Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Real Villains

Jeff Jacoby's column in the Boston Globe today is interesting. He makes the point that the real villains in the riots following Newsweek's unfounded report of abuse of the Qur'an are the Muslims who rioted. He cites several incidents of religious abuse and intolerance which actually happened, but in the wake of those incidents there was no wild rioting among the world's Christians, Jews, and Buddhists. Jacoby said,

Christians, Jews, and Buddhists don't lash out in homicidal rage when their religion is insulted. They don't call for holy war and riot in the streets. It would be unthinkable for a mainstream priest, rabbi, or lama to demand that a blasphemer be slain. But when Reuters reported what Mohammad Hanif, the imam of a Muslim seminary in Pakistan, said about the alleged Koran-flushers -- ''They should be hung. They should be killed in public so that no one can dare to insult Islam and its sacred symbols" -- was any reader surprised?

The Muslim riots should have been met by outrage and condemnation. From every part of the civilized world should have come denunciations of those who would react to the supposed destruction of a book with brutal threats and the slaughter of 17 innocent people. But the chorus of condemnation was directed not at the killers and the fanatics who incited them, but at Newsweek.

Newsweek deserved to be criticized for it's inaccurate report and the motives behind it, just like other mainstream media organizations caught with their pants down have been criticized. But we're so bound-up in political correctness and fear of irritating the wild-eyed primitives of the Muslim world that we don't criticize the real villains. Worse than that, our government falls all over itself pandering to them. Witness the fawning statements of no less a luminary that the Secretary of State herself. Jacoby concluded,

Yes, Islam is disrespected. That will only change when throngs of passionate Muslims show up for rallies against terrorism, and when rabble-rousers trying to gin up a riot over a defiled Koran can't get the time of day.

Don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

12 Comments:

Blogger John Walter said...

I would take the Koran-abuse-as-outrage charge more seriously if the people held at Gitmo weren't the same folks who habitually used mosques as weapon caches and minarets as sniper positions.

9:05 AM, May 19, 2005  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Fine post, and I couldn't agree more. I was astounded to see how many Americans took the incident as an excuse to attack the mainstream media (which is imploding very nicely with no outside help). Why are so few people understanding what this really means? We are trying to spread democracy to irrational people. And talk about the soft bigotry of low expectations! Why would we tolerate such irrational and violent conduct in Muslims when we would never accept it from any other group? When the calls for an Islamic reformation replace the calls for jihad, our democracy strategy may have a chance at success.

1:53 PM, May 19, 2005  
Anonymous Jade said...

I would take the Koran-abuse-as-outrage charge more seriously if the people held at Gitmo weren't the same folks who habitually used mosques as weapon caches and minarets as sniper positions.

Problem is, we don't know if most of the detainees at Gitmo are the "same folks."

So far, we've released about 250 of an estimated 700. Ask yourself how you'd like to be detained for 3-4 years, without outside contact.

2:34 PM, May 19, 2005  
Blogger Esther said...

But we're so bound-up in political correctness and fear of irritating the wild-eyed primitives of the Muslim world that we don't criticize the real villains.

Well said. Jonathan -- absolutely too.

Ask yourself how you'd like to be detained for 3-4 years, without outside contact.

Jade, if I were at war and caught on the battlefield and stuck in Gitmo, I think I'd just be grateful that they didn't simply shoot me instead so as to not have to hear others asking for my release. And I meant this sincerely -- not with a smart ass tone which I know it could sound like.

4:36 PM, May 19, 2005  
Blogger MaxedOutMama said...

Tom, have you seen Bill Whittle's posts?
http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000125.html
http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000126.html

5:06 PM, May 19, 2005  
Blogger Tom Carter said...

Esther, I think if I were a prisoner at Guantanamo I'd be overjoyed that I wasn't being treated like my own people treat prisoners. The anti-American, anti-military voices among us have real problems with perspective.

MOM, I read part of the first post. Sounded pretty good. I'll try to finish them when I get some more time.

5:45 PM, May 19, 2005  
Anonymous Jadegold said...

Jade, if I were at war and caught on the battlefield and stuck in Gitmo,

Again, most of these folks weren't swept up on a battlefield. In many cases, they were detained on the mere suspicion they were involved with AQ or the Taliban.

6:01 PM, May 19, 2005  
Blogger Tran Sient said...

The rioters are certainly to blame for rioting. That should not excuse the blantant bias of the press or there amateur practices.

They whine about blogs being unedited and reactionary, yet practice the same thing.

7:35 PM, May 19, 2005  
Blogger Junebugg said...

Some people never get over the school yard mentality. I yell the loudest, make the most threats and fight the most, so that makes me right. I work with some guys like that. Not political, but in any discussion they think if they yell loudest their side has won. Mobs of fanatics lead by fanatics will never understand the ideals behind democracy. It's a shame that those fools make all their countrymen look bad.

11:22 PM, May 19, 2005  
Blogger Gindy said...

"Esther, I think if I were a prisoner at Guantanamo I'd be overjoyed that I wasn't being treated like my own people treat prisoners."

Amen.

12:44 AM, May 20, 2005  
Anonymous G Davis said...

...the wild-eyed primitives of the Muslim world...

We are trying to spread democracy to irrational people.

Perhaps a couple of examples of why the riots are happening to begin with?

Our admin has lead us into a position of nation building in an arena that is all to familiar with being made over in someone else's image. A long and storied abuse history of a populace(s) by *more advanced* nations looking to control the region's mineral deposits.

Bush says today the rioters/insurgents are inspired by an ideology *barbaric and backward*...way to win friends and influence populaces.


To be fair, Newsweek should have learned the lessons learned by CBS and deserves their share of scorn.

But this was a 10 line item not a cover story...it just happened to give the rioters/insurgents the match they needed to light the already existing powderkeg of resentment toward the arrogance of western nations looking to rebuild the region on the way to their insidious quest for oil.

In the interest of further fairness, the larger Muslim community could go a long way toward stopping the self killing by being more vocal. I suspect years of suppression, both internal and external, has given us a generation of Muslims that thinks twice or three times before speaking out.

What I do know is commentary as displayed here and that of our dear President will not make it any easier for the larger Muslim community to rise in support.

10:45 PM, May 20, 2005  
Anonymous AHS MilBlogger said...

Hold on just a second. Since when does the mainstream media pin blame on the actual culprits? Based upon my reading of the media over the past 20 years or so, I would think that the media's position would be one which removed all responsibility from the offending rioters and blamed the police for not stopping them, society for not providing them with enough dignified employment, and greedy capitalists for exploiting them. What is so special about this occasion, that the media would want to blame the culprits?

1:31 PM, May 22, 2005  

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