Living with Muslim outrage
Just when I thought we could put the mosque at Ground Zero on the back burner, here comes its promoter, Feisal Abdul Rauf, the bridge-building moderate Muslim, issuing a not so subtle threat. Even a columnist of a diffident and moderate nature like myself could hardly be expected to ignore what a baseball player might call, “A hanging slider, middle in.” So forgive me if I take a swing at Mr. Rauf.
Imam Rauf is a self-proclaimed bridge builder between the Muslim and non-Muslim worlds. He is also involved in government housing and conducts this business in such a way that his tenants refer to him as a “slum lord.” But, I digress, that’s another story for another time.
Rauf was recently quoted as saying that if his Cordoba House is not built on his chosen site near Ground Zero, “the headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack.” He then predicted that the unfortunate result of this will be that “anger will explode in the Muslim world,” and he said that could head to “something which could really become very, very, very dangerous indeed.” Now, when you find it necessary to use “very” three times, you are no doubt talking about real danger.
Rauf’s message of peace, in short, is: give me exactly what I want, when I want it or the Arab street will explode in anger and some of you will die. Given Rauf’s rather mixed message, we might be a bit careful about venturing across bridges built by Muslim fakirs of his type.
Well, I’ve got news for Rauf and his timid American apologists: the damn Arab street has its knickers in an uproar all the time no matter what we do or say, so give it a rest—we don’t care anymore, or we shouldn’t if we do.
Michelle Malkin, in a column called “The Eternal Flame of Muslim Outrage,” recalled “the little-noticed and forgotten ways” that have stirred up Muslim passions. Recently a mob in Kashmir rioted because they thought someone was selling underwear with a picture of a mosque on the shirt. Turned out it wasn’t a mosque but St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. It should be noted here that Episcopalians did not riot or protest, although I admit it’s a bit hard to imagine a couple hundred Episcopalians from Longboat Key’s All Angels by the Sea jumping around while firing AK47s in the air.
In 1997, outraged Muslims, according to Malkin, forced Nike to recall 800,000 shoes because they claimed the company’s “Air” logo resembled the Arabic script for Allah. Then it was the Unilever’s ice cream logo that came under fire because some Muslims claimed it look like the word “Allah” if read upside-down and backward. (The group objecting to this must have been Muslim contortionists.) Burger King got it next when British Muslims got their burkahs in a bunch, because they thought a Burger King ice cream container label resembled the Arab script for Allah. One has to wonder if all dessert labels are prone to look like Arab script.
The not so funny stuff includes the ongoing death threats to Salman Rushdie; cutting off the nose of an Islamic woman bold enough to enter a beauty contest; the Danish cartoon riots; and the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Muslim extremist who thought Van Gogh’s work insulted Muslims. It goes on an on. Hundreds have died or been forced to flee for their lives by those who claim they are protecting Mohammed from slight or injury.
Rauf also has claimed that the real battle is between the moderates of all faiths against the extremists of each faith. It sounds good, but it is an absolutely ridiculous statement. Christians, Hindus and Buddhists have a few nutcases—Florida’s recent entry into the Religious Hall of Shame comes to mind—but to equate what is a worldwide campaign by Muslim terrorists with a threat to burn a Koran by a Florida stump-thumper beggar’s belief?
When have you read of Catholic suicide bombers; Baptists threatening atheist authors with beheading; or Lutherans threatening miscreants with anything more than a disapproving look? Methodists have been peaceful for generations with the possible exception of the violence their choirs sometimes visit with the hymn, “The Holy City,” on Easter Sunday morning.
In 1987, Andres Serrano won an award sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts for his entry titled, “Piss Christ.” It was a picture depicting a plastic crucifix submerged in a glass of the artist’s urine. The artist was called brave; he was no such thing. Some Christian folks wondered out loud about public funding for this stuff, but no one blew up anything, beheaded anyone, cut off anyone’s nose or caused anyone to hide in Norway to avoid execution. You want brave? Try putting a statute of Mohammad in a jar of urine and see what that gets you. That would be brave, a bit stupid, but brave.
When Obama was elected, many assured us that terrorists would now be unable to recruit new terrorists given that his multi-cultural background would appease Muslim rage. Hasn’t worked out, has it? There have been more terrorist attacks in the last 18 months than in the six years after the Cowboy president invaded Iraq.
The point here is not to blame Mr. Obama. The point is that Muslim extremists don’t really care what we do; they will be outraged by anything short of our adopting Sharia law.
In short, we are going to have to live with Muslim outrage and we can, if we just stop pretending that it is caused by anything we do.