Charles Moore skewers the dhimmi Jack Straw, whose misadventures have often shown up on this site, at the Telegraph (thanks to DFS):
When the row about the Danish cartoons of Mohammed broke, no one was quicker out of the traps than our Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. He roundly condemned what he saw as the irresponsibility of their publication.
It was not clear why Mr Straw felt the need to speak up. Britain has no responsibility for independent, democratic Denmark, nor for the European countries in which the cartoons were republished.
We do, however, bear considerable responsibility for Afghanistan. We helped invade it in 2001 to overthrow the Islamist Taliban government, and ever since then we have helped rebuild government and society there, including the framing of a new constitution. The other day, we sent yet more troops to help keep the uneasy peace. We boast, with some justice, that we have set Afghanistan free.
So the news that a Muslim is threatened with death by an Afghan court simply because he converted to Christianity should surely alarm Mr Straw. So far – and the case has been in the press for more than a week – we have heard nothing audible from him. President Bush has said he is “deeply troubled” by the case. Condoleezza Rice and many European governments have put strong pressure on the Afghan authorities to release the man, Abdul Rahman, citing Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which includes, in its definition of freedom of conscience, the right to change one’s faith.
But Britain’s mighty response has been left to one of Mr Straw’s juniors at the Foreign Office, Kim Howells. Mr Howells has sought “urgent clarification” from Kabul.
It may provide Mr Howells with some of the clarification that he needs to point out that Mr Rahman’s case was predictable. Islamic law (sharia) is enshrined in the new Afghan constitution. All the four schools of law in the majority Sunni Islam agree that the penalty for “apostasy” – abandoning one’s Muslim faith – must be death. One states: “When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasises from Islam, he deserves to be killed” and recommends that, when he is killed, he should be “neither given a bath, nor any funeral prayer”. Much the same applies in Shia Islam.
Read it all.