Meet Grandpa Munster
Charles Krauthammer as usual states things simply in today's Washington Post. The subject- The Pope's recent remarks about Islam and the reaction afterwards.
"How dare you say Islam is a violent religion? I'll kill you for it" is not exactly the best way to go about refuting the charge. But of course, refuting is not the point here. The point is intimidation.Yes siree. All they wanted to do is eat Wiener schnitzel and go to the Prata and ride the Ferris wheel. Oops the wheel didn't open till 1897.
First Salman Rushdie. Then the false Newsweek report about Koran-flushing at Guantanamo Bay. Then the Danish cartoons. And now a line from a scholarly disquisition on rationalism and faith given in German at a German university by the pope.
And the intimidation succeeds: politicians bowing and scraping to the mob over the cartoons; Saturday's craven New York Times editorial telling the pope to apologize; the plague of self-censorship about anything remotely controversial about Islam -- this in a culture in which a half-naked pop star blithely stages a mock crucifixion as the highlight of her latest concert tour.
In today's world, religious sensitivity is a one-way street. The rules of the road are enforced by Islamic mobs and abjectly followed by Western media, politicians and religious leaders.
The fact is that all three monotheistic religions have in their long histories wielded the sword. The Book of Joshua is knee-deep in blood. The real Hanukkah story, so absurdly twinned (by calendric accident) with the Christian festival of peace, is about a savage insurgency and civil war.
Christianity more than matched that lurid history with the Crusades, an ecumenical blood bath that began with the slaughter of Jews in the Rhineland, a kind of preseason warm-up to the featured massacres to come against the Muslims, with the sacking of the capital of Byzantium (the Fourth Crusade) thrown in for good measure.
And Islam, of course, spread with great speed from Arabia across the Mediterranean and into Europe. It was not all benign persuasion. After all, what were Islamic armies doing at Poitiers in 732 and the gates of Vienna in 1683? Tourism?
I haven't blogged on the this particular controversy for much more eloquent people have. TFM has noted the irony from the very beginning. You're violently protesting because your religion has been called violent in the past? How dumb can these people be.
It reminds me of an episode of the Munsters. Eddie is being taught how to box by his grandfather. Grandpa said something along these lines.
"I hope your father doesn't see what we're doing. He is so opposed to violence he may kill me."
That kind of sums up this controversy too.
Hat tip- Betsy
Linked to- Third World County, Cao's Blog,