Respecting Other Cultures
In free Afghanistan, the nation American soldiers died to liberate from the Taliban, a man was facing execution. His crime: converting Christianity. I'm told the man was released and has amnesty in Rome, but the Afghan legislature is still calling for his head. Father Richard John Neuhaus wrote this in his blog:
The spirited, if sometimes acidulous, Mark Steyn reflects on the Afghan clerics who are calling for the death of Abdul Rahman because he committed the capital crime of converting to Christianity. In the course of his remarks, Mr. Steyn cites one of my favorite stories about the limits of multiculturalism.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."
If Pax Americana is to spread freedom throughout the Muslim world, we must include the right to practice one's faith among those freedoms.