Friday, June 10, 2005

All blasphemers are equal but some blasphemers and more equal than others 

Mark Steyn makes some of the points I made a few days ago, but he makes them so much better, which is why he writes for "The Spectator", "The Daily Telegraph" and many other great publications, while I write for my own blog (requires registration, hat tip: Dan Foty):
I don't know why Muslims at Gitmo are flushing the Koran down the can, and it's hardly my problem. But, when three times as many detainees 'desecrate' the Koran as US guards do, it seems clear that the whole Operation Desecration ballyhoo is yet another media crock and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and all the rest are complaining about nothing. Or is Koran desecration one of those things like Jews telling Jewish jokes or gangsta rappers recording numbers like 'Strictly 4 My Niggaz': are only devout Muslims allowed to desecrate the Koran? No doubt that's why the Egyptian foreign minister and co. had no comment on last week's suicide bombing at a mosque in Kandahar, which killed 20, wounded more than 50 and presumably desecrated every Koran in the building. But, in that case, how come Robert Mugabe is allowed to bulldoze mosques into rubble?...

In the Middle East, as Baby Assad's pitiful 'State of the Union' speech underlined, free Iraq is a more potent force than all the stagnant dictatorships. In Afghanistan the other day, 600 clerics participated in a ceremony stripping Mullah Omar of his religious authority. And, if it's Koranic desecration you're after, how about this under-reported news item from the original Islamic republic a few weeks back? In Iran, revellers marked Tchahr Shanbe Souri, the traditional Persian fire festival, by chanting 'Down with the Islamic Republic!' and hurling Islamic texts, including the Koran, into the bonfires. The politicised Islam promoted by the Ayatollah, Osama and the Taleban is already on the wane. It was in essence a parasite leeching on to Western decadence and lack of will. And that's always been the real issue, as the bogus Guantanamo furore demonstrates only too well.
But really, read the whole thing.

In fact, I'm almost tempted to start another regular column called "Where's the outrage?" to document the hypocrisy of those who cry foul at the slightest offense given to their religion by the Americans, but who all but ignore blasphemy and sacrilege committed wantonly by their own or by some other politically convenient parties, or those for whom religious tolerance is a one-way street. Lest you think I'm picking on a specific group, the column would also be open to the Western sophisticates who think that all religions deserve equal scorn - except Eastern religions because it's trendy, native religions because you can't be culturally insensitive to native people, and Islam because, after all, who needs a fatwa to spoil a dinner party? - which pretty much leaves a whole lot of scorn for Christianity only.

I'm not actually easily offended by "Piss Christs" or piss Korans, though I quickly form an opinion about people who make either. All I'm after is equal treatment and equal tolerance - and remember, tolerance doesn't even mean you have to like it, approve of it, or subsidize it; you simply have to... well, tolerate it. That's the great principle on which our Western pluralist, free societies are built. And thank God (whichever one you pray to) for that.


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