Monday, February 13, 2006

SoMA: A Review of Religion and Culture - Society of Mutual Autopsy:
"He [crazy Andy Sullivan] notes that the Egyptian ambassador to Denmark insisted the government prevent further reprinting. Freedom of the press, the ambassador said, “means the whole story will continue and that we are back to square one again. The government of Denmark has to do something to appease the Muslim world.” To which Sullivan responds:

“Excuse me? In fact, the opposite is the case. The Muslim world needs to do something to appease the West. Since Ayatullah Khomeini declared a death sentence against Salman Rushdie for how he depicted Muhammad in his book The Satanic Verses, Islamic radicals have been essentially threatening the free discussion of their religion and politics in the West."

I'm reminded of a discussion of similar stripes from the West Wing episode Night Five:
...But this one moment in time, you have to get off your horse
and just... simply put - be nice to the Arab world.

Be nice?


Well... How about when we, instead of blowing Iraq back to the seventh century for
harbouring terrorists and trying to develop nuclear weapons, we just imposed economic
sanctions and were reviled by the Arab world for not giving them a global charge card
and a free trade treaty? How about when we pushed Israel to give up land for peace?

Andy sits down, and puts a hand to her forehead.

How about when we sent American soldiers to protect Saudi Arabia, and the Arab world
told us we were desecrating their holy land? We'll ignore the fact that we were invited.
How about two weeks ago, in the State of the Union when the President praised the Islamic
people as faithful and hardworking only to be denounced in the Arab press as knowing
nothing about Islam? But none of that is the point.

What's the point?

I don't remember having to explain to Italians that our problem wasn't with them, but
with Mussolini! Why does the U.S. have to take every Arab country out for an ice cream
cone? They'll like us when we win!

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