Monday, February 06, 2006

Photo courtesy of Cabal of Doom.

When does an "insult" become something that needs to be said?

Muslims continue to rage over cartoons that first appeared in a Danish newspaper and then were republished in France and elsewhere.

Cruiser has an interesting take on how Europe got to this point.

So what will Europeans do now? Will they now retreat into even more militant secularism? Europe has told itself for many years that all religions are equal. Equally false. Equally harmful. Now that the hypothesis is being tested again, I wonder if there is enough of an intellectually honest remnant in Europe to admit what the world now knows: Militant Islam is the world's greatest security threat.

Europe now needs to summon moral courage to face down the totalitarians in their midst. But ironically Europe is finding, and will continue to find, that a culture which is hostile to authentic religious faith has a hard time summoning the courage it needs to face down evil. The Christians and Jews needed to stand up to evil are sadly no longer welcome in large parts of Europe.

Indeed, while sneering at the culture, faith and institutions of the West, the secularists in Europe have cozied up to the serpent that is Militant Islam. Meanwhile, the serpent has grown and is now constricting the very society that has fed and encouraged it. It is a brutal, sad sight.

I marvel. I absolutely marvel at what we are dealing with in Militant Islam. By comparison to what Jews and Christians have had to endure, the very slight affronts that Muslims complain about are comical. Can you imagine an Islamic version of "Piss Christ"?

God forbid ... a holocaust?

Arguing about the propriety of the cartoons misses that point, I think. Muslims contend that Mohammed, an historical figure, can not even be depicted in pictures. But Mohammed is purportedly a prophet; he is not God. Unbelievable.

The brutal and thin-skinned Islamic response to the cartoon controversy demonstrates again to those who are paying attention that Islam and democratic freedoms are strange bedfellows. It makes one wonder: Can the merits of Islam withstand the scrutiny of the free exchange of ideas? And by the way, has it ever?

Indeed, Islam has throughout history been spread and maintained through force. This is a fact.

It needs totalitarianism to control the flow of information and "insults". This is an opinion, but I think it is demonstrably true.

This is not to say that all Muslims are bad people. But their theology is wrong. And the peaceful Muslims are too often silent. Maybe they are afraid. Maybe they are silently trying to reform Islam.

Maybe there aren't that many of them. Who knows? We just don't hear much in the way internal criticism or honest assessments by Muslims of the problems evident within Islam.

The militants claim they are the true Muslims. As Robert Spencer has noted,
[V]iolent jihad is a constant of Islamic history. Many passages of the Qur'an and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad are used by jihad warriors today to justify their actions and gain new recruits. No major Muslim group has ever repudiated the doctrines of armed jihad.
All I know is that I see from Militant Islam the following: institutionalized anti-Semitism, monumental ignorance, paranoid fear of democratic freedoms, brutal oppression of women, and sectarian warfare typical of the Middle Ages.

Yet, some well-meaning types side with the Muslims in the cartoon controversy, arguing that we should avoid "offending their sensitivities". The LA Times reported over the weekend that the Vatican said that freedom of expression "can not entail the right to offend the sentiment of believers."

Wow. What a dangerous and naive statement. My view: If the "believers" are insane and trying to exert world domination, then the sane had better do more than merely "offend their sentiments".

People endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, namely to freely discuss and debate matters of faith. No faith is exempt. Not yours. Not mine.

God is big enough.

I am not trying to be provocative here, or offensive. I am not trying to be insulting.

But what about Islam?