Tuesday, February 07, 2006

More on the Cartoons

Let's face it - it sucks to be a Moslem in the early 21st century. Chances are pretty good that you either live in a 3rd world dictatorship or as a second-class citizen in a western nation. Your religion tells you that you are part of the only true faith but it seems like Christians and Jews hold all the power.

Your world-view would have been comfortable to the Pilgrims. Like them, you see the world in terms of who believes in your god and who believes in him in the proper way. You see no conflict between the state and religion. In fact, you probably want to live under strict Islamic law.

Things suck even worse if you are a woman. You are expected to cover your head, possibly your entire body. Depending on where you live, failure to do so can carry serious repercussions. In Iran you can be whipped for showing your hair. Other countries believe in raping you for immodesty after which time you are expected to commit suicide.

If you are a Muslim born in north Africa you have probably had genital mutilation.

Anyway, life sucks for you and it seems pretty good for everyone else.

So it makes you touchy. America is so powerful that you cheer any time it is humiliated. The Jews established an outpost in Arabia and you want it gone and the Jews with it.

And you want the rest of the world to respect your god. This should go without saying since he is obviously the one true god.

You feel powerless and you heard that they Danish made fun of your god. You don't know exactly what they did since it would be blasphemy to reprint the offending cartoons but just making a cartoon and calling it God is a serious offence. So you riot and boycott an entire country.

That's what's going on. An artist displays a crucifix in his own urine and the west doesn't care but that's because we feel strong. We are not threatened.

There is another difference. We are divided on how we feel about ourselves. The west has a great deal of self-loathing. The surest way to get acclaim is to deride your culture. Just look at this year's Oscars. Five message movies. Once it gets out that a professor is anti-American he can command huge speaking fees.

It seems like there has to be a balance in there somewhere.

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