Friday, April 8, 2011

Running Scared of Islam

You choose. Which religious adherent would you want as a neighbor; to marry your daughter?

One of Broadway’s big hits this season is the musical The Book of Mormon, a creation of the scatological geniuses behind the cartoon South Park. As one would expect, the show is “blasphemous, scurrilous and more foul-mouthed than David Mamet on a blue streak,” as the New York Times put it, satirizing every dimension of Mormonism from its obligatory missionary work to the planet Kolob God supposedly lived on or near. But despite this ridicule, the Times reports, “there have been no pickets or boycotts, no outraged news releases by Mormon defenders and no lawsuits.” In fact, “The Mormon Church itself . . . has signaled to members to turn the other cheek, while quietly preparing to make the best of the publicity.”

Meanwhile, the burning of a Koran on March 20 by a fringe Florida pastor sparked riots in Afghanistan. On Friday, ten foreigners, including two who may have been beheaded, and several Afghans were killed when a mob of thousands, chanting “Death to America” and “Allahu Akbar,” attacked a UN compound in usually placid Mazar-e-Sharif in the north. The next day, nine Afghans died when riots broke out all over Kandahar, the spiritual homeland of the Taliban.

So a highly visible and critically praised Broadway play that will be seen by thousands is met by the insulted church with a shrug, while a solitary act by the leader of an obscure, 50-member, non-denominational congregation triggers lethal violence aimed at the same Western nations that are spending blood and treasure to give Afghans political freedom and liberation from bloody tyrants. What do we make of this contrast?

The obvious point is that such violence on the part of Muslims whenever they feel their religion has been insulted has been common for decades. The first major global outbreak of Muslim violence happened in February 1989 when Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa — reaffirmed by Iran’s Ayatollah Khamenei.

from Islam in Aussieland at 4F.

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