First, there's prof. John Fleming, who takes the apologists for Islam to task over their exagerated claims of discrimination against muslims:
That we should tolerate the tolerable and respect the respectable seems an unexceptionable if modest aspiration of civil society. The Myth of Islamic Tolerance itself, however, is unlikely long to survive the perusal of a recent book of that title (Prometheus, 2005, 593 pages) or, for that matter, the wider familiarity with the Koran and Hadith among non-Muslims. These columnists complain, with regard to the Danish cartoons, of "the double standard by which slurs against Islam are permitted in the West while attacks on other faiths are not."Mark Steyn agrees in a column about the fate that befell Abdul Rahman, the christian convert facing possible death in Afghanistan for leaving Islam:
That is one of the more fantastic things I have ever read in a newspaper, not excluding even my own columns. The Danish cartoons appeared in a provincial newspaper published in a language spoken by a world population well under half that of Cairo. In the meantime in English (1.9 billion speakers), appears a record-selling book called "The Da Vinci Code." Its thesis is that Jesus Christ got it on with Mary Magdalene and that institutional Christianity, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, will do whatever is necessary to cover up the truth threatening to expose centuries of knowing fraud. There were no howling mobs, burning churches or art historians dead in the street, only fabulous sales spurred by aggressive publicity and a big movie on the way. I suppose that does qualify as a double standard.
President Bush holds a monthlong Ramadan-a-ding-dong at the White House every year; the immediate reaction to the slaughter of 9/11 by the president, the prince, the prime ministers of Britain, Canada and everywhere else was to visit a mosque to demonstrate their great respect for Islam. One party to this dispute is respectful to a fault: after all, to describe the violence perpetrated by Muslims over the Danish cartoons as the "recent ghastly strife" barely passes muster as effete Brit toff understatement.In a third piece Charles Krauthammer ruminates about what this 'primary duty to command and forbid' means in relation to Irans nuclear ambitions:
Unfortunately, what's "precious and sacred" to Islam is its institutional contempt for others. In his book Islam And The West, Bernard Lewis writes, "The primary duty of the Muslim as set forth not once but many times in the Koran is 'to command good and forbid evil.' It is not enough to do good and refrain from evil as a personal choice. It is incumbent upon Muslims also to command and forbid."
We have difficulty understanding the mentality of Iran's newest rulers. Then again, we don't understand the mentality of the men who flew into the World Trade Center or the mobs in Damascus and Tehran who chant "Death to America"--and Denmark(!)--and embrace the glory and romance of martyrdom.
This atavistic love of blood and death and, indeed, self-immolation in the name of God may not be new--medieval Europe had an abundance of millennial Christian sects--but until now it has never had the means to carry out its apocalyptic ends.
Depending on your own beliefs, Ahmadinejad is either mystical or deranged. In either case, he is exceedingly dangerous. And Iran is just the first. With infinitely accelerated exchanges of information helping develop whole new generations of scientists, extremist countries led by similarly extreme men will be in a position to acquire nuclear weaponry. If nothing is done, we face not proliferation but hyperproliferation. Not just one but many radical states will get weapons of mass extinction, and then so will the fanatical and suicidal terrorists who are their brothers and clients.
And the West, or more particular: Europe? Claire Berlinski isn't all that optimistic. In the interview she diagnoses the religious tendencies in much of Europes anti-Americanism:
When you have these two phenomena together-irrationality and this curious passion, this fervor-it seems reasonable to conclude that you are in the presence of something like a cult. So you consider it, sociologically. What role does this ideology serve in the European psyche? One answer: It fulfills many of the roles once played by the Church. It offers a comprehensive-if lunatic-answer to the question, "Why is the world the way it is, and why is there evil in that world?" It provides a devil to excoriate and then to exorcise. There is community and belonging in anti-American activism, ecstasy in protest. Again, a form of Christian heresy, and no more lunatic, surely, than anything the Cathars believed, if also no less.In the answer to the next question she rather effectively exposes this short-sighted obsession:
We see members of the Dutch parliament in hiding, the abrogation of freedom of expression throughout Europe, the rise of right-wing leaders who openly advocate the mass deportation of non-white Europeans, one barely-thwarted terrorist attack after another-and yet, according to the polls, the majority of Europeans consider the United States to be their biggest worry. They're monomaniacally obsessed with the danger posed to them by Americans and the perfidious cabal of Jews who yank our puppet strings.And there you have the world today in a nutshell: A totalitarian ideology agressively demanding Rezzpect for it's primitive tenets, while extending no respect itself. Rather, it would sooner kill then to have to show the respect so natural between civilized people. This ideology is actively seeking to develop nuclear capability, led in its endeavors by a man who thinks the apocalyps is close at hand and is perfectly willing to help it along.
And while all this is going on in its backyard, Europe can't seem to get over its obsessions over evil American capitalism, too pre-occupied to notice the hordes creeping up to us from the shadows.
As one say in these circumstances: Read it all (and I do mean ALL).