Internet Causes Violent Reaction Among Muslims?
In an op-ed entitled "The Internet: Enabling Pastor Terry Jones and crazies everywhere," Michael Gerson of the Washington Post, blamed the internet for the viral global reaction over a "half-crazed Florida pastor" threatening to burn some Korans. Bad internet!
The uproar had absolutely nothing to do with, say, radical Muslim's blood-thirsty knee jerk response whenever their beloved symbols are desecrated. Instead it was a dastardly deed perpetrated by an electronic device capable of sending messages of peace, hate, and propaganda at lightning speed throughout the world.
May I remind Gerson, but for the internet, he would have been ‘so yesterday' after leaving his speechwriting job under George W. Bush.
After making the case against the web as a tool for crazies, Gerson went on to compare Christianity's holy book to Islam's holy book.
A third enabling condition comes from within Islam itself, which is a religion of the book in a way that Christianity is not. In Muslim belief, the words, the language, the pages of divine revelation are themselves sacred. In Christianity, the words only testify to the Word that "became flesh and dwelt among us."
Gerson has some explaining to do here. Either he just doesn't know his theology, or he wrote this argument in the wee hours of the morning. Not only do many Christians consider the Bible sacred, they consider it the inspired words of God without error. The Bible has been used in courtrooms as an integral part of witnesses swearing to tell the truth.
He continued with the ridiculous assertion that Christians are so used to being mocked that they don't care what happens to their sacred things. It's like saying just because a woman becomes accustomed to being beaten by her husband, she really doesn't worry about it.
And Christianity is more accustomed to having its icons mistreated -- its principal icon, the cross, being an instrument of torture and execution on which its founder was defiled. When the artist Andres Serrano famously photographed a crucifix dipped in urine, the proper Christian response was: He has seen worse.
The theological sensitivities of Islam are different and heightened. For the polite and well-meaning, this is a reason to show particular concern and respect. For the foolish and vicious, including Jones, it is a prime opportunity to give offense.
In fact, for Muslims, higher sensitivity is tantamount to an excuse for violent reactions. On the other hand, Christianity teaches its adherents to turn the other cheek when someone wrongs you. Christ never taught his followers to resort to violence as a way to please his Father; instead he showed us how not to retaliate when he was being tortured, mocked, and hung on a cross intended for murderous criminals.
The constant drum beat in the media has been to make excuse after excuse for the Muslim world's threats against non-Muslim infidels. Maybe the media actually understands who they are dealing with, and they are afraid.