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2/6/2006
EMPATHY II
CATEGORY: Ethics, Middle East

I was surprised by the mild reaction to my post yesterday about what I see as the unnecessary infliction of pain on devout Muslims by republishing the cartoons.

Just goes to show I’m an idiot to underestimate the intelligence of my readers.

The comments were almost all thoughtful, insightful, and made me think. I can certainly understand why some would take my forbearance as a sign of weakness and the point is well taken. However, there are aspects to this war against radical Islamists - and by their silent assent to the tactics of the terrorists, the rest of the Muslim world - where we are still feeling our way. And I think it important to make a couple of points before I leave the subject for a while:

* There is an extraordinary amount of ignorance on the part of Muslims about how we in the West live our lives. The concepts of freedom and liberty as we understand them are so far outside their ability to comprehend that they may as well originate on another planet. I am not talking about the demonstrators in the streets and the evil men egging them on and who have probably carefully planned this “uprising” for months. I am talking about the hundreds of millions of ordinary people who are in Islam’s thrall, mindlessly following the diktats of their holy men who keep their flocks mired in the distant past. There is a school of thought that Muslims seek the accoutrements of the modern world - flush toilets and electric lights - without the concomitant ideological imperative of having to absorb modern ideas. If true, the imams and the mullahs, like the Soviets before them, are in for a big surprise.

* There is an almost equal ignorance on our part in how Muslims actually view the world around them. The fear and suspicion with which we look upon Muslims is not healthy and actually makes the radicals job easier. Until we can see beyond the bloodcurdling rhetoric of the terrorists and their enablers and try and understand ordinary Muslims, we will be unable to enlist them in any meaningful way in this fight. Before it’s over, they are going to have to choose sides. Will they join us if we continue to condemn an entire religion for the actions of a few? By engaging in such sweeping condemnations, it only becomes easier for the terrorists to show which side the bulk of Muslims in the world should be on. And I’ve got news for those of us who persist in such folly - there are 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. We can’t kill them all.

* We absolutely must continue to stand up for freedom of speech. In fact, I am convinced that the only way to reach the majority of Muslims in the world who should be our natural allies in this war is by showcasing our “secular religion” of liberty. If Muslims are willing to die for Allah what do you think the effect on ordinary people will be if they realize we are willing to die for an abstract idea like freedom? I think if we can ever penetrate the propaganda, the lies, and the hate generated by Islam’s leaders against the West and prove by example that our beliefs are as powerful as theirs, the tide will begin to turn. The President sees this in his belief that by bringing at least the outward manifestations of democracy - free elections, free speech, and the free exchange of ideas - the rest will follow. History will prove him right or wrong in this approach. But at the moment, it looks like the best bet we have.

By: Rick Moran at 7:34 am
9 Responses to “EMPATHY II”
  1. 1
    JMC Said:
    7:43 am 

    Not all Muslims are being silent in the face of the actions of the radical ones. There’s a site called “Rantings of a Sandmonkey” by a blogger in Cairo, where an apology for the protests and violence in response to the cartoons is published. He even posts a link to a website dedicated to that apology. I don’t know how to post a link, but you can reach the Sandmonkey’s article through a link at Flopping Aces.

  2. 2
    Rick Moran Said:
    7:49 am 

    JMC:

    Thanks for the info. And you are correct up to a point. I think you would agree that the gentleman is a voice crying out in the wilderness and until there are many more like him, there will be little or no pressure on the radicals to stop the killing.

  3. 3
    K T Cat Said:
    9:00 am 

    Rick,

    I think that many blogs and commentators have too simplistic approach to this conflict. Islamists are bad! If you stop for a moment and look at the world from their point of view, one might see more in common with the Moslems than one thinks. Europe’s aggressive secularism, lax drug laws, legal prostitution and the rest of their permissive morality must make a horrific place to try and raise Moslem children. We get all bent out of shape here in the US because of permissiveness in our public schools, but it’s probably much worse there. I know I send my kids to Catholic school to keep them away from the amoral public schools in our area.

    We recently visited Vancouver and found drug addicts on every street corner. Coming back from an evening stroll through downtown we passed all manner of addicts, including one hiding in a dark doorway with his thighs slashed and bleeding. It looked self-inflicted. At the time, they still had their drug addict tent city in downtown. You had to go past it to get to Chinatown. Words fail me.

    I’m not excusing the bombers and the loonies. I’m suggesting that Americans may have more values in common with the common Moslem than they do the Europeans. I’m not that eager to stand up and defend people who mock religion and support drug use and prostitution.

  4. 4
    Rascalfair Said:
    9:06 am 

    We don’t have to kill them ALL….just the ones that are trying to kill us….and any who help them. The rest are not our problem….they’re THEIR problem. But we do have to kill some of them….a lot of them…more of them than we can stomach….and we have to start where they are threatening us. The fight will be in the streets of London not just Damascus and Beirut.

    Send them home, and those who won’t leave and choose to fight, that’s the choice they’ll have to make, but we must make them choose, and now.

    “If we can ever penetrate the propaganda, the lies, and the hate generated by Islam’s leaders against the West and prove by example that our beliefs are as powerful as theirs, the tide will begin to turn” is a feelgood hope, and may occur in another thousand years…if we live that long.

