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Why would a mob destroy a thing of beauty?

Reader comment on item: L'Institut d'Égypte – In Memoriam

Submitted by Prashant (United States), Dec 29, 2011 at 05:06

Dear Dr Pipes:

This is a matter that psychologists should discuss and analyze. Your list of things of historical importance destroyed by Islamic mobs indicates the amount of hate that Islamic societies carry for things that are not Islamic. The geographical spread of this destruction also indicates that it is a world wide phenomenon. Further, the thing that Islamic mobs destroy don't have to be subject of prolong dispute (as Babri Mosque was in India in Ayodhya): if a thing is revered and it is not Islamic, it is a target for being destroyed by the Islamic mobs.

Monotheism is a beautiful invention/realization -- God does not have to be prayed in a physical form and no physical form can be exactly equivalent to God. But Islam probably recommends a hateful version of monotheism in which all physical bodies are subject to disrespect and hate (specially if they are non-Islamic). Why else would Muslim crowds destroy things like Bamiyan Buddha and L'Institut d' Égypte?

Islamic ethics is based on service and praise to Allah. And it is based on advancing the interest of the Islamic ummah. It is not based on the spirit of reciprocity and universal good. Unfortunately, Allah is not available to advise us on a minute by minute basis and, thus, the decision about how to act in a situation falls on the individual. And since the principles of universal good and reciprocity are not available to Islamic mobs, the only ethical standard that remains available to them is whether an action is good for the islamic ummah or not. Preserving an object of beauty created by a non-Islamic culture serves no purpose for the ummah -- hence the destruction.

Submitting....

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