The Cartoon Jihad: A Tipping Point For Islam's Reputation?
A significant chunk of the American public, including a number of prominent thinkers on the right, have concluded that the problem with Islam… is Islam.
It tells us a lot it tells us our enemy is not just al-Qaeda. That there's Muslims all over the world are certainly enemies of western civilization. Look at what the showing of these cartoons which I originally thought was a mistake. They shouldn't have run them. Now I think we've learned a lot from this. We see Muslims contempt for democracy, for freedom of speech, for freedom of the press and particularly for freedom of religion…
...from the size of these demonstrations, these are not jihadists, these are not people that are trying to get into Iraq so they can blow up a Shiite mosque or something or kill American soldiers, I think this is mainstream Islam in Britain and Denmark and all over Europe and then we see these — some of them are supposedly friendly Arab governments like Egypt and other places promoting this. This is not a fringe protest against Western civilization.
The whole idea that you have some right, that it is somehow appropriate to, and will actually cause glory for your religion for you to be attacking Embassies and killing people and burning flags and rioting over some cartoons that you will never see, except they were put in your world by provocateurs, cartoons from Northern Europe. That is a unique perspective with Islam, and shows that it has really become for many, many Muslims, unfortunately, a death cult, not a religion of life…
I think there is a huge percentage of the Muslim population, probably bigger than 50%, that is susceptible to radicalization. I saw a headline today in the Seattle Times that was hilarious in its own dark way. Its headline said officials fear upsurge in Iraq violence on eve of Shiite feast. And the whole idea that there's only one religion in the world where people assume that people coming out of services on Friday afternoon are going to riot and kill, where people associate religious celebrations with violence. That used to be true of other religions.
Blanton, a RedState contributor:
Rich Lowry ponders a post-Bush foreign policy and suspects we might soon see the emergence of a "to hell with them" hawk, who has no problem invading and destroying the enemy, but who does not want to stay behind and win the hearts and minds of the conquered.
I'd be lying if I denied thinking this sometimes. We are having great success in Iraq. And, should we wipe out the Iranian regime, I think we'd find the large Iranian middle class quite friendly to us.
But I think it is becoming more and more clear that the general rule of democracies not fighting one another just night not apply to the Middle East, though I suppose one could credibly argue that we have yet to see a genuine democracy in the Middle East other than Turkey, which does fit the rule.
The longer this cartoon controversy goes on, however, I'm more and more in the "nuke Mecca and be done with it" camp, and I regret getting closer to that position — but I find the hordes of angry Islamists willing to be swept up into a fury over cartoons to be appalling and, most likely, a harbinger of worse things to come.
Elsewhere RedState notes, “For some perspective, these are not isolated, small protests. They involve tens of thousands of Muslims around the globe. A single Palestinian protest was said to have involved over 10,000 demonstrators and several have involved more than 5,000. They spread from Indonesia, to the Middle East, to Europe.”
These are not the reactions of bigots or haters. These are the reactions of men and women whose patience is exhausted.
It’s not just Michael Graham, Daniel Pipes, Robert Spencer and the gang at Little Green Footballs anymore.
Maybe when you see a thug in training carrying a sign saying “Islam will dominate” at Ground Zero in Manhattan, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s back. As a Red State contibutor said, “Not there. Not ever.”
I know, from my experiences, that there are significant numbers of Muslims who have no beef with the West, who want to live the American dream, who can practice their faith and coexist with other religions. I’ve documented their efforts to take back their faith from the bin Ladens of the world. But apparently they are too quiet.
I wonder how many Muslims understand how the actions of the embassy-torching maniacs define their faith to so many. I wonder how many don’t know, how many don’t care, and how many do know and care but are too scared of the consequences to stand against the violence committed in their name.
I’m trying to articulate my positive experiences with Muslims over here to my readers, but it’s not as powerful and penetrating an image as screaming lunatics burning down embassies and threatening to behead anyone who they believe has insulted them. And frankly, I’m not all that wowed with the reaction of moderate Muslims. I’m not sure how much further I want to stick my neck out defending a faith community that won’t loudly and firmly police or rebuke its own members.
It’s depressing, but maybe we've got to go through this... delaying a clash might be just postponing the inevitable...