A Florida pastor has called off his plans to burn some 200 Qurans and the world breaths a sigh of relief. According to CNN, the burning would…
…have sparked international controversy and protests in the Muslim world. U.S. military leaders said the event would imperil the lives of troops abroad.
Earlier, when it seemed that Rev. Jones was going to follow through with his plans, his hosting company had pulled his church’s web site. The reason?
Dan Goodgame, a spokesman for the San Antonio, Texas-based web hosting firm Rackspace, told AFP the evangelical Dove World Outreach Center church had, “violated the Offensive Content section of its Acceptable Use policy.”
The policy forbids content or links to material that is “excessively violent, incites violence, threatens violence, or contains harassing content or hate speech; and creates a risk to a person’s safety or health, creates a risk to public safety or health, compromises national security, or interferes with a investigation by law enforcement.”
In actuality, both the U.S. government, and the hosting company, are admitting that Islam is a religion of violence. After all, it was only the expectation of violent reactions that motivated both to use whatever power they had to dissuade the reverend from burning those books. If Islam were truly a “religion of peace”, as has been famously claimed, then there would have been no cause for concern.
One is reminded of the Danish cartoon fiasco, when a series of cartoons caused an international uproar and attempts on the cartoonist’s life. At that time, it became clear that the Muslim hordes were a force to be contended with and that they can shape the policies of Western nations through rioting and threats. Although Christianity will sometimes produce individual lunatics or small congregations of oddballs, our generation has not seen violent Christian activism on a scale large enough to affect government/societal policies to any meaningful degree.
When Roland Emmerich produced his blockbuster movie, 2012, he specifically refrained from depicted the Ka’aba being destroyed even though he showed no mercy toward Christian landmarks. His rational?
“Well, I wanted to do that, I have to admit … but my co-writer Harald said I will not have a fatwa on my head because of a movie. And he was right. … We have to all … in the Western world … think about this. You can actually … let … Christian symbols fall apart, but if you would do this with [an] Arab symbol, you would have … a fatwa, and that sounds a little bit like what the state of this world is. So it’s just something which I kind of didn’t [think] was [an] important element anyway in the film, so I kind of left it out.”
What we have here is a very disturbing pattern. We are allowing ourselves to lose our freedom of expression because we are intimidated by Islam. It is understandable that Muslims would be offended by the burning of a book they consider holy. I would be offended by the burning of the Torah and, most likely, a Hindu would be offended by the burning of the Vedas. The difference is that Islam, or at least many who practice it, is not mature enough to collectively shake its head and then move on with life. As a result of this immaturity, the rest of the world is held in thrall by it.
Where will it end? It is a fact that Muslims are not only offended by direct affronts to their religion but they are also offended by perceived immodesty. Many Muslims view such “immodesty” as a license to rape non-Muslim women. The ongoing Muslim rape epidemic in Europe will surely get worse over time – since those in power have no interest in curbing it. In the not-so-distant future, women in Europe will experience intimidation to cover their hair or risk being assaulted.
I do not know if there is a word for “rule by the most violent group”. If there is no such word, then there surely should be one because this trend is likely to become more pronounced over time. The behavior we are witnessing rewards Islam for its violence. The Florida pastor, Roland Emmerich and so many others are (unwittingly) increasing violence in the world.
Islam needs to either grow up or remain only in designated areas. If every one of us would burn a Quran, then Muslims might be forced to grow up. It is highly unlikely that they could decapitate all of us. As long as only one or two people at a time dare to insult Islam, then Muslims can continue to intimidate those people into silence. Perhaps it is true that Reverend Jones is immature and hateful. Nevertheless, I think he was on to something. Through the internet, which now contains hundreds of Mohammad cartoons, we were able to silence the Muslim hordes; they finally gave up on that battle. By refraining from insulting Islam, we would reinforce the worldview of Muslims that such disrespect is unacceptable. As a matter of fact, it is unacceptable to demand that the rest of the world refrain from insulting any particular religion. Therefore, it can be argued that it is our duty to disrespect Islam. This is a right that is in danger of disappearing and the only way to preserve it is to exercise it. If, some day, Muslims learn to shrug off such insults and carry on with their daily lives, at that point there will no longer be any reason to insult Islam.