Friday, May 20, 2005

More on the Real Villains

Diana West, writing in the Washington Times, hits the nail square on the head:

As a Pakistani journalist told the New York Times, the Newsweek item confirmed suspicions of "a straight disrespect for the sensitivities of Muslims."

Please. We see the "sensitivities" of some Muslims blowing up other Muslims on a daily basis in Iraq. We saw the sensitivities of Albanian Muslims on a rampage in March 2004, when they destroyed more than 30 Orthodox churches and monasteries in Kosovo. We saw the sensitivities of Taliban Muslims in 2001 when they dynamited the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan. We saw the sensitivities of Palestinian Muslims when, in 2000, they violently obliterated Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. In 2002, Nigerian Muslims took their sensitivities to the streets after This Day newspaper reported on beauty pageant contestants so lovely the prophet Mohammed would "probably have chosen a wife from one of them." Before you could say, "The Koran is in the toilet," more than 200 people lost their lives in riots that also left 11,000 people homeless. Also in 2002, armed Palestinian guerrillas and their sensitivities occupied the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. As the Jerusalem Post reported, "Catholic priests later said that some Bibles were torn up for toilet paper."

I don't recall riots breaking out in St. Peter's Square. Which is why the West still stands on one side of the chasm, and Islam stands on the other. From this vantage point, we can give Newsweek a pass — but not such violently uncivilized behavior.

I'm not inclined to give Newsweek a pass on this. They got caught, and we shouldn't forget it. But they're not responsible for the cultural backwardness of the Muslim world, and we shouldn't try to blame them for it.


Blogger sygamel said...

I suspect the uprising had more to do with the rioters distate for the United States above anything else. There is political advantage for a man like Imran Khan to decry the big, bad US of A.

7:54 AM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Esther said...

As I've said elsewhere, Newsweek was today's excuse. Tomorrow they'll find another. Then again, since when have they really needed an excuse to behave barbaric?

2:10 PM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger sygamel said...

I like to think the true rabble-rousing Muslims are a small slice of the large pie, but I really don't know. I wish I knew.

3:02 PM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger M said...

I do believe that the Muslims who act this way are part of the minority.

That said, I also agree that those "bad apples" deserve the blame for the outcome of those uprisings.

Both the "left" and the "right" dropped the ball on this one. I can't even count how many bloggers I've read over the past week who have claimed that either Newsweek was directly responsible and "had blood on their hands," or that we couldn't blame those who rioted because "how would we feel if the Bible was flushed?"

Both arguments are intellectually bankrupt. The inherent flaw in both of those viewpoints is that no consideration is given to personal responsibility. Isikoff didn't kill anybody. A bunch of irresponsible, homicidal idiots did.

4:21 PM, May 20, 2005  
Blogger Deek Deekster said...

you don't know shit about muslim world, clearly, to typify in such a blanket way an entire way of life. there are many variations of muslim just as catholics are different from mormons are different from baptists. outside of america, we can see what you cannot about your country, muslim and non-muslim alike, in one word: ARROGANCE.

7:17 AM, May 21, 2005  
Anonymous Jadegold said...

Frankly, this is just more racism rearing its ugly head.

Should we blame all Catholics for the deaths caused by Operation Rescue/Lambs of God and the various anti-choice groups who have no problem killing doctors and medical staff?

Should we blame all Christians for the excesses of groups like Christian Identity? How about blaming Mormons for the FLDS?

In reality, idiots like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell have much more power that some splinter sect of Islam.

10:19 AM, May 21, 2005  
Anonymous Kevin said...

In all fairness, St. Peter's Square has seen it's share of religious intolerance over the centuries.

The chief difference between that, and related examples such as the Salem Witch Trials, and the examples you've cited seems to be that the so-called Western civilizations have progressed further. And I don't think the influence of ancient Greek philosophers on that progression can be overstated. Particularly with respect to the Catholic Church. A newfound fascination with Greek philosophy seems to have been a congruent event that accompanied Europe's migration out of the Dark Ages.

For a multitude of reasons Islam has resisted letting go of it's inherently conservative philosophy. Predictably that has led to clashes with the significantly more progressive Western civilizations.

It's worth noting here that the Newsweek piece hasn't been proven false in it's core assertions. The retraction was for how it was sourced, not for what it said.

What's not getting even a fraction of the attention that Newsweek is getting is Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita's rejection of the Newsweek story on the basis that they (the Pentagon) can't substantiate it and then turning around and offering his own unsubstantiated assertion that the Muslim detainees might be the ones desecrating the Koran themselves. It's such an intellectually vapid flip-flop that it seems to me to actually lend credence to the Newsweek allegations. Why else would DeRita float such an absurd theory if not out of desparation to deflect attention away from the Newsweek allegations?

3:49 PM, May 21, 2005  

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