Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Another Perspective on The Newsweak Error And Retraction

Since the time I learned of the Newsweek error and its consequences, I have been asking myself: "OK, it looks like the story is false, but even if it were true, should such a desecration of the Koran result in a riot and the death of innocents?" That is one aspect of the matter that has been largely undiscussed. Sacred symbols of my faith are desecrated all the time (most recently on national TV), but no one in my church even thinks about rioting.

Dennis Prager, at last, is asking questions about this and making some judgments. After making some points about the news media's lack of responsibility in time of war, he notes:

It is quite remarkable that many Muslims believe that an American
interrogator flushing pages of the Koran is worthy of rioting, but all the torture, slaughter, terror and mass murder done by Muslims in the name of the Koran are unworthy of even a peaceful protest.

Nevertheless, one will have to search extensively for any editorials condemning these primitives in the Western press, let alone in the Muslim press. This is because moral expectations of Muslims are lower than those of other religious groups. Behavior that would be held in contempt if engaged in by Christians or Jews is not only not condemned, it is frequently "understood" when done by Muslims.


UPDATE: Cheat Seeking Missiles has additional good thoughts and links on this.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dennis has it exactly right. Do you remember a 1979 movie starring Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford, called The Frisco Kid? Gene Wilder played a Rabbi who had graduated dead last in his Polish yeshiva class, and as a result could only find a job as the Rabbi of frontier San Francisco. In his harrowing journey across frontier America a gunfighter, played by Ford, takes a liking to him and takes him under his wing. The Rabbi's most precious possession is his Torah scroll, which he is bring to San Francisco. In a climactic scene, an outlaw has thrown the Torah scroll into a fire and is in the process of throttling the gunfighter. The Rabbi first rescues the Torah scroll, and only then comes to the aid of his friend the gunfighter. All turns out well, but the Rabbi is inconsolably distraught. When the gunfighter asks why he is so upset, the Rabbi explains that he had always been taught that in Judaism, a human life is far more precious and holy than a Torah scroll, but, when put to the test, the Rabbi had failed, and had endangered his friend's life by rescuing the Torah scroll from the fire first.

It was only a movie, but its Jewish theology was sound. In Judaism, and in Christianity, as holy as the Bible may be, a human life is more sacred still. Are the Muslim rioters upset that a Koran allegedly was desecrated? Well, they should be, but I am even more upset when a Muslim fanatic, acting in the name of Allah, cuts off the head of an innocent person. When Muslims riot in the streets over their co-religionists' own excesses, I will be more impressed.

Indeed, while the Muslim world expects non-Muslims to be respectful of Islam (and generally receive that respect in the West), tolerance of other religions gets short shrift in Islamic lands. Christians and Jews are permitted to live under Islamic rule only as subservient "dhimmis". And they are the lucky ones. Under traditional Islamic law, pagans are to be given a choice of conversion or death, and those considered heretics against Islam, such as the Bahai or converts from Islam to other religions, are to be killed. American soldiers who went to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s to protect that backward regime from Iraq had to hide symbols of their non-Muslim faiths, such as crosses and Stars of David, when they were off base. In India, Istanbul, and the Land of Israel, one may see many locations where Islamic conquerors built their mosques over the ruins of the churches, synagogues and other places of worship of the conquered peoples. Respect for religious diversity--give me a break!  

Posted by Ralph Kostant

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 6:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This, I agree with.
Hell hath frozen over. 

Posted by Bernard Goldofsky

Tuesday, May 17, 2005 8:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is my message to the Islamic nutjobs:
I am really sick of this infantile religion that is so weak it cannot stand any (percieved) abuse by non-believers! Christians know that those that abuse the HOLY BIBLE, will be subject to judgement from GOD, not puny little man. Only God can judge a mans heart or ignorance, or motives. If your GOD is all that powerful then who are you to try and extract judgement. As long as you respect and honor you own religion just who do you think you are to DEMAND that I repect your religion. Well I don't respect your religion I think it is bloody and disgraceful and the more you jump up and down and scream and kill people and torture people all the while demanding respect that Islam has not earned, the more I reject and revile Islam. 

Posted by Linda from Whittier, CA

Wednesday, May 18, 2005 4:20:00 PM  

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