Friday, December 17, 2010
Who Will Teach Tolerance to the Muslims?
Every time a Muslim terrorist is caught trying to kill Americans in the name of Islam, the media and the politicians immediately go on full alert over the threat of an "Islamophobic backlash" against Muslims. Right away city mayors, district attorneys, law enforcement officials, sensitivity trainers, school board members, television executives and editorial writers go sliding down the Tolerance Pole on an urgent mission to head off the inevitable orgy of violence by ordinary Americans who are always presumed to be 5 minutes away from shouldering a battering ram and heading off to the nearest mosque-- by teaching tolerance toward Islam. That means embedding Islam even deeper into the school curriculum, adding a "positive depiction" of a Muslim to every TV show on the air, and arresting anyone who even looks funny at a Koran.
With all the energy expended on teaching Americans to be tolerant of Islam, you would think the streets of every major city were covered in the bodies of Muslims murdered by mobs of ignorant Americans who had never been exposed to the wonders of Islam. But 9 years after Muslims murdered thousands of Americans, there has yet to be such a case. The mobs have not materialized. Even the already inflated number of hate crimes targeting Muslims are a blip on the radar compared to how many such crimes target Jews and Blacks. The Islamophobic backlash that was on the verge of drowning Dearborn or Jersey City in a post-modern pogrom has never actually materialized.
So far Muslims have murdered thousands of Americans. And a single American filmmaker killed his Muslim partner when the latter expressed support for Al Qaeda right after 9/11. That was 9 years ago.
As of now the domestic murder scoreboard reads, "Muslims 3,000 - Americans 1". Anyone trained in the arcane arts of basic addition and subtraction can't help but look at that score and wonder if it's perhaps the people who have a kill count in the thousands who need to be taught tolerance, more than the schlubs who were just barely tolerant enough to score a 1.
That the 1's need to be taught to tolerate the 3,000's among them is as perverse as bringing retired members of the SS into Jewish classrooms to teach tolerance toward Nazism. Yet every day across the country, American children are indoctrinated to positively view the ideology that murdered thousands of their countrymen out of religious fanaticism and naked bigotry. "Be tolerant of your murderers", is the real message. "Because if you're not tolerant enough of them, they might snap and car bomb your Christmas tree lighting ceremony or your next family outing to see the Lion King." Is that what tolerance comes down to? Teaching the children of tomorrow to feel like battered spouses today.
Missing in all this great hullabaloo of tolerance, is any interest in teaching Muslims to tolerate the Christians, Jews, Hindus and other religions that they have traditionally persecuted and massacred. And though the score still stands at that bloody 3,000 to 1, there is no program to prevent Anti-Christian and Anti-Semitic bigotry in Muslim schools. Fine educational institutions where it is not unheard of to teach the class that Jews are descendants of "pigs and apes" and out to conquer the world. Or that homosexuals should be executed. And that Muslims are allowed to kill and rob Hindus and Buddhists.
Even the least rational among us, taking a look at that 3,000 to 1 score, would come to the conclusion that maybe more Tolerance Education resources should be devoted to the people who carried out the worst massacre in American history, than to the people who in response to that massacre began reassuring them that there were no hard feelings about it.
This is all the more extraordinary when you consider that the average Muslim is safer walking down the streets of an American city, than an American is walking down the streets of a Muslim city. At worst, the Muslim might be mugged. But he will not be seized and dragged away, held for ransom in some sodden basement and forced to convert to Christianity or Judaism on pain of death. He will not be forced to star in videos denouncing his own country and his family will not have to watch his head being sawn off by a grinning Buddhist in baklava. All situations that any American traveling to the Muslim world must be wary of.
A Muslim in America is better off than a Filipino in Saudi Arabia, an Englishwoman in Dubai, a Christian in Turkey, a Jew in Yemen or a Frenchwoman in one of the Banlieues. Because for all the science exhibits showcasing the knowledge that the Muslim world "borrowed" from Greece and India, the Muslim world is still hopelessly backward when it comes to the basics. Like not beheading people for following a different religion. There is not a single Muslim country in the world where non-Muslims have legal equality. And nowadays, there are also a vanishing number of Western countries where non-Muslims have legal equality with Muslims.
