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Way To Go, Rev!

Well, it looks like Reverend Terry Jones has scored. In light of his (empty) threat to burn Korans, Muslims engaged in the traditional Islamic Expression Of Righteous Indignation... and killed at least 15 people. Oh, and another rumor of a burned Koran in Michigan led to the entirely-predictable burning of a Christian church in India.

Here we see the actual dynamics of the principle I outlined on Sunday: "Don't piss off the crazy dangerous people."

It has become an axiom: if you do something that a large percentage of Muslims find an insult to their faith, or even propagate a rumor that such occurred, you will get people killed.

In order to demonstrate their freedom of the press, a Danish newspaper commissioned and published cartoons of Mohammed. Some were actually respectful; others insulting; all of them quite well done. The riots that followed killed over a hundred people.

Newsweek published a story that at Guantanamo Bay, a Koran had been flushed down a toilet. Before anyone could say "hey, how hell could a book as big as a Koran fit down a toilet?," riots erupted around the world and more people were killed.

A nobody minister in Florida announces "Burn A Koran Day," but in the end doesn't actually set fire to any Korans. Muslims riot anyway, over a dozen killed.

CAIR in Michigan alleges that a Koran is burned and left at the front door of a mosque. No actual singed book is found, but Muslims still go on a rampage and burn down an entire church in India.

In each case, the cause and effect relationship is clear: do something "blasphemous" to Islam, and there will be blood. People will die, buildings will be destroyed, all sorts of violence will follow.

But does that mean that the violence, since it's so predictable, is the responsibility of those who committed or propagated the initial offense against Islam?

I'd say no.

We like to say that we are responsible for the consequences of our actions. But there's an often-overlooked corollary to that principle: we are only responsible for the reasonable consequences of our actions.

In this case, if I were to do something that was insulting to Islam, then I would be responsible for Muslims not liking me, not respecting me, and people judging me to be an offensive and disrespectful person.

But I would not be responsible for any unreasonable responses to my actions.

No, in that case, the responsibility would lie strictly on the shoulders of the unreasonable people. Those who riot and burn and kill to express their outrage own 100% of their deeds. The blood they spill is entirely on their own hands.

In fact, the cynical, cold-blooded part of me suggests that this could be a successful tactic in prompting the long-overdue and critically-needed reformation of Islam. Keep poking at the crazies, then stand back and watch them go crazy over and over again. Sooner or later, they'll kill each other off, or they'll kill enough non-crazies that the non-crazies will wake up and realize the danger the crazies pose and deal with them, or the crazies will finally realize that what they're doing isn't helping.

A brutal, savage solution, and a hell of costly long shot, but I haven't seen any other proposals for getting Islam to grow the hell up and join the ranks of mature, civilized religions.

Update: As Sheik Yur Bouty notes, Dafydd ab Hugh of Big Lizards had pretty much the same idea...


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Comments (22)

It took hundreds of years f... (Below threshold)
Bruce Henry:

It took hundreds of years for Christianity to "grow the hell up" and become a "mature, civilized religion." Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, died violently. You want the next 5 or 6 generations to live through a process analogous to the Reformation?

The majority of the Muslim rioters, I dare say, are ignorant peasants and recent transplants from the peasantry, whipped into a frenzy by rabble-rousing clerics. Your "solution" assumes that the rioters are primarily motivated by religion, and that they can be made to see reason by provoking them. And that a "Reformation of Islam" can be "prompted" by the West. Both assumptions are false.

The motivation for the rioting is envy and resentment of the West, which has waxed powerful while the power of the Islamic world has waned. Religion is only the tool that radicals use to whip up the masses. And the West will NEVER directly prompt Islam to do anything. The last time the West even INDIRECTLY "prompted" the Islamic world to change was when Kemal Ataturk took Turkey in a Westerly direction in the 1920s. There followed a secular revolution in the Arab world, soon sadly perverted by imperialist stooges, tinpot pro-Soviet (and pro-US) despots and Baathist dictators. And then the establishment of the state of Israel, and its unquestioning support by the US, complicated matters even further.

