Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Hypocrite Oath

To all the peeps in the Umma: You want apologies for the cartoons on the left of this page? Apologize first for this swastika cartoon and all of the cartoons on the right side going down on this page, for they and others like them have been shown much more frequently by you than caricatures of your Prophet Muhammad in Europe or anywhere else.

Click on the pics and see them closer.

The kind of cartoons on the right have appeared in the Muslim world for many, many years. Yes, they’ve appeared in the Arab press, and in varying forms all over the Islamic world, and yet now the Muslim world feels it fit to protest cartoons in the West? They're making themselves, or demonstrating that they already are, into the subjects of those caricatures with their hypocritical and counterproductive rioting, their burning of flags and embassies, and their calling for “Death to Denmark”, “Death to France”, “Death to America”, “Death to Germany” and “Death to Israel” (that last has been a common refrain for many years; quite the tolerant chant, “Death to Israel” is, don’t you think?).

I know, I know: You’re pissed, Muslims. You feel you’ve been insulted.

But you only think about yourselves. You’re like teenagers in rebellion, and all you’re doing is
demonstrating that much of Islam has yet to leave puberty. You're not representing your way of life or your beliefs well, and it is only to your own detriment.

A major problem is that you haven’t given up the naive idea - the dream - that
the world can be conquered by you, when all of the other religions of the world – all of them, as far as I know – are humbled by the fact that theirs might not be the only path to Heaven. When we don’t do things your way, you throw a tantrum.

You call for the deaths of innocent people. You burn Danish flags, for Pete’s sake! You don’t have money to feed your children, and yet you find the time to burn flags and assault embassies?

The world isn’t yours.

But apparently, you can’t accept that – you feel that though your religion only makes up 1/6 of the world’s population, we all have to live by your restrictive rules. Well, I’m not sorry to break this to you: the entire world is no more bound by the kinds of Arab tribal laws that were encoded in the Koran in the 7th century CE than you are by the ideas of free speech, tolerance and coexistence.

There are more democracies in the world than there are members of the Arab League; many more non-Muslim countries than there are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

Our women are free to drive, to vote, to speak their minds and slap their boyfriends or spouses – and if they want to veil themselves should they be Muslims, that is their choice rather than an imposition. If they’re adults and want to travel, they don’t need daddy’s or brother’s permission. And our men are free to shave their beards, see the movies they want, worship where they want and say what they want – whatever their religion. Our children are free to run around and be children, because we don’t drag them to political rallies a la the Nazis like you do.

We aren’t dressing our children up in masks and giving them toy guns and urging them to chant out “Death to the Jews!” at these rallies like you are. And God bless ‘em, our newspapers are free to criticize the governments and societies that they serve. They are also free, because the world is NOT bound by Islamic Shari’a law, to caricature the Prophet Muhammad in 12 drawings in a much less benign fashion than you have caricatured Jews and other non-Muslims over the past 5 decades or so in thousands of cartoons.

Maybe the cartoons printed in Denmark in September and then recently reprinted throughout Europe, were disrespectful. In fact, I see how you were insulted. If it weren't for your hypocrisy, I'd agree that you even have a right to be very angry, but never to the point of burning flags with crosses or attacking embassies.

But the fact of the matter is that you all who are overreacting to these cartoons are definitely hypocritical. And so my sympathies, especially as a Jew and an American, are not forthcoming.

You want respect? Give it yourselves. You want apologies? Learn to give some serious apologies about the hateful cartoons you’ve sanctioned for decades before asking for such a thing from the non-Muslim world.

I’ve got two words of advice for you, protestors: Grow. Up. Hold yourselves to the same standards you hold us when it comes to respect of religion and ethnicity, and you might find that cartoons like the ones on the left don't get drawn.

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