Friday, September 10, 2010

The Shoe's On The Other Foot Now

On the day before September 11, I'm feeling particularly provocative. So I thought I'd start my article with the famous Gustave Dore 1885 illustration of Mohammed in hell, exposing his removed entrails to Dante and Virgil. Since the first hint that Muslims were planning on building a triumphalist mosque at Ground Zero, we who oppose it have been excoriated as bigots, Islamaphobes, haters, radicals, Nazis and despisers of the First Amendment.

Note: Subsequent to the writing of this article, Baptist pastor Terry Jones announced that he is canceling the Koran-burning. His early stated reason is that the promoters of the Ground Zero mosque have agreed to move the mosque away from Ground Zero. Imam al Rauf doesn't seem to have any such plans. However, since this article is about the reactions to the Koran-burning rather than the Koran-burning itself, I'm going to leave the article in place.

We must learn to be tolerant and sensitive to Muslim feelings while ignoring our own feelings. Never mind the words of the chief organizer of the mosque, Faisal Abdul al Rauf, who will not denounce Hamas as a terrorist organization and was rewarded by the Obama administration with a good will tour of the Middle East. Ignore the short distance between the mosque and the site of nearly 3,000 deaths caused by Muslim jihadists. Ignore the City of New York's total indifference to the plight of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church which was destroyed by the collapse of one of the towers on 9/11. Pay no attention to who is financing the project, let alone the recent restaurant waiter and now construction mogul who is "putting the deal together" even though he appears to be nearly bankrupt and deeply in debt for back taxes.

After all, we shouldn't be blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few, now should we? A few hangings of civilian American workers here, an occasional beheading of a Jew there, a blown-up marine barracks in Lebanon during peacetime, a subway attack or two in Europe, dozens of missiles lobbed into Jerusalem from Gaza, 40 people dead because of cartoon depictions of Mohammed, and, oh, 3000 people dead in New York City, the Pentagon and a lonely field in Pennsylvania. That's just the list that comes to mind immediately, but I'm quite sure it's a rarity--or so they tell me.

And let us not forget the huge crowds of moderate Muslims who have joined arms and protested the murderous acts of those few jihadists. Remember the speeches made by all the major clerics of Islam here and abroad, denouncing terrorism, praising tolerance and sensitivity toward Christians and Jews, and demanding that all murderers in the name of Islam be brought to justice wherever they are found. And don't forget the imams who have called for all Muslims to abide by the law of their chosen countries and to separate their religion from their politics. Oops, never mind, nothing in this paragraph has ever happened.

Given all that, I'll have to be forgiven if I am actually enjoying the tempest over a slightly nutty pastor of a rogue Baptist church with all of fifty members in Gainesville, Florida. He has declared his own little crusade by organizing a Koran-burning to memorialize 9/11. Let me make this perfectly clear before I proceed. I abhor book-burning of any kind, including the Koran. I think this publicity-stunt cum patriotic/religious zeal is wrong and stupid.

The left and the Islamists have managed to make a major issue out of something that would have completely passed beyond notice without their very own publicizing of the "event." But when that odd couple gets together with the complicity of the mainstream media, an ignorant and stupid move becomes a major attack on Islam deserving of pulling out all the indignation stops. As the screams of the Islamoleftists and MSM become louder and more pointed, and are joined by the condemnation of fired-up Christian pastors and Jewish rabbis, I'm slowly beginning to feel a small hint of sympathy for this clown and his congregation.

Let me borrow a major argument from the proponents of the mosque from the left, their fellow-travelers, the Islamists, and their reality-deprived supporters. "The First Amendment is absolute. No matter how inappropriate the actions, it is a violation of freedom of religion and freedom of speech ever to make a public statement opposing the acts of a particular religious group." Where are the cries of suppression of freedom of speech in Gainseville from the same people who are so tolerant of the Ground Zero mosque? Don't hold your breath waiting for them.

That First Amendment argument is totally nonsensical when it comes to the mosque, but if you're buying into it, shouldn't the same thing apply to burning the Koran on church property? Never mind it's intolerant. Never mind it's in inappropriate. Never mind who might be offended, or what acts might be taken as a result. It's all about the First Amendment, right? Wrong.