So I'm afraid your "solution," offered in jest as I assume it was, is both facile and naive.

Bruce, I'm tired of the exc... (Below threshold)

Bruce, I'm tired of the excuse for Islamic current atrocities by citing Christianity's past offenses.

We're talking about the here and now. We're talking about people who are getting killed today. We're talking about preventing more deaths tomorrow.

Islam NEEDS a Reformation. And your mealy-mouthing excuses for their atrocities simply adds to the body count.

Thank you, Mr. Helpy-Help.


Islam grown up and civilize... (Below threshold)

Islam grown up and civilized??? It is not going to happen. Though all religions have had bad/evil people within them that caused great harm, the religions themselves still preach goodness and forgiveness, etc. EXCEPT Islam.
It is pure evil with no redeeming qualities at all. Just their treatment and attitude of women...I mean what more does one need to put this "religion" in perspective???
My husband said if you need a picture of Satan, just one of these hairy bastards would do.

Bruce, today's weapons are ... (Below threshold)
Burton Choinski:

Bruce, today's weapons are too powerful and it's too easy for a lone crazy to potentially kill millions, much less millions of crazies. When Christianity reformed the possible damage was much more limited and contained.

The world can't afford for Islam to NOT reform itself. They either deal with Allah's A-holes, or their religion will have to be put down like a rabid dog.

Well, Jay, your solution wo... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Well, Jay, your solution would be amazingly easy to put to the test.

We simply need to start a rumor, DAILY, that a koran was burned somewhere in America. Let them riot every day. Eventually, they will either kill all the crazies or get tired or rioting.

As and added bonus, any violence they commit in the US will almost certainly be committed in large cities, which are almost entirely BLUE.

Two birds, one stone.

But, I guess that won't work, since BRUCE ALMIGHTY says we can't directly prompt islam to do anything.

Oh, well.

Oh, and right after I poste... (Below threshold)
Sheik Yur Bouty:

Oh, and right after I posted my comment, I read the latest post at Big Lizards, which says almost exactly what I just did, but with more and better words. Hmmm...

I'm tired of treating Islam... (Below threshold)

I'm tired of treating Islam like an abused dog: make the wrong move, and somebody gets bitten. That is the most racist, elitist attitude. Treat them like PEOPLE, responsible for their own actions, as is expected of EVERYONE ELSE in civilization.

Don't get them angry? Perha... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Don't get them angry? Perhaps if we get Neville Chamberlian to sign a peace agreement with them, we'll have peace in our time?

this could be a su... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:
this could be a successful tactic in prompting the long-overdue and critically-needed reformation of Islam.

As an admitted agnostic, you deserve a bit of a pass on the "reformation" thing, but the Reformation movement in the Christian church was a direct response to the encroachment of corruption which got the faith away from its scriptural roots.

Islam isn't engaged in corruption or apostasy. The whole sharia and fundamentalist movements are perfectly in line with their koranic teachings. It is instead the "moderates" who are out of line with islamic doctrine, which partially accounts for their studied silence as their "religion of peace" is demonstrated to be a violent pagan death cult by its purest practitioners.

I'm sure Obama can explain how all that is America's fault, like all the other problems in the world.

I hope a Muslim never wins ... (Below threshold)

I hope a Muslim never wins the Superbowl. They'd probably nuke Australia & overturn the polar icecap to celebrate

Bruce - "millions" died vio... (Below threshold)
Big Mo:

Bruce - "millions" died violently because of Christianity?

A rumor can usually get a d... (Below threshold)

A rumor can usually get a dozen or so stampeded. Good for population control.

Sorry, my give a shi... (Below threshold)

Sorry, my give a shit meter is inop.

Way too much "we must be tolerant", when we've demonstrably shown EXTRAORDINARY tolerance, especially post 9-11.

Maybe we need a "Seethe Alert" to track the rage.

Or we could simply ignore the infantile yapping.