  5. 5
    Fritz Said:
    9:44 am 

    Rick,
    Blind aggrieved cultures require a watershed event in order to trigger introspection. They are their own worst enemies, they have been conditioned to place blame on us. There is nothing we can say to change their minds. Like Bush Derangement Syndrome, Muslim Derangement Syndrome is a tall order to overcome.

  6. 6
    Bat One Said:
    11:23 pm 

    In most Islamic societies across the globe, at least those not “tainted” with Western values, the society and everything in it are an extension and a construct of Islam. In our civilization, on the other hand, the various structures within our society, governmental and non-governmental alike, are ambivalent, tolerant and deliberately impartial toward any religion. It is this very fundamental difference that allows the Islamist to look at us and regard us as callow and weak, while we look at them and see an insular, wild-eyed cult. In each case, the values held dearest, by us and by them, are those which engender the most derision and disrespect from those on the opposite side of the fence. And in each case, those persons charged with governance, with making the fateful decisions on behalf of the rest of the society, are by law and tradition most representative of the differing values which separate us. It will not be an easy gap to bridge.

    Second, you refer to President Bush’s approach to the problem by bringing individual liberty and self-determination to the region as a means of promoting peace. I suggest that we should all hope, and pray, that it works, however long it may take. The only alternative will be cataclysmic, a true war between Islam and Western civilization.

    Finally, You have twice used the word “forebearance.” As you applied the term to your own efforts here, you are correct. However, to describe the actions of the media in reporting all this as “forebearance” is gratutious nonsense, a compliment of which they are are totally unworthy. One need only review the media’s reporting of events over the past 5 years to recognize just how craven and unprincipled they have become. There is nothing in the record to justify the use of “forebearance” when describing the NYT, CNN, CBS, Newsweek, or any of the rest.

  7. 7
    Svenghouli Said:
    11:19 am 

    A prominent Iranian newspaper is having a contest for the best cartoons making fun of the Holocaust. Sorry no punchline. This is fact.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060207/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iran_
    cartoons_2;_ylt=AjaqoSr_l8CJwu0ro7EQkRfbEfQA;_ylu=X3oDMTBiMW04NW9mBHNlYwMlJVRPUCUl

    I guess they forgot they have already helped bash Judaism.

    http://www.intelligence.org.il/eng/bu/syria/media_1_04.htm

  8. 8
    Mark in Mexico Trackbacked With:
    1:03 pm 

    1 Faked Muhammed cartoon identified

    Gateway Pundit reports that one of the Muhammed cartoons that was faked by the Danish Imams has been identified. Dennis Nixon at Neander News reports that AP photographer Bob Edme posted this photo on August 15, 2005 in an MSNBC story about the Frenc…

  9. 9
    Right Wing Nut House » THINGS I REALLY HATE: VOL. II, PART 4 Pinged With:
    8:03 am 

    [...] VINCE AUT MORIRE VODKAPUNDIT WALLO WORLD WHAT ATTITUDE PROBLEM? WIDE AWAKES WIZBANG WUZZADEM THINGS I REALLY HATE: VOL. II, PART 4 MEDIA ALERT HOW CAN YOU TOP “OVER THE TOP?” A MONSTER DAY THAT TAXES MY PAJAMAS KATRINARESPONSE: A STUDY OF INCOMPETENCE THE COUNCIL HAS SPOKEN BALANCING WHAT’S RIGHT WITH WHAT’S NECESSARY IN DEFENSE OF COMMON DECENCY SITE NEWS CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS #32: THE “WHAT’S MY JIHAD?” EDITION A LITTLE CANADIAN MOONBATTERY WHY I’M NOT A LIBERAL AND OTHER STUPID QUESTIONS EXPOSITION EXHIBITIONISM NSA DAY I: ADVANTAGE DEMS JUST WHEN IS THIS HERE WAR GONNA BE OVER, GENERAL? LET THE GAMES BEGIN: A PREVIEW OF THE NSA HEARINGS EMPATHY II IN THE END, IT’S ABOUT EMPATHY CRAZED ISLAMISTS TORCH NORSE EMBASSIES: PAYBACK FOR “THE 13TH WARRIOR” MORE LAZY REPORTING FROM THE MEDIA AT WAR WITH MODERNITY THE COUNCIL HAS SPOKEN MEDIA ALERT NO DEMOCRAT LEFT BEHIND DEMOCRATS NARFLE THE GARTHOK “24″ (43) ABLE DANGER (10) Bird Flu (5) Blogging (66) Books (5) CARNIVAL OF THE CLUELESS (55) CHICAGO BEARS (9) CIA VS. THE WHITE HOUSE (6) Cindy Sheehan (10) Ethics (42) General (257) Government (26) History (47) Iran (11) KATRINA (24) Katrina Timeline (4) Marvin Moonbat (14) Media (61) Middle East (17) Moonbats (39) Open House (1) Politics (137) Science (12) Space (11) Supreme Court (18) War on Terror (83) WATCHER’S COUNCIL (34) WORLD POLITICS (33) WORLD SERIES (14) Admin Login Register Valid XHTML XFN [...]

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