Another must-read Mark Steyn article, this time on
Fate conspires to remind us what this war is really about: civilizational confidence. And so history repeats itself: first the farce of the
Danish cartoons, and now the tragedy – a man on trial for his life in post-Taliban Afghanistan because he has committed the crime of converting to Christianity.
The cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad were deeply offensive to Muslims, and so thousands protested around the world in the usual restrained manner – rioting, torching, killing, etc.
The impending execution of Abdul Rahman for embracing Christianity is, of course, offensive to Westerners, and so around the world we reacted equally violently by issuing blood-curdling threats like that made by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack: “Freedom of worship is an important element of any democracy,” he said. “And these are issues as Afghan democracy matures that they are going to have to deal with increasingly.”
Unfortunately, what’s “precious and sacred” to
Islamis its institutional contempt for others. In his book “Islam And The West,” Bernard Lewis writes, “The primary duty of the Muslim as set forth not once but many times in the Quran is ‘to command good and forbid evil.’ It is not enough to do good and refrain from evil as a personal choice. It is incumbent upon Muslims also to command and forbid.” Or as the Canadian columnist David Warren put it: “We take it for granted that it is wrong to kill someone for his religious beliefs. Whereas Islam holds it is wrong not to kill him.” In that sense, those imams are right, and Karzai’s attempts to finesse the issue are, sharia-wise, wrong.
In a more culturally confident age, the British in India were faced with the practice of “
suttee” – the tradition of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their husbands. Gen. Sir Charles Napier was impeccably multicultural:
“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks, and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”
As always, read the whole thing.