"Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid" - Ronald Reagan

New York

Mark Steyn on Target regarding Mohammad Cartoon

Once again Mark Steyn makes a great analogy about Muslim rioting and violence in response to the insulting cartoons of Mohammad,

"If I were a Muslim, I'd be "hurt" and "humiliated" that the revered prophet's name is given not to latex blowup males but to so many real blowup males: The leader of the 9/11 plotters? Mohammed Atta. The British Muslim who self-detonated in a Tel Aviv bar? Asif Mohammed Hanif. The gunman who shot up the El Al counter at LAX? Heshamed Mohamed Hedayet. The former U.S. Army sergeant who masterminded the slaughter at the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania? Ali Mohamed. The murderer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh? Mohammed Bouyeri. The notorious Sydney gang rapist? Mohammed Skaf. The Washington sniper? John Allen Muhammed. If I were a Muslim, I would be deeply offended that the prophet's name is the preferred appellation of so many killers and suicide bombers on every corner of the earth."

It is apparently not appropriate to show cartoons of Mohammad, but these Mohammad's are revered because they are just doing the Lord's work right.

It is time for moderate Muslims to regain control of their religion or else these extremists will lead the world to a "Clash of Civilizations". Muslims in no way, shape, or form can win this battle. However, if free, democratic countries back down against this cartoon furor, Muslim extremists will win another battle in the long global war of terror.

It is time to confront the likes of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Al Qaeda so our children can continue to grow up in a free, democratic society where they are not threatened by Cartoon Jihad, but are only concerned with watching Cartoon Network.

Gross Overreaction to Mohammad Cartoons

I am like most people in that I wake up every morning, go to work to provide for my family, come home and play with my kids, watch some TV or browse the internet, and then go to sleep to start the process all over again. During the day, I see some things in other people that inspire me. I also see some things I would not do myself. I try to learn from life's lessons. I also try to build and better my character and be a responsible adult role model for my children. I am happy I live in a free country that allows my children a safe and secure environment to grow up in as they learn to become responsible members of society. I am also happy I have chosen a profession that allows me to defend the freedoms this country upholds.

Contrary to what some believe, military personnel are just like the UPS person, the manager of a store, or one of its several employees. We all go to work everyday to provide for our families and try to get ahead in life. Unlike a typical American, we also deploy at times to either practice our warfighting skills or are ordered to execute the real thing, possibly risking death in the process. We are not steely-eyed killers who are bent on death and destruction. We do however, take our profession seriously enough to understand that when called upon, we must be trained and ready to win our nation's wars.

In typing this message, my little one came in an asked me to find cartoons on the TV. Like a good father, I got up and found some cartoons. The little one is now happy and content, for the moment. But this illustrates my point. Military personnel are not much different than other Americans, we are just here to do a job and provide for our families. The only difference is we may be called at times to die for our country in battle. If that happens, I hope my wife would explain to my little one, why Daddy is no longer around to help find cartoons on the TV.

But let me get to the point of this post. Like most Americans, I am currently befuddled regarding the rioting and mayhem that has accompanied the publications of off-colored cartoons of Mohammad. Like I stated above, there are things I see everyday that I object to based on my Christian beliefs and my morals that my parents instilled in me. I have never been so emotionally hurt to riot, destroy property, burn buildings, or kill another human being. I would especially not even consider such action even if newspapers published off-colored cartoons of Jesus Christ. Again, this brings me to the point of this post. Why all the mayhem?

A recent Times Online-UK poll suggests that many Brits feel the same way as I do and undoubtedly the same way as most Americans. Some results of the poll are:
  • 86% of people think the protests were a "gross overreaction".

  • 80% of respondents saying the authorities show too much tolerance of Muslims who urge extreme acts.

  • 81% of people think they should be sent back to their own countries, even if to do so would endanger their lives.

  • 87% expect further attacks in Britain by Islamic groups on the scale of the July 7 bombings

  • 67% think there will be a worsening of tensions between Muslims and others in Britain

  • 17% see a future in which there is peaceful coexistence between Muslims and others in Britain

While I have not seen similar polls in the United States, I would assume the responses of Americans would roughly correspond to those in Britain. In an interview with Spiegel Online, Tariq Ramadan, a leading Muslim scholar in Europe, stated,

"Of course. The reaction has been way too severe. I traveled to Denmark back in October and I told Muslim leaders there not to react emotionally, because it would be the reactions and the emotions of the Muslims that would become the center of attention. The best thing would have been for us to take an emotional distance. But now, all you see is angry faces, crying and rage on the television. This is not the way forward for the Muslims."

I whole-heartedly agree with Tariq Ramadan on this issue. My gosh, what an overreaction. Where is the rage and rioting regarding the death of approximately 1000 people in the Egyptian ferry boat sinking? Where is the rage and rioting for the 345 people who died on the Mena's Jamarat Bridge near Mecca after pilgrims jostled together to perform the stoning ritual between noon and sunset. While I understand there has been anger, outrage, and demonstrationsns regarding these tragedies, they have been exceedingly trite compared to the rioting and violence expressed in regards to the Mohammad cartoons. I believe most people are familiar with the Mohammad cartoon issue. I equally believe most people are not familiar with the Egyptian ferry or Haj disaster and the relative banal reaction of Muslims in their own countries to these disasters.

As a typical American, I agree with the Times Online-UK poll results. I have been unable to find polls on this topic in America thus far, but I believe most Americans would agree with the Times Online-UK poll. What I find more fascinating is the percentages in the lopsided poll numbers. 80-90% of Brits believe Muslims worldwide have overreacted to the cartoons, that the west is too tolerant of Muslim extremists, and expect further attacks from Muslim extremists. Only 17% believe Muslims can live side-by-side with others in Britain. Let me repeat this poll data once again. Only 17% of Brits believe Muslims can live side-by-side with all other nationalities in Britain. Wow!

Riots in Iran, Syria, Lebanon with Hezbollah, Gaza with the Palestinians, and Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan are believed by 86% of people [Brits] to be a "gross" overreaction. I wonder what percentage thought it was just an "simple" overreation? This evil coalition, attempting to milk this issue for support, may have very well undermined Western nation support for Muslims in general. These riots are only confirming and solidifying the belief many westernersrs have long held.

I, like the Brits in this poll, just want to go to work and provide for my family. I may not like all the policies espoused and pursued in my country or the party in power, but I am generally happy and thankful that my children are able to grow up in a free, democratic country. If I feel strongly enough against a party in power, I will vote against them in the next election. I, like the Brits in this poll, am fearful that Muslim extremist are attempting to subvert these freedoms I hold so dearly. Other western nations are beginning to see Muslim extremists for what they are, hate-filled, intolerant people who want it only their way at the expense of all others civilized groups.

It is alright for Muslims extremists to publish hate-filled cartoons against Americans, Israelis, Brits, Danes, and other infidels, but it is not alright for newspapers in free societies to publish these rather tame cartoons of Mohammad. Tariq Ramadan is correct. "...the reactions and the emotions of the Muslims would become the center of attention." I quite frankly do not like what I am seeing and apparently 86% of Brits don't either. Do you?