Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is... Islam

Burning books is a bad idea. Burning the Quran as a protest is a bad idea. So is burning the Bible or the Torah.

One should show some respect for what other people hold to be sacred.

But one should also show some respect for secular symbols that signify community. Burning the American flag is also a bad idea.

And yet, if someone announces that he is going to burn the American flag, his supporters will rally to his defense. They will encourage him. You must understand that he is a performance artist.

If you don't like his art, you need to get over it.

Remember the famous, or infamous art work, Andres Serrano's "Piss Christ." Many people found it grossly offensive. When they expressed that opinion they were told that they were Philistines and that they had to get over it.

For our intellectual elites the propriety of showing the offensive image, or burning the flag, has never been in question. They save their criticism for those who take offense at the piece, accusing them of being intolerant and narrow minded and aesthetically retarded.

When it comes to books and images that Islam holds sacred, there is clearly a double standard.

No one is running around saying that Muslims must learn to be more tolerant of blasphemy, because all other deities are regularly blasphemed, and because blasphemy is part of free expression.

Not at all. On the contrary, people from all walks of life, politicians of every stripe, are begging and pleading with Rev. Terry Jones not to burn a Quran on September 11.

(As I am writing, reports are coming in to the effect that Rev. Jones has called off his auto-da-fe, but that another pastor has sworn to burn his own Quran if Rev. Jones really backs down.)

People do not want Rev. Jones to burn a Quran for a simple reason: they do not want blood on their hands. They do not want to feel guilty for unleashing an orgy of Islamic violence around the world.

And they have good reason to believe that the threats are for real. We all recall what happened when a Danish newspaper published some cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed. And we recall what happened when Newsweek reported, in error, that troops at Gitmo were flushing Qurans down the toilet.

No one is saying that Islam needs to get in better tune with modernity. No one is criticizing the Afghans who were burning the American flag in protest of the possibility that a no-account pastor in Florida, with a flock of dozens, was going to burn a Quran.

While some Muslims have declared that violence is not a proper reaction to a Quran burning, their voices have barely risen above the din. I do recommend Asra Nomani's post on The Daily Beast: Link here.

Are we talking about a religion of peace or a religion of terror.

Take the supposedly conciliatory imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf of Ground Zero mosque fame.

Imam Rauf believes that Americans should submit to his imperious demand. Read his own words: "But if we don't do this right, anger will explode in the Muslim world. If we don't do this correctly, this crisis will become much bigger than the Danish cartoon crisis, which resulted in attacks on Danish embassies in various parts of the world. And we have a much bigger footprint in the Muslim world."

As I said, religion of peace or religion of terror? Conciliation or threat?

Or better, as James Taranto has explained it: "What was initially marketed as a gesture of conciliation has turned into a protection racket...." Link here.

Everyone knows that you cannot keep paying protection. And everyone also knows that the Islamic world is not offering any reciprocal gestures of respect to images and books that the West holds sacred. Is it any wonder that some people are standing up and saying: Enough!

You may know it-- if you don't it will not come as a surprise-- but it is common practice in Saudi Arabia to tear up and throw away Bibles found in the luggage of incoming international passengers.

If Confucius was right to say that the single most important word in ethics is: reciprocity, Islam has not yet achieved normal ethical development.

As I say, someone someday will have to stand up to the reign of Islamic terror. One might reasonably argue that this is not a task that should be undertaken by a pastor in Florida.

But, one should also acknowledge that the reputation of Muslims is going to suffer grievously from this kerfuffle, no matter how it turns out.

Muslims should be aware of the simple fact that by overreacting to the actions of a no-account pastor or a bunch of Danish cartoonists, they are diminishing their reputation in the eyes of the world.

Does this have consequences? Of course, it does.

Consider this: last month Pakistan suffered calamitous flooding. 2.6 million acres were under water. 14 million people were affected. Hundreds of thousands of homes were destroyed. Well over a thousand lives have been lost.

Normally, this kind of human catastrophe that mobilizes the world community. Charity and aid organizations spring into action; telethons raise money to help the suffering citizens; American know-how, both public and private, rides to the rescue.

Only, not this time. The Guardian reported on this last month. Link here. One doubts that anyone sat down and said that they were going to let the Pakistanis fend for themselves. And yet, that is what happened.

