Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Understanding Evil

Okay, this pisses me off.

The Prince of Wales will try to persuade George W Bush and Americans of the merits of Islam this week because he thinks the United States has been too intolerant of the religion since September 11.

The Prince, who leaves on Tuesday for an eight-day tour of the US, has voiced private concerns over America’s “confrontational” approach to Muslim countries and its failure to appreciate Islam’s strengths.

The Prince raised his concerns when he met senior Muslims in London in November 2001. The gathering took place just two months after the attacks on New York and Washington. “I find the language and rhetoric coming from America too confrontational,” the Prince said, according to one leader at the meeting.

It is understood that Prince Charles did not - and does not - believe that the actions of 19 hijackers should tarnish the reputation of hundreds of millions of law-abiding Muslims around the world.

Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, was also at the meeting at St James’s Palace. “His criticism of America was a general one of the Americans not having the appreciation we have for Islam and its culture,” he said.

I’m not so much upset at Charles for his opinion, he’s the crown prince to a nation full of Muslims and as such he’s entitled to represent their opinion, no matter how much I might disagree with it.  What I’m sick of hearing is this idea, stated perfectly above by Khalid Mahmood, that Americans are somehow ignorant of Islam’s virtues, the implication being that if only we Americans weren’t so isolated and ignorant of the outside world that we wouldn’t have these problems. 

So, America doesn’t appreciate Islam or its culture?  Fine, let’s accept that as true.  Why is it always incumbent upon America (or the West) to understand and appreciate Islam?  Where is the great appreciation for Western culture and values in the Islamic world?  Every university in the United States and Europe will have an Eastern or Middle Eastern studies department.  Where, in the Islamic world’s institutions of learning (such as they are) do we find comparable Western studies?  Where are the professors explaining to their students the value of multi-ethnic, pluralistic, secular, democratic society?  Why is there not a single internationally regarded institute of higher learning anywhere in the Islamic world? 

There are Islamic mosques all over the place in America; how many Christian churches or Jewish synagogues are there in Saudi Arabia?  How many western foreigners choose voluntarily to establish permanent residency in the Islamic world, not counting oil workers?  Conversely, how many Muslims choose to move to the secular West? 

Where is the Arab regard for the freedom of the press?  The West provides opportunities for Muslims to make their voices heard through “civil rights” groups like CAIR.  Where are the comparable groups in the Middle East who are able to speak out whenever America or Europe are defamed in the Arab media?  When a prominent American religious leader like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson speaks ill of Islam he is rightfully excoriated by the press and the American people; in the Middle East their religious leaders are funded by the various theocratic states and encouraged to preach hate against the West.

What, exactly, is there for Americans to understand about Islam?  That what is ostensibly a major world religion has been hijacked by radicalized thugs, who use the abject ignorance of the Islamic world to further their totalitarian agenda?  That Islam provides a vehicle by which its adherents believe that strapping bombs to their bodies and detonating them in Israeli shopping centers will somehow get them a front row ticket to Paradise?  That the intentional, overt targeting of civilians by armed guerilla groups is somehow virtuous?  This a region which has no respect for women, minorities, people of other faiths, or indeed anyone who doesn’t buy into the fascist objectives of the Islamist movement.  They have no problem killing as many of their own coreligionists as necessary, provided it is done in furtherance of their despotic ends. 

Look at the London bombings.  These weren’t carried out by ignorant, back woods Muslims, born in poverty and educated in the madrassas. The evil individuals who took it upon themselves to attack decent British society were almost all born and raised in the UK.  In addition, after the London bombings 2/3 of British Muslims surveyed stated that they had some degree of sympathy for the bombers and their objectives.

To put it bluntly, exactly what the fuck is it about the Middle East or Islam that I’m just not getting?  If there is a lack of understanding by anyone, it sure as hell isn’t on the part of the United States.  Perhaps Prince Charles’ time would be better spent hobnobbing with the turban-wearing fascists, explaining to their excellencies why the great Western culture and civilization he will one day reign over deserves protection and understanding.

If the Islamic world actually offered us anything of value we might have more of a desire to respect and understand it.

Posted by Lee on 10/30/05 at 01:51 PM in The Religion of Peace™ • Permalink


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