MoonDawg's Den: Facing down fanatical cultures

MoonDawg's Den

Monday, March 27, 2006

Facing down fanatical cultures

Mark Steyn writes on how the West should respond to the case of Abdul Rahman, who faced execution in Afghanistan for daring to convert from Islam to Christianity. As usual, he hits it on the head:

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. General 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."

India today is better off without suttee. If we shrink from the logic of that, then in Afghanistan and many places far closer to home the implications are, as the Prince of Wales would say, "ghastly."

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