May 17, 2005

The Gorilla In The Living Room: Toilet Flushing And Other Insane Reasons To Commit Murder

In my previous post on Monday I wrote that I was probably the only one that considered what has happened across the Muslim world over the past few days as the tantrums of a sick culture. My focus in the post was focused on the need for Muslim reform and the fact that the real story in the Newsweek fiasco, the 800 pound gorilla(really big gorilla) in the living room, was not Newsweek's stupid mistake and escape from journalistic standards and reason, but the reaction of the Muslim world to the Newsweek article. As bloggers and other pundits continue to pound on "News-Weak," why isn't more written on the absurd and inappropriate behavior of the Muslim world? Since when did flushing a book down or in a toilet, even if true which it wasn't (sourced to be true), holy or otherwise, rate commiting murder? Where is the uproar over Mulsim culpability and responsibility? Why isn't everyone screaming about the insane madness of the Muslim world's completely inappropriate and disproportionate response to the story? Completely missing from our posts and articles is the element of moral judgement. "To kill people thousands of miles away who had nothing to do with the act, and the fulminate with threats and murder against the entire Western world, all because of this alleged act, is not just disproportionate. It is not just excessive. It is mad."

Well, finally, from Robert Spencer at DhimmiWatch, comes this:

There is no excusing Newsweek's irresponsibility in publishing an explosive story that was false. But establishment conservatives like Marshall and National Review are fighting the last war if they think this is a story that is solely about media bias. Of course the media is biased, and it's getting worse, but people are waking up to that.

The bigger story here, and the gorilla in the living room that no one wants to notice, is that flushing a Qur'an down the toilet should not be grounds to commit murder. Note the total absence of moral judgment in Marshall's piece, except that which he directs toward Newsweek. His argument is this: Newsweek should have known that this story would lead to deaths. Therefore, they shouldn't have printed it. But he says nothing whatsoever about a culture that condones -- celebrates -- wanton murder of innocent people, mayhem, and destruction in response to the alleged and unproven destruction of a book.

The question here is one of proportionate response. If a Qur'an had
indeed been flushed, Muslims would have justifiably been offended. They may justifiably have considered the perpetrators boors, or barbarians, or hell-bound unbelievers. They may justifiably have issued denunciations accordingly. But that is all. To kill people thousands of miles away who had nothing to do with the act, and the fulminate with threats and murder against the entire Western world, all because of this alleged act, is not just disproportionate. It is not just excessive. It is mad. And every decent person in the world ought to have the courage to stand up and say that it is mad.

Why is it that rule #1 in the establishment (left and right) view of this present conflict is that it has nothing to do with Islam and to bring a moral judgment to bear upon Muslim people, or to explore the ways in which Islam fuels the confict, is therefore absolutely forbidden?

I wrote on Monday:

(...) Sure, Newsweek did what the mainstream media does best in a world that places more importance on getting the story out first than on getting the story out right;  they researched, wrote a piece, trashed the administration and our country, trashed the reputation of our military, and got the story out to the world - wrongly. Subsequently, sparked by a single paragraph in Newsweek alleging that US military interrogators had desecrated the Koran, a wave of anti-American demonstrations swept the Islamic world from the Gaza Strip to the Java Sea. In the past week it was condemned in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Malaysia and by the Arab League, and on Sunday, Afghan Muslim clerics threatened to call for a holy war against the United States. Think about it, this is from a
sub-population of our planet that refers to themselves as peaceful? What does this say about their culture, their thoughtfulness, their mindset, their ability for rational thought and their suitability to join in the rest of mankind in making
our planet a better place to live ?

(...)  Newsweek got it wrong, the Arab press never bothered to verify the alleged toilet episode any more than did Newsweek, and the mindless, tantrum-like violence sparked by the false story showed all of us the true face of the Islamic culture today - a sick and violence-prone society, enveloped and characterized more by hate than by love of God and humanity, and badly in need of reform.

Looking back on Monday's post, my own outcry over the Muslim's reaction failed to go far enough.

To borrow from Robert Spencer, they fall ever deeper into dhimmitude,
National Review, Marshall, other MSM pundits, and especially bloggers are doing the Western world an enormous disservice. The reaction to the Newsweek story in the Muslim world only shows how critical it is that the elements of Islam that give rise to fanaticism and violence be examined and confronted. Lives are at stake. All of us "citizen journalists" and MSM quot;professional" journalists need to step out of the mold; the real story has nothing to do with media bias.

Media bias has always been there, is there, and probably will always be there. It's just the excuse, if it hadn't been the toilet it would have been something else. The real cupablility remains squarely in the lap of Islam.

Cross posted by Hyscience

By at 01:08 PM | Comments |