Still, I have to feel that Muslims bring these things on themselves. Would I be indignant at a public Bible-burning at an established Muslim site? Of course. Am I going to burn down a building, or murder someone, or fly a plane into the royal palace in Riyadh over it? No. But sure enough, the rumblings of violence to protest the Koran-burning are already worldwide. I want to remind everyone that the Danish cartoon depictions of Mohammed didn't produce much of a reaction at all until two years after the fact. And why then? Because some major Muslim clerics decided there weren't enough dead Westerners, started the fire and then fanned the flames of Islamic hatred. This situation isn't a lot different, except for all the help from the MSM, and the foolish Christians and Jews who have decided to pile on by calling the planned event "anti-Muslim frenzy."

I also have a bone to pick with General Petraeus. I have great admiration for the man and his successful surge in Iraq (and possibly Afghanistan). But he forgot his own rule about staying out of political and religious matters by announcing that American soldiers overseas might be endangered by the murderous rage soon to be unleashed if the Koran-burning goes forward. Well, with all due respect, he's right on the facts, wrong on the reasoning. They'll kill Americans because the sun came up in the morning. But our troops, if not their leaders, realize that this is exactly the sort of thing they are sworn to protect, even at risk of their own lives.

I fear such a reaction as well, and it's one of the reasons I think the pastor is a dangerous provocateur. But the Constitution and the military oath aren't there to protect popular speech or sweet, loving actions. Precisely the opposite. I wouldn't be surprised if Petraeus got a little encouragement from that great Constitutional scholar and Islam-submitter, Barack Obama. But it isn't Petraeus's job to protect his troops by making announcements about political and religious issues.

The Islamic hate-stirrers and their liberal sheep friends have lit the fire and fanned the flames over this previously uneventful event, and now complain that violence will follow. It's their own fault the fire has reached their holy robes and blown a hole in their lofty hypocritical rhetoric. They're like the guy who kills his parents then throws himself on the mercy of the court because he's an orphan. You poured gasoline on this fire, so don't be surprised if there's an explosion.

Of course this also proves another point I've been making for months now. Freedom of speech, religion and expression is a hateful concept in Jihadistan. Burn the Torah, and Jews will lament. Burn the New Testament, and Christians will mourn. Burn the Koran, and people, maybe lots of people, will die. That is why Islam is called "the religion of peace," at least by those foolish enough or ignorant enough not to realize that it is a religion which has at its heart holy war, submission or death for all non-Muslims, and the total melding of religion, politics and law.

Judaism and Christianity have come a long way since the Crusades. Islam is still just a few steps away from the cave from which Mohammed emerged with the revealed message of perpetual war against the infidels ensconced in the Koran and the Hadiths. The Muslims can't even agree on the latter, so the Sunnis and Shiites gleefully murder each other when they're not busy killing Westerners. For that reason, I call the pastor's proposed Koran-burning extremely unwise since it will prove just how tolerant Islam actually is. But as part of an abstract principle, it is entitled to exactly the same protection as the provocative Ground Zero mosque.

Meanwhile, good will ambassador al Rauf has declared that he has no intention of budging one inch, literally, on the location of the mosque. And then he made an announcement that if the "radicals" (meaning 70% of the American people) are successful in causing the mosque to be moved, "Muslims would come to believe that Islam is under attack." Gee, I wonder what he means by that. "Under attack." Sounds like a call to arms to me. See what I mean about the Muslims taking every disagreement with them as some kind of causa belli? Anyone "under attack" is automatically entitled to use mass murder in self-defense, you see.

One final thought on the matter. This pastor may be controversial and confrontational, and even a publicity-grabber, but he's not stupid. On Thursday (yesterday) he announced that if he received a call from Barack Hussein Obama asking him not to burn the Korans, he would call the event off. He no longer needs the Islamists and the MSM to make him famous, he's doing a pretty good job of doing it himself at this point. The only thing I can think of that would be worse than Obama not calling him would be Obama actually calling him. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. But Obama's big mouth about the Ground Zero mosque made this an opportunity the clever pastor couldn't let pass and one that Obama richly deserves.


