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"Hey, What's That Pig Doing Up There?"

When I cruise around the blogosphere, one place I probably spend too much time is over at Oliver Willis' site. It's not because I agree with him very often -- actually, it's just the opposite. I have almost never agreed with him, and I'd say that I'm almost a troll over there.

But this is one of those "pigs must be flying" moments -- I'm agreeing with him, and publicly proclaiming such. Because for the first time I can remember, he's actually right on a major issue.

Some time ago, a writer named Sherry Jones started writing a novel, a bit of historical fiction. It is titled "Jewel of Medina," and is a fictional biography of Aisha, the child bride of Mohammed, the founder of Islam. (Aisha was six when Mohammed married her, but Mo -- generous fellow he was -- waited until she was nine before he consummated the marriage. We should probably be grateful he isn't still around; he'd likely end up trying to marry half the Chinese gymnastics team.)

Well, Ms. Jones got a nice little contract from Random House, who got to work on publishing the novel. Right up until one of the Muslim academics (isn't that an oxymoron?) they gave a preview copy to passed it along to a few other Muslims, and they were quite unhappy about the book's contents. They made a point of telling Random House just how unhappy they were.

At that point, Random House made a decision that I can't quite find in my heart to condemn: they chose to release Ms. Jones from her contract and not publish the book.

Their reason was refreshingly honest: they were worried about a violent backlash, afraid for the physical safety of both their employees and Ms. Jones.

Some call it cowardice, and that's not entirely unfair. But really, who can blame them? There's only one religion nowadays that has an extensive current body count among those who "defame" it.

Over in Oliver's comments, his usual crowd of sycophants pooh-poohed Oliver's concern, citing other religions' history of similar conduct. They're right, of course -- but that doesn't make what they say relevant.

Yes, Christianity and Judaism have their own bloody periods, when those who disagreed with the faith were persecuted, even killed. But they outgrew that -- it's been a couple hundred years for the Christians and even longer for the Jews since those days.

No, it's only Islam that currently kills for such things as heresy, blasphemy, and apostasy. It first became crystal-clear when Salman Rushdie published "The Satanic Verses," and has only gotten worse since then. I lost count of how many people died in the riots after the publishing of the cartoons of Mohammed. Newsweek published an absurdly-impossible rumor of a Koran being flushed down a toilet, and that triggered more riots and more deaths. Theo van Gogh, the Dutch film maker, made a movie that showed Islam in a less than favorable light, and was murdered in the streets for his effrontery.

There's a concept in debate called "the heckler's veto." It refers to the tactic of silencing one's opponent not by refuting what they say, but by silencing them through out-shouting them or other tactics. The trend here is that writ large, with militant Islamists using threats of force and violence -- threats regularly carried out -- to silence their critics. Indeed, they are also using it to not only shut up their critics, but to push their own demands for accomodation.

There are many theories on how to best confront and defeat bullies. One way that almost never works, though, is simply to give them what they want and hope they will be satisfied. In the end, confrontation seems to be the only way that works -- but the longer it's postponed, the higher the price paid.

And that is precisely what we seem to be doing -- postponing and appeasing and conceding in the face of militant Islam.

This incident of a single novel is, by itself, trivial. I probably wouldn't read the book anyway. But it's just one more example in a long, long, long string of events where militant Islam demands that it be appeased -- and gets its way.


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Comments (8)

There is no comparison with... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

There is no comparison with what the history of all religions did and what the muslims are doing today. This is the 21st century. Communication is instant. If you speak out against muslims and mohammed in particular, you are not threatened you are killed. Random House is afraid to do their job because they may be killed. That is a very terrible thing. Of course, Barrack Hussein will want us to understand the muslims. ww

Meybe they were just afraid... (Below threshold)
epador:

Meybe they were just afraid of what the GOVERNMENT would do in Canada? What say you Hyperbolist?

Yes, Christianity ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Yes, Christianity and Judaism have their own bloody periods, when those who disagreed with the faith were persecuted, even killed. But they outgrew that -- it's been a couple hundred years for the Christians and even longer for the Jews since those days.

And the great liberal hope is that Islam will likewise outgrow it's violent phase. However, that's a vain hope that leads to appeasement. To understand why Islam is different in regards to violence than Judaism and Christianity you have to understand the cause of violence in Judaism and Christianity.

The violence of Judaism is documented in the Old Testament. That violence was instituted for a specific time and purpose; the establishment of the nation of Israel. There is no general call to war against unbelievers in the OT or in Jewish law. In fact, the stranger among them is to be respected and well treated, because Abraham was likewise a stranger in the promised land before the nation of Israel was established through war. Yes, the Jews will defend their nation, as will the citizens of all nations, but people can write books and speak against Judaism without fear of a contract being taken out against their life by some Jewish rabbi.

The violence of Christianity was the result of human lust for power and wealth apart from the teachings of the New Testament. The institutions built by that human lust were brought down by the widespread translation of the Bible into the languages of the people during the reformation and by Luther pointing out the errors that had been instituted into the church. People can and do write books and speak againstChristianity without threats of violence being made against them by Pastors and Priests.

