Cartoons and Cowardice

By

An article yesterday on The American Spectator website, "The Politics of Religious Mockery" by Patrick Hynes, is a typical example of the "Christians peaceful —— Muslims violent" genre that has exploded since the start of the Cartoon Jihad.

The thesis is a favorite one of conservative writers:  Christians (and to a lesser extent Jews) suffer terrible mockery at the hands of secular liberals, but they respond with peaceful protests (letter writing campaigns, corporate boycotts, etc.), not with death threats, riots, and murder.  See what better people we are?

The point of these articles is well—taken, of course.  I would be the first person to agree that we are better people than the terrorists, the Talibani, and their supporters.

But I think these articles entirely miss the bigger point, which is that while westerners are busy congratulating themselves on what civilized, peaceful people we are, radical Islamists across the globe are spreading their propaganda, intimidating local populations, engaging in terroristic acts, and aggressively pursuing an agenda of political and cultural domination. 

In the face of this barbarian onslaught, the western nations, including the United States, seem largely unprepared to defend — as opposed to extoll — our superior way of life.  Instead, we describe Islam as a "religion of peace," we criticize those who "offend" Muslims, we allow massive immigration into our countries of hostile populations, we change our own customs to accommodate Islamic beliefs, and we extend all of our freedoms and toleration to people who march in our very cities threatening "another 9/11" or declaring that anyone who criticizes Islam should be "massacred."

Even Mr. Hynes felt it necessary in his article to object to the Muhammad cartoons as "in poor taste and needlessly provocative."  I strongly disagree.  If there is any group in the world that "needs" to be subjected to harsh criticism, it is the radical Islamists.

But Mr. Hynes' words are quite telling.  What we should not do, he says, is "provoke" the radical Islamists.  And why not?  He does not say, but the answer is clear:  because we are afraid of them, and we lack the courage to fight back. 

So if we do not provoke them, we might be able to avoid a confrontation.  This strategy, while so obviously wrong and suicidal, is what happens when a person or a society becomes soft and cowardly.  This has already happened to Europe, and I fear it is happening here.  

I believe this is the real story behind the Cartoon Jihad.  It has exposed the west as ultimately unwilling to defend its way of life against a frontal attack by the most barbaric elements in the world today.  Perhaps this will change as the attacks grow even bolder and more deadly.  All decent, freedom—loving people can only hope.

Steven M. Warshawsky   2 09 06

An article yesterday on The American Spectator website, "The Politics of Religious Mockery" by Patrick Hynes, is a typical example of the "Christians peaceful —— Muslims violent" genre that has exploded since the start of the Cartoon Jihad.

The thesis is a favorite one of conservative writers:  Christians (and to a lesser extent Jews) suffer terrible mockery at the hands of secular liberals, but they respond with peaceful protests (letter writing campaigns, corporate boycotts, etc.), not with death threats, riots, and murder.  See what better people we are?

The point of these articles is well—taken, of course.  I would be the first person to agree that we are better people than the terrorists, the Talibani, and their supporters.

But I think these articles entirely miss the bigger point, which is that while westerners are busy congratulating themselves on what civilized, peaceful people we are, radical Islamists across the globe are spreading their propaganda, intimidating local populations, engaging in terroristic acts, and aggressively pursuing an agenda of political and cultural domination. 

In the face of this barbarian onslaught, the western nations, including the United States, seem largely unprepared to defend — as opposed to extoll — our superior way of life.  Instead, we describe Islam as a "religion of peace," we criticize those who "offend" Muslims, we allow massive immigration into our countries of hostile populations, we change our own customs to accommodate Islamic beliefs, and we extend all of our freedoms and toleration to people who march in our very cities threatening "another 9/11" or declaring that anyone who criticizes Islam should be "massacred."

Even Mr. Hynes felt it necessary in his article to object to the Muhammad cartoons as "in poor taste and needlessly provocative."  I strongly disagree.  If there is any group in the world that "needs" to be subjected to harsh criticism, it is the radical Islamists.

But Mr. Hynes' words are quite telling.  What we should not do, he says, is "provoke" the radical Islamists.  And why not?  He does not say, but the answer is clear:  because we are afraid of them, and we lack the courage to fight back. 

So if we do not provoke them, we might be able to avoid a confrontation.  This strategy, while so obviously wrong and suicidal, is what happens when a person or a society becomes soft and cowardly.  This has already happened to Europe, and I fear it is happening here.  

I believe this is the real story behind the Cartoon Jihad.  It has exposed the west as ultimately unwilling to defend its way of life against a frontal attack by the most barbaric elements in the world today.  Perhaps this will change as the attacks grow even bolder and more deadly.  All decent, freedom—loving people can only hope.

Steven M. Warshawsky   2 09 06