Tennessee Jed said...

well said, Hawk, well said. I think we all want not to blame someone for the actions of others, and yet . . . I cannot help but feel exactly as you state. Those Muslims who are supposedly against the extremist jihadists never, ever seem to really stand up and say so. There are many many more crowds burning flags and crying "death to the Great Sataan" than you will ever see decrying Al Queda.

I suppose some apologists would state it is in part because they fear retribution from the jihadists. Well why should we always do the heavy lifting? As put so eloquently in Team America World Police, "freedom isn't free." personally, failure to condemn Hamas is enough IN AND OF ITSELF to make the imam's motives suspect.

The irony of the Koran burning preacher and the Hamas supporting "peaceful" imam is quite delicious for those who would hypocritically condemn those who oppose the Ground Zero mosque as bigoted.

Joel Farnham said...

Well, I guess the pastor figured it was time for someone to do something stupid and pointless and he was just the man to do it. (Thank you Animal House.)

I am disappointed with Petraeus as well. Why even talk about it at all?

I do appreciate the irony.

Good article.

USArtguy said...

Not enough time, or space, to leave all my thoughts but I'll add to your list of shining examples of the peaceful religion: the Iran hostage crisis where 52 US citizens were held hostage for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981; the Madrid Train Bombing killing 191 people, the2002 Bali bombingsthat killed 202 attributed to this guy who has quite a resumé when it comes to bombings. Notice that his name doesn't sound Amish.

Yes I think that the pastor in Florida is adding fuel to the fire but August saw the highest number of US soldiers killed since the war began and no one was burning Korans at the time. Taking the initial reaction out of the story of the pastor, it occurs to me the soldiers aren't there for some Arbor Day event planting trees in the desert. They are under threat every single day.

After decades of the US government removing God from every public institution it can, two Mid East wars with no absolute clear cut victory, the daily barrage of Christian bashing that takes place all the while being forced to be politically correct so as to be "sensitive" to everything but America and Americans, the forced acceptance of "illegal" aliens and the bending over backwards to accomodate a mosque next to ground zero, I think the pastor was wanting to draw a sand (pun intended) and say enough is enough.

USArtguy said...

That first link didn't go where it was supposed to. This is it.

BevfromNYC said...

And the list grows"
WTC 1993
Embassy Bombing Tanzania
Embassy Bombing Kenya
USS Cole bombing

FYI - The book burning may be back on. The Imam that was working with the Florida minister for a resolution had promised him that the he had an agreement to move the GZ Mosque. Almost as soon as they announced it was off, Imam Rauf said there was no such agreement, There was only agreement that there might be a discussion about having an agreement (basically). But now other small churches around the country are joining in Tennesse, Kansas, and Wyoming...the drama continues.

StanH said...

Pastor Jones is perhaps sly like the fox? A weird mix of P.T. Barnum, with a twist of John Brown for the religious zealotry. If what he’s doing, is to juxtapose the insanity of building the victory mosque at Ground Zero, with the burning of the Quran, he’s succeeded brilliantly, and perhaps a job on Madison Avenue awaits. By going outside what is politically correct, this little hick minister (I’m a Southerner, I can say that) has done what no has even come close to accomplishing put that phony Imam Rauf on the defensive, and unmasking his inner Islamo-Goon…give us what we want or we’ll blow things up, in that regard, bravo! …Pastor Jones. Also, this once again exposes the hypocrisy of the MSM, blindly forcing their moral equivalence narrative of the evil Christian, so if anything it’s been instructive in that regard.

I too find book burning repulsive, when the Muslims sacked Alexandria in 642 AD, and burnt the great library to the ground, or the NAZI’s in there zeal to erase countering points of view. Pastor Jones finds himself in dubious company?

Writer X said...

I'm no fan of the nutjob pastor, but it is quite telling that the same big mouths (including Obama) who blattered about the rights of the people wanting to build the NYC mosque don't afford the same rhetoric to the pastor and his rights. Hypocritical, much?

