On April 3rd I posted a short opinion piece on Caffeinated Thoughts which dealt with Terry Jones’ burning of the Koran and the subsequent violence in reaction to it.
It didn’t surprise me, given what I wrote, that there were a number of negative comments. But I was a bit surprised by what people asserted that I had said or that I meant. In some cases it appeared they hadn’t carefully read my piece at all, and had simply made assumptions. I made a couple of lengthy comments as well, hoping to bring to clarity to the points I had made. My success there was rather limited.
So today I’m writing a follow up piece to ensure as best I can that I am clearly understood on this subject. I don’t think anyone will necessarily be any happier with what I write, but perhaps at least they can be angry with me for the right reasons.
To begin with, I am no Terry Jones apologist. In my original post, I referred to him as “some idiot in Florida” and that his action was “a calculated act intended to insult Muslims”. In my comments on the post I called the Koran burning a “boneheaded and provocative act”. There are probably people rushing to the defense of Terry Jones, but I am not one of them.
Nonetheless, I was (and still am) at a loss to understand why so many people were talking about Terry Jones and not about the murderers that killed a dozen people in the name of Islam. Terry Jones burned a copy of the Koran. A bundle of paper and ink. The Afghan murderers slaughtered a lot of innocent human beings. Boneheaded or not, this provocation by Jones shouldn’t be used as another excuse for more outrageous bloodshed. This violence is simply indefensible. But Islam seems to always get a pass.
I was accused of suggesting that all Muslims are violent. I never said that, nor do I think it’s true. That’s obvious given the sheer number of Muslims worldwide who don’t go around blowing themselves up in crowded marketplaces and such. What I do believe is that, while not all Muslims are violent, their religion is. It has always been un-apologetically violent. I’m also inclined to think that more Muslims than perhaps we are willing to admit have some degree of sympathy towards the radicals who participate in Jihad. As Bill O’Reilly has pointed out, if they weren’t sympathetic on some level with radical Islam, they would condemn the violence and attempt to put a stop to it. My readers can draw their own conclusions.
I made another point in the original post, and that was that Christians are routinely subjected to things that are offensive to them in connection with their faith, and it happens right here in our own culture. Yet the reaction, when there is one, doesn’t involve violence. I suggested that a truckload of Bibles might be burned but there would be no violent reaction. I further commented “Test my assertion and burn some Bibles. Trust me, no one would blow himself or anyone else up. No one would be shot, and no one would be beheaded…”
Interestingly enough, Bill Maher, of all people, is one of the few that I’ve heard publicly addressing the issue in this way. In fact, Maher doesn’t merely address the issue, he validates everything I wrote. This is what he said recently:
All this talk of people who burn the Koran and nothing about the people who reacted in such a stupid way. We are always blaming the victim and not holding them — most Muslims, but at least a large part of Muslim culture that doesn’t condemn their people.
There is one religion in the world that kills you when you disagree with them and they say ‘look, we are a religion of peace and if you disagree we’ll (expletive deleted) cut your head off. And nobody calls them on it — there are very few people that will call them on it.
It’s like if Dad is a violent drunk and beats his kids, you don’t blame the kid because he set Dad off. You blame Dad because he’s a violent drunk.
Several months ago I wrote that we should be thankful that there are only a relatively few number of Muslims who are committed to what we might call an orthodox view of Islam, which includes Jihad against the West. But it is folly to ignore this view. We do so at our own peril whether it is politically correct or not.
It’s also folly to ignore the violence and make excuses for it, even when some kookburger sets fire to the Koran.