I'm getting very tired of, and very sad about, the bigotry and/or hatred currently being directed against Islam by many in the blogosphere. A few examples:
Ann Barnhardt (click on the link, then go to her blog entry for September 14, 2012 at 1.12 PM MST - it's not possible to link to that entry directly):
"I have done what many consider to be the most hard-core, serious koran burning to date. I bookmarked the filthy damn thing with strips of raw bacon, and then I burned the satanic screed page by page after reading the demonic filth therein contained.
. . .
Any time you bastards want to get real about this, I'm your flippin' huckleberry. Come and get me, and then WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.
. . .
The only way you fight and destroy this evil is by RIDING OUT TO MEET IT. No capitulation. No compromise. No appeasement. No apologies. No negotiation. And then you lay down the righteous assbeating to end all assbeatings, and you do not stop until the evil is totally, completely and utterly destroyed. Anything less is a sin against God and your fellow man."
(She's also put her 'hard-core' demonstration on YouTube.)
Grouchy Old Cripple:
"As for their offense at the latest insult to Islam, we'll start showing respect for their cult founded by an insane pedophile when they start showing respect for other religions. I'm sick of these 7th Century barbarians constantly being offended. Treat 'em like the children they are. I remember my father telling me when I would cry that he would give me sumpin' to cry about. You people are offended? Howza 'bout some MOABs. I'd say nuke Cairo, but I don't want to see anything happen to the pyramids, the Sphinx, and the Egyptian Museum. Bombing a few mosques would not bother me a bit. Treat the barbarians like the barbarians they are.
Here camel boinkers, here's sumpin' to offend you. Boom!
The next world war will be between Islam and civilization."
"Muslims are ... willing to pay the price in blood for slavery, their own slavery and ours, for a book of slavery, written by an owner and abuser of slaves, who created a religion of slaves, where the optimal position was to stand on as many people as possible while reaching for heaven.
The men who fought to make us free placed value on their lives. The men who fight to enslave us place little value on their own. Whatever material pleasures they enjoy in this life, little girls, hashish and wealth, will be vastly improved upon in the afterlife. And they buy their way into that afterlife by killing us, as they have been doing for over a thousand years.
. . .
The essence of the vendetta is that it is eternal. It can only be resolved by marriage, by mingling two bloods into a single clan. If we agree to become Muslims, we can be part of their clan. Without that we are forever the targets of their rage, inferior in their minds, yet materially superior, despised in the Koran, but somewhat triumphant in land and wealth. A religious paradox that can only be resolved by subjugating us or by converting us."
I could post many, many more sources with similar views . . . but why bother? They're all making the same two mistakes.
1. They're assuming that because Muslim fundamentalists hate, fear and attack the West, all Muslims do so, or want to do so. That's ridiculous. I've known many Muslims in Islamic countries, and in the Third World, who don't believe or behave that way at all. (I wouldn't be alive today if Muslim friends and acquaintances hadn't saved my life on at least two occasions.) You may as well say that all Catholics hate Protestants, or all Protestants hate Catholics, or all Christians hate Jews. The fact that some of each group may hate the others mentioned doesn't make that a universal norm. To put it another way, if you claim that fundamentalist Muslims represent and speak for all of Islam, you might as well say that the demented dogmas of the Westboro Baptist Church or the Dove World Outreach Center are representative of the beliefs of all Christians.
2. They're ignoring the reality that 'what goes around, comes around'. It's also known as the Golden Rule, taught not only by Jesus but by almost every major religion known to humankind. It's not predicated on others treating us as we wish them to treat us: instead, we have to take the initiative and treat them that way. This applies even to those who hate, fear and attack us. It doesn't mean we can't defend ourselves against unjust attack - far from it! - but it does mean that if we project hatred, fear and loathing towards them, or attack innocent people with our bombs as Grouchy Old Cripple suggests, we're essentially giving them the right to do the same to us. I find it particularly sickening that self-proclaimed Christians see nothing wrong in behaving like this, despite our Lord's injunction.
I'm no supporter of radical Islam, just as I'm no supporter of radicalism or extremism in any shape or form. Whether fanaticism be political, social, economic, cultural, philosophical or religious in orientation, you can't reason with a fanatic. They've got the original one-track-mind approach to life, the universe and everything, and they're extremely dangerous to the rest of us. I'll gladly join forces with anyone opposing extremism and extremists . . . but I won't do so by becoming equally extreme in my hatred and/or condemnation of them. If I do that, I make myself as bad as they are.
Unfortunately, such opinions count for little in the face of emotional outrage. As long as we choose to react before we think, we'll continue to make the same mistakes, time and time again - just as our extremist enemies do. Why should we be proud that we exhibit the same faults and failings that they have, and perpetrate the same mistakes that they make? Aren't we supposed to be better than they are? Don't we profess to be 'civilized' in comparison to their 'barbarism'?