Monday, April 17, 2006

Islam: Religion of contradiction

I have been reluctant to join in the anti-Islam overtures that have paraded many conservative columns lately like that of Ann Coulter. Admittedly, I think that Coulter and the like have made a valid argument that contradicts Islam’s slogan as a “religion of peace.” My voice on that matter has largely been diplomatic. I am hesitant to call Muslims names and beat on their religion. I don’t think this tactic does anything to resolve the post-September 11 tensions that exist. Nor do I believe it will curb the tendency of Muslims to act out violently. Positive reinforcement has been my mantra.

And yet, I am continuously disappointed at the results of that approach. My own patience grew thin when Muslims around the world responded in violent overdramatic fashion to the infamous Danish cartoon incident.

Muslims insisted that a visual depiction of the Prophet Mohammed was against the laws of their faith. No matter that the rest of the world may not agree. They were to abide by Islamic law, too.

The message: Respect our faith. Okay, after the flag burnings and rioting and violence and even death, we get the message. No more Mohammed in cartoons (see the latest
South Park/Comedy Central controversy in case you’re not sure).

Turn now to a new story. Surfing through the news sites today I read this headline:
Palestinians: Tel Aviv Bombing Legitimate. Here’s what happened:

TEL AVIV, Israel - A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up outside a fast-food restaurant in a bustling area of Tel Aviv during the Passover holiday Monday, killing eight other people and wounding at least 49 in the deadliest Palestinian attack in more than a year.

The Palestinians' new Hamas leaders called the attack a legitimate response to Israeli "aggression." Israel said it held Hamas ultimately responsible — even though a different militant group, Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility — and would respond "as necessary."

A radical Islamic group took pride and credit in the Passover attack. For those who may not know, Passover is a Jewish holiday commemorating

the Exodus and freedom of the Israelites from ancient Egypt. For the Jews, and even many Christians, this is a big holiday.

It would be foolish to assume that the most recent act of mid-east terror had nothing to do with the timing of the Jewish holiday. Therefore, I cannot help but wonder why Muslims insist that the rest of world respect the principles of their faith, and yet they are not obliged to return the favor?

To me, this can only mean one of two things: Either radical Islam has very poor public relations skills or it truly does not care about the sanctity of any other religion or ideal. My money is on the latter. I think Islamic terrorists (two words keenly chosen to in conjunction with each other here) have executed their message perfectly well thus far.

In tit-for-tat logic then, this begs the question, “Why should the rest of the world show the respect for Mohammed and Islam that Muslims demand when Muslims have no intention of doing the same?”

That question may provoke criticism from my not-so-friends on the left. “Why have I associated all Muslims with a single radical group?” They will demand. Well, I don’t ever recall hearing the greater Muslim community condemn this or any other acts of Islamic terrorism (there’s those words again).

If Muslims continue to act in such a manner, they will find themselves increasingly on the fray of the public defense – even from those who have championed their religion up to this point (President Bush and Comedy Central included). The message ought to be clear to them, abide by the rules of a civil society or forever face defamation and bombings. That’s pretty blunt, but it’s the politically incorrect truth.

And of course, the reigning question here, “Is Islam truly a religion of peace?”

In answer to that, I urge my readers to refresh themselves with the above paragraphs and then flip through the news headlines of the day…or any day.


Forrest said...

Probably the best blog entry you have ever written. The sad truth is that the "radical muslims" are the true muslims. They are they ones who are acting out the words of the Koran. To say that they are perverting the Koran and have hijacked the muslim faith is an absolute lie. Your average everyday person who calls themself a muslim and prays 5 times a day, celebrates ramadan, etc, although the kind of muslim we like, is not the kind of muslim called for by the Koran. The true muslims are the fanatics who hijack planes, blow up buildings, and kill the innocent. I dare anyone who disagrees with my assessment to read the Koran and see for yourself the evil that dwells within that book. Islam is a wicked religion and I as a common civilian have no need to be diplomatic in this regard.

Kellie said...

"Those who believe in the Qur'an. Those who follow the Jewish Scriptures, and the Sabians and the Christians-- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve." (Qur'an 5.69)

"Islamic terrorism" is a result of fundamentalism, not of religion, and it is the exception, not the rule. The reason why we always hear the word "violence" in conjunction with "Muslim" is because that's the only side being presented. Let's face it: Who wants to hear some heartwarming story about a group of Muslims in my neighborhood that helped build a house for a Christian family when we can focus on supreme acts of terror and other things that preserve the stereotype?

riyaz said...

To say the truth, ISLAM is definitely the religion of peace.Just because there are a couple of fanatics around there doesnt mean that it supports terrorism.With what knowledge do these peole comment upon Islam?Never judge a car by its driver.Infact it is the Christians who are destroying the world peace.Do you think that the americans are doing the right thing by killing thousands of people everyday in Iraq ?.And what surprises me is that they think losing a couple of American soldiers is a big issue rather than the dying of thousands of innocent Iraqis.Peace wont return to earth unless Islam dominates this world

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