No More Fanaticism as Usual
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.