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Save Youcef Nadarkhani

The case of Christian Iranian dissenter Youcef Nadarkhani is not being reported, from what I can see, by major media outlets in the UK. I suspect this is because Youcef Nadarkhani doesn't fit into the 'worthy victim' criteria of the secularist liberal-left (I write this realising there are many other victims of persecution I too am not focusing on either).

As a Christian standing on the liberal side of the spectrum, I too also realise that we tend to hold back in our criticism of adherents of other religions that persecute our faith and some of the theology that drives them to do so. I reason that this is because we fear this may cross a line into prejudice, and I hazard to guess, because it is less safe than criticising 'our own', so to speak. It is worth noting that the International Association of Religious Freedom has yet to mention the case of Youcef Nadarkhani on its homepage or newsblog.

Christians on the conservative end of the spectrum, such as the prominent blogger Cranmer, do not share the same reticence, although I would also argue they have more tendency to cross the line into prejudice - dividing the world into an imagined us and an imagined them.

The tragedy amongst all of this is there is a fellow human suffering imprisonment for his beliefs - unable to kiss & hug his wife, unable to ruffle his children's hair, unable to see the sunlight even. And he will be possibly end up slowly strangled by a rope until his brain, heart and other vital organs are starved of oxygen (if his neck isn't crudely broken or he isn't decapitated by the initial fall). This will take place either in front of a baying mob or in some darkened room. He will suffer this fate just for simply believing something different - arguably very slightly different, when placed in the context of the wide variations of human philosophies and religions.

The crime on our part will be, through fear of falling off the tightrope between criticism and prejudice, that we forget him.

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