Hi gang, nice to be back. Unfortunately, as I explain further in today’s column, it’s like I never left.
There, I suggest we can assess the silliness of the rationalizations of the Ground Zero mosque by applying them to Pastor Terry Jones’s similarly provocative Koran-burning escapade — entirely legal, but a gratuitously offensive thing to do.
But that doesn’t begin to cover how vapid the commentary continues to be, particularly the commentary from our commander-in-chief — as President Obama took pains to remind us in an interview with George Stephanopoulos this morning.
According to Obama, Jones’s “stunt” (a fair description) is already “a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda.” That’s absurd. No sensible person joins a terrorist organization dedicated to mass murder simply because somebody torches a Koran.
If the president, who is principally responsible for American national security, actually believes what he says, what is his excuse for not confronting Islamist regimes? These are not Looney Tunes pastors with followings smaller than the First Lady’s traveling caravan; they are governments that confiscate and destroy Bibles, crucifixes, Stars of David, and other articles of profound religious substance and symbolism to non-Muslims. That goes on, systematically, every single day — although still not as often as you’d imagine, because Islamic societies are so innately intolerant that there aren’t a lot of non-Muslim religious items to be found in, say, Saudi Arabia.
Jones is going to burn a Koran; sharia calls for killing human beings who renounce Islam. Does the president have an explanation for why Christians and Jews are not forming terror cells with the bonanza of recruits that must come forward on a daily basis given the “stunts” that, in Saudi Arabia, are known as law enforcement?
Terry Jones is a jackass. I wish Americans would trip over themselves with a fraction of the zeal on display here to condemn the torching of the American flag — a symbol of freedom and sacrifice. But that’s beside the point. Burning a book sacred to Muslims is a stupid, provocative thing to do. Yet it is conscious avoidance — okay, willful blindness — to claim that Jones is causing the threat to our troops, in addition to the threat of other attacks and riots by Muslims (of the sort we’ve seen with the Danish cartoons, the false claims of Koran-flushing at Gitmo, the school teacher who named a teddy bear Mohammed, etc.).
Those are all pretexts. The cause is Islamist ideology, which is dehumanizing of non-Muslims (or, in the case of the Ahmadi, even of Muslims who reject parts of mainstream Islamic doctrine). It is the ideology that puts the world’s Muslims on a hair trigger.
What Jones is doing is a desecration, not a national-security threat. It merits derision, as any desecration does. And it may indeed provoke a spike in violence that will go on, spike or no spike. But the security problem is not Koran-burning. It is a civilization indoctrinated by an ideology ever on the prowl for any excuse, real or imagined, to make mayhem. Wouldn’t it be nice if, while they publicly chide an American citizen for striking the match, our public officials took the occasion to chide the ideology that turns cultures into dynamite?