In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
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 27, 2006 / 27 Adar, 5766

Sharia and liberty don't mix

By Diana West

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Q: What's worse than Afghanistan's barbaric prosecution of Abdul Rahman for the Islamic crime of converting to Christianity?

A: The muffled U.S. reaction.

The president is "troubled, deeply troubled," a response that doesn't exactly ring the red phone, and the State Department really isn't — troubled, deeply or otherwise. On the contrary, responding to this Afghan assault on freedom of conscience (indirectly enabled by the best intentions of the U.S. military), Foggy Bottom actually tried to look on the bright side: "Previously, under the Taliban, anybody considered an apostate was subject to torture and death," spokesman Sean McCormack said. "Right now," he continued, "you have a legal proceeding that's underway in Afghanistan." Which means, I guess, thanks to Uncle Sam, nobody has to submit to "torture and death" anymore without first getting his day in court.

Welcome to U.S.-liberated Afghanistan, a place where, as far as freedom of conscience goes, the sharia-based constitution is well worth the paper it's written on (nothing), and process trumps principle every time. "It's a constitutional matter," McCormack explained, "so it's a legal matter. So what that tells you is that there are two sides to this."

Two sides — meaning that Rahman may or may not be guilty as charged? It's hard to believe that any American, even a State Department spokesman, could buy into a "proceeding" that makes religion a matter of state control. On the other hand — and this is where things get truly shameful — no representative of the Bush administration has denounced, critiqued or even questioned U.S.-liberated Afghanistan's right to try, let alone take the life of, any person for leaving Islam.

Instead, we talk about Afghanistan's "judicial case" — as if it had one — and the need for "transparency" — as if it's not clear that Afghanistan is merely enforcing sharia (Islamic law). We also tend to "hope very much," as Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns put it, "that ... freedom of religion will be upheld in Afghan court." But how can freedom of religion be upheld in Afghan court when freedom of religion isn't written into Afghanistan's constitution?

Yes, the constitution's preamble talks up the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights, whose Article 18 guarantees freedom of conscience; and yes, Article 2 in the Afghan constitution guarantees limited freedom for non-Muslim-born Afghans (although anyone promoting a religion other than Islam is thrown out of the country, said the Rev. Giuseppe Moretti, Afghanistan's lone Catholic priest). But here's the salient point: According to Article 3, "no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam."

Because Islam's "beliefs and provisions" prohibit Muslims from leaving Islam on pain of death, and because the Afghanistan constitution is bound to follow Islamic law, converts from Islam have no freedom and no protection under the U.S.-supported Karzai government.

Similar provisions entrenching sharia are included in both the Iraqi and the Palestinian Authority constitutions, two other U.S.-assisted exercises in nation-building — or, rather, Islamic-nation-building. Maybe now, thanks to Abdul Rahman, more Americans will see that the seeds of Islamic theocracy are planted when a nation's founding document is rooted in sharia, thus outlawing what we think of as "universal" human rights. It could be that, having signed off on such Islamic-nation-building — inspired by a heady mix of optimism, confusion or naivetĒ — the United States isn't working itself into a liberty-affirming lather over Rahman from a sense of strategic resignation, or even embarrassment over the results.

But that shouldn't condemn us to indefinite and deferential silence about the chasm that opens up when basic Islamic law overrules fundamental Western liberties. Rather than sinking into a "deeply troubled" and non-communicative funk, rather than pretending the Afghan constitution doesn't contain a blueprint for a sharia state, the president and his people should explain the fundamental conflict between emerging Islamic democracies and the Western world — a conflict that looms larger than any military front in the so-called "war on terror": Sharia and liberty don't mix.

Rahman may avoid prosecution by being declared mentally incompetent. That might defuse the immediate crisis, but not the long-term conflict — and it certainly wouldn't guarantee Rahman's safety. (It's grisly to imagine him in an Afghan mental hospital for Christian converts and other state-diagnosed lunatics.) Nor would it guarantee ours. Sugarcoating sharia and underplaying liberty doesn't win any wars. It just wins more sharia and less liberty.

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

JWR contributor Diana West is a columnist and editorial writer for the Washington Times. Comment by clicking here.



© 2006, Diana West