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Crazy Dude of the Day

..has to be former Liberian president Charles Taylor, who I suspect is a crazy dude most, if not all, days.

Question is, is he now a crazy Jew?

charles-taylorFormer Liberian president Charles Taylor, on trial in the Hague for alleged war crimes committed during the civil war in Sierra Leone, has adopted Judaism, one of his wives said.

The former warlord is on trial in the Special Court for Sierra Leone for allegedly encouraging atrocities during that country’s civil war, which ended in 2002.

On a broadcast aired last week, Victoria Taylor told the BBC World Service’s Peter Ndoro that Taylor “is now a Jew. He’s practicing Judaism.”

Asked if Taylor believes his newfound faith will aid him in his trial, his wife suggested he does.

“Oh yes, I have seen a lot of transformation in my husband,” she said, “and I know he truly wants to serve God with all his heart, all his mind and all his might.”

And what was the catalyst for this supposed spiritual transformation?

In fact, Taylor found his Judaism upon entering the courtroom, she said.

“When he got to The Hague, he got to know that he really, really wanted to be a Jew. And he wanted to convert to Judaism. And that’s what he has done… He wants to know deeply about God and all about creation, and he wants to serve God accordingly and immediately.”

Justice Richard Lussick is the presiding judge of the case. Sounds like a Jewish name. Just saying.

Meanwhile, I’m guessing Taylor hasn’t quite got the whole Jew thing down pat yet.

His wife insists, however, that he remains a believing Christian.

“He wants to follow the two religions,” she said, adding that while he had questions concerning Christianity, “of course, he does believe in Christ.”

Update: Looking at a court transcript, and it seems Taylor has put his “Judaism” to good use.

PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you, Mr Koumjian. Mr Anyah?

MR ANYAH: Yes, good morning, Madam President. Good
morning, your Honours. Good morning, counsel. For the Defence appearing are Mr Terry Munyard and myself, Morris Anyah.

With respect to the absence of Mr Taylor, if it please the
chamber Mr Taylor, as your Honours know, is of the Jewish faith and today is the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashana. He did call me this morning to indicate he would not be in attendance, but he did expressly give us his consent to proceed in his absence and we are hopeful that your Honours can accommodate that request.

PRESIDING JUDGE: Thank you. Allow me I to confer.

[Trial Chamber conferred]

We note Mr Taylor’s wish to observe his day of – I’m not
sure if it’s a day of worship or a day of holiday, but in any
event a religious day and his acquiescence for the trial to
continue in his absence in accordance with Rule 60 and we grant that request

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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