Thursday, February 23, 2006

From tolerance to bullying

The problem with the Islamic world is not that they get offended at cartoons that are against their faith. Indeed, we Jews should likewise defend Islam against every act of defamation. But as Jews we have been conditioned to believe that violence is never a legitimate response to anything but a direct threat to human life. Arab newspapers regularly publish anti-Semitic caricatures displaying Jews with giant noses snorting up money. But the idea of going and torching Arab offices or threatening journalists with beheadings, as leaders of Hamas have done to the Danish cartoonists, would be as distant from us as eating pork on Yom Kippur.

Another voice heard from. Sometimes the Jerusalem Post is a little bit right-wing for my tastes, but then there are articles like these that make you think, even if you don't necessarily agree with everything they're saying. This article laments that Islam as a religion has gone from being a global leader in culture and education and ethics, to being a global "bully" that calls for blood every time someone dares raise a finger to disagree with it. The article does NOT say that every Muslim is a bully--nobody but the most strident right-wing nutjob would take that position--but it does say that Islam as a religion is being used to justify horrible acts of violence and fanatacism. Once again, this article is presented as a thought piece, and I don't necessarily agree with everything in it.