a Kabul court under the country's blasphemy laws.

Ali Mohaqiq Nasab, the editor of "Women's Rights," a monthly magazine for women, was sentenced on Saturday to two years in prison by Kabul's primary court. The sentence will automatically be reviewed on appeal.

The sentencing came after a strenuous battle between Kabul's conservative judges, led by members of the Supreme Court, and the liberal Minister of Information and Culture, Sayed Makhdum Raheen, and reveals the strains between moderates and conservatives in the government of President Hamid Karzai.

The prosecutor called for the maximum sentence of death, accusing the editor of apostasy, so the two-year sentence appears to have been a compromise. But it is a reminder that Afghanistan is still ruled by Islamic Shariah law and that, on issues of religion, conservatives are determined to enforce it.

The prosecution contended that the magazine had run two articles in its latest issue about apostasy that violated the law by saying that while apostasy was taboo, it was not a crime under Islam. The authorities apparently ordered the issue removed from newsstands.

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