Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Muslim Outrage

I just read the headlines in Yahoo this morning: Turks hijack jet to protest pope's visit.

Yeah…it reminded me of a great editorial by Thomas Friedman I read this morning. And a great cartoon accompanying it. It is called: “Islam and the Pope.” Because I don’t have a New York Times account, I can’t paste parts of the article here, but I will type up the part that struck me most:

On the first day of Ramadan last year, a Sunni Muslim suicide bomber blew up a Shiite mosque in Hilla, Iraq, killing 25 worshippers. This year on the first day of Ramadan, a Sunni suicide bomber in Baghdad killed 35 people, who were lining up in a Shiite neighborhood to buy fuel. The same day, the severed heads of nine murdered Iraqi police officers were found north of Baghdad.

I don’t get it. How can Muslims blow up other Muslims on their most holy day of the year – in mosques! – and there is barely a peep of protest in the Muslim world, let alone a million Muslim march?
Yes Danish cartoons or a papal speech lead to violent protests. If Muslims butchering Muslims produces little communal reaction, while cartoons and papal remarks produce mass protests, what does Islam stand for today? It is not an insult to ask that question.

Muslims might say: “Well, what about Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo or Palestine? Let’s talk about all your violent behavior.”

To which I have to say: Let’s talk about it! But you’ll have to get in line behind us,
because we are constantly talking about where we’ve gone wrong.”

So let me get this straight. There is a civil unrest in Palestine, civil war brewing in Iraq, and I am not even going to bother continuing with the civil unrest in other Muslim countries...and Muslims are focusing their outrage on the Pope's quoting a comment about Islam being a violent religion or some fringe Danish cartoonist's works? Not such a great sense of self-preservation.


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