I say "bring it on". I am s... (Below threshold)

I say "bring it on". I am so tired of our so called leaders gingerly walking around anything concerning muslim less it offend. Call it what it is. An intolerant hate group, at least at this point. Our leaders had better start manning up an confront the manipulation. The citizenry is getting very tired of the whining an accusations. ww

Bruce,If what you ... (Below threshold)
jim m:


If what you assert were true then we could look back at other religions and see them going through the same stages as they "grew up". Yes the bloody history of Confucianism and Buddhism surely attest to the truth of your statement. Wait.. they don't have a bloody history? My mistake.

No. Religions are a mix of their foundational beliefs and the cultures of which they are born. Christianity was not began as a religion of conquest as for hundreds of years it was violently suppressed by the government. What happened after government co-opted the faith is a different matter, but that cannot be placed to the blame of the faith. In fact one could reasonably claim that many of the excesses of the Roman Catholic Church were in response to the blood thirsty actions of the muslims who for centuries tried to destroy it by conquest.

Islam began as a religion of conquest and has continued that way unabated since the 7th century.

Secondly, if we take your position that a religion needs to grow up, hen why is it that islam is so very far behind the curve? Christianity lead the way in promoting reason and enlightenment. We owe our university system and much of science to the instigation of the church. Why then when Christianity had no other example to guide it was it able to grow up as you say and islam with such an example lags centuries behind? The answer is not that islam wants to be like its older sibling, but rather that it rejects utterly and completely the example. In a family the younger children mature more quickly because they have an example to model and they have a desire to grow up so they can be like their older siblings. Such is not the case with religions.

Interesting in that Iran is... (Below threshold)

Interesting in that Iran is behind these protests according to the linked article at the NY Daily News. Though no actual burning took place, Iranian TV broadcast otherwise.

What is not mentioned, not even by our media is that at an Afghan village, a Marine Squad leader "found children selling heroin dosages wrapped in torn pages of the Koran in the village streets." (ht JammieWearingFool).

The Iranians are using the perpetually outraged to deflect attention away from themselves and further demonize us. Our media are using these people to further cow us into the correct behavior, submission.

Strange coincidence isn't it?

"Don't piss off the crazy d... (Below threshold)

"Don't piss off the crazy dangerous people,"

It's quite common, when a rape occurs in countries under Muslim rule, that they point to the victim as responsible because of what she wore or how she presumably acted.

When the "crazy dangerous people" get riled up, we've seen the response here is to point to who riled them up rather than the "crazy dangerous people" themselves.

Why isn't anyone saying that the "crazy dangerous people" provoked the preacher?

Why do so many people here act as if they're under Muslim rule? There has been so much outrage directed at this preacher that it seems they have none left to direct at the whack jobs that have burned bibles, flags and copies of the Constitution and killed people at the mere threat of burning a Quran. Really. The most prevalent response I've heard is, "See what that preacher caused?"

Let me act as devil's advoc... (Below threshold)

Let me act as devil's advocate here. Do you think that the a great deal of violence is convulsing the Middle East and too much of that is being exported to other regions of the world? If so, what would you propose as the "long-term" solution to this problem? You certainly can't believe that nation building and "democratization" has a snow-balls chance in hell of "soothing the savage Middle Eastern breast?"

The brilliant, out of the box thinker David Goldman (aka Spengler) discusses the Koran burning episode in his Asia Times article "Terry Jones, Asymmetrical Warrior." To make a long article short, "of the 1,868 acts of religious violence listed by the Global Terrorism Database, all but a handful were conducted by Muslims on Muslims. America has done its best to suppress such violence. What if America (or Russia, or India, or China) were to incite it?"

He points out that the U.S. has spent nearly 6,00 lives and a trillion dollars in Iraq/Afghan, along with annual "aid" of at least $2 billion in Egypt plus hundreds of millions in other Islamic countries. And what has that produced for the long term national interest? Spengler advances the idea that, instead of throwing good money after bad, those countries most interested in wiping out the Islamic threat create a kind of Stalinist disinformation campaign to create a whole series of competing Islamic "heresies" which would sow weakness and discord around the region. Hey, Stalin was successful. Much of the Progressive playbook comes from the Stalinist disinformation campaign.

I say yeah! Let's go on the offensive.

