Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WITF and the Islamic World Tension

This morning, the local PBS station aired it's local news-affairs program, Smart Talk, and had as its topic the recent tensions in the Islamic world that resulted from "that" amateurish video that was posted on YouTube and triggered riots, demonstrations, and possible the incident that resulted in the death of the United States Ambassador to Libya.  This is what I told them:

The other day the British comic Ricky Gervais tweeted, "I see Atheists are fighting and killing each other again, over who doesn't believe in any God the most. Oh, no..wait..that never happens." Yes, the video is terrible. So was the desecration of the Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan. There is a double standard that Islam needs to address. So much of the problem seems to be the intolerance of either side to respect the beliefs of others. I personally try to live my life in such a way that if you want to believe in Allah, or Jesus, or a Flying Spaghetti Monster, go for it. If it fills your spiritual void, then it's what's good for you. Trouble starts with the imposition of one set of beliefs over another. Christians are just as guilty; for example, if one doesn't believe in abortion, one should not get one. But don't impose that belief on others who do not share it. Muslims, I think, need to accept the fact that other faiths are going to depict their Prophet, if for no other reason than to educate themselves about Islam, without going off the deep end about how the infidels are disrespecting them and their Prophet. Please know that I am not saying that the video was in any way educational -- it was despicable as well as amateurish, and was clearly, to my mind, hate speech of the worst sort. I believe it was the intention of the author to incite violence around the world, especially during our election cycle. But the Muslim extremists walked right into the trap. Once, Islam led the world in knowledge and in science, in everything from mathematics ("algebra" is an Arabic word) to astronomy. Now Islamic sects promote beliefs that others find nonsensical, such as the need to cover women to prevent the inflammation of male passions. The Islamic world needs to find their way into a more moderate, modern world, and the West needs to be more accepting of ways that are different from theirs.  Just my opinion -- I could be wrong.

And probably am.

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