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March 26, 2006

Captain Hook's Defense? "It's In The Koran"

Mark Steyn: If the suras of the Koran permit, you must acquit:

[Hamza's attorney] Mr. Fitzgerald opened the case for the defense by arguing, according to The Daily Telegraph, that "Hamza was urging his followers not to murder British people but to fight in holy wars where Muslims were being killed in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bosnia, Kosovo and Palestine." Asked if he had ever intended to urge or incite murder, Hamza replied: "In the context of murder, no. In the context of fighting, yes."

Hmm. Mr. Hamza wants to see a caliph installed in Downing Street and to have Muslims "control the whole Earth."

And, of course, wanting Muslims to control the whole Earth is not against the law, nor, as his counsel argued, is advocating the more robust methods of bringing it about. As The Times of London reported:

"Edward Fitzgerald, QC, for the defense, said that Abu Hamza's interpretation of the Koran was that it imposed an obligation on Muslims to do jihad and fight in the defense of their religion. He said that the Crown case against the former imam of Finsbury Park Mosque was 'simplistic in the extreme.' He added: 'It is said he was preaching murder, but he was actually preaching from the Koran itself.'"

WELL, IT'S ingenious, and, though Mr. Hamza was sadly found guilty, who's to say it won't work for the next A-list jihadi? If Koran permit, you must acquit. To convict would be multiculturally disrespectful. If the holy book of the religion of peace recommends killing infidels, who are we to judge?

Indeed, much of the developed world seems to have already internalized that rationale: Islamic mobs riot, loot, burn embassies and kill people around the world, and the fury of Western elites is reserved for those hapless Danish cartoonists for being so "insensitive."

He contrasts this with the trial of Nick Griffin, leader of the right-wing "racist" (I don't know if it is or isn't) British National Party, who stands accused of inciting hatred for, among other things, stating, before the British subway bombing, that most likely Muslims would bomb England and most likely the culprits would turn out to be second-generation Pakistani Muslims from near where he was speaking. (It turned out: the culprits WERE second-generation Pakistani Muslims from very near where he was speaking at the time (Leeds); the judge informed the jury that factual accuracy was no defense against the charge of "hate.")

Thanks to Craig, who also sends this link to "It's in the Koran," a fun little ditty about murder, terrorism, rape, and Death Cultism. It's got a great beat and you can blow yourself up to it.

But Mark Steyn isn't done yet. Another great column, this one about the Afghani Muslim-turned-Christian about to be put to death for apostacy:

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."

The immediate problem for Abdul Rahman is whether he'll get the chance to "mature" along with Afghan democracy. The president, the Canadian prime minister and the Australian prime minister have all made statements of concern about his fate, and it seems clear that Afghanistan's dapper leader, Hamid Karzai, would like to resolve this issue before his fledgling democracy gets a reputation as just another barbarous Islamist sewer state. There's talk of various artful compromises, such as Rahman being declared unfit to stand trial by reason of insanity on the grounds that (I'm no Islamic jurist so I'm paraphrasing here) anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity must, ipso facto, be nuts.

On the other hand, this "moderate" compromise solution is being rejected by leading theologians. "We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," says Abdul Raoulf of the nation's principal Muslim body, the Afghan Ulama Council. "Cut off his head! We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left." Needless to say, Imam Raoulf is one of Afghanistan's leading "moderate" clerics.

The multiculturalists cut radical, murderous Islamism a lot of slack because it is, after all, "their culture." And yet they are harsh critics of America and the contingent of tough-guys in Britain. If Islamists are to be excused for rioting, killing, maiming, and raping because it's "their culture," are we in the West not also to be excused for wanting to hang or shoot these psychopaths because that, too, is part of "our culture"?

It seems only some cultures' traditions are worth such respect.

Steyn hits on this with a dynamite quote:

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."

Count me as a born-again, fire-breathing Napierite.

Thanks to DDG for the latter tip.

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posted by Ace at 03:30 PM

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