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What's The Point?

Reader comment on item: How the Cartoon Protests Harm Muslims [by Leading to a Separation of Civilizations]

Submitted by orange yonason (United States), Feb 19, 2006 at 01:29


There are those who criticize Jewish scripture as being "violent" based on taking portioins out of context, and misinterpreting them. For example, "and eye for an eye" sounds pretty primitive, until you learn that what it has always meant is monitary compensation, i.e., the "value" of the person's eye must be payed for putting it out. If the victim was a young surgeon who can no longer practice medicine, that could get quite expensive.

This is why I routinely don't criticize Islam based on some of what sounds pretty outlandish in the Koran, as tempting as that is. I think it is much better to base my opinions on the behavior of the practitioners of a religion, than on their literature. It isn't their literature but their actions that matter, and in the category of gratuitous violence Islam's adherents outclass even the worst fascists. That's the point, and don't let their propagandists get you to think otherwise.

One of the most relevant and poignent elucidations of this is made by Brigitte Gabriel, who says:

"America and the West are doomed to failure in this war unless they stand up and identify the real enemy. Islam."

It isn't that statement of hers, but the reasons for it, that I find tremendously moving:

"I was ten years old when my home exploded around me burying me under the rebel(sic) [rubble] .... My only crime was that I was a Christian .... I learned at 10 years old the meaning of the word "infidel." ....
As a victim of Islamic terror, I was amazed when I saw Americans waking up on September 12th 2001 asking themselves "Why do they hate us?" ... Simply put, they hate me and you because we are defined in their eyes by one simple word, "infidels."
"The news pictures and video of these events represents a canvas of hate decorated by different nationalities who share one common ideology of hate, bigotry and intolerance derived from one source. Authentic Islam. An Islam that is awakening from centuries of slumber to re-ignite its wrath against the infidel and dominate the world. An Islam which has declared "Intifada" on the West."

A quick scan of the news reveals:

"Riots continuue in Pakistan...
...A Pakistani cleric has offered a million dollar prize to whoever murders 'the cartoonist'."

LAGOS, Nigeria (CNN) -- Sixteen people were killed and 11 churches were burned Saturday in Nigeria as part of the continuing violence

At least 10 people were killed in clashes between protesters and Libyan police http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/living/religion/13901819.htm

These are not the actions of adherents of a "peaceful" religion. But that's really no surprise to anyone who knows better. As Ann Coulter observes:
"it's not exactly a scoop that some Muslims are engaging in violence. A front-page story would be 'Offended Muslims remain calm'."

And, no, it isn't just a minority of outsiders who are responsible. When the vast majority share the goals of the rioters, condemn the victims and don't punish the perps, then the rioters are not outsiders, but true representatives of the norms of the society they live in.

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