Friday, March 2, 2007


The local paper had the headline "Arrest blamed on culture clash" to describe an arrest in Raleigh, North Carolina, of a Lebanese man for lewd family photos. The local Lebanese community rallied behind him, saying that Charbel Hamaty was merely being affectionate in a culturally normal way, and that "there are innocent explanations for all of this." Perhaps, but when Daddy kisses his infant's penis on film and has his six-year-old stepdaughter do likewise, Americans have to ask whether that is the sort of cultural norm we want to welcome. At this writing, the American-born mother is out on bond, and the kids have been taken away from the pervert family. Furthermore, Hamaty's work visa has expired and he has not registered with federal authorities as post-911 laws require, so he may be targeted for deportation. But that situation would be moot if he is convicted of the most serious charge and sentenced to life in prison.

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