NYT: Afghan journalism student sentenced to death for blasphemy

I’d fallen behind with reading the New York Times in my Google Reader, but just ran across this disturbing item:


KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan court in northern Afghanistan sentenced a journalism student to death for blasphemy for distributing an article from the Internet that was considered an insult to the Prophet Muhammad, the judge in charge of the court said Wednesday.

The student, Sayed Parwiz Kambakhsh, 23, who also works for a local newspaper, was charged with insulting Muhammad by calling the prophet “a killer and adulterer,” the judge, Shamsurahman Muhmand, said in a telephone interview.


The articles were written by his brother, the story says. Furthermore:

The case is the third time that clerics have called for death for a blasphemer in the six years since the removal of the Taliban leadership and reflects the deep conservatism that prevails even under the more liberal government of President Hamid Karzai.

Kambakhsh has the right to petition the decision to the and supreme courts, the article says.

Weigh in: What’s your take on this situation?

Update, Jan. 31 at 2:37 A.M.: CNN has a follow-up story:

Afghan lawmakers back reporter’s death sentence – CNN.com