Also, loved listening to the veiled threats from our taxpayer funded Islamist BFF Imam al Rauf. The lunatics are truly running the asylum.

Pittsburgh Enigma said...

My initial reaction to this pastor's actions, too, was that it was a stupid stunt and that if he were just ignored, he would've gone on completely unnoticed. Thank you Media. And thanks to idiots like Sean Hannity who, on one hand, argued that this stunt would be dangerous to our troops (I agree), but on the other hand, had this pastor on his show to give him even more publicity, which proves that Hannity cares more about ratings than he does about the safety of our troops. As for Patraeus, I agree, he legitimized this pastor by acknowledging him. And if we're so worried about every little stunt that might provoke violence against our troops, then where was Patraeus and others in denouncing all those anti-war protesters? Oh wait, the left as usual gets a pass for its stunts.

For better or worse, I am sick of Islam being put on a pedestal. I am sick of being told that we must revere Islam while those same people tear down every other religion on the planet. And the more Islam is shoved in my face, the more sympathetic I become to the bumper sticker slogan, "Everything I ever needed to learn about Islam, I learned on 9/11."

Unknown said...

Tennessee: The Christians were heavily involved in slavery, and yet the Christians, black and white, were instrumental in ending slavery and passing the civil rights acts which brought the Declaration and the Constitution to fruition. I'm still waiting to see such a movement in Islam, but so far I haven't even seen the beginnings of that movement.

Collective guilt is too easy to claim, but sometimes there is no way to avoid seeing what is clearly in front of our eyes. Where are the masses of Muslims who will finally say: "We've been silent too long, and it's time we stood up to those who would use our religion to promote mass murder and hate?"

When one crazed Christian commits an isolated criminal act in the name of Christ, the condemnation comes from every major denomination. Yet all Christians are quickly tarred with the crime. When millions of Muslims dance in the streets shouting "death to the infidels," the MSM calls it an aberration from the religion of peace committed by "a few" radicals. What am I missing?

AndrewPrice said...

How pathetic must their faith be if some nobody burning their book or someone drawing a picture of their suppose god can cause such an uproar?

Unknown said...

Joel: There are so many things that divide the world, and so many issues that create strong emotions, that it's inevitable that somebody is going to take advantage of the chaos. This pastor is on the fringe of the fringe of Christianity, yet the MSM has made him a headline figure to point out that Christians are haters and Muslims are innocent victims. He is the perfect example of the useful idiot that the MSM searches so diligently to find.

Unknown said...

USArtguy: Thanks for the additions. I purposely brought up only those incidents that immediately came to mind, knowing that I was only citing the tip of the iceberg. I suspected that our readers would quickly add their own remembrances, doing so with equal ease and speed. It would take an entire article just to list the most egregious examples of Muslim terrorism and "moderate" Muslim failure to respond over the past quarter century.

Unknown said...

USArtguy: Got the corrected link.

Unknown said...

Bev: Let us not forget that in order to accomplish their goals, Muslims are allowed to lie to infidels. I still have no idea what actually transpired between the publicity-hound pastor and the triumphalist Muslim al Rauf, but frankly, I wouldn't trust either one of them as far as I could throw them. What really bothers me is the MSM and the Obamists jumping on the book-burner but defending the building-burner.

At his press conference this morning, Obama made the pretense of criticizing Hamas for the "recent killings of innocent civilians" yet continues to support the Muslim cleric behind the Ground Zero mosque who refuses to acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist organization.

And then he went on to call the proposed book-burning "game-playing" which endangers our troops that he "leads" as commander-in-chief. First, that confirms my suspicion of where the Petraeus statement came from. Second, it confirms my opinion that Obama thinks everything is a "game" rather than real life. He used "game-playing" to describe Republican opposition to his economic plan as well.

Unknown said...

Stan: If I were to find a Christian historical figure to compare Jones to, it would probably be Rasputin. Zealous, determined to elevate himself, and more than a little nuts.

Book-burning is repulsive because it's designed to intimidate, but more importantly, to stop others from reading the works of those with whom they disagree. As for me, I've read the Koran (twice), and a little private book burning, after having done the reading and without preventing others from reading, without publicity, doesn't seem like such a bad thing.

