And as a very practical matter, I just want him to understand that this stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women who are in uniform .... Look, this is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaida. You could have serious violence in places like Pakistan and Afghanistan.We must not characterize Islam as inherently violent and intolerant, or do anything else that might antagonize Muslims. Why? Because if we do, they will hunt us down and kill us and generally run amok.
Say what again?
Of course, we have all heard, repeatedly: "Oh, it's only a tiny minority of Muslims who want to hunt us down and kill us and generally run amok!"
And: "The problem is not Islam, the problem is fundamentalism, and all religions have their fundamentalists!!"
One wonders, though: Where are the tiny minorities of Hindu, Sikkh, Buddhist, etc, "fundamentalists" that are out to kill us if we insult or otherwise antagonize them?
When was the last time you heard someone insist, "Don't say anything bad about the Dalai Lama. If you do, you will be putting American lives at risk! I mean, sure, he's a peacenik -- but a tiny minority of his followers are vicious psychopaths!"???
In Livermore, California, residents have been complaining about the big Hindu temple there (the Shiva-Vishnu Temple). "Many times their festivities are two to three days long, 24 hours a day. We ask them not to wake up the neighbors, but they basically say it's their religious right," one resident told the local press. The city planning commission has worked with residents and Temple officials to try to "make some accommodations", but plans to further expand the already 25 year old Temple are moving forward. So far, no one has thought to raise concerns about retaliation by Hindu fanatics because of the protests.
In 2008, residents of Richfield Ohio (just outside Cleveland) fought against a proposal to build a Hindu Temple there. There were even accusations that the “Concerned Richfield Homeowners” were, at least in part, motivated by bigotry, although they claimed to only be concerned about "traffic and noise and the influx of strangers into the residential neighborhood." But, once again, there were no dire warnings about the dangers of aggravating the dreaded Hindutva terrorists.
Just this April, the Hindu Temple of Georgia auctioned off the last of its sacred statues of Hindu deities. The Temple went into bankruptcy last October, and the building itself was sold to a new owner in December. The Temple has recently been dogged with controversy. The IRS is investigating them. Accusations have been made about inappropriate personal use of Temple funds. The head Priest of the Temple was even arrested last year for credit car theft and unlicensed practice of medicine, although all charges were later dropped. So far, however, there has been no indication that International Hindu Jihadist groups have taken any interest.
When a Hindu layperson led the opening prayer for the US Senate session on July 12, 2007, an organized group of Christians in the gallery tried to shout him down and had to be arrested and taken away, causing a significant disruption. There was, understandably, outrage at this, both in the US and in India (and around the world, as well). Did it occur to anyone, though, that this very high profile outburst of anti-Hindu bigotry could incite a tiny minority of bloodthirsty crazies to commit acts of violence against the tens of thousands of Americans living in India? Uh, no.
And let's not forget about the (1B+) Catholics. Kathy Griffin gets big laughs (well, from me, anyway) every time she refers to Catholic priests as "kid fuckers" in her stand-up routine. And then I laugh even harder when she tells us how her devout mother responds: "not all of 'em!" Meanwhile Sam Harris and Richard Dawkins continue their international campaign to have the pope arrested during his visit to the UK (coming up on September 18th), and outspoken Protestant leader Ian Paisley has called for the trip to be cancelled altogether. Now everyone knows the Papists are bad-asses. Think: the Albigensian Crusade, the Northern Crusades, the Inquisition, the Castel Sant'Angelo, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, and so forth. But does anyone expect to see youtube videos of a hollow-eyed, ashen-faced Kathy Griffin with AK-47's pointed at her head and a knife at her throat while she holds up a newspaper and begs for her life?
I'm just sayin'.