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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

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 March 8, 2006 / 8 Adar, 5766

How do you spell ‘terrorist wacko nutcase’?

By Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Banality of Evil, meet Absurdity of Denial.


Such was my thought as I listened to the recorded telephone conversation between the man who confessed to mowing down several people on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill with an SUV and the 911 police dispatcher whom he called to report his crime.


The recording, which can be heard online (www.newsobserver.com/102/story/415421.html), is so earnestly deadpan that it sounds like a comedy skit. Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar calmly tells the female dispatcher that he has just hit some people with his vehicle and that police can come and arrest him. He estimates that he hit, oh, maybe 15 people, maybe fewer.


His tone is such that he might be reporting that the paint is now dry and the carpet installers can get started. The dispatcher, meanwhile, is typing furiously. Throughout Taheri-azar's accounting, she repeatedly asks him to spell his name. It ain't Joe Smith, after all. You can sense her shock and her attempt to ground herself by getting the spelling right.


When the going gets weird, the weird may turn pro, but normal people turn super-normal.


You just ran over 15 people, got that, but would you mind spelling that name one more time?


Taheri-azar patiently spells and respells, while trying to explain his motives:


"Really, it's to punish the government of the United States for their actions around the world," he says.


Then he notes, with the voice of a meteorologist on a flawless day, that his silver Jeep Cherokee is still idling and that the police really can come arrest him now. Aha, here they are now The dispatcher urges her caller to put down the phone and raise his arms above his head, OK?


OK, says Taheri-azar. Click. Dial tone.


We now know that Taheri-azar, 22, is accused of hitting nine people, including five students and a visiting scholar, though none were seriously injured. He drove his rented vehicle into "The Pit," a protected courtyard area near the student union where students gather to relax. Witnesses to the incident reported hearing "bump, bump, bump" as bodies hit the car, though people hardly screamed, one bystander noted dryly.


As the story has unfolded, we have learned that Taheri-azar is a Muslim and a UNC graduate. He reportedly told police that "people all over the world are being killed in war and now it is the people in the United States' turn to be killed," according to the Raleigh News & Observer. He also reportedly said that he intended to kill people when he drove into The Pit.


Nothing foggy about that. For his trouble, Taheri-azar has been charged with nine counts of attempted first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury. Bail has been set at $5.5 million.


What's less clear is whether Taheri-azar is a madman, a jihadist, a terrorist, all of the above, or just a loser who happens to be a Muslim. UNC officials have studiously avoided labeling the event a "terrorist attack," while some students have protested (to the acclaim of many in the blogosphere) that the university is caving to political correctness by failing to call a terrorist a terrorist.


I'm happy to use the "T" word where applicable, but the university may be right this time. Instead of a terrorist, Taheri-azar may be a simple nutcase who grabbed the jihad handle as convenient, self-important and certain to attract attention.


Narcissists come in all flavors. But Taheri-azar may prove useful as a metaphor in our ongoing search for clarity. To wit, the UNC Muslim Students Association has condemned Taseri-azar's crime, insisting that he is "one disturbed individual," and that his acts do not reflect the beliefs of the Muslim community.


Hear, hear. The rational and humane way to deal with this kind of phenomenon is not to anoint every nut with the romantic label of "terrorist," which connotes a philosophical framework for dastardly deeds, but to identify as wackos those who hijack Islam for their own purposes.


It is up to Muslims to be full-throated in their condemnation and marginalization of those who declare jihad against Westerners. All of them.


The list of nuts is long, beginning with Osama bin Laden and including al-Qaida's Ayman al-Zawahiri, Iran's Ali Khamenei, all suicide bombers, and so on. Here's a deal Abraham, Jesus and Muhammad could love: If Muslims rid their mosques of the jihadists, we'll take care of the spelling.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

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