Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I just want to get the rules straight

I'm a big gamer and a fairly competitive person. I like playing card games, board games, computer games. Games of all sorts. I think one of the thinks I like about games is that they have rules. I like to understand the rules so that I can play the game.

So let me see if I have the rules on this straight.

Muslims can kidnap and behead infidels (their term, not mine) and then release the videos on the internet. They can riot and kill people because of an erroneous story about the abuse of the Koran. They can riot and attack foreign embassies and consulates. They can kill our soldiers and their own countrymen through the use of cowardly tactics such as the use of IEDs. They can execute police trainees. They can strap bombs to teenagers so that they can kill innocent victims in discos and shooping malls and on buses and themselves.

And we can be more sensitive to their concerns.

Is that about right?

This is base hypocrisy. The Muslim world insists that the rest of the world respect their religion while they respect no religion other than their own. Ever hear of a concept called dhimmitude? It's a concept whereby Islam relegates all non-Muslims (i.e., infidels) to second class status, including special taxes and abridged rights. In Saudi Arabia, for example, it is illegal to practice any religion other than Islam. Muslims demand tolerance from the West for their religion, but rarely grant it in their own countries.

And since the impetus for this post is the flap over the cartoons that appeared in a Danish newspaper (in September, mind you!), how can we overlook the anti-Semitism rampant in the Muslim media. Jews are regularly depicted in crude caricatures (hook-nosed, greedy, duplicitous). Egypt, for example, recently ran a forty-one part (!!) series based on "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion". It purports to be the master plan by which Jews take over the world, but has long ago been proven to be a Russian czarist forgery. Except in the Muslim world, where they lap it up with a spoon.

Let me say this plainly: NOTHING TRUMPS FREE SPEECH. NOTHING! Not religious sensitivity (or over-sensitivity, as the case may be). Not gender issues. Not racial issues. Not sexual orientation issues. Nothing.

I could give a fig about Muslim sensitivities. And really that is what we are talking about. No-one is suggesting to the Muslims that they be sensitive to Jewish sensibilities. No-one is saying that the media in America should be sensitive to Christian sensibilities. Do you know why? Because when you print a cartoon that is offensive to Jews or Christians, they don't go on multinational rampages. I'm sorry but no citizenry has the right not to be offended.

I hope the delicious irony of this whole flap hasn't escaped anybody: Muslims are rioting, rampaging, and attacking embassies and businesses (a KFC in Pakistan - take that, Colonel Sanders!), burning Danish, French and American flags, calling for the deaths of the cartoonists - to protest a cartoon that suggested that Islam has been co-opted by violent factions!!

The protests in Pakistan and the Philippines are particularly risible since once the protests are over many of the same people will be standing in line for visas to Denmark, France and the US.

Finally, the kicker: THERE IS NO PROHIBITION ON THE DEPICTION OF MUHAMMED IN THE KORAN! It's a fact. You can look it up. In fact, there used to be a tradition of depicting the prophet and using satire as protest in the Muslim world. My, how far they have retreated.

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