Sure, there are individuals supposedly of the Jewish or Christian faith who perform acts of violence in the name of their faith, but they are openly, quickly, and forcefully condemned by the vast majority of people of that faith.

None of these limitations, enlightenments or revelations are the case with Islam, and the idea that Islamic violence is just a passing phase is a dangerous liberal pipedream.

So what's the correct course of action for publishers of Islamic related materials? Well unless you're willing and able to confront Islam it's better to avoid the subject. The worst action is to initiate a confrontation and then back down as successful intimidation spawns more intimidation, not less.

As a nation it's important we preserve our non-Islamic majority. Islam does respect majority rule, even while it schemes to change that status. Some liberal European nations have found out too late that Islam does not blend into their secular societies like other religions do. Lets not make that mistake here.

Random House is no differen... (Below threshold)
Rance:

Random House is no different than the country in general.

We've all given up freedoms because we are afraid of being killed by radicals.

And the great liberal ho... (Below threshold)
Clay:

And the great liberal hope is that Islam will likewise outgrow it's violent phase.

The problem is that the long-awaited Islamic Reformation simply cannot occur. The reason that a reformation occurred in Christianity was, as Mac aptly pointed, men started to search Christianity's sacred scriptures and returned to a worldview consistent with the teachings of Christ. For Islam, a return to the Koran means more blood. The only answer is a new revision of the Koran that omits verses like the following:

"Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme." (Koran 8:37)
The Koran instructs not to make friendship with Jews and Christians (Koran 5:51) but to war against them: "When the Sacred Months are over, kill those who ascribe partners to God wheresoever ye find them; seize them, encompass them, and ambush them; then if they repent and observe prayer and pay the alms, let them go their way (Koran 4:5). "Fight against those who believe not in God nor in the Last Day, who... refuse allegiance to the True Faith from among those who have received the Book, until they humbly pay tribute out of hand." (Koran 9:29)
"...kill the disbelievers wherever we find them" (Koran 2:191); "fight and slay the Pagans, seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem" (Koran 9:5); "murder them and treat them harshly" (Koran 9:123).
"Seize ye him, and bind ye him, And burn ye him in the Blazing Fire. Further, make him march in a chain, whereof the length is seventy cubits! This was he that would not believe in Allah Most High. And would not encourage the feeding of the indigent! So no friend hath he here this Day. Nor hath he any food except the corruption from the washing of wounds, Which none do eat but those in sin." (Koran 69:30-37)
"Strike off the heads of the disbelievers"; and after making a "wide slaughter among them, carefully tie up the remaining captives" (Koran 47:4).
"Instill terror into the hearts of the unbelievers"; "smite above their necks and smite all their finger-tips off them" (Koran 8:12; cp. 8:60).
"O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern against them. Their abode is Hell - an evil refuge indeed" (Koran 9:73).
"slay or crucify or cut the hands and feet of the unbelievers, that they be expelled from the land with disgrace..." (Koran 5:34).
"for them (the unbelievers) garments of fire shall be cut and there shall be poured over their heads boiling water whereby whatever is in their bowels and skin shall be dissolved and they will be punished with hooked iron rods" (Koran 22:19-22)

When will this New International Version of the Koran be set for publication? When pigs fly.

Clay, Thank ... (Below threshold)
Grace:

Clay,

Thank you for the quotes. many of us here are not really knowledgeable enough to site "chapter and verse" of any faith book except our own. To know the enemy, to understand the enemy is crucial in any fight. To know and understand the Islamic religion as it is taught by the most radical of teachers is only the first step to understand what we are up against. I realize that there are verses in the Bible which I and many other Christians struggle with, but there is nothing so virulent, nothing quite so hateful or violent as the short list you have given us. Do the "moderate" Islamic teachers address these verses and/or dispute them? They may be just as fearful as Random House. It takes a truly brave person to stand up against this vitriol.

The other problem I see with comparing the Christian, Jewish or Islamic faiths is that Christianity derives directly from Judaism. Our Bible's Old Testament is Hebrew Scripture. The educated Christian in today's world realizes that Jesus was a Jew, therefore, Jewish people are our ancestors of faith and are to be respected as such. We may have diverged, but we do not hate each other (I know, I know, there will always be exceptions)

Thank you again, Clay,
Grace

Oh hey, epador.Cen... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Oh hey, epador.

Censorship is wrong. That's what I say.

It's off-topic, but nobody in the U.S. made fun of our ridiculous tribunals when they were used only to defend Jewish citizens from anti-semites and Holocaust deniers. That's why people like Mark Steyn come off as Islamophobic.

Carry on, though. I think any religion that holds itself above any other is incoherent and ought to be ridiculed in the public square.

It's off-topic, bu... (Below threshold)
It's off-topic, but nobody in the U.S. made fun of our ridiculous tribunals when they were used only to defend Jewish citizens from anti-semites and Holocaust deniers.

I'm unimpressed. Let us know when your precious HRCs do something, anything, different than what you'd expect from a left-wing kangaroo court.




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