Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Extremist Grip on Reality

Check out this Internaional Herald Tribune op-ed.
One day, when historians study this first major war of the 21st century, they will scratch their heads in disbelief, wondering how it came to pass that Muslim extremists managed to intimidate moderates of every religion - including Islam - on every continent on earth.

The whole planet, it seems, twisted itself into knots trying to untangle the forces at work behind the retracted Newsweek story about desecration of the Koran. Journalistic practices came under attack, while experts on Islam tried to soothe the less erudite, not quite justifying, but more than thoroughly explaining why desecration of the Holy Book leads to mob rampage and murder in a Muslim society.

No question, insulting any religion is beyond reprehensible. It appears, however, that nothing is more reprehensible than insulting the Muslim religion. And the extremists now decide what constitutes an insult.
And further down:

The views and life choices of moderate Muslims must be respected, as must those of people of all religions, by members of all religions. The demands fall on Muslims, too. And the requirement of standing up against intolerance falls on all governments. Only intolerance is undeserving of tolerance.
Good stuff. The lack of accountability here--not to mention the silence of regional political and religious leaders--is appalling.



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