Thursday, February 02, 2006

Selective Outrage and Utter Hypocrisy

This is apparently the gravest insult imaginable in the universe and the entire fabric of a religion is threatened by these ink lines on paper......

If an angry and hysterical mob wants to run about burning flags, hitting people, and waving their fists there is very little anyone can do about it, least of all try to apply reason to the situation. It is not just an islamic phenomenon as the recent race riots in Australia demonstrate; anarchic mobs running amok are incredibly popular across the globe. Perhaps its genetic; do chimps riot?

However, it is depressingly familiar to see cynical displays of outrage by the governments of these countries who understand all too well that whipped up hysteria and incandecent anger directed at an external outrage deflects attentions from shortcomings at home.

As for the claim that Islam does not mock or slander other religions, would the various state sponsors of one of the world's most offensive lies care to explain the central place held by the blood libel against judaism in many text books and television schedules throughout the muslim world?

...but this sort of thing apparently makes for a good book cover. From The Matzah of Zion written by Syrian Defense Minister Mustapha Tlass in 1983. Now in its 8th printing it remains a bestseller throughout the Arab world.

(And lest any conservative types out there take heart from my opinions on this, I'd like to emphasize that not least because of things like this, this, this, and him I think fundamentalist christians are c**ts too. To my mind fundamentalists of any stripe are unpleasant coves.)


jamie said...

i'm with you. i take no pleasure in seeing stereotypes propagated, but when large factions of the Muslim world react to this by threatening to kill or otherwise harm Europeans in Gaza and elsewhere, it's hard to sympathize with their outrage. do Christians threaten violence when the Onion parodies Jesus on a regular basis? is the difference solely that the Onion is openly satirical while these other newspapers are supposedly judgment-neutral?

this is where so many of the recent Western attempts to spread democracy in the Muslim world fall apart. how do you create a truly democratic society when something as simple as an arguably distateful cartoon sends the electorate into a tizzy? when something that questions (indirectly) the Muslim commitment to peace provokes a violent reaction.

it's almost enough to make you agree with the Bush administration's position on the Palestinian elections.

weasel said...

"it's almost enough to make you agree with the Bush administration's position on the Palestinian elections."

You have to credit the Palestinians with more complexity than that- after all, we all recall the reaction from around the world when George W. was re-elected. Elections are tricky things and it is hard for casual observers to look inside the heads of voters in other countries- was Fatah corruption the motivator? Was it the almost fatal spit in Fatah between the young turks and old guard? Were Hamas-linked deputies elected through some misguided, frustrated desire to "take the fight" to the Israelis?

Mobs are mobs all over; it wasn't too long ago that frenzied snarling crowds lined the sidewalks of Little Rock, shot kids at Kent State, or smashed up their own neighborhoods in South Central.

That said, Islam is a warrior religion- it rode out of Arabia in the vanguard of a conquering army (yes, yes- much like the crusaders and conquistadors; I'm not down with Heysoos either, folks) and in its current most violent incarnation carried Ibn Saud out of the desert and onto the throne atop the world's largest oil reserve in the 1920s. I'm never surprised when the first reaction to a precieved insult is to threatened to poke the insulter with a big stick. And as for Christians who burble on about how they just pray for the sinner and blasphemer, you know that the crowds who protested "Life of Brian" or "Springer the Opera" wished, just wished, that they could bean someone on the head with a rock.

weasel said...

But back to the central point of the post- I'm saying clean up your own house before telling someone else their floors are dirty. Or something suitably homespun like that.