It was far easier for you as civilized men to behave like barbarians than it was for them as barbarians to behave like civilized men.
Mr. Spock Star Trek: Mirror Mirror 1967
The spreading violence concerning the burning of Korans in Afghanistan for all its death and destruction has a small silver lining, a chance for the International and American Muslim Community and a clarifying moment during the debate about Islam vs Radical Islam.
Let’s stipulate right up front that as both a strategic and a PR matter it was an error for the Army to burn those Korans or to let the news of it come out…
..but having so stipulated now the question comes. What is the proper response for such an act?
I suggest that riots, burning and murder is not. In fact I more than suggest it, I state it as a simple fact that they are acts of barbarism.
I have seen a lot of coverage of the various riots and murders concerning this matter, I’ve seen them in the press and heard them on the radio. I’ve furthermore heard person after person critique the actions of the Army but I’ve heard very few in our media critique the murder and barbarism that have followed it.
This, like the Mohammad cartoon business clarifies things tremendously.
Muslims have naturally condemned the burning of Korans as an insult to their religion. That is certainly not odd. When professor PZ Myers desecrated consecrated communion hosts publicly Catholics were outraged and complained loudly, both in the press and to him employer the University of Minnesota.
Meanwhile while Molly Norris, a US citizen who even after apologizing for her part in “Everybody Draw Mohammad Day” remains in hiding under an assumed name for fear of her life, Professor Myers remains unharmed, unhurt and unafraid in his employment prospects. In fact not only has he not been harmed, but no Catholic Leader, no priest nor Bishop would countenance any type of violence against this man.
Yet during the Mohammad cartoon business we didn’t see the same from our friends of the Islamic faith. We don’t see American Muslim groups calling for the ending of the Fatwa on Molly Norris nor a promise to protect her from violence if she comes out of hiding. In fact one might even point out that the one sect of Islam that has eschewed violence (the Ahmadiyya Muslim community) has not only been the target of discrimination worldwide but has actually been targeted by violence and bombings for their beliefs.
Now the Islamic world has yet another chance to redeem itself. Will we see Islamic groups worldwide condemn the violence? Will they do so in Arabic and in the native languages of the people committing the violence so it will not be just pulling an Arafat, that is saying one thing in English for the west and another in Arabic?
Will Muslims disavow this attacks as mainstream Christians disavowed the actions and tactics Westboro Baptist (regardless of their position on Homosexuality) will they like the Bishops of the Catholic Church be defiant in the face of Administration policy without violence? Or will they decide the reward system that Glenn Reynolds wrote about here is more valuable:
Reader Dustin F writes: “If Colbert did a Zombie Mohammed sketch, Comedy Central wouldn’t even air it anyway, given their censorship of South Park. These folks have zero credibility on the subject of tolerating offense, since Comedy Central’s compliance with threats is a major example of allowing terrorism to work.”
My advice to Mormons and others: If you want respect, behead a few people. It won’t take much violence, as long as the threat is credible. Though it helps if they see you as an enemy of Western civilization. Then they’ll enjoy being intimidated.
That’s the real question, is the ability to intimidate one’s foes valuable enough that barbarism is to remain uncondemned and encouraged. Does western Islam really want to be considered a “religion of Peace” or is it just talk to keep liberals in the media quiet?
Or to be more blunt. While the Muslims rioters are either civilized men behaving like Barbarians due to anger or Barbarians acting like Barbarians. the verdict on the West’s Muslims is still out:
Are they Civilized men or Barbarians?
If they are barbarians trying to behave like civilized men we should expect some kind of toothless statement in English, if however they are civilized men as they maintain then the willingness to strongly and forthrightly condemn these actions in languages of those rioting should be there and ought to be done. in fact one might think it should have already been done.
The ball is in your court Muslims of the west, what shall it be?
BTW the reaction of the Mainstream media has already rendered it’s verdict on the question.
They believe the Muslims in Afghanistan are barbarians acting like barbarians. They don’t expect better so they don’t waste their breath to say a word. Meanwhile their unwillingness to question call on the west’s Muslims to speak against the violence coupled with their previous actions concerning the Mohammad Cartoons and their silence on Molly Norris suggests they believe the west’s Muslim’s are barbarians pretending to be civilized men and are afraid of angering them for fear of their own lives.
That makes the MSM by their own standards, both racists and cowards.
Update: While I was writing this Doug Mataconis wrote the following piece that answered one of the questions asked here:
Even without the Koran burning incident, though, I have got to wonder why anyone would think that this “stabilization” mission would succeed to begin with. Dave Schuler puts it best in a post over at his own site:
We’ve done our best to make the Afghans prosperous. Clearly, they would much rather that we leave so they can go back to killing and abusing each other without whatever hindrance that we provide. The difference between us and the Taliban can be summarized succinctly: the Taliban cuts off young women’s ears and noses and leaves them for dead; we restore those noses and ears and try to heal their scars.
And in return all we get is hatred and attacks. Really, what’s the point anymore? Why are we bothering to try to civilize a nation that clearly is either incapable of being civilized or simply just doesn’t want to join the 21st Century?
Read his whole piece
Update 2: Some desecrated Korans are apparently more equal than others.
Update 3: Doug Made a point in his piece but a question, if England pulled out because they considered India “Barbarians” would widows still be thrown into funeral pyres via sutte or sati
Update 4: Tangential, but telling quote from Jay Nordlinger’s latest piece
The U.S. Army, using Black Hawk helicopters, has been dropping food, medicine, and livestock feed to people stranded in the mountains of Montenegro, which have been socked with snow. (Story here.) Nice to know our soldiers have taken a break from killing babies and wiping themselves with Korans to help the hungry.
One of the helicopter pilots compared his work in Montenegro with his work in Afghanistan: “There, we were getting shot at.”
Me, I think the greatest fear of the barbarians rioting over burning Korans is that we successfully educate and empower women over there. Oh and one thing about Nordlinger, I still think he’s awesome even thought he hits Santorum a lot, everyone is allowed a fault or two.
Update 5: The BBC answers the question too:
But he also revealed that producers had to consider the possibilities of ‘violent threats’ instead of polite complaints if they pushed ahead with certain types of satire.
Mr Thompson said: ‘Without question, “I complain in the strongest possible terms”, is different from, “I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK47 as I write”. This definitely raises the stakes.’
In other words, the BBC considers British Muslims Barbarians and British Christians civilized, does that make them religious bigots? Cowards or both. I’m going with both.