Friday, February 24, 2012

Obama's Latest Apology

You don’t have to believe Sarah Palin. You don’t have to believe Newt Gingrich. You don’t even have to believe me.

If you want to know whether President Obama was right or wrong to apologize for an inadvertent burning of some Qurans, you need but read the news from Afghanistan.

Then ask yourself, what does the Times mean by “despite?” And what does it mean by “protests?”

The Taliban is using the incident to foment holy war and insurrection; the Times sees “protests.” In place of "despite" how about "because." The Afghans see the American apology as a sign of weakness and thus use it as an occasion to assert their own special kind of false pride.

Under normal circumstances if you are angry with someone and he apologizes, your anger will dissipate.

Under abnormal circumstances, that is, when nations are at war, an apology is a sign of weakness, an intimation of defeat.

As we watch Muslim fury over the incident, we should be reminded that anyone who brings a Bible into Saudi Arabia will have it confiscated at the airport and destroyed.

No one finds anything defamatory and insulting about that. No one expects the Saudi authorities to apologize for their blatant disrespect for the religion of others.

If Afghans (and Saudis) wish to earn the respect of other people in the world they would do well to heed some advice in a book they universally abhor: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

If you cannot show respect for the beliefs and customs of other people don’t expect to receive any in return.

If you fail to respect others but demand respect by committing acts of terror, you will have lost the respect of others and your own dignity.


Anonymous said...

i think there is a variation of the Golden Rule in Islam:
"Not one of you truly believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself." -
The Prophet Muhammad, 13th of the 40 Hadiths of Nawawi.

Dan B.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I suspected that there was something similar in the Quran... but, isn't it interesting that it is about brothers, not about others or neighbors?

Anonymous said...

Everybody's brother is an other?


n.n said...

Islam is a religion with imperial ambitions. After conquering and controlling so many nations and subjugating so many people, they continue to seethe since their efforts failed in Europe, India, Russia, etc. Having failed in their military campaigns, they have found that subversion from within is effective, especially when aided by insiders who share a sympathetic ideology.

It's interesting that Obama did not demand an apology for the two murdered soldiers under his command. Apparently, their lives are worth less than a few Korans.

There is also the outstanding matter of several thousand destroyed bibles in 2009. Obama has not apologized for their desecration. And yet the Christians did not run amuck. Not in America and not anywhere else.

It would seem that the principles engendered by each faith are not equivalent.

As for Obama, it's not clear what faith influences his principles.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

I would add my own understanding, to the effect that when Islam has once conquered a land Muslims consider that it must be theirs forever. Thus, bin Ladin wanted to take back Andalousia and Muslims consider that Israel still belongs to them.

wolfwalker said...

"Under normal circumstances if you are angry with someone and he apologizes, your anger will dissipate."

I think you need to add something to this: in Western culture and under some circumstances, an apology is usually sufficient to dissipate anger. Islamic culture is not Western culture.

I'd also note that a simple apology is often not enough even in Western culture. When material damage has been done, material recompense is usually required. If the wrongdoer doesn't offer recompense on his own, we have courts to force him to.

But that's a quibble, offered mainly to show "things aren't always as simple as they look." For the most part, I agree that the rioting in Afghanistan is far out of proportion to the actual offense - if indeed any offense was committed at all. At least one account I've heard says that no offense was committed, that the Army was doing the right thing under Islamic law. According to that version of events, the Korans in question had been defaced by others writing in them, and burning is the prescribed method of disposal for a defaced Koran.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Thank you for the clarification... your points are well taken...