So, relations between Islam and the rest of the world have taken another dip in the last week. If nothing else, this is quite an effective demonstration of one of Murphy's Laws "No matter how bad things get, it's always possible for them to get worse." I honestly feel for the intelligent and/or moderate Muslims who any rational person would acknowledge obviously make up the vast majority of the Muslim faith. They may make up the majority of the religion but they sure don't make up the public face.
A quick, logical explanation for anyone who thinks I've been fooled by the "religion of peace" propaganda. A couple of billion people who were all homicidal maniacs would have wiped out all opposition a long time ago. A small minority of homicidal maniacs can inflict quite a bit of pain and suffering. Political and religious leaders who seem to consistently spout intolerance can do the same. And lying, opportunistic, grandstanding politicians and media in non-Muslim nations can also do the same.
The point of this post is to explain why all Muslims have accept the burden of the words and actions of any particular Muslim. Some might argue that if the majority are peaceful, why aren't I judged by this peaceful majority? Ha! Nice try Achmed! Others might say why aren't all Christians judged by the violent actions or words of a minority of Christians? You wish, Abdul! Others still will argue that scripture is being twisted and perverted by extremists and you play into the hands of radicals by marginalising all Muslims. Not good enough... ummm... damn, I've run out of generic Arab sounding names. Wait, Osama! Yes, I should have used that one first. Not good enough, Osama!
So the Pope opened a speech by saying "I read in this one book that all Muslims shag their sisters" and now every single Muslim in the world is acting all crazy about it. The proof that all Muslims are crazy is that some Muslims in response attacked some Christian churches and a nun may have been murdered by Muslims. Case closed. Besides which the Pope never said he reckoned all Muslims were bad, he just repeated what he read in a book. Which is the same as saying he doesn't agree. True, he didn't actually say he didn't agree and repeating a negative assertion without explicitly disclaiming it could be seen as endorsing it, but you're forgetting one thing.
The thing you have to realise is no matter how much you as a Muslim may protest your innocence, you can't get away from the fact that you aren't white. This makes you automatically suspect. Unless you are a white convert. That makes you a traitor. I know there's a danger in revealing this secret bit of white people's business, but the truth of the matter is that no matter how exemplary your life, no matter how accepted you feel, white folks are just waiting for you to reveal your true colours. A minor mis-step for a white person (say drunk driving, hitting a pedestrian and running from the cops) doesn't taint other whites but it is seen as proof of the failings of a non-white ethnicity in totality.
In Australia, the leading members of the federal government have made it clear that all Muslims need to denounce terrorism specifically and extremism generally. All the time. Saying "We already did that" isn't good enough. Look, Muslims can handle a call to prayer several times a day. They should be able to handle saying "I denounce terrorism and the killing of innocents, it is expressly forbidden by the Koran and its perpetrators are a disgrace to all true Muslims. By the way, mateship is totally ace.". Three times a day should be fine. After that, work on losing your accent. And those funny clothes aren't doing you any favours.
A brief note for the irony challenged (not to mention the intellectually challenged):
In my wacky world view I condemn all extremism. If you advocate the criminalising, sterilising, jailing or execution of any particular group you go into my broad category of Not Nice People. I understand that many people regard a range of things, words, people as "sacred" and get really pissed off if anyone disrespects that. I just care more about freedom of expression. My response to anyone who wants to restrict artistic freedom or expression in the name of ANY religios or political sensibility is "fuck you".
I know that "Piss Christ" is a pretty crap piece of art and it's far more about cheap sensationalism than artistic expression but if you want destroy it or threaten the life of the artist, I think you're a moron. And I really do think getting worked by some cartoons, no matter how deliberately inflammatory they were, is the height of stupidity. I deeply believe no amount of words or images, no matter how deeply hateful and hurtful, justify a violent response. EVER.
It doesn't matter to me what your level of melanin is. I don't care if you are Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu or Shintoist, I don't base my judgements on your religion. Unless you're a Buddhist. Fuck those smug bastards. Acting like you have more inner peace than me. Someone ought to roll right into those Buddhist's headquarters and kick them out on their meditating arses. But nobody's got the guts to take on the Buddhists.