Along the Tracks

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Islam and the West, Part MMMLXIX...

The case of Abdul Rahman, the Afghani who only recently escaped a capital trial over his conversion from Islam to Christianity, demonstrates that, if we aren't in the middle of an unavoidable "clash of civilizations," we are at least in the midst of a severe "sideswipe of civilizations."

I recommend Mark Steyn to everyone on all occasions, but this column, written before Rahman's reprieve, is especially sharp and insightful. Steyn makes his point with a quote from history which couldn't be more appropriate:

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."

Our battle with the Islamists may ultimately come down to a similar declaration. Will the West have the fortitude to make it?

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