I've defended Islam numerous times in these forums. I think that much of the so called Islamic agression going on is a reaction to Western economic,
military and cultural encroachments.
People have a right to their culture and ways of life. In North America over the last few decades there has been a resurgence of aboriginal North
American culture among the so called "first nations". I'm all for that. It is a welcome development, in my opinion. I don't see the sentiment in the
Middle East, among Muslims as being that different from the sentiment among the people of the "first nations" or the sentiment among Tibetans in
relation to encroachments on their culture by China.
These various peoples are feeling the pinch of other cultures to varying degrees, but the underlying reactions are coming from the same point of
origin, pressure to change to meet the requirements of expansionist cultures.
Maybe America is starting to feel the pinch of the "blowback". That is not necessarily a bad thing.
Behavior modification, when it is actually an improvement in behavior and not coerced, is a good thing, but having said that, people should be free to
express themselves, no matter where they are. The idea that Salmon Rushdie should have to have police protection for years because he wrote a novel
interpreted as criticizing Mohammed is deplorable.
Any religion that has to enforce its religious etiquette with military force has serious problems. Keeping people in a state of constant fear of the
religious police has created a situation in Pakistan and other places where terribly unjust reprisals have been exacted from people, some of them very
young or even mentally deficient, who were guilty of completely innocent lapses or minor infractions of Islamic "etiquette".
When a school teacher beats a 12 year old girl for what is essentially a spelling mistake and then her family has to move out of town for fear of
their lives, you can bet that that teacher and that town are petrified of the religious police, petrified that if they are not as extreme as the
religous police, that they themselves
might be the next victim of of the police.
Living in a police state must be hell but living in a religious police state
must be hell on wheels.
When American officials demonstrate sensitivity and good manners, they should be applauded. It takes strength of character to apologize for offense,
especially when the one issuing the apology is not really at fault. That's diplomacy.
edit on 16-9-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason
edit on 16-9-2012 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)