|Finding common ground|
In politics, it is
sometimes too easy to de-humanize your opponents and forget that they have real
feelings. And it seems that members of the Religion of Peace are a more
sensitive group than many of us realized.
Yes, the same religion which brought you September-11, countless
suicide bombings, infibulation, and the murder of several hundred innocent
people in Madrid and London have a sensitive side. Many of them have been
squealing like stuck pigs over the publishing of 12 cartoons of the prophet
Mohammad in a Danish newspaper.
It seems that publishing cartoons of Mohammad crosses "one of Islam's sacred
boundaries". While most people in The West don't have a
problem poking fun at a thug turned warlord pedophile who has been dead for
1500 years, it seems that in the Middle East, this is a
violation of their citadel of dignity. Warlord pedophiles are to revered, not
mocked, in the cradle of civilization.
The Weak-end Australian has labeled this as the biggest clash of cultures
between Christianity and Islam since Salman Rushdie dared to publish his
'Satanic Verses'. Apparently the spate of suicide bombings and a gulf war,
didn't qualify as a clash of cultures - they were just misunderstandings.
And the War Against Terror? Nothing to do with Islam. It's just coincidence
that the enemy are all Muslims. Even Dubya talks of Islam as being one of the
'Great Religions'. Well, if popularity is the measure of Greatness, then it
stands to reason. Over a billion people call themselves Muslims.
Usually incidents of Islamacist ranting can be dismissed by Leftist apologists as merely
the opinions of a few 'hardline Islamic leaders' (ie psychopaths), and to deny
that they represent any significant feeling in the Muslim community. But in
this case that's a bit harder, as evidenced by the fact that it has obvious
widespread support - Danish products have been voluntarily boycotted around the
Middle East, and Danish companies are having to lay off workers as a result.
One misguided psychopath can attack an embassy or blow himself up on a train,
but one person does not have the buying power to cause mass layoffs in another
There can be few surer indications that the teachings of Islam are not
compatible with notions of freedom of speech, personal choice or even freedom
of thought. Ultimately any argument can be silenced with 'I find that
deeply offensive and it violates my sacred boundaries'. Many Leftists
might entrust governments with making a
fair trade-off, but how many are willing to trust a Muslim cleric?
Democracy, it is often
said, is the compromise between beliefs. Different people in democracies want
different things, and democracy works because it tends to find a solution
which, while it doesn't please everyone, at least everyone can live
with. However there are some things which cannot compromise. There is no
compromise between the beliefs that 'I have the right to rape you' and 'You do
not have the right to rape me'. The two are not just different opinions
worthy of equal consideration and compromise. They are just incompatible
beliefs. Any compromise 'well then you can rape me on Thursdays' is not a
compromise at all. It is a capitulation to evil.
Likewise the belief that blasphemy laws can be imposed upon non-believers
cannot be reconciled with beliefs about personal freedom. They are just
incompatible. These Islamic teachings are just not compatible with Western
culture, and have no place in it.
On the other hand it could be argued that the Muslim world is becoming more
Westernized. In modern Western culture, everyone wants to be a victim - the feminists, the
Aboriginal lobbyists, the multicultural groups,
and now of course, the Religion of Peace is claiming that status. Maybe the
followers of the Religion of Peace are more Westernized than we realize?