Today's Top Five
1. West calls for Rahman's freedom as Afghan clerics call for death
There are some signs of hope for Afghan Christian convert Abdul Rahman. German chancellor Angela Merkel says Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai personally assured her that Rahman would not be executed. And unnamed "senior Afghan government officials" are saying he could be released soon. It looks like the trial will take place on Saturday. (We won't be able to update until Monday.) If he's freed but kept in Afghanistan, he's as good as dead. The New York Times reports that Friday prayers at mosques around the country focused on why Rahman should be killedif not by the government, then by the faithful. It's heartening to see so many newspaper editorials supporting Rahman's case, and so many news outlets keeping a close eye. Perhaps this case could mark the beginning of increased media attention to religious freedom cases worldwide.
2. Former First Things editor Damon Linker attacks Neuhaus
Richard John Neuhaus's new book, Catholic Matters, is a mere 260 pages. The New Republic's review of the book, written by the former editor of Neuhaus's First Things journal, seems almost as long. Damon Linker's 8,952-word "review"mostly about Neuhaus and very little about Catholic Mattersseems more a promotion of Linker's forthcoming book, The Theocons: Secular America Under Siege than a book review. But Neuhaus fans and foes won't care. They'll just be amazed that the article goes with the byline. The article is long and detailedCT readers might be interested in Linker's suggestions that Neuhaus is ultimately no friend of evangelical Protestantsbut the final paragraph captures the gist:
That is the America toward which Richard ...1
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