Does it matter that Pakistan is one of the major epicenters of international Islamic terror? Does it matter that Pakistan has offered aid and shelter to the Taliban and al Qaeda? Does it matter that Muslims too often demand special consideration for their religion while failing to offer the least respect to anyone else's religion?

It is difficult to define cause and effect here, but I don't think it is too far fetched to suggest that, as they say in the vernacular, what goes around comes around.

15 comments:

Proud Hindu said...

That's because Muslims are a minority in this country. I've been to several different countries and minorities are always protected like that.

In India it's Christians. They do some pretty whack stuff there - like deception conversions and aiding the Naxalite terrorists (Marxists), but it's taboo to do anything against them.

The media elite rally around them and it's the Hindu majority who is taken to task.

Go figure.

Cane Caldo said...

That pastor seems to be a freak, but he's an American freak. He's not doing anything illegal. He's not harming anyone. Islam is all offense all the time, going on fourteen centuries now. It's obscene that our commander in Afghanistan is accusing this American of causing American deaths. Oh really? It's not the guys building IEDs? It's not the shouters of "Death to America! Death to Israel!" under minarets? It's not the flag stomping and burnings at the suggestion of burning a Koran?

I wouldn't do it, but it pisses me off that our purported leaders in government and the media are such sissies.

Anonymous said...

My first thought when I heard about the pastor's plan was to say that it's about time we saw some reaction against the constant hectoring and browbeating coming at us from Muslims and their useful idiots.

When American "leaders" refuse to respond effectively to clear provocations it is inevitable that citizens will respond in their stead with whatever means is available. I'm only surprised it took nine years for something like this to happen.

I fully expect more such reaction in the future (though not necessarily Koran burning). I only hope that future events are better thought out that this one seems to have been.

MajorSensible said...

I don't believe that Rev. Jones actually intended to burn any Qurans. Nor does he need to -- his point has been made very clearly.

First, That even the "moderate" Islamic world has threatened to erupt in an "orgy of violence" at the merest suggestion of Quran-burning makes it very obvious that Islam is not a religion of peace and tolerance.

Secondly, the startling dhimmitude of especially the Secretary of State, but also the President, the mass media, and the liberal intelligentsia, has been exposed.

Third, the Imam Musri (the Florida imam who supposedly brokered the deal to move the Ground Zero mosque in return for not burning Qurans was revealed as a liar. A holy man of Islam blatantly and obviously lied. When the Rev. Jones declared jointly that the deal had been struck, the Imam Musri did not stop him or correct him; only later did he indicate that he was renegeing on his promises. The "flexible morality" of Muslims, in particular among the religious leaders, was fully on display for the world to see.

I do not believe that burning the Quran is a good idea; indeed it is counter to the Christian teachings of responding to hate or violence with love and prayer.

If Rev. Jones had indeed burned Qurans, and people died in the resulting Islamist violence, how is it his fault? Is it not the same as blaming a rape victim, saying "she was asking for it by dressing and/or acting sexy"? Or of blaming a carjacking victim, saying "he was at fault, he shouldn't have been driving a nice car in that part of town"?

How much therapy does it require to be comfortable in the idea that blaming the victim is acceptable?

David said...

Proud Hindu..."I've been to several different countries and minorities are always protected like that"

Religious minorities are certainly not protected in most Muslim countries. Nor can one really say that religious minorities are protected in Russia or in China...even in Greece, there exists religious persecution, of Jehovah's Witnesses for example.

The idea that minorities should be permitted to exist and thrive is actually fairly radical in much of the world.

The Ghost said...

Proud Hindu ...

you need to get out more ... and cut down on the fictional stories ...

Anonymous said...

Instead of burning the Koran, they should read it.

Than they may learn how vile the book is.

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Schneiderman
RE: Actually, You're Both Right....

Muslims should be aware of the simple fact that by overreacting to the actions of a no-account pastor or a bunch of Danish cartoonists, they are diminishing their reputation in the eyes of the world. -- Stuart Schneiderman

....and wrong.

