Matthew presses Afghan delegation on religious tolerance

Matthew was in a group of parliamentarians who met a delegation from Afghanistan to discuss progress being made in the country. The delegation was led by Abdul Hakim Munib, Deputy Minister of Hajj, and was accompanied by Mohammad Qasim Halemi, a senior government advisor, Colonel Khalilull Rahman Mudaser, an advisor to the Afghan Army and other journalists and academics. 

At an informal gathering in the Liberal Reform Club, topics such as women’s rights, military effectiveness and democracy were all discussed. Matthew was particularly keen to discuss media reports of persecution of Christians in the country.

Matthew said, “Recent events in Afghanistan have led to the deputy secretary of the Afghan parliament, Abdul Sattar Khawasi, to call for the execution of Christian converts. Afghanistan may have introduced democratic reforms but there is more to democracy than voting. Democracy also means tolerance of alternatives views on religion, politics and morality and no-one should be persecuted for their religious beliefs.”