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Michael Devolin

Islam: A Strange Disorder
By Michael Devolin
Oct 16, 2012 - 11:48:39 PM

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"Man's sensitivity to little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder." -- Blaise Pascal

I first heard about the movie 'Innocence of Muslims' while listening to the disturbing news about the Americans murdered in Libya by an angry crowd of screaming, shouting Muslims. News about screaming and shouting Muslims crowds are not so shocking to Westerners anymore, so news of an American diplomat and his Navy Seal security detail being murdered in the streets of Libya was not so much of a surprise either. We simply consider where such news is coming from.

With the advent of the Arab Spring, as with any movement involving Muslims, one can expect the predictable violence that was sure to follow. And it did. One can also expect the media's obfuscation of this violence in order to preserve the politically correct illusion that Islam is not anti-Jewish or Muslim behavior unashamedly barbaric.

What is always impossible for me to comprehend is the fact that Muslims of all nationalities--even those raised in Western democracies--are much less bothered by the deaths of innocent bystanders who happen to get in the way of Muslim protesters than they are of someone drawing cartoons or making movies about the Prophet Mohammed; they are sensitive to little things, like cartoons or tasteless movies mocking their endlessly eventful religion, yet are insensitive to murder and bloodletting on any scale.

The fact that the mass protests against the movie Innocents of Muslims was a coordinated effort timed to begin on September 11 is not so disturbing as the fact that Muslims are not ashamed of behaving like animals, even when they know millions of viewers around the world are witness to their spiraling-out-of-control, religious impudence on live TV. Islam has never taught its followers to feel any sense of shame about what the non-Muslim world might think of their religious practices, whether the internecine violence between opposing Islamic sects or its commonplace oppression of women. Islam has taught them the exact opposite: to disregard the opinion and morals of all others. The Koran threatens its adherents that Islam and its teachings, even its anti-Jewish fulminations, are ne plus ultra, and so that's the end of the discussion. Beware any dissenters.

Sam Harris has written about Islam and Muslims, "Whether over a film, a cartoon, a novel, a beauty pageant, or an inauspiciously named teddy bear, the coming eruption of pious rage is now as predictable as the dawn. This is already an old and boring story about old, boring, and deadly ideas." Either Islam is causing this violent phenomenon, has been causing it for centuries, or else Arabs, Indonesians, Libyans, Chechens, etc., are just bad peoples.

I do not believe that all men are good, but neither do I believe that Islam has not been responsible for the violent disposition of Muslims everywhere. The evidence is too overwhelming to ignore. The proof is in the pudding. How can the entire non-Muslim world be shocked by such violent behavior--over a cheap movie and an even cheaper cartoon--yet the Muslim world maintains this insouciant silence that can only be explained as willful and shameless.

It is always surprising to me that Western Muslims, even professionals in the public eye, have so readily jumped on the anti-Zionist bandwagon, as though anti-Zionism is not anti-Jewish hatred, as though the anti-Zionist movement was not born in the minds of bloodthirsty religious savages; as though anti-Zionism is not a malefic condemnation of Judaism; as though Zionism is not as much a part of Judaism as praying towards Mecca is as much a part of Islam. Muslims are free to draw caricatures of Jews with hooked noses and sporting Nazi uniforms; Muslims are free to build a mosque atop of the holy Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. But Westerners beware should any Jew complain about these egregious disparities. Such inverse morality as displayed in the Muslim world the West is expected (with threat of violence) to accept without complaint or satire.

Harold Rhodes has written that "...inertia in the Islamic world seems to stem not from any generic limitations, or even religious ones, but purely from Islamic culture." He concludes his essay with the exculpatory statement, "Islam therefore is not the problem: Islamic culture is."

I fail to see the disconnect Mr. Rhodes is convinced exists between Islam the religion and Islamic culture. Islamic culture is, of necessity, and by definition, a product of Islam the religion. Where else but in the "Islamic world" is female circumcision practiced? Where else but in the Islamic world is "boy rape" so commonplace? Where else but in the Islamic world is anti-Jewish hatred so widespread and venomous? Where else but in the Islamic world is the bombing of innocent civilians an everyday occurrence?

Mr. Rhodes contradicts his very own line of reasoning where he writes also that "this inertia guarantees that as the outside world gallops into the future, the Arabo-Muslim world will find it harder and harder to catch up..." What else is obturating the Muslim world from modernity but the narrow and barbaric confines of Islam the religion? What else but Islam perverts the human conscience in such a way as to find nothing abnormally wrong with mass murder and violence and yet is so much more offended by the Western world's mockery of the Muslim's flagrant transgression of the rules of human decency and his shameless denial of any actus Reus?

Christopher Hitchens points out that, "There were perhaps seven hundred followers of the Prophet Mohammed burned alive in New York on September 11. Nobody who studied the target zone could have been in any doubt that some such figure was at the very least a likely one." The planners of 9/11 were insensitive to the greater things: the obvious trespass of not only murdering Islam's hated infidel, but also insensitive to the cardinal sin of murdering their fellow Muslims.

And I write here of those the apologists refer to as "extremist" Muslims. But also insensitive to the greater things were the "moderate" Muslims who made plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero in New York City--as though Islam the religion had no connection to 9/11; as though New Yorkers have ever forgiven Islam of this horrendous crime.

Islam is a strange disorder indeed.

Michael Devolin


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