Cartoonists can mock every creed, but that of Mohammed. TSA agents can strip search American little girls, but they had better look the other way when a mobile black sheet named Fatima or Aisha walks through their security. She could be a man or two men or three men and a camel under there, but the TSA agents will be too busy frisking elderly nuns to risk being found guilty of the one venial sin of airline security, profiling a Muslim. Deface a bible and its art. Burn a Koran and you won't even be able to keep a job with the State of New Jersey. All that's missing is a law banning churches and synagogues from being built taller than a mosque, and it would be just like home in Saudi Arabia.
To continue their valiant battle against the omnipresent scourge of Islamophobia, the media and the politicians have defined it down. Now being opposed to building a mosque near the site of a recent Muslim massacre of thousands is a dangerously bigoted sentiment. But murdering thousands of Americans does not make one a bigot. And an ideology which continues to spawn terrorists like frogs in a radioactive pond, is not in any need of tolerance training. Muslims already have the ultimate book on tolerance at their disposal, the Koran. What more need do they have for tolerance?
Muslims and their academic apologists will point to their fine record of tolerance for religious and ethnic minorities in their own countries, whom they invariably at some point got tired of tolerating and began massacring. But the apologists would rather focus on the happier times before the massacres began. The Golden Age of Spain, before Muslims began massacring the Jews. That time in the Sudan before the Muslim wiped out the Christian and Animist population. And all those times when Turkey didn't massacre Christian Armenians. Not to mention that day or two of peace that Hindus in Kashmir get every year.
Like a serial killer on trial, the Muslim world would rather you focus on all the times they didn't kill people-- rather than all the times they do.
Since September 11, politicians have insisted that Muslims are just like every other American. And they are. They enjoy snapping shots of major landmarks, going to strip clubs and domestic air travel. But once in a while they stumble across the wrong verse in the Koran and decide that it's telling them to "Slay the infidels wherever you find them" (Koran 9:5), when it's actually telling them to, "Cook the infidels a delectable meal and invite them over for dinner to discuss mutual respect for all religions" (Nowhere Because It Doesn't Exist 2:3) And due to that tragic 'misunderstand ring' of Islam, along with the usual causes such as the mortgage crisis, airborne strains of PTSD and the stereotypical depictions of Muslims on American television-- *poof*, off they go on a killing spree.
But that seems to make it all the more vital to teach tolerance to the Muslims, before they're in van trying to set off explosives while the carolers warble and the crowd is looking up to the angel at the top of the Christmas tree. Yet instead we teach the carolers tolerance, and tell the Muslims to report any incidents of caroler related Islamophobia directly to their local police department, Special Islamophobic Crimes Hotline. There was a time when police officers told battered wives that they had to be more understanding of their husbands. Today they tell Americans to be more understanding of Muslims. They do work hard you know. And if they try to car bomb you sometimes, maybe it's because you don't please them anymore.
It's time to admit that the American-Muslim or Muslim-American experiment has failed badly. There is no magic ray of Americaness beaming down from the Statue Liberty that immediately transforms a new immigrant into a Yankee Doodle Dandy. It takes a willingness to be an American. Or at least a reluctance to kill Americans. But by the beard of the prophet, when the Koran crosses the border, its intolerance and genocidal imperatives do too. And unlike the members of every other major American religion who don't believe that they are under a current obligation by their deity to slaughter heathens and infidels-- Muslims still think they're on a mission from Allah to force the world to live by the rules set down by an illiterate 7th century warlord whose idea of a friendly greeting was 'Aslim Taslam', or in the latin, "Convert to My Religion and I Won't Kill You".
In the 9 years since 9/11, our authorities have assiduously taught tolerance to Americans, but absolutely failed to teach it to those who need it most. The Muslims who were killing Americans all along. Like sending crime victims to a 'Scared Straight' program at the local prison, while putting their muggers through self-defense classes, this approach hasn't exactly worked out too well. We don't have an urgent problem involving violence against Muslims. We do have an urgent problem involving violence by Muslims. It's the same problem we had nine years ago. And nineteen years ago. And two-hundred and nine years ago, when Jefferson sent in the United States Marines to set the Muslim pirates who thought that Allah had given them the right to raid American ships and sell their sailors into slavery, back on their heels.
We are often asked whether Americans are learning to be tolerant of Islam. Perhaps, it's time to ask that rarely asked of questions, when are Muslims going to finally learn to be tolerant of others?