I've often bemoaned the fact that we've become a nation of sheep. The current fiasco surrounding the political cartoons that have Muslims rioting in the streets proves, that if nothing else, we are not alone.
In this case corrupt Mullahs and politicians find themselves in the most advantageous of positions to create chaos to divert attention from their failed or failing policies regarding human rights, freedoms and local injustices. The hypocrisy of their actions has been well documented as has the mob mentality of their followers. They have certainly mastered herding their followers into massive baaaaad behavior. Voices of reason, such as that of Irshad Manji, are being reported but mostly ignored. She authored a book entitled "The Trouble with Islam Today". She is a feminist, a Lesbian and a Muslim. Gutsy gal. She states at the end of a her column (Opinion Page/Wall Street Journal/ Saturday-Sunday February 4 - 5, 2006) that, "Clearly, I am as impure a feminist as I am a Muslim. The difference is, offended feminists will not threaten to kill me. The same cannot be said for many of my fellow Muslims." Moderate Muslims have their hands full if they wish to quell the anger their radical brethren's hooliganism has fomented.
My problem with western society, ours in particular, is our refusal to print the cartoons. We have something called freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of expression. To give in to the self righteous Muslim community because it offends them may seem to be politically correct - but we should not forget that we live in a secular society. I'm not advocating insulting the beliefs of others; I am advocating that those who believe differently than we do not have the right to dictate what we can and cannot do or believe through terror and intimidation and destruction.
Remember back in 1989 the controversy over the photograph by Andres Serrano entitled "Piss Christ"? It depicted a plastic crucifix immersed in a container of the photographer's unrine. It was displayed all over the world. It generated enormous controversy, attempts at destruction, attempts to close the shows - some successful, some not. The Senate held hearings as to the appropriateness of funding the National Endowment for the Arts because of it. To many it was blasphemy. Is Christ no less an emissary of the Christian God than Mohammed is of Allah? Yet Christians around the world were not goaded by politicians nor clergy to destroy embassies nor threaten lives. And yes. Pictures of the photograph were published. And as with the cartoons in play today, the photograph is all over the internet.
So here we have a group of believers of peace who ram runabouts into our ships, destroy barracks housing our soldiers, fly planes into our skyscrapers, kill their own countrymen and fellow believers of their own religious ideologies, refuse to bend to the secular wishes of non Islam countries (ie: France) where they choose to reside and storm embassies of western countries who do not share Islamic beliefs and dare to follow their own.
They don't like us. And I dare say we don't much like them. I've certainly lost my patience. Hurt their feelings; offend them? You know the old saw "When in Rome do as the Romans do"? I'll take a page from two places I've lived - Seattle, and here in northern Idaho , and one with which I take exception as applied to newcomers, Californians in particular. If you don't like us or what we believe in - go back from whence you came! Makes the Californians look pretty good, don't you think?
As for us - this is our country, our rights and freedoms. We have the right to stand up to our elected officials and ask for truth with out being labeled unpatriotic, or fear of being spied upon, or being nervous seeing one's name in print for fear of retribution from someone who disagrees. What if our first peoples would storm our government institutions because the Redskins have yet to change their name? We don't have to follow every squeaky wheel like sheep. That's what our freedoms are all about. Truth, Justice and the American Way - let us never forget this is what we as a people are all about.