Muslims don't need excuses for killing
David Petraeus, commander of US troops in Afghanistan, is commendably, and understandably, concerned about the safety of his troops plus innocent civilians, UN personnel and others who are not the enemy. Thus he deserves some slack for condemning the silly symbolic act of burning a book the Muslims consider holy which Afghani Muslims used as an excuse for a horrific retaliatory mass slaughter of UN personnel.
But Muslims don't need excuses for routinely bombing churches or synagogues or temples, often with people in them, killing those who are not Muslims or forcibly converting them, practicing apartheid by expelling those they haven't murdered or confining them to certain jobs, certain neighborhoods, extra taxes, persecuted as lowly dhimmis (low lifes, non Muslims). And all without retaliation by their fellow Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus in other parts of the world as Benny Morris, writing in the National Interest , explains.
Yet the burning of Bibles around the Islamic world - in Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iraq - is an almost daily occurrence and goes unremarked, and is often accompanied by the arson of churches and the murder of parishioners.
And these acts never trigger murderous responses by Christians thousands of miles away.
Surely, it is common knowledge that the world Islam conquered in the seventh and eighth centuries, largely inhabited by Christians, is today almost bereft of Christians, they having over the centuries been massacred, expelled or forcibly converted to Islam (processes still ongoing in places like Iraq, Egypt, the Gaza Strip, and Pakistan)? Surely the editors of The Times know that since the seventh century, non-Muslims have not been allowed to enter the holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina, whereas Muslims have freely accessed and lived in, and still live in, the holy sites of Christendom (and Judaism)? Which religion really has been more intolerant through the ages? (Which is infinitely more intolerant today is not, I think, seriously in dispute.) It is true that the Holocaust occurred in the lands of Christendom (though it was not carried out in the name of Christianity)-and that no Holocaust has (yet) overtaken the lands of Islam (though all in effect in the twentieth century expelled their Jewish communities). But anti-Semitism is rampant, and growing, and state-sponsored in many Muslim countries.
Sacrificing our First Amendments rights by succumbing to Muslim extortion terror demands through appeasement may bring some immediate relief. Indeed, in some cases in may be necessary temporarily. But extortionists are never satisfied; seeing weakness they demand more.
So let's honor our country's freedoms and let the Joneses burn books if they must. But more importantly place the blame for the horrific massacres on those who committed them. And on their religious philosophy.