Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Narrative

Tom Friedman has an interesting column today, Dear Gentle Reader(s).  It concerns the way the United States, in particular, and the non-Islamic West are portrayed in media with an Islamic orientation.  It ain’t pretty.

The portrayal is called “The Narrative,” and it is enlightening.  You might take a few minutes for reading and contemplation.

Implicit in this writing is a call for the United States to hold to account the leaders of those Gulf and Mideast states which give tacit support to the dissemination of this Narrative, and Friedman proposes an addition to the Cairo speech when President Obama next addresses a Muslim audience:

“Whenever something like Fort Hood happens you say, ‘This is not Islam.’ I believe that. But you keep telling us what Islam isn’t. You need to tell us what it is and show us how its positive interpretations are being promoted in your schools and mosques. If this is not Islam, then why is it that a million Muslims will pour into the streets to protest Danish cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, but not one will take to the streets to protest Muslim suicide bombers who blow up other Muslims, real people, created in the image of God? You need to explain that to us — and to yourselves.”

Sounds like good advice which could be taken by a lot of people, including, one would think, our own American neighbors who happen to follow Islam.  Are you listening, CAIR?

Trust, but verify.

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why is it “None Dare Call It Blasphemy?”

Each of the world’s “religions of the book” have some adherents which proclaim that their “book” is the word of “God” in such a way that somehow limits divine pronouncements to the far past.  At the same time, there is, at least in the Christian confession, an acknowledgement that humans cannot “know” the mind of “God.”  If the adherents of Judaic and Islamic theology also have such an acknowledgement, why, then, are these religions hobbled by a concept that the Divinity stopped revealing certain “truths” 1400, 2100, or 5400 years ago?  Isn’t holding that God stopped talking to Mankind centuries ago some sort of hubris?  Isn’t it presuming to know what God’s plan might be?  Isn’t it a virtual blasphemy?

How dare these people proclaim that they have the “last” of God’s words?  How do they know that? 

How dare people preach that God wants death in His name? 

How dare they deliver sermons making women second class creatures of the race?

How dare they have prayers thanking God for not making them women?

How dare “mainstream” religionists not publicly chastise extremists?

How dare they not hurl epithets against religious suicides?

How dare they all blaspheme?!?

Trust, but verify.

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