The Afghan ruling Taliban denied recent reports about its agreement to exchange two
Americans, who were
accused, with another six aid workers, of Christian missionary activity in Afghanistan,
for Omar Abdel Raḥmān.
Rahman who is the spiritual leader of the Egyptian Jamā‘āt al-Islāmīyah is serving a
life sentence in the USA.
The Afghan ambassador in Islamabad said, it is not part of the
policy of the Islamic Afghan
province to exchange any person for another. We have detained the accused
according to the Islamic Sharī‘a and not
with the aim of exchanging them for any other person.
The Afghan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wakil
Ahmed Muttawakil, said that he had no idea
about a plan being suggested to exchange the eight aid workers, accused
of Christian missionary activity,
for Omar Abdel Raḥmān. He denied that any talks were taking place between Kabul
and Washington in that
The wife of Omar Abdel Raḥmān said that Ramsey Clark, the former
of Defense, who led Abdel Rahman’s defense team, was mediating between America and the Taliban,
an agreement that would put an end to Abdel-Rahman’s suffering in prison.
She added that
she had sent a message to the Taliban, which included detailed information about the deteriorating health
Rahman. She asked the ruling Taliban to work towards releasing Abdel Raḥmān as he was one of the
who played in important role in encouraging young Muslim men to travel to Afghanistan to
fight against the Soviet
Union. She said, Islām allows the exchange of a just Muslim person, who has been
captured by unbelievers, for a
number of unbelievers [captured by Muslims]. So what would the case be if
this person was one of the most important
One of Abdel-Rahman’s sons,
who is living in Egypt, refused to make any
connection between his father and the case of the eight aid
workers. In addition, Montasser al-Zayyat, the lawyer
for the Jamā‘āt al-Islāmīyah, denied having any
information about such an exchange deal.
the Taliban claimed that the trial of the
eight aid workers would be open German, American and Australian diplomats
were not allowed into the
courtroom last Wednesday. The senior judge stressed that the trial would be a just one
and that the accused
could consult foreign lawyers to defend them. He added that the trail would be according to
Shari’a. If the crime deserved imprisonment, they would be imprisoned. If it deserved the death
they would be sentenced to death, he stated.
Muttawakil stated that the foreign diplomats, journalists
and relations of the eight accused would be able to attend the sessions of the trial when it entered its
Ramsey Clark, former US Attorney General in the Lyndon B.
administration (1966) and lawyer said in an interview in Impact International, Vol 27 No.12 -
December 1997 on
Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman’s trial:
"what we saw in both FBI and CIA files,
and this is their phrase,
’the greatest threat to the international and domestic security of the United
States is Islamic fundamentalism’.
But actually, ’Islamic fundamentalism’ to them is redundant. So
they have to convict a blind Islamic scholar of
terrorism to show that Islām is, at it highest levels of
learning and attainment, nothing but a terrorist concept.
How could a blind man be a
terrorist, what could he do? They claimed that he was the leader of the
conspiracy that set off the bomb
in the World Trade Centre. They have now had two trials and two convictions of
the defendants in the World
Trade Centre cases, and Shaykh Omar Abdel-Rahman’s name wasn’t even mentioned at
either trial. He had
nothing to do with it, but we have this war against Islām going on.
to know the
people. We need to respect their religion. We need to love them. We need to live together on this
planet, and we can’t do that the way we are going about it right now. They are overwhelmingly poor. From
to Indonesia, the great masses of the people in Muslim countries are poor, and probably the best
thing in their
lives, the only saving thing, is their religion."
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