Friday, January 19, 2007

Help Me On This One

I'm trying people. Really, I am. I value myself as an open-minded, progressive liberal who really tries to see both sides of the story. But I am beginning to wonder about Islam.

It stated with an article that came out today about the new season of 24. It seems that some Islamic groups are upset at being portrayed as terrorists this season. So there will be the usual around the Islamic world: protests and boycotts aimed at stopping Muslims from being portrayed as terrorists. They will be organized, articulate, and convince many of the true ideals of Islam.

Yet, I fail to find this same sort of organized response towards the violence in the Middle East with Muslim killing Muslim, nor will I see this same response towards radical Islamic groups in places like the UK who profess that they will carry on a jihad there.

A political thinker once declared that until mainstream Muslims denounce the violence associated with these fringe Islamic groups, no amount of firepower around the world will stop it. I take this thought seriously. I'm not saying that Christianity doesn't have its sins. We're all too familiar with the Catholic church's lack of response towards the holocaust, the Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, and how Christianity was used to justify Jim Crow in the South.

But how do moderate Muslims justify the violence that has occurred in the UK? What about the Madrid subway bombings? What about the sectarian violence in Iraq? When a sacred and ancient mosque was destroyed in sectarian violence, the only real voices outside of those directly affected to be heard were archaeologists! I didn't see or hear about mass protests in Montreal or New York or London denouncing this senseless destruction.

Yet a small cartoon comes out in a locally distributed Dutch newspaper and Muslims everywhere are in the streets protesting and rioting. If Catholics protested anytime an unflattering cartoon appeared about the Pope or the Church, we'd never get to mass on Sundays!

I wonder if it's the whole strong arm tactic with violent groups within Islam. If you speak out against them, then you're not a true follower and no Muslim wants that. It's almost as if a very, very small faction of Islam has hijacked an entire religion.

Perhaps it's almost that American sorta of response. You know that whole "Yeah, we fight amongst ourselves but leave us the fuck alone or you'll be sorry."

Maybe it's the whole renaissance of Islam itself. I like to think that this is what Islam is going through. The world is becoming smaller and those that can't deal with new ideas are going to react violently towards the inevitable death of their closed experience. I truly, truly hope this is what is going on. But if you can shed some light on this to help me understand, please, please, please do so!


Lindsay said...

I totally get where you are coming from on this. After the whole Dutch cartoon thing, I got a little freaked out. People were being killed and embassies set on fire because of this damn cartoon...and the extremists were threatening papers that were going to print it. A freakin cartoon! All this protesting over a cartoon, and yet people are being executed by extremists in Iraq, and why aren't they protesting those guys? Seriously, this world is effed up.

Cincysundevil said...

I just don't get it. The number of radical Muslims is such a minute percentage of the whole but yet, it's as if they've hijacked the entire religion.