Monday, February 27, 2006


I find this offensive. Not because I'm Jewish (I suspect that if I were I would be really pissed off) but because it thrusts out into the public discourse a provocative concept. Imagine this sign out in front of a Mosque:

In many ways this is like Ann Coulter. Because we have freedom of speech doesn't mean that it is wise to say anything, particularly if one is trying to be provocative, particularly when people may be offended in their personal, inner beliefs by the statement. Of course Christians would like to convert all the Jews to their religion. Moslems for many years did not seek conversions. Even after they did accept conversions it was nowhere near as compulsory as, say, the Spanish forcing the Indians into Christianity in Mexico and South America. (see Karen Armstrong's history of Islam.)

I would make the argument that what we are seeing in the Middle East at the present time (the disintegration of Iraq, Hamas, Afghanistan) may be due partly to the fact that Muslims have been tolerant of other religions whereas Christians have always felt that the 'heathen' needed converting. Thus, Muslims are insular and, due to their origins, basically tribal. Christians in the end run wind up a melting pot as in America.

But the basic ideas and concepts of Christianity and Islam have not changed since very early in their development. These ideas are so deeply ingrained in the populace that the concepts that Bush's cronies are trying to foist on a Muslim populace may be very alien to the hard wiring of their society. How do you have a democracy where the women have vastly different status than that of men?

One begins to wonder if people like Coulter and that other idiot David Horowitz (see the snark in full bloom on this at Jesus' General, 25 February) really offend us only for their own agrandizement. It could not be for any serious reason.

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