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Friday, February 3, 2006

No More Fanaticism as Usual

Posted by on February 3 at 17:35 PM

The last time the Islamic world was losing its shit over inconsequential crap, Salman Rushdie wrote an absolutely brilliant op-ed for the New York Times. Here’s a sample, but you should read the whole thing. It’s behind the firewall on the NYT’s site, unfortunately, but if you Google “no more fanaticism as usual” you’ll find the piece on plenty of other websites.

It’s been quite a week in the wonderful world of Islam.

Nigerian Islam’s encounter with that powerhouse of subversion, the Miss World contest, has been unedifying, to put it mildly. First some of the contestants had the nerve to object to a Shariah court’s sentence that a Nigerian woman convicted of adultery be stoned to death and threatened to boycott the contest—which forced the Nigerian authorities to promise that the woman in question would not be subjected to the lethal hail of rocks. And then Isioma Daniel, a Christian Nigerian journalist, had the effrontery to suggest that if the prophet Muhammad were around today, he might have wanted to marry one of these swimsuit hussies himself.

Well, obviously, that was going too far. True-believing Nigerian Muslims then set about the holy task of killing, looting and burning while calling for Ms. Daniel to be beheaded, and who could blame them? Not the president of Nigeria, who put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the hapless journalist…

Finally, let’s not forget the horrifying story of the Dutch Muslim woman, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has had to flee the Netherlands because she said that Muslim men oppressed Muslim women, a vile idea that so outraged Muslim men that they issued death threats against her….

Where, after all, is the Muslim outrage at these events? As their ancient, deeply civilized culture of love, art and philosophical reflection is hijacked by paranoiacs, racists, liars, male supremacists, tyrants, fanatics and violence junkies, why are they not screaming?

At least in Iran the students are demonstrating. But where else in the Muslim world can one hear the voices of the fair-minded, tolerant Muslim majority deploring what Nigerian, Egyptian, Arab and Dutch Muslims are doing? Muslims in the West, too, seem unnaturally silent on these topics. If you’re yelling, we can’t hear you…. The Islamic world today is being held prisoner, not by Western but by Islamic captors, who are fighting to keep closed a world that a badly outnumbered few are trying to open. As long as the majority remains silent, this will be a tough war to win. But in the end, or so we must hope, someone will kick down that prison door.

UPDATE: Okay, Michelle Malkin is a dangerous nut. But you know what they say about stopped clocks: Malkin has posted pictures on her website taken at a protest in London. Click here to see what the delicate flowers who burst into tears when someone draws an unflattering cartoon of Mohammed have to say. Those Danish cartoonists are so rude! And the Islam-means-peace crowd, by contrast, is so sensitive! (I’m not a regular reader of Malkin’s site—I spotted this on Andrew Sullivan.)

Like Rushide says, the fair-minded, tolerant Muslim majority is unnaturally silent.

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I think Khomeini painted death to the name of Salman Rushdie because of the grace Rushdie brings to his pointed thoughts. His truth is far more dangerous to men like Khomeini than the truths of men like Bush. Rushdie speaks with the grace of a truth feminist - one who shows compassionate spirit. It is ironic that the condemning was made on February 14th, a hallmark holiday.

Of course, many of the London protestors are covering their faces. Cowards.

Perhaps this is copyright infringement to reprint this but the BBC website said re the Muslim protests in the UK:
"On Saturday more protesters, organised by the Hizb ut-Tahrir group, gathering outside the Danish embassy in London.
Police later said two men had been arrested near the embassy during the protest.
"They were arrested to prevent a breach of the peace, after a search by officers found leaflets including cartoons of the prophet Mohammed," a Met spokeswoman said."

this seems to say cops arrested people for possesing copies of the cartoons BUT not protestors who were holding signs bragging they would murder and committ terrorism.

Those London signs are very similar to Fred Phelps's "God Hates Fags", "Thank God For 9/11", "Thank God For IEDs" signs. Phelps is so far out beyond the fringe even the Falwellites ignore him, but these London protesters are handled with kid gloves. They both glorify 9-11 too. But only one of them represents the side that actually carries out that sort of attack.

C'mon, Dan. Take the next logical step. Publish the cartoons.

The NYTimes has it right. From Craig Smith's "Adding Newsprint to the Fire":

EUROPEANS hoisted the banner of press freedom last week in response to Muslim anger over a dozen Danish cartoons, some of them mocking the Prophet Muhammad. But something deeper and more complex was also at work: The fracas grew out of, and then fed, a war of polemics between Europe's anti-immigrant nationalists and the fundamentalist Muslims among its immigrants. "One extreme triggers the other," said Jonas Gahr Store, Norway's foreign minister, arguing that both sides want to polarize the debate at the expense of the moderate majority.

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