Christian Rage and Muslim Moderation
If the satellite networks allow their lenses to zoom back from the book burners, they may discover there's no raging crowd there, just the usual collection of unemployed malcontents on any street in Karachi. And what is most important, we may find that the Muslims of this world are just as weary of this sorry spectacle—maybe even more so—than the Christian, Jewish and secular publics in the West.We may, and we may not. His examples of Muslim moderation are an interesting combination of cherry-picking and wishful thinking.The Turkish government is "supporting theological scholarship intended to modernize—and moderate—traditional Islamic teachings." A single Lebanese Ayatollah is not openly calling for violence anymore. Saudi Arabia's king is acting against al-Qaeda-style terrorism. And then:
But even with many qualifications and reservations, in my view the conciliatory trends in Islam make an interesting contrast with renewed provocations coming out of Europe.Yes, freedom of speech is such a nuisance sometimes.
There's no use wasting much space on the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, the dyed blond with ugly roots who is promoting a film he says will prove his belief that "Islamic ideology is a retarded, dangerous one."
....Danish cartoonists and editors previously unknown to the wider world garnered international attention when they published caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 that brought on bloody riots in several Muslim countries in 2006. Having sunk once again into obscurity, the editors decided to publish one of the cartoons again last month, reportedly after the arrest of an individual plotting to kill the cartoonist. Great idea. Take one man's alleged crime and respond with new insults to an entire faith.What a wonderful use of sarcasm, Mr. Dickey! I especially like how you characterize the people who were murdered by the cartoon riots as being the victims of publicity-seeking cartoonists in Denmark. The fact that the riots were stoked by Muslim leaders - months after their initial publication - just don't fit your recollections of the events, so we will just ignore those inconvenient facts for now.
The most problematic event of late, however, was Pope Benedict's decision to baptize the Egyptian journalist Magdi Allam in Saint Peter's on the night before Easter, thus converting a famously self-hating Muslim into a self-loving Christian in the most high-profile setting possible. Perhaps Benedict really thought, as the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano opined, that the baptism was just a papal "gesture" to emphasize "in a gentle and clear way religious freedom." But I am not prepared to believe for a second, as some around the Vatican have hinted this week, that the Holy Father did not know who Allam was or how provocative this act would appear to Muslim scholars, including and especially those who are trying to foster interfaith dialogue.What Dickey refuses to face up to is that even if the Pope's timing was provocative, it doesn't justify any violent reaction. Luckily, it didn't happen this time, but Dickey is justifying it before the fact. Ironically, the progressive Dickey is assuming that Muslims will act like animals and writes his column with that assumption in the forefront.
(h/t Global Freezing)