Monday, April 4, 2011

The Soft Bigotry of the New Islamic Apologetics

Pity the poor Afghan Muslims. They are unable to control their murderous impulses. They are unable to reason. They have to be protected from what people around the world honestly think about their religion. They cannot be expected to do what everyone else is expected to do: to understand that sticks and stones may break my bones, but a mustachioed nutjob in Florida burning the Koran on youtube will never hurt me.

Afghan Muslims cannot be expected to do what Catholics are expected to do every time Kathy Griffin refers to Catholic priests as "kid fuckers." Nor can Afghan Muslims be expected to do what Rush Limbaugh, and Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin are apparently able to do: to somehow resist the urge to go on a killing spree every time they are insulted by people who disagree with them.

And what about Pastor Terry Jones and his followers? They are subjected to relentless public ridicule, and even public hectoring from the President of the United States and General Petraeus. And yet they have not been accused of a single act of violence of any kind that has caused even the slightest injury to another human being. Well, I guess you just can't apply the same high standards to Afghan Muslims that we apply, without hesitation, to the drooling fanatics who look up to Terry Jones as a religious leader!

Someone please correct me if I am wrong, but the logic of those who blame Terry Jones for the violence in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Muslim world seems to be this:
(1) everyone knows that Muslims are irrational savages incapable of self-control
(2) therefore if you make Muslims mad you are responsible for any ensuing acts of violence committed by them

Please know that I am definitely not of this opinion. I am of the opinion that Afghan Muslims are capable of rational thought and self-control, or at least as capable of rational thought and self-control as Terry Jones, Rush Limbaugh, etc. Therefore when Afghan Muslims decide to hunt some people down and murder them in cold blood as they beg for their lives, those Afghan Muslims, and no one else, are responsible for their own actions.

We would live in a much better and infinitely more peaceful world if all bigots and fanatics everywhere chose to express themselves through "hate-speech" and symbolic acts of desecration against inanimate objects, like copies of the Koran.

And at the same time we live in a world that is less free, less diverse, and less interesting when our freedom to voice our opinions on the subject of religion is dependent on which religion we happen to be talking about.


Kullervo said...

So say we all.

Gunnhildr9 said...

Dear Apuleius, This article goes to the heart of what I have been saying for years: the worst form of racism/bigotry is the idea that some people cannot be held responsible for their behaviour. It is based on the notion that they are savages. But this seems to be the basis of Multi-Culti philosophy. I appreciate many cultures in the world, and as a Heathen I have no problem with someone else having different Gods from me. But I can still criticize bad behaviour. What irks me the most is "feminists" who turn a blind eye because they won't criticize a non-Western culture. There is a old saying,"Persecution of men is called 'oppression', persecution of women is called 'tradition'". In the world of 2011 it should read "persecution of women is called 'political sensitivity'".

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Feminists who make excuses for Islam are about as out of touch with reality as a person can possibly be. But a significant layer of contemporary "progressives" are slavishly devoted to the ignoble cause of desensitizing people to the oppressive and violent nature of Islam, and their favorite tactic is to savagely demonize anyone who dares to criticize the Religion of Peace.

Kayleigh said...

I spent a lot of time working with a nonprofit working to mobilize women to solve violence, and there was a project with Afghan women. I edited/formatted many written fundraising appeals and program updates.

So ... this might be a bit obsessive, but "Afghani" refers to the currency. "Afghan" is the proper adjective. :) Otherwise, good statements.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

Thanks, Kayleigh! I really should have checked that.

Bob said...

Completely agree. There is more protest about the book burning than about the senseless murders. Meanwhile church burnings and the murdering of Christians in places in Pakistan goes virtually un-noticed. We will always have provocateurs. We can't change that. Nor should we.
Good blog

Ben Whitmore said...

I think Jones proceeded with his book-burning in the expectation that it would trigger violence. Yes, of course the Afghans who perpetrated that violence are responsible for their own evil actions. But still, quite a few people died who would not have died if Jones hadn't burnt that book. Does he not share responsibility for that in any way?

One could make the case that demonstrations such as Jones' are necessary to establish and normalise full freedom of expression and freedom from being threatened by religious nut-jobs. Perhaps that end warrants a few lives being lost. But that's a huge call for one person to make, especially when that person is a religious nut-job himself, who would probably be happy enough to witness violence done for the "glory" of his own God.

Apuleius Platonicus said...

I think Jones acted out of sheer blind hatred for Islam. It's the kind of hatred that only Christians and Muslims can feel for each other, in my opinion. It is unique to them, and they can have it.

And I do think that Jones acted in the knowledge that his actions would lead to bloodshed. Everyone knows that Muslims have gone on killing sprees for much less. Over cartoons, for instance.

Bob said...

The protesors who killed the UN workers have been publically burning American flags for years. They're not in a strong position to garner much sympathy for their sensitivities. But what about the other Muslims? Well lets look at Mohammed's example. When the Muslims conquered Mecca Mohammed went into the Kabaa and smashed all the idols. Not very tolerant of other's sacred items was he? What goes around comes around.