Thursday, June 24, 2004

Muslim Murder, 'American' Torture, and Incoherent Thinking

Maybe I'm a stickler for consistency. I've been accused of being a "rule based thinker" and it didn't really bother me. I like rules and structure. Without them, it's the darkness of chaos and gnashing teeth.

When people are murdered by Muslim we are quickly reminded that this is no reflection on the religion, even when the killers explicitly use Islamic language to justify the murders and to threaten more. This has happened so often that we accept it as a self-evident truth.
Muslim and Arab leaders from northern New Jersey joined yesterday to denounce the killing of Paul M. Johnson Jr. by his terrorist captors in Saudi Arabia, insisting the murder did not represent the tenets of Islam.

"We further categorically reject the killers' claim that their repulsive act represents Islam and Muslims," a statement endorsed by nine Muslim-American organizations read.
Ok, fine. Let's adopt that general principle. The acts of individuals do not taint the larger group to which they belong or the belief system of the group.

But wait, that principle is not followed when it comes to the so called torture of Iraqi prisoners. The abuses are seen, not as the actions of individuals, but as a reflection of American values. The notion that the abuse of prisoners is representative of something, American megalomania, Western pathology, "cowboy culture," the Crusader mentality, imperialism, pick the fad idea of the week, is wide-spread in Western media. It goes without question that "those horrible images" represent something.

It's the same old double standard: if an MP in Iraq hits a prisoner it's because the war in Iraq is a corrupt misadventure and Western civilization is imperialistic; if a Muslim cuts off an American's head while quoting from the Koran, it's just the act of a killer - and bares no relation to Islam.

Pardon my exasperation, but what the fuck is this?! You can't have it both ways. The media can't blame American society for prisoner abuse and exonerate Islam from the beheadings. Americans shouldn't feel guilty over the prison abuse and at the same time believe the Islamist apologists when they claim that the crimes of Muslims do not represent the tenets of Islam. Why is Islam the one belief system that can never be blamed for the crimes of its members? Of those who use it to justify their atrocities?

Don't believe the hype. Either a belief system is implicated when its adherents commit crimes in its name or it is not. You cannot excuse one and blame the other and still claim to be a coherent thinker.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


7:23 PM  
Blogger Tyrone Vitoff said...

What those Iraqi prisoners went through wasn't even torture. Shit, there are fraternities that do worse to their pledges than that. It's kind of like the Iraqis were being hazed into the free world.

9:49 AM  

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