Five Best Thursday Columns

Dianne Feinstein on the trial of Sulaiman abu Ghaith, Richard Florida on misunderstanding the creative class, Mehdi Hasan on anti-Semitism among British Muslims, Roy Bourgeois on the call for female Catholic priests, and Irin Carmon on rehabilitating rapists.

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Dianne Feinstein in The Los Angeles Times on the prosecution of Sulaiman abu Ghaith Prosecuting alleged terrorists through the federal justice system isn't just good domestic policy; it's also a way to spread the competence of American democracy abroad, argues California Senator Dianne Feinstein. Feinstein weighs the case of Sulaiman abu Ghaith, the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, who is being tried in a New York City courtroom near Ground Zero for conspiracy to murder American citizens. "Critics complain that he should have been taken to Guantanamo to be detained and interrogated there as an enemy combatant," Feinstein acknowledges. "I disagree; the record of our federal criminal courts is unmatched. The Abu Ghaith case is an excellent opportunity to model for the world what American justice looks like."

Richard Florida at The Daily Beast on the misunderstanding the creative class Richard Florida does not take harsh critiques of his work standing down. Responding to Joel Kotkin's scathing indictment of Florida's argument that dense urban centers thrive due to a core of creative professionals, Florida argues that Kotkin deliberately misconstrued his arguments in order to reach a pre-determined conclusion: that Florida's "creative class" theory is a way of waging class warfare. "Kotkin likes to distract people and play to class and other prejudices with inflammatory," writes Florida. "Real economic growth ... turns on the development of the full talents and capabilities of all our workers," he continues. "And the places that are best suited to that task are our dense, innovative cities—our greatest innovation of all."

Mehdi Hasan in the New Statesman on anti-Semitisim among British Muslims "Anti-Semitism isn't just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it’s routine and commonplace," writes Mehdi Hasan, who was prompted by the anti-Semitic comments recently made by Labour Party politician Nazir Ahmed, who blamed his imprisonment, for hitting and killing a woman while he was texting and driving, on a "Jewish conspiracy" involving the British media. "It is sheer hypocrisy for Muslims to complain of Islamophobia in every nook and cranny of British public life ... and yet ignore the rampant anti-Semitism in our own backyard, Hasan writes. "We cannot credibly fight Islamophobia while making excuses for Judaeophobia."

Roy Bourgeois in The New York Times on the call for female Catholic priests Unlike many other Christian denominations, the Catholic Church has held firm in its belief that only celibate males can occupy positions of power within the Church's hierarchy. Roy Bourgeois, whom the Vatican expelled from the priesthood in November 2012 for vocally supporting gender equality among the priesthood, argues that such conviction amounts to misogyny at best, and a fundamental misreading of Scripture at worst: "In the midst of my sorrow and sadness, I am filled with hope, because I know that one day women in my church will be ordained — just as those segregated schools and churches in Louisiana are now integrated."

Irin Carmon at Salon on rehabilitating rapists The media treatment of the rape trial in Steubenville, Ohio, has sparked plenty of deserved outrage. But it also forced those covering the trial to ask about the efficacy of our criminal justice system in treating sexual offenders, especially teenaged ones. "When CNN's Poppy Harlow offered immediate sympathy to the young men, rage rightly came down on her and her colleagues for failing to focus on the victim’s suffering," Irin Carmon notes. "But ... bemoaning the ruination of [the perpetrators'] lives was the wrong question for more than one reason." Carmon delves into research about recidivism of sexual offenders, and finds evidence that the lives of the Steubenville football players are not, in fact, over: "The answer, surprisingly enough, is that juvenile sex offenders often can and do get better."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.