Or rather, they just don't CARE what you think of them. And they continue their terrorizing in order to subjugate whomever they want. They don't care that they are not 'fair' or 'balanced'. Indeed, they see great advantage in being 'unbalanced'. Or maybe you could go preach the gospel in Mecca for US.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....not that anyone REALLY cares about it.]

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Anonymouse
RE: Reading? Burning?

Than they may learn how vile the book is. -- Anonymous

Actually, I think they HAVE read it. And, correlated the words in it with the deeds of its more avid followers.

Hence this 'demonstration'. A dangerous act, but not without it's purposes.

And the people who say, "Well, they brought the attacks thereafter on themselves," are nothing more than the gutless wonders who will allow themselves to be enslaved.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....]

Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: By the Way....

....anyone with an interest in military history will recognize this war as the latest campaign of expansionism on the part of Islam.

The first being after the initial inception, which was stopped at the Battle of Tours in 732.

The Christian counter-offensive is known as the Crusades.

The second expansion effort was under the Ottoman Turks. It was stopped at the Battle of Vienna in 1683.

The 'Wests' counter-offensive came, indirectly, in the First World War when the English and French wound up controlling much of the Middle East, after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

All this business over the last 40 years has been the latest expansionist effort on the part of Islam.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Persistent lot, aren't they?]

Anonymous said...

An interesting discussion here re: WHY JONES IS BURNING A KORAN


http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/017272.html

Anonymous said...

Why Jones is burning a Koran, by Lawrence Auster

From the website of Terry Jones’s Dove World Outreach Center, an article dated September 2 on “Ten Reasons to Burn a Koran.” And here is a follow-up: “Five More Reasons to Burn the Koran.”

At the very least, one must say that Jones’s planned act is not mindless. He is performing a certain act, and he has laid out his reasons for performing it. His reasons are that Islam is anti-Christ, anti the West, anti liberty, and anti human decency. His view is that Islam is a danger to everything we cherish and everything we are. By burning a Koran, he is expressing his complete rejection of Islam, and causing other people to think about why he is rejecting Islam. Since I myself believe that Islam does not belong in the West, how can I condemn a man who is expressing the same idea through a strong symbolic act? An act that is not illegal and is not harming anyone. An act that will force people to think—is Islam the enemy of ourselves and of everything we cherish, or not? Does Islam belong among us, or not?

People are saying that the Koran burning will cause Muslims to kill innocent people. Perhaps it will. But the Danish cartoons caused Muslims to kill innocent people. Islam demands aggressive war against non-Muslims, including the killing of innocents, because from the Muslim point of view there is no such thing as an innocent non-Muslim. The clearest and most frequently repeated message of the Koran, appearing on almost every page, is that all non-Muslims are guilty of the monstrous crime of rejecting Allah, and deserve death and eternal torture. Why should we respect such a book? Why should we respect such a religion? Sooner or later, people in the West (and people in the non-Muslim world generally) must come to recognize the nature and teachings of Islam. They can have that recognition sooner, and prevent much violence, or they can have that recognition much later, only after Muslims have gained substantial power over our societies and get in a position to harm anyone who opposes them. My view is: the sooner the truth comes out, the better; the sooner things come to a head, the safer we will be.

Proud Hindu said...

Ghost, I need "to get out more"???

I've been to 17 countries. How many have YOU been to?

And I don't see how your snarky comment relates to anything I wrote in mine.

From the Orlando Sentenial said...

I ask you: If a sad little man burns some Qurans in the woods, and the media aren't there to film it, is it news?

Of course not.

We created the Rev. Terry Jones from dust. And in two weeks, to dust he shall return. Then we'll move on to the guys who plan to run over the Quran at their monster-truck pull. Whatever it takes to keep your attention.

It is all so truly tragical.

We could help head off such future nonsense if we folded up the circus tent and left Jones alone with his blowtorch and 30 followers.

Maybe if Gen. Petraeus told the media that it isn't Rev. Jones who is endangering troops. That it is our coverage of Rev. Jones. That without us, this book burning would be little more than a grainy video on YouTube.

Put the onus on a responsible party and hope it acts responsibly.

Fat chance.

Mike Thomas can be reached at mthomas@orlandosentinel.com.

Fear the Media said...

The only thing we have to fear is the media. Koran was already burned in 2008. Nobody knew or cared:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/10/us/10media.html?hp