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Monday, February 06, 2006

Well Then They Shouldn't Be Allowed To Sit At The Adults' Table

Here is an incredibly insipid Q&A from MSNBC that, shades of Joel Stein, reads like it came out of a college communications class exercise. But that doesn't mean we can't learn from it. First, as you read the linked piece, don't you get the uneasy sense that the Western media pretentiously treats Muslims as if they are children, not to be expected to act as full-grown adults. It's as though you're dealing with the directive to your fourteen year old to pick up after herself. You hope she does it regularly, but truly don't expect she will. Anyway, let's analyze a bit: So these cartoons really hit a raw nerve as far as their religion is concerned. Most people in the Arab world are not necessarily very extreme in their religiosity, but they are religious people, so this totally goes against the grain of their beliefs. Religion is such a sensitive topic here, even more so than in the West. Is she saying that the more seriously one takes their religion the more offended one will be? D'oh. There are many Christians, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists who take their religion as seriously as many Muslims do. That's not the point. The point is how one reacts to being prodded on a "sensitive" subject. [T]hey are very upset that the cartoons appeared to link the prophet to terrorism. They believe that the West is labeling all Arabs as terrorists after 9/11. No. The cartoons didn't link the prophet to terrorism. The terrorists did. First of all, it is against Islam to portray the Prophet Muhammad, or any pictures of what God might look like. Likewise, it is against their religion to portray any other prophet, including Jesus or Moses, because they also revere those religious figures as well. At this point, I am more convinced than ever that this has to do with the fact of the depiction of Mohammed, and not the light in which he is portrayed in the depictions. I say that because Muslims themselves are not making any distinction among the dozen or so cartoons, many of which are not particularly insulting. Hindus consider cows to be sacred animals. However, have you heard of any Hindus calling for the death of non-Hindus for eating beef? Jewish tradition forbids the consumption of pork and depictions of God (yes, that's correct). However, have you heard of any Jews calling for the beheading of non-Jews who who eat pork. Or issuing the Hebrew equivalent of a fatwa against Michelangelo's descendants for his work at the Sistine Chapel? Get the difference? All 0f the world's major religions have evolved to the point of not expecting the non-believer, on penalty of death, to adhere to the tenets of the believer. With one major exception.

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