Sunday, May 9, 2010

Muslim Protest

I originally thought this was overstating the case, but after thinking about it I can see only one thing in this statement that I disagree with. The Palestinians are not being persecuted by Israelis because they are Muslims, but because they are occupying land that the Israelis want. They would get the same treatment if they were Buddhists or Pagans or Christians (Indeed, many Palestinians are Christians.) I think the Palestinians and the Israelis behave about equally badly on this issue, although the winner of the "bad guy race" fluctuates from month to month. The issue of who has the right to be there really is completely orthogonal to questions of religion, which is obscured by the fact that Muslims from England to Malaysia tend strongly to root for the Palestinians because they are Muslims. That's why I'm not going to talk about it here, and why I think it would be better for everyone not to confuse these two issues as deeply as they are confused today.


  1. they forgot a few---
    -bigotry, prejudie and hate are called "free-speech"
    -restrictions on the practice of Islam or use of its symbols is called "assimilation"
    -when called on about their hypocricy they defend it as "Western culture"!!!

  2. I think you're basically right about the last two, but I'm afraid that bigotry, prejudice, and hate are free speech, according to my values. There is almost no one left in the West, either on the left or right, who is willing to defend speech they disagree with, if the disagreement gets strong enough. But I think it is important to recognize Voltaire's principle of "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." So I think you are right when you accuse at least some Westerners of being hypocritical when they say that Muslims should put up with insults to their religion.

  3. "I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." ---I would defend it too---but I do not defend anyone's right to offend another simply because of the "entertainment value". Constructive criticism, responsible dialogue/discussion, even reasonable arguments and disagreements are fine. That passions will be aroused and such expressions may become discourteus is understandable to some extent. However, hate, intolerance, prejudice, bigotry should not be acceptable as part of "civilized" society because this tramples the higher values of respect, tolerance, decency, and compassion. (This applies to all regardless of religion). The whole purpose of free-speech is to create an environment that would call out against injustice. ----hate/prejudice creates an environment of injustice going against the principle for which it was created. Therefore, a "civilized" society must stand up against the abuse of free-speech, just as it must also protect it.