Friday, February 03, 2006

Both Ways

Last September, the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published a dozen cartoons making fun of Islam for its religious intolerance and links to terrorism. Those cartoons have since been reprinted by various newspapers across the world. Muslims have condemned the cartoons; and they've chosen to express their anger at being portrayed as intolerant terrorists by donning masks, grabbing assault rifles, and storming European embassies.

Last year, Newsweek reported that a US soldier had flushed a copy of the Koran down a toilet. The Muslim world erupted in absolute furor. It was a front-page story for several weeks, even in Western newspapers. The entire world was outraged at the purported actions of the United States. Muslim leaders condemned our country. When the report was later shown to be false, there was no apology.

In March 2004, four Americans were ambushed in Iraq, shot, then dragged through the streets, hung from a bridge and burned. The Associated Press printed photographs of the crowd. Iraqi men, women, and children were surrounding the massacre, all of them smiling and all of them cheering. Muslim leaders kept silent.

Muslim "insurgents" routinely kidnap American and European civilians. They demand something in return for the hostages' release, then broadcast a video of each hostage being murdered and decapitated. It's become so common that it barely makes headlines anymore. Muslim leaders keep silent.

Israel lives in a de facto state of war. They're a nation of six million Jews surrounded by 220 million Arabs who want to kill them, and their closest neighbor just elected a terrorist organization devoted to the extermination of Jews to lead its government. Muslim leaders remained silent.

Jay Severin is fond of saying, "Not all Muslims are terrorists. But so far, all the terrorists have been Muslim." He's right. Not all Muslims are terrorists; and generally, I don't believe we can hold religious leaders responsible for the actions of a few fanatics from among a billion worshippers. If those leaders choose to keep silent, so be it. But the moment they join the debate to criticize a cartoon, they lose that privilege and their silence on every other issue becomes fair game.

For the record: Muhammad wasn't simply a prophet. He was a soldier, and Muslims consider his honor to be sacred. If I were going to draw a cartoon lampooning Muhammad's modern image, I might point out that every Muslim terrorist begins his jihad by pulling a ski cap over his head. Even Hitler never wore a mask.

2 Comments:

At February 04, 2006 5:34 PM, Blogger Mayhemystic said...

Incendiary. Blunt (despite its eloquence). Certain facts are neglected that would have given it more balance and to shut up those who would complain. Here are SOME of them.

It is written in the Koran in bold and blunt text that The Prophet forbid ANYONE to perform any form of violence onto any enemy UNTIL the enemy had struck first. Pre-emptive wars as they are now called would be considered apostasy and doom one to damnnation. The early followers of Mohammed were the victims of terrorism, and so would weep to learn that their descendants are committing it. Innocents like women and children are to be forbidden targets during battle. Moreover, The Prophet prayed for peace. He just happened to be good at war and required to resort to it to defend his people.

None of that changes the fact that -- as usual -- you are perfectly and entirely right. I'm sure, in fact, that you know everything I'm telling you. You rightly feel that mentioning his honor as a soldier (if not his reluctance to be one) ought to be enough in a "fair and balanced" dialogue. But all things are NOT equal (and Bill O'Reilley is also neither fair nor balanced).

Classical Islam was amazingly "LIberal" in the British sense of the word -- it was considered wisest and most moral to mind one's own damned business and only interfere in situations in which one's welfare or the welfare of innocents was being unjustly infringed upon. It bore no resemblance to the idiocy that much of the Islamic world has fallen into of late. Put bluntly, these these extremists are NOT MUSLIMS if we are to take the Koran as the guide for being one.

Case in point: Christians and Jews are "Men of the book" and are this guaranteed liberty and respect both on Earth and in Heaven. Essentially, The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) saw those of these faiths as his brothers and sisters worshiping the same God with different vocabulary. There certainly could be no excuse for the genocidal temperament currently rife in the Middle East. Again, you likely are well aware of this. It needs to be put in black print, as many will assume that you do not because they are bigots.

Do excuse the response, especially if it perceived to be overly and inappropriately didactic. My concern is that the general public and the bigoted few who read this will not understand your point and appreciate it for what it really is. You are pointing out the "pink elephant in the living room" which others are doing their utmost to explain away as an oversized table with an ugly tablecloth. To such bigots, facts may well be irrelevant, but they can ignore them for only so long.

These savages have strayed from the message of charity and justice that The Prophet gave them, just as the West has strayed from the message of love that their Christ gave them. These people have no right to call themselves Muslims. They have no right to complain at their treatment by the International community. They have no right to expect mercy from Allah, as justice must now be served instead.

I am not Muslim. I am sympathetic to Sufism for various reasons, but am not of any faith (as again you are well aware). I respect the mission of The Prophet. Having said that, I must concede that I hate those murderers who drape his name on them as though to hide their sins.

 
At February 04, 2006 5:35 PM, Blogger Mayhemystic said...

Incendiary. Blunt (despite its eloquence). Certain facts are neglected that would have given it more balance and to shut up those who would complain. Here are SOME of them.

It is written in the Koran in bold and blunt text that The Prophet forbid ANYONE to perform any form of violence onto any enemy UNTIL the enemy had struck first. Pre-emptive wars as they are now called would be considered apostasy and doom one to damnnation. The early followers of Mohammed were the victims of terrorism, and so would weep to learn that their descendants are committing it. Innocents like women and children are to be forbidden targets during battle. Moreover, The Prophet prayed for peace. He just happened to be good at war and required to resort to it to defend his people.

None of that changes the fact that -- as usual -- you are perfectly and entirely right. I'm sure, in fact, that you know everything I'm telling you. You rightly feel that mentioning his honor as a soldier (if not his reluctance to be one) ought to be enough in a "fair and balanced" dialogue. But all things are NOT equal (and Bill O'Reilley is also neither fair nor balanced).

Classical Islam was amazingly "LIberal" in the British sense of the word -- it was considered wisest and most moral to mind one's own damned business and only interfere in situations in which one's welfare or the welfare of innocents was being unjustly infringed upon. It bore no resemblance to the idiocy that much of the Islamic world has fallen into of late. Put bluntly, these these extremists are NOT MUSLIMS if we are to take the Koran as the guide for being one.

Case in point: Christians and Jews are "Men of the book" and are this guaranteed liberty and respect both on Earth and in Heaven. Essentially, The Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) saw those of these faiths as his brothers and sisters worshiping the same God with different vocabulary. There certainly could be no excuse for the genocidal temperament currently rife in the Middle East. Again, you likely are well aware of this. It needs to be put in black print, as many will assume that you do not because they are bigots.

Do excuse the response, especially if it perceived to be overly and inappropriately didactic. My concern is that the general public and the bigoted few who read this will not understand your point and appreciate it for what it really is. You are pointing out the "pink elephant in the living room" which others are doing their utmost to explain away as an oversized table with an ugly tablecloth. To such bigots, facts may well be irrelevant, but they can ignore them for only so long.

These savages have strayed from the message of charity and justice that The Prophet gave them, just as the West has strayed from the message of love that their Christ gave them. These people have no right to call themselves Muslims. They have no right to complain at their treatment by the International community. They have no right to expect mercy from Allah, as justice must now be served instead.

I am not Muslim. I am sympathetic to Sufism for various reasons, but am not of any faith (as again you are well aware). I respect the mission of The Prophet. Having said that, I must concede that I hate those murderers who drape his name on them as though to hide their sins.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home