Monday, July 12, 2004

Muslims and Sensitivity

Mark Steyn reiterates one of his familiar (and necessary, and oft unheeded) tropes in this article about David Blunkett's ban of "vilification" of Islam. The tale is a familiar one if you read Steyn religiously (as I do): in the West, Islam has wholeheartedly embraced and appropriated the hyper-sensitive multiculturalist attitude that rallies in outrage whenever Islam is disparaged or attacked, but only when muslims or Islamic doctrine is on the recieving end of the criticism, remaining only too eager to enagage in insane militant proseltyzing and fatwa-fying against all other faiths and indeed the West itself.

A typical example:
As for "Our Children Our Future", when it comes to children, the imam certainly has the future all mapped out: as he has said, "Israelis might have nuclear bombs but we have the children bomb and these human bombs must continue until liberation."
And yet the government seems to think the really pressing issue is to make sure no one says anything that might hurt muslims' feelings.

Not long after 9/11, one of my housemates started wearing a green armband wherever he went. When I asked him what it was for, he said it stood for being "against racial scapegoating and demonization of muslims." I had to stop myself from responding with, "Because of all those people demonizing Islam and scapegoating muslims, right?" I couldn't help but find his armbandery a little funny back then, considering this happened not long after Bush (the prototypical Christianfundamentalistcrusader in like-minded Berkeleyans' opinions) had been practically falling over himself emphasizing how Islam was a religion of peace, a tolerant faith, not our enemy, etc etc. And yet his response, after a group of muslims had most emphatically declared by word and devastating deed that they wanted us all dead, was to focus his attention on the urgent problem of muslims being slandered.

I wonder, when kids asked their grandfathers what they did during the war against the Nazis, did any of them say, "Well kiddo, I made sure that no one said anything mean-spirited about the Germans. Anytime someone used the term "Hun" I made sure to report them to the local Office of Racial Sensitivity."?