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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review January 25, 2008 / 18 Shevat 5768

Some questions for the next leader of the free world

By Diana West

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | News flash from U.S.-liberated Afghanistan.

Remember the 23-year-old Afghan journalist I recently mentioned, the one detained in a Mazar-i-sharif jail for three months on "blasphemy" charges? Well, his limbo is over, his cased resolved.

For "insulting" Islam, the Afghan court has sentenced Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh to death.

According to the law of that land, which, not incidentally, is supported and protected by U.S. troops, only Afghan president Hamid Karzai — only U.S.-supported, Afghan president Hamid Karzai, that is — can do anything on the young man's behalf. Will he? That's the first question that comes to mind. But there are others, including two for all presidential candidates currently perusing this column: Should the United States force Karzai into leniency? Also, given post-Taliban Afghanistan's dependency on U.S. troops for survival, would the implementation of this Sharia (Islamic law) death sentence against Kaambakhsh make us a party to a Sharia crime against universal human rights?

This last question takes us to a topic I wish someone in power would consider — particularly those Americans now vying to lead this country for the next four years. (I regret to say the current administration is hopeless on this vital matter.) Does our "war on terror," which currently includes stabilizing U.S.-fostered governments that enshrine Sharia in Afghanistan and Iraq, in effect place the United States in the role of making the world safe ... for Sharia? That's one debate question I'd certainly like to see asked. And: Given Islamic terror groups' shared predilection for spreading Sharia, does this current U.S. strategy best serve what we like to think of as the cause of liberty?

Consider the Afghan blasphemy case. Calling on Karzai to intercede "before it's too late," Reporters Without Borders issued a statement saying, "We are deeply shocked by this trial, carried out in haste and without any concern for the law or for free expression, which is protected by the (Afghan) constitution."

Just to make sure all presidential candidates still reading this column are paying attention: Is the journalist rights group correct? Is it true that free expression is protected by the U.S.-midwifed Afghan constitution?

The answer is no. (And aren't you candidates lucky this isn't a nationally televised debate?) Sure, the Afghan constitution dubs freedom of expression "inviolable," but, like the U.S.-fostered constitution of Iraq, it makes Sharia supreme. "No law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam," says the Afghan constitution.

Goodbye, freedom of expression.

Of course, Islamic reasoning says otherwise. The deputy attorney general of Balkh Province, Hafizullah Khaliqyar, defended the Kaambakhsh blasphemy trial for being "very Islamic." In a most instructive interview with Radio Free Afghanistan, he made it clear that he considered blasphemy to be in a separate category from "inviolable" journalistic freedoms. "This was not a violation of human rights or press freedom, not a violation of rights of a journalist," he said. The defendant "violated the values of Islam," Khaliqyar continued. "He did not make a journalistic mistake; he insulted our religion.

He misinterpreted the verses of the Koran and distributed this paper to others. All ulama (clerics) have condemned his act."

Off with his head, naturally.

More questions for presidential candidates, beginning with: Well? What do you say to that? After all, this wasn't some wild-eyed Taliban mullah shooting off his gun over perceived insults to Islam, but a deputy attorney general employed by the Afghan government that is supported by the United States. In other words, candidates, what is your opinion of the current policy which forges anti-jihadist alliances ultimately designed to thwart the spread of Sharia with countries that are, no matter how we want to cut it, themselves based in Sharia?

In order for the Westerner to grasp the Islamic line of thinking, as expressed by Khaliqyar, he must appreciate the difference between the Western understanding of freedom, which is rooted in the workings of the individual conscience and naturally gives rise to such institutions as a free press, and the Islamic understanding of freedom, which describes a state of divine enthrallment, even slavery, to Allah, and finds expression in the dictates of Sharia.

Heavy stuff? Not really. If the candidates could just drop the schoolyard sniping, they might have time to bone up on it before the next debate — certainly before one of them moves into the Oval Office. Or is that too much to ask the next leader of the free world?

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© 2008, Diana West