I Write Columns Sometimes.

Mary Katharine Ham
|
Posted: May 24, 2006 9:48 AM

I'll be doing a weekly column for Townhall, which will run on Mondays from now on.

This week, it's on the very different treatment given to the Jeep Jihadi in Chapel Hill and the Duke lacrosse players in Durham. The presumption of innocence seemed much more important in one case than the other:

I have heard it said that what America needs to win the war on Islamofascism is moral clarity—a strong belief that our ideology and theirs are not comparable; that there is a good and an evil and we are on the good side; that Western civilization, for all its faults, is a damn sight better than that which seeks to destroy it.

Taheri-azar and the Duke lacrosse players were all technically innocent until proven guilty. In one case, public officials, the press, and the local community did their best to deny the accused that particular courtesy of American justice. Tellingly, it was not the case of the murderous thug who confessed to attempting to kill his classmates, in a fashion reminiscent of Mohammad Atta, just for being non-Muslims—and then detailed his plans and motivations in letters to a local paper.

UPDATE: I got a classic, lefty comment on my column over at Townhall:

Another question: Why do conservatives so defensive of these Duke players, before the evidence has even come out? It's like you're rooting for the black girl to lose the case, whether she's telling the truth or not.

Apparently, he's not big on the whole presumption of innocence thing. "After all," he says, "they could be guilty, and all you conservative crazies just want to act like they're innocent until they've gone to trial? It's insane!"