A bunch of savages

About 10 days ago I was telling someone about the extremist Muslim response to the cartoons of Muhammad.  They weren’t particularly familiar with what was happening but said, “It will go away soon.”  I agreed, but my point was it showed the tremendous gulf between the west and radical Islam.  Later, at lunch with a friend, I repeated, “It will go away soon.”  He disagreed, “The only way I see to get to the other side of this is over a pile of bodies–either theirs or ours.”  I realized he could be right but wasn’t convinced.  A week or so, I thought, that’s about the typical attention spam for this sort of thing.  I had forgotten the length of the French riots (and here, here, here, and here) last fall.  That was more like three weeks or a month.  This is a bigger and more widespread event.  Perhaps this will be the flame that will burn until all the fuel is exhausted.  It was over lunch yesterday this same friend told me about the $1 million reward for killing the cartoonist and ended the conversation with, “I feel like I’m living on another planet, these people are a bunch of savages.”  I couldn’t disagree.

In our frame of reference this insult is so trivial and their response is so extreme there will be no compromise, no truce, and no ceasefire.  As communication and travel have improved we can no longer be isolated from each other on this planet.  The publication of a few cartoons in minor newspaper in a small country in Western Europe ignited a violent, worldwide, response.  The fuel supply for this flame, this clash of civilizations, has been building for over a thousand years and the flame may not be extinguished until the fuel is exhausted.  I see only uncomfortable options; we destroy their civilization, they destroy ours, or we participate, as either victims or perpetrators, in the greatest genocide this world has ever known.

2 thoughts on “A bunch of savages

  1. I was surprised to find that the cartoons were printed so long ago, but the rioting didn’t start until much, much later, (almost 4 months). Other factors were at play, which I found out through this article: http://www.khouse.org/enews_article/2006/1034/print/

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    “The cartoons were first published September of last year in the Jyllands-Posten, one of Denmark’s largest daily newspapers. The caricatures certainly caused offense, but it wasn’t until late January (after a four month propaganda campaign) that it became an international issue. In fact, the situation would not have turned hostile, were it not for a group of Islamic religious leaders and government officials who deliberately mislead the public, inciting anger and violence throughout the Muslim world.

    Following the initial publication of the cartoons, a group of Danish imams traveled to the Middle East to meet with other religious leaders. They circulated the cartoons along with several other, much more offensive images. These additional images were never published by the Danish press, yet the public (and for a short while, the BBC) were lead to believe otherwise.”

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    It actually made me rethink some of my gut responses were to these riotings. They will go away, but the religion of death won’t. The article states it in more PC terms:

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    “Islam demands the utter destruction of all Jews, Christians, and anyone who refuses to convert to the Islamic faith. It is a warrior code that demands Muslims live and die by the sword. The truth about Islam is exactly the opposite of what you will hear on the news.”

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    Well, maybe not THAT PC. 🙂

    I brought the story up at my site too: http://fishorman.blogspot.com/2006/02/clearing-up-issue.html

  2. Remember, too, that these weren’t spontaneous eruptions of outrage. They started in places like Syria and Saudi Arabia, where they were most certainly staged by the government, and then spread through SA’s stooges around the muslim world.

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