Why, then, should we be commanded to "respect" those who insist that they alone know something that is both unknowable and unfalsifiable? Something, furthermore, that can turn in an instant into a license for murder and rape? As one who has occasionally challenged Islamic propaganda in public and been told that I have thereby "insulted 1.5 billion Muslims," I can say what I suspect—which is that there is an unmistakable note of menace behind that claim. No, I do not think for a moment that Mohammed took a "night journey" to Jerusalem on a winged horse. And I do not care if 10 billion people intone the contrary. Nor should I have to. But the plain fact is that the believable threat of violence undergirds the Muslim demand for "respect."
Before me is a recent report that a student at Pace University in New York City has been arrested for a hate crime in consequence of an alleged dumping of the Quran. Nothing repels me more than the burning or desecration of books, and if, for example, this was a volume from a public or university library, I would hope that its mistreatment would constitute a misdemeanor at the very least. But if I choose to spit on a copy of the writings of Ayn Rand or Karl Marx or James Joyce, that is entirely my business. When I check into a hotel room and send my free and unsolicited copy of the Gideon Bible or the Book of Mormon spinning out of the window, I infringe no law, except perhaps the one concerning litter. Why do we not make this distinction in the case of the Quran? We do so simply out of fear, and because the fanatical believers in that particular holy book have proved time and again that they mean business when it comes to intimidation....
It is often said that resistance to jihadism only increases the recruitment to it. For all I know, this commonplace observation could be true. But, if so, it must cut both ways.
I am reminded of a line from the 1977 Star Wars movie...to "liberally" paraprase: The more you tighten your grip, Islam, the more people will slip through your oppressive jihadi fingers.
Along with Hitchens I agree that this imbecilic pc bullshit must stop (he said it nicely though).
CAIR appears to be nothing more than an advance recon unit for Al Qaeda-style jihad, disguised as self-righteous and terribly oppressed muslim moderates. They must be disabused of the notion that their crusade to obtain special status for Islam under the law--by eliminating free speech protections--has any chance of success. Only the the useful PC idiots of the left are sympathetic with their efforts, but that is exactly the problem.
Both CAIR and the left have made a mockery of one of our most precious freedoms and the think they can get away with it. But, as Princess Leia pointed out once in a galaxy far far away, they are only succeeding in hardening the resolve of people like myself to actively oppose their coercive and cynical manipulation of our free society. Once I could have cared less about Islam and what any Muslim believed or how they lived--as long as they left me alone. Now I have the strange and compelling desire (my "difficulty dealing with authority" personality, I guess) to organize a "Flush the Quran Day" of protest along with other forms of targeted non-PC civil disobedience, just to demonstrate to Darth Islam and the Grand Moff Leftists that submission is not an American character trait.
Darth Islam may find our lack of faith in Allah disturbