Well, it looks like religious nutjobs are at it again.
This time it’s Muslims.
Rioting and murdering is taking place over the accidental burning of Korans. And it’s not a bunch of terrorists like al-Qaeda. These are mainstream Muslims.
Killing over a book. And we are supposed to just shrug it off and consider this to be normal behavior. I have my disagreements with Christians, of course, but I know that if this sort of riot happened here in the US, over the accidental burning of Bibles, we’d never hear the end of it; it would never be considered acceptable behavior; it would never be shrugged off with “what do you expect?”
Instead our president apologizes to Afghanistan, because the Korans were confiscated from a jail. The prisoners were writing each other messages in the books. They were put in a pile of stuff to be taken away, but somehow, they ended up in a pile of trash that was to be burned. When the people in charge of incinerating the trash realized what they had done, they tried to retrieve the Korans from the fire. That’s as accidental as it gets. And yet this is considered a valid excuse for Muslims to go on a riotous, murderous rampage over desecration. Never mind the fact that the prisoners had already desecrated the books by writing in them!
When are we going to quit coddling barbarism just because it is Muslim barbarism? We’ve had rioting in Europe over the Danish cartoons. We are expected to bend over backwards and restrict freedom of speech for fear of offending people whose hobby is to be outraged–and we must never do that.
EDIT: I decided I wasn’t happy with the original concluding paragraph, so what follows is the modified conclusion.
I’ve heard claims that this rioting is really an expression of displeasure at the American presence in Afghanistan. Well that may or may not be true. If it is, I might be sympathetic. But they aren’t saying that’s what it is, and I prefer to take them at their word. Why? Let’s assume for the sake of argument that they aren’t really this unhappy about the Korans, they are just using it as an excuse to demonstrate against the occupation. They get less sympathy from westerners–including Americans–who might actually influence things, by using this excuse than they would if they were up-front about their real complaint. Surely they realize this, and would not make this mistake. Ergo, their real complaint is about the Korans being desecrated by Americans.
[19 March 2012 note: I have more to say about this here.]
I have to wonder why we are going to so much trouble and expense to rebuild a country like this. I think we should get out. I certainly don’t think we should be spending this kind of money on a society that is so dysfunctional, it’s normal to riot over books.