How glorious these blogs... (Below threshold)
gaius piconius:

How glorious these blogs and comments. All it took to mobilize the angry illiterate mob was the emergence of some angry French pamphleteers, and history and the world was changed, astonishingly. The world today is not at all illiterate and as I judge it the anti- muslim, anti-Islam postings that swirl around us every day are a strong indication that there is not going to be an internal audit by muslims of the challenges that need to be considered regarding their faith and the way it bumps up against others, There may just be less, time, than muslims have, will, in the matter. There is palpable discontent with the way that Islam is becoming such a looming threat to our world. There is definite fear in the air and I doubt strongly that the western world, regardless of the lack of common sense in our human rights organizations, is going to wait for such a duplicitous culture as the culture of Islam to find a way to fit on to its newly acquired perch among the infidels. There is not an internet day goes by that we do not dine on postings most critical of muslim culture, muslim expectations. As a possiblity of not finding several there that set us on edge you might consider..the 19th root of the reciprocal of pi raised to the power of minus 128...as a percentage of one percent as being a just about small enough number.
Muslims, it is clear, have no shortage of arrogance and quite honestly it does not suit them whatsoever. Arrogance, if anywhere,
is more appropriate to people of ability, people with a track record of accomplishments.
In large part, and I am certain that some sects of Islam, like the Ishmaelites, do not fit into my bleak assessment of the whole, but it is inevitable that they will be tarred with the same brush because their co-religionists are obviously intent on joining the Awkward Squad. As God drills all of the religions of the world calling, 'left, right..left,right....the Awkwards are going...right, left...right,left....completely out of steps while insisting that they are the only ones in step. It seems that that they misapprehend God today just as they did trying to fathom the God of Abraham in the seventh century.
My heart felt sorrow to the Ishmaelites and other muslims who really do not fit my mold. My slighting comments aren't really aimed at them.....but that said a final comment dealing with those who would call me BIGOTED. The word according to the Oxford English Dictionary requires me to be unreasonable in my prejudices and intolerance and that I certainly am not. It's just that the modern day pamphleteers and of course the track record of hideous Islamic happenings sway my temperament.

Sorry, my give a shit me... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Sorry, my give a shit meter is inop.

Mine's in the repair shop. Doesn't take much to piss these twats off, anyway. Fart in a non-Islamic way, and they riot.

They are looking for ANY excuse...most of the time, they don't need an excuse anyway.

(HMMMM - just received a re... (Below threshold)

(HMMMM - just received a recall notice on my give a shit meter)

With the exception of American soldiers overseas, I really could give a shit less what the muslims do to people in THEIR country. Preaching whatever to those a-holes is about as smart as walking into a den of hungry lions with a piece of raw meat in your hand expecting to teach them to eat vegetables, or for that matter, expecting them to share it equally among themselves. What kind of morons would go "hiking" on the border of Iran/Iraq, in the middle of a conflict? What idiot reporter would leave protection to drive around looking for "local color" in a war zone?? Would a black person be expected at a Klan rally? Would a white person be welcome at a Black Panther party? WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND COMMON SENSE??

If you want a good look at islam, look at France and England. There are now concessions to sharia law, neighborhoods a non-muslim does not dare to go into, and riots and demonstrations in those countries against the government, in the name of islam. Preview of the US if we don't something. I believe it was the Australian PM who told the factions there, speak English, don't import your law or religious beliefs OR GET THE HELL OUT! This is Australia, be an Australian or go home. (Paraphrasing there)

That being said, I am a firm believer that for every American killed, sanctioned/condoned by a foreign government, we take out a city of that country. How many cities do you think it would take before support dissipated?


Yes Big Mo they did.. Shoul... (Below threshold)

Yes Big Mo they did.. Should we then re-introduce Small pox, Polio, the Plagues? We have these things called brains and one of it's functions is to learn. Muslims seem incapable of learning to live in peace with other religions and must be taught, as other mind warping religions have been, the price of being uncivilized. And now our leftist Quislings insist they have the right to Nukes? Of course our appeaser Obumer will retaliate against Boise if the Mullahs bomb Tel Aviv.






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