Unknown said...

WriterX: It is indeed hypocrisy writ large. But it says a great deal about liberals, Muslims and the MSM that we are supposed to cower at the thought of widespread violence resulting from the burning of a Koran by an obscure pastor with a congregation of fifty. But we're not supposed to worry about the unprovoked violence of a billion Muslims who see every affront, real or imagined, as grounds for mass murder.

How many Korans were being burned on 9/11? And what about the violence occasioned by the flushing of a Koran at Guantanamo which turned out not only to be untrue, but physically impossible?

But what really points it all out is the very real and clear threat made by al Rauf that if the Ground Zero mosque doesn't proceed exactly as he and his Islamists want it to, then "Muslims will see it as an attack on Islam (requiring violence and mass murder in response)." Every criticism is treated as a basis for holy war.

Unknown said...

Pittsburg Enigma: Well said. The formula is simple--we reason, they murder. Even though I have never seen that bumper sticker, I agree that it says a great deal in very few words.

Unknown said...

Andrew: All true, sadly true.

At the press conference, Obama is now talking about "inalienable rights" in response to a question from Wendel Goler. First, this great scholar doesn't know that the word in the Declaration is "unalienable," and second, he's still arguing that this is a First Amendment issue. Aw, nuts. All Goler asked was "what would it say about America "if we talked them out of building the mosque at Ground Zero?" Obama completely ignored the issue of reasoning with people who don't reason and fell back on the phony First Amendment argument.

Obama also has a new mantra: "We are not at war with Islam." You are right, Mr. President. They are at war with us.

Says Obama: "If 'we' keep saying that their religion is offensive, what does that say to them?" That's an easy answer. It says "clean up your act, wake up to the twenty-first century, and stop committing mass murder in the name of your religion."

StanH said...

Great discussion about our modern day Elmer Gantry, but on the Obama press conference, go look at the front page on Drudge, Barry had a teleprompter set up in the back of the room feeding him the answers, …what a jerk. We joke about the Manchurian Candidate, or puppet masters, behind the scenes, these comparisons are not far from the truth.

Tam said...

I think Greg Gutfield made a great point on his blog:

"I'd go on about this double standard - in which our mass media finds it easy to crap on idiot Christians, but can't even call the Fort Hood shooter a Muslim extremist.

But who cares: the Rev Jones has canceled the thing.
Apparently US Defense Secretary Gates called and urged him to stop.

See, Jones just wanted attention. He doesn't want to die. He still wants to get his breakfast at Denny's, and then enjoy a good poop.

Which goes back to my original point. You can actually deal with our nuts. But you can't deal with theirs.

Maybe that's why Obama is so scared of ticking them off.

What do you call that?

Oh yeah - Islamophobia."

Unknown said...

Stan: I wasn't aware of the TelePrompter feeding him the answers, but that just proves that his advisors and handlers are as inarticulate and uninformed as he is. I've already mentioned his 9/11 Ground Zero mosque answers, but his answers to the economic questions were just plain ignorant. He and his TelePrompter have absolutely no idea how money works or how wealth is created.

StanH said...

That’s funny in a scary way, this Harvard Law (idiot) simply read “inalienable” and in his infinite wisdom couldn’t make the mental correction to the actual word “unalienable.” This harkens back to his reading of “corpsman as corpseman.” Have no fear folks we’re in good hands.

Unknown said...

Tam: "Which goes back to my original point. You can actually deal with our nuts. But you can't deal with theirs." Well said. And of course it brings up the other issue. Part of the reason we can deal with ours is that the Christian community at large, including the major leaders, are quick to condemn hateful and/or murderous behavior. Where are the corresponding words and actions from the Muslim community and its leaders?

Unknown said...

Stan: The only thing worse than Obama working with his TelePrompter is Obama working without it. He simply can't put together a coherent thought without help, and when he uses the TelePrompter he can't even sort out the words, let alone the thoughts. He sees letters and words, but they mean nothing to him, and he's unable to connect them. An intelligent robot could do better.

