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So, if the video mattered...

Reader comment on item: Post-Mortem on the Muhammad Protests

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Oct 3, 2012 at 05:41

As a Christian, I understand why Dr. Pipes thinks that attacks on Muslim sanctities matters. However, I would have liked to have heard our administration issue clearer defenses for our own First Amendment. When our President speaks of how the future must not belong to Islamophobes, he is evading something that is important to our own country, and which he, by solemn oath, is bound to defend.

The major media make quite an industry about attacking Christian sanctities, and even spreading libels (_The Handmaid's Tale_ by Attwood comes to mind)--even to the point where it has becomes more than predictable. Does the response of the Islamic street to a justly obscure video by justly obscure people several months after it was produced mean that I know have the right to the sympathetic understanding of others if I go an shoot missiles into some of the major Hollywood producers' lots or buildings belonging to news outlets? Or, since the Qur'an speaks of Jews being turned into apes and swine somewhere in Surah 2, does that mean the Jews have the right to lynch an imam or two in the streets of New York? Should those of us offended by Mapplethorpe's work invade the premises of the National Endowment for the Arts and start beating people working there?

Further, I gather that the makers of _Innocence of Muslims_ were Copts. Doesn't this in itself suggest that it well behooves the entire Dar-ul-Islam to engage in a bit of soul-searching over its treatment of its religious minorities? Why should Muslims have the right to riot, burn diplomatic missions and churches, when someone issues a cry over the squeezing of his community--and does it by a film that crudely satirizes things that the Qur'an and Hadith actually say about Muhammad? Does the fine-tuned conscience of our "international community" feel no shame or horror that the last Christian communities are being squeezed out of the Fertile Crescent countries? That the murder of apostates from Islam goes unpunished in a vast stretch from Mauretania to Pakistan? That the last Jews in Tunisia, whose presence long predated Islam, are being pressured? That the ancient Jewish communities of Egypt and Iraq, which went back to the times of Jeremiah, are no more?

Why is the world of Islam allowed to remain exempt from respecting minority rights? How can it be that a Turkish scholar is punished for "insulting Turkishness" when he writes that the 1895 and 1915 Anatolian horrors did indeed happen? Why must Saudi Arabia be allowed to get away with a rigorous enforcement of the pact of 'Umar, or even find it relevant, in a day when there are now Byzantine and Sassanian powers set to invade?

I'm glad that our President said that it is impossible to stem the flow of information (or satire). But why did our administration's first instinct appear to be that of coddling the mob's hair-trigger temper? Wouldn't it have done better to ask the OIC why its member states continue to publish official versions of _The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion_, and which of the supposed American anti-Muslim incidents their government-run presses publish to inflame the street have ever been substantiated? Indeed, while I may sympathize with offended pieties even if they're not my own, I still feel constrained to ask why the Islamic world continues to at least seem to encourage violence against everyone else?

I'm a lot more comfortable to reply to someone's taunt of "Misogynist!" with "idolater!" than with a an externally imposed, cynically and insincerely practiced "civility". Maybe the Islamic world needs to grow a thicker skin.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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