February 07, 2006

Enabling Jihadism

Andrew Sullivan makes some good points on those cartoons.
One massive supporting pillar of Jihadism has been the West's refusal to treat the Islamic world as it would any other part of the world. If Chinese radicals were ransacking Western embassies because of a cartoon, and were backed by the Chinese government, we would be outraged, demanding apologies, severing relations, and so on. But when Muslims do it, backed by Islamist governments, we are supposed to take it on the chin, to "respect" their religious traditions, issue mealy-mouthed statements, etc. In many ways, this is the real offense: treating Muslims as if their violation of global norms, and thralldom to medieval conceptions of politics and religion, were somehow acceptable.
Exactly. Why should we simply accept that any mild criticism of Islam will always result in death and destruction, lives destroyed or ended? Yes, that this would happen is what we have come to expect, but that does not make it right. If the Islamic world ever wants drag itself from stagnating in the dark ages (and if Peak Oil theory is correct it is going to have to) it is going to have to grow up.


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