Our recent discussions about Islam and the whole cartoon-Mohammed mess has prompted some rather profound and insightful observations. It also drew the attention of "Kashif Ahmad," a self-proclaimed Muslim who repeatedly presented his side of the argument most cogently and reasonably. I have to respect him for that.
In fact, I respect it so much, I'm going to take one of his comments and look at it most carefully.
I for one would never be an apologist for the actions of any Saudi or Egyptian terrorist. Reason is simply I have almost as much in common with a person from Saudi/Egypt as an American would have with someone from Yugoslavia. Nothing.
Actually, America has quite a few ties with the former Yugoslavia. For one, a lot of Americans can trace their ancestry to Yugoslavia. For another, several thousand Americans have served in the former Yugoslavia over the last decade -- most notably protecting Muslims there from being slaughtered. Many bled and died there. Perhaps you ought to choose another nation? Good luck -- Americans come from all over the world, and we have ties to nearly every nation. Much like we often hear cries about the 1 billion Muslims who are all insulted by these cartoons.
OnDrummer on the note why you are not allowed to prostelize in countries like SA. Prostelizing is not an in-alienable human right. If we expect others to respect us we must respect them, and the surest way to kill any conversation with a person is to say you are going to enternal damnation if you don't believe in Christ. It is their law and their country we must respect that.
Yes, Kashif. You must respect "their law and their country." In the West, we enshrine the right to speak freely as one of the most sacred precepts of freedom. There is no law against blasphemy in Denmark, or the United States. It is our principle that the government should stay out of matters of faith. But that hasn't stopped the riots and open acts of war against Denmark, has it? So much for having respect for others' countries and others' laws.
The same way no one will give a damn about a fatwa passed in Iran in any western country, we cannot reverse it around either.
Tell that to Salman Rushdie, still under a death sentence. Or Theo Van Gogh -- but you'll have to dig him up, and I don't think his corpse will be persuaded by your arguments. They know full well the power of fatwas issued in Iran, and how much effect they can be outside their borders.
Kashif also brings up the Crusades. Yeah, it can be argued that the Crusades were Christianity run amok. Hell, for the sake of argument, I'll even grant every single point he made about it.
But Kashif, the Crusades ended well over 700 years ago. People looking for more recent examples of Christian extremism find themselves citing the Nazis (who co-opted a few elements of Christianity, blended with strong Paganist elements, to push their race-based, tyrannical ideology) or the Ku Klux Klan (who were also far more interested in race than religion, except in how they could use Christianity to support their feeble ideology).
But back to the Crusades. As I noted above, they ended over 700 years ago. Christianity grew up.
Judaism also had its imperialist, expansionist, conquering era. It ended once they possessed the Holy Land.
It seems that major religions (at least the Big Three, that all come from the Middle East) have their "adolescence," But Judaism and Christianity outgrew those, and matured into the faiths that they are today.
Some people say we need to give Islam its chance to grow and mature as well. They say that it, too, will outgrow this phase, and truly become a religion of peace.
Personally, I'm tired of waiting. The "patience" and "tolerance" people call for is being measured in dead bodies. Dead Danes, dead Netherlanders, dead Londoners, dead Americans, dead Parisians, dead Israelis.
And most of all, dead Muslims. I think it's fair to say that radical Islam has killed more of its own than any other group.
So before we all long like I said outside the window, lets all of us look at the mirrors.
Perhaps, Kashif. But instead of gazing narcissistically at yourself, perhaps you ought to look around at your fellow Muslims. Those who are currently wreaking havoc around the globe over some CARTOONS, and those who sit silently and let those radicals claim to be the voice of Islam. The loudest voice often prevails, and there is a severe dearth of those who would challenge them.