Unknown said...

Just spotted this item:

"Military burns unsolicited Bibles sent to Afghanistan. Military personnel threw away, and ultimately burned, confiscated Bibles that were printed in the two most common Afghan languages amid concern they would be used to try to convert Afghans, a Defense Department spokesman said Tuesday." I can't yet vouch for the accuracy of this, but if true, shouldn't all we Christians and Jews join together and burn down a Muslim enclave like, say, Ann Arbor because of the horrible offense being done to our holy book? A second attack on the Pentagon, perhaps?

Of course not. There's only one major religion that countenances mass murder because somebody disagrees with them or demonstrates disrespect for their holy writings.

I assume all our "moderate Muslim" friends will be joining us in the pain and suffering and indignation this article causes us.

I should probably also add that unlike the jihadists, I'm planning on waiting for independent reliable confirmation of the statement before I pronounce judgment. A mere rumor (e.g Koran in the toilet) is enough to cause a murderous rage among our Muslim brethren.

Joel Farnham said...


It doesn't surprise me that the military would choose to destroy the bibles. It was probably easier to burn them instead of sending them back. Also, the US military isn't there to convert the Afghans to Chistianity. They are there to take on the Taliban and possibly grab Osama Bin Laden. If they had kept them, it could easily been said the military was there to convert, here's the proof.

Unknown said...

Joel: The point isn't that the Bibles could or could not be perceived as possible attempts to convert the Afghans. The point is that burned Bibles draw no major protests or Christian rage and mass murder while the mere possibility of burning the Koran produces a billion angry and possibly murderous Muslims.

In addition, I don't much care what the Afghans and Muslim terrorists think. In fact, they don't think. They already claim that we're there on a "crusade" to destroy Islam anyway, so what's a few Bibles here or there? The military could have stored them, sent them back, or simply given them to local missionaries. Burning them was only one alternative, and not a very good one. The Muslims will be in a rage even if we start burning images of Christ and hanging the Pope in effigy, so I can't really get too exercised over the military having a few spare Bibles.

Moreover, I strongly believe that if the choice is to do the easy thing or do the right thing, one should always do the right thing. It might have been easier to burn the Bibles, but it was the wrong thing. Still, I'm not planning on killing any Muslims or soldiers over it. And that's where we differ from them.

Joel Farnham said...


So we were sent there to convert the people to Christianity?

Joel Farnham said...


I am not trying to bait you.

Sending them back, there would have been awkward questions asked. The press already doesn't like Christianity and the Press would jump on it. Storing them there, they could be found. Giving them to missionaries, would show that the US approves of converting these Afghans to Christianity.

Destroying the bibles there ensured that the locals would not find them, the US wasn't into converting locals and no awkward questions asked.

I do understand. We are better than Muslims. I get it. You get it. Who doesn't get it is the MSM and our putative rulers.

Unknown said...

Joel: So where did I even suggest that? The Bibles were sent by private parties for use as the military saw fit. They saw fit to burn them. The group that sent the Bibles should have gotten permission first, but how does that justify burning them?

So let's get this straight. We are there to protect American interests. That includes going after al Qaeda, bin Laden and the Taliban. I'm not sure how burning Bibles serves that end.

You might as well ask if burning Bibles somehow proves our determination not to convert them. They wouldn't believe that either. These are primitive, nearly stone age clans who will believe what their leaders tell them to believe. The truly neutral thing would have been to send the Bibles back or store them.

Giving them to missionaries who are there to convert the locals would not in any way make the military or the US government complicit. We are not there to convert them, but we are not there to prevent private parties and church groups from attempting to do exactly that, either. Should we burn the missionaries next? After all, their presence enrages the jihadists.

On the other hand, converting them would be the best thing that ever happened to them.

Unknown said...

Joel: Destroying the Bibles did indeed guarantee that the locals wouldn't find them. Too bad for the locals. They could benefit greatly by reading something that doesn't come from their hate-filled murderous imams. I'm sorry if I just can't see that the inconvenience of storing or sending the Bibles back is so great that Bibles had to be burned. Once more, the Islamists win.

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