Apr 4 2011
When a man teases a dog on the other side of a chain link fence– we blame the man for provoking the dog, not the dog for being provoked. Animals have less of everything that makes for accountability, so we don’t hold them accountable. Our response to Muslim violence in Afghanistan, supposedly touched off by a Qur’an burning in Florida, uses that same canine logic. The Muslims are dangerous and violent, so whoever provokes them is held accountable for what they do.
By Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish
Don’t tease a doberman on the other side of a chain link fence and don’t tease Muslims on the other side of the border or the world. That’s the takeaway from our elected and unelected officials. Is it not because for all their fanciful prose about the Religion of Peace, they do indeed see Muslims as dogs on the other side of a chain link fence. “Don’t tease the dog, son, and it won’t hurt you.”
But the Muslim rioters are not dogs, they are human beings whose moral responsibility is being denied by treating their violence as a reflexive act. Their violence is not unconscious or instinctual– it emerges out of a decision making process. The Koran burning was not the cause of Muslim violence– but a rationalization for existing violence that would have occurred anyway for reasons having nothing to do with Terry Jones. And by treating Muslims like the ‘Morally Handicapped’ who have no choice but to kill when something offends them, we are not doing any favors for them or us.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants an investigation into Koran burning. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer suggested that this form of free speech could be banned. Senator Lindsey Graham is also looking for ways to limit free speech, saying, “Free speech is a great idea, but we’re in a war”.
Free speech is more than a great idea, it’s a fundamental freedom untouchable by legislators. But all it takes is a few Muslim murders– and Reid, Breyer and Graham eagerly hold up their lighters to the Constitution. Free speech has been curtailed before in the United States during a time of war– but only free speech sympathetic to the enemy. During WW1 a suspected German propagandist filmmaker was jailed. But could anyone have imagined anti-German propagandists being jailed? The Wilson administration was behaving unconstitutionally, but not insanely.
Today we aren’t jailing filmmakers who traffic in anti-American propaganda in wartime. If we did that half of Hollywood would be behind bars. Instead Democratic and Republican Senators are discussing banning speech offensive to the enemy. Because even though they’re killing us already– we had better not provoke them or who knows how much worse it will become.
Traditionally it’s the victors who give their laws to the defeated. But massive immigration at home and nation building occupations abroad mean that the defeated of failed states are imposing their Sharia law on us. We’re asked to trade in our Constitutional freedoms out of fear of Muslim violence. And so the murderers impose the terms of peace on us. And then don’t abide by them.
Violence in the Muslim world is a constant. We have been fighting Muslim violence since George Washington’s time. And we have been subject to it even longer. Whether it’s Muslims killing Hindus, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians or any and every religion under the sun– there is a pattern here. It’s a story as old as time. And it’s not one that we can stop by ladling out honeyed words of appeasement.
Senator Graham warns us to shut up in a time of war– but is there any foreseeable future in which we won’t be fighting in a Muslim country? Democrats elected the most anti-war candidate of the bunch only to see him begin his 2012 reelection campaign by bombing another Muslim country. And what’s surprising about that. Most of the trouble spots in the world that directly or indirectly affect us are located in Muslim countries. The major threat to the United States comes from the Muslim world. And that means we’re going to be tied up dealing with the Muslim world in one way or another, whether as soldiers, diplomats or aid workers. And even if we weren’t– there are hundreds of thousands of Americans still living and working in Muslim countries. Hostages to the latest Muslim temper tantrum.
As Muslim terror has gotten worse, we have started treating the Muslim world like a ticking bomb– tiptoeing around them to avoid setting them off. Whatever they don’t like about us, we’re willing to change. The paradigm of the angry dog or the ticking bomb means that we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Whatever you do, the dog mauls you and the bomb blows up. But by pretending that you control the situation, you can feel better about your role in the outcome.
It is far more insulting to treat Muslims as if they have no ability to control themselves and have no responsibility for their actions– than it is to burn their Koran. That is an assessment that even many Muslims would agree with.
To blame Jones for their actions, we must either treat murder as a reasonable response to the burning of a book, or grant that Jones has a higher level of moral responsibility than the rioters do. There are few non-Muslims who could defend the notion that burning the Koran is a provocation that justifies bloodshed. And virtually no liberal would openly concede that he believes Muslims are morally handicapped– but then why does he treat them that way?
If a Christian had torched a mosque in response to the Muslim arson of churches in Africa– is there any liberal columnist or pundit who would have directed the lion’s share of the blame at the original Muslim arsonists? No. The mosque burning would be treated as an independent act with no linkage to the church arsons. That is the attitude of Western jurisprudence which does not allow one crime to justify another, let alone one provocation to justify a crime. Individuals are treated as responsible moral actors– not shooting balls in a pinball machine. Why then does this standard fly out the window when it comes to Muslims? Why does the press so easily sink into the rhetoric of ‘retaliation and ‘provocation’, treating Muslim terrorism as a reflex, rather than a chosen act.
Liberalism begins as condescension toward lower class violence and culminates in complicity with it. Class warfare treated the poor as less morally responsible than the rich because of their deprivation and persecution. By treating physical deprivation as equivalent to moral deprivation, they became guilty of a far worse prejudice than those they were combating. The discriminated against were not bound by the same moral code as the discriminators. Their violence was ‘purer’ because it was a reflex against their conditions that they could not control. And so liberals who lectured ceaselessly about racism, were treating minorities as less than human.
Now in the age of Globalism– Muslims are the new oppressed, exempted from the norms of civilized society. The morally handicapped who cannot be expected to turn the other cheek, the way we’re supposed to.
But Muslims are not morally disabled– they are immorally enabled. Muslim violence is a choice. Their choice. It is not a reflex or a reaction or a pinball bouncing off the cycle of violence. It is not something that we are responsible for. It is something that they and only they are responsible for. By pretending otherwise, we are immorally enabling them. Treating them like mad dogs or ticking time bombs just guarantees that they will play their part and fulfill our expectations by mauling or exploding.
We have never held Muslims morally accountable for anything they do. Not as a religion or as countries or individuals. Instead we pretend that Osama bin Laden or Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi are the problem. A handful of extremists and a few bad leaders somewhere. Not the people themselves. Never them.
Instead we have treated Muslims as the morally handicapped, too morally feeble to understand that violence is not the answer to everything from your daughter sneaking out with a boy to a pastor torching the Koran for a BBQ. And they have reacted exactly as people do when they know they will not be held accountable for their actions.
Treating someone as dangerous gives them power over you. They will test that power and then use it. Allowing yourself to be intimidated is the first step to being defeated. For many it is also the last step. We treated Muslims as dangerous and then we insist loudly that we love them very much and aren’t afraid of them at all. Guess who we’re fooling? Only ourselves. Every time there’s a terror alert or American politicians talk about the wonders of the Koran– the Muslim world sees it as evidence of their power over us. And when a Koran is burned, that just means we need further intimidating. It’s a cycle of violence, but we’re not the ones driving it except through our appeasement.
Muslims have stifled their own moral development– but we haven’t helped either. And the only way we can do that is to push them toward a moral reckoning. Instead we have bought into their genocidal narrative, enabled their violence and empowered the murderous aspects of their ideology. It’s time that stopped. Lies and flattery will not prevent the violence. Only the confrontation of truth can force a moral reckoning.
Senator Graham wishes there was a way to hold Koran burners accountable for violence carried out by Koran readers, but what we really need is a way to hold Koran believers accountable for their own violence.