May 20, 2005
TOM FRIEDMAN continues the theme I mentioned yesterday:
The greatest respect we can show to Arabs and Muslims - and the best way to help Muslim progressives win the war of ideas - is to take them seriously and stop gazing at our own navels. That means demanding that they answer for their lies, hypocrisy and profane behavior, just as much as we must answer for ours.
It's interesting to see this idea taking off. Thanks, Newsweek!
UPDATE: And it just keeps spreading:
As a Muslim, I am able to purchase copies of the Quran in any bookstore in any American city, and study its contents in countless American universities. American museums spend millions to exhibit and celebrate Muslim arts and heritage. On the other hand, my Christian and other non-Muslim brothers and sisters in Saudi Arabia--where I come from--are not even allowed to own a copy of their holy books. Indeed, the Saudi government desecrates and burns Bibles that its security forces confiscate at immigration points into the kingdom or during raids on Christian expatriates worshiping privately. . . .
The Saudi Embassy and other Saudi organizations in Washington have distributed hundreds of thousands of Qurans and many more Muslim books, some that have libeled Christians, Jews and others as pigs and monkeys. In Saudi school curricula, Jews and Christians are considered deviants and eternal enemies. By contrast, Muslim communities in the West are the first to admit that Western countries--especially the U.S.--provide Muslims the strongest freedoms and protections that allow Islam to thrive in the West. Meanwhile Christianity and Judaism, both indigenous to the Middle East, are maligned through systematic hostility by Middle Eastern governments and their religious apparatuses.
The lesson here is simple: If Muslims wish other religions to respect their beliefs and their Holy book, they should lead by example.
UPDATE: Varifrank is cool with this meme.
ANOTHER UPDATE: So is President Bush:
"These people are motivated by a vision of the world that is backward and barbaric," Bush told reporters in the Oval Office where he met with the prime minister of Denmark, Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Progress continues apace.