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It’s time to stand and be counted

The following is a quote from talk-show host Dennis Prager followed by some comments by friends of mine—comments I’ve manipulated a bit to better express my feelings. Conclusion: I understand that most American Muslems are trying hard to acculturate—blend in to the American culture (I wish all minorities would have that goal)—however, it’s time for them to stand up and be counted. They need to publicly state that Radical Islam does not speak for them. I’m willing to stand with them.

“On April 1, hundreds of enraged Afghan Muslims descended on a United Nations office building in Mazar-i-Sharif and murdered … four Nepalese, a Norwegian, a Swede and a Romanian. … To these people, murdering any non-Muslims they can find is a just and Islamic response to the burning of a Quran. … There are bad people in every religion, in every country and in every group. But we do not know of any group, let alone millions of people, who believe that murder is a proper response to an affront to their religion (or to their country or to their ethnic group). … Isn’t evil done in the name of one’s religion more of an affront than evil done against one’s religion? I suspect this is how nearly every Jew and Christian thinks. The vast majority of Christians would be considerably more affronted by murders of innocents in the name of Christ than by insults … to Christ. Why, then, isn’t the Muslim world more affronted by all the Muslims who shout ‘Allah is the greatest’ while cutting the throats of innocent men, women and children than by illustrations of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper or the burning of a Quran by a crackpot in Florida?” –radio talk-show host Dennis Prager

A number of decent Muslims are undoubtedly affronted, but keep their mouths closed for fear they will receive the same fate as described by Prager. Every “religion” has its radicals, but this one’s radicals seem to want to fester in the dark ages rather than aspire to Nobel Prizes like some of the rest of us. This violence will lead to more and more demonstration of Newton’s Third Law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. When our citizens get wissed off, these bullies will get their hind quarters manipulated if there is any more violence here.

I long for that day that our citizens get mobilized. We have to progress to the point soon where one can safely mock Islam with the same insensitivity commonly accorded other faiths. Why should Islam uniquely be exempt from derision or ridicule? Think of the numerous affronts to Catholics or Baptists (or other “Christian fundamentalists”) or Jews that have been put to paper and the absence of any universal outrage or material consequences. Then come back to the Danish cartoonist with the death fatwah because of both depicting and ridiculing Mohammed—who is not divine, merely a prophet. Because of this I`m conflicted on the Quran burning. While it`s creepy and puerile in one sense, in another it legitimately can be cast as a first step in leveling the playing field insofar as egregious insults to worshippers . Following at least one law of human nature, if it were to happen more frequently the level of outrage for each incidence would diminish. If not, at least we`d suck more extremists out of the woodwork.

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