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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Email From a Reader…

Posted by on February 11 at 17:28 PM

When there is an act of terrorism committed somewhere in the world by ONE Islamic extremist, aren’t we all cautioned by Muslims (and others) to not lump them all together?  Blame the terrorist, they say, not the religion as a whole. Then why aren’t Muslims themselves now practicing what they preach?  TWELVE people drew these cartoons, yet a great many Muslims are taking it out on nations as a whole. Danish tourists are now warned their lives are in danger when travelling to predominately Islamic nations. My point? Why aren’t these same Muslims who have warned us not to judge someone based on their religion, now doing the exact same thing by judging someone based on their nationality? Hypocrisy.

There’s more hypocrisy to be found when you look at the issued of how often some Muslims speak offensively about other religions. Most of us in the western world have no idea how much other religions and peoples are slandered, degraded, and insulted on a daily basis in much of the Islamic world.  Insulted in their schools, their mosques, in their newspapers, and in countless other forums.  It seems to me that if they don’t want others to insult their religion, a good place for them to start would be to stop insulting and degrading other religions, themselves. Saudi Arabia’s chief cleric is calling for the author and publishers of the cartoon to be put on trial and punished.  Why doesn’t this same chief cleric call on the Muslim authors and publishers of books and newspapers that slander non-Islamic religions to be put on trial and punished?  Hypocrisy.

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Uh no.

You would have a parallel if Moslems in general had said the 9/11 attacks were "of course offensive, but not a crime." But they didn't -- the majority of Moslems say that terrorism is wrong, and their countries consider it a crime.

So the "stereotype" or "generalization" that Westerners don't consider blasphemy a crime and don't believe it should be prevented or punished is correct. We do in fact say that blasphemous cartoons are offensive but not criminal.

Not all Westerners believe in free speech, unfortunately, but most of us do, and so we deserve to be painted with that broad brush.

As far as that other thing, well thinking your own religion is special is kind of the definition of a true believer, isn't it? If you think Islam is the one and only truth, then what harm is there in putting down all those other false beliefs? It's only unbelievers like me who think of Islam as just another religion that should be given equal respect or disrespect as all the others.

So, nice try, but I don't think we can all just get along.

Yeah ironic that if those of us in America "boycotted" the way those in the Muslim world are so smugly doing now, we would be sued for discrimination. No Dane could get a job in an Islamic country right now due to their anger at the actions of about 12 Danes, but if I turned down a job applicant as a protest for the behavior of about a billion Muslims they would sue, sue, sue! There were a few Muslims who sued cause they weren't let on a plane right after 9/11, as though there wasn't a valid (although paranoid) threat. There are some things about the west that they take to quickly.

Well, after Tim McVeigh killed 168 people, would you have banned white Christian men from boarding a plane (or renting a Ryder truck)?

Now if you're talking about parking that V8 4x4 and riding a bike, then you might have a reasonable counterpart to boycotting Danish cheese. And I assure you, I've never been sued for not buying 40 gallons of gas a week.

The Middle East is a mess. Everyone on the planet who has picked up a newspaper knows this. This isn't about the problems in the Middle East, it's about the problems in Europe.

Following your logic, you might as well ignore the Holocaust because Jews in Israel are racist and oppressive against Palestinians.

Again, the reason people are calling on the cartoons' publishers to be put on trial is because there are strict laws in Denmark against racial "incitement" and hate speech. If you published a cartoon of a big-nosed Jew with a swastika on his yarmulke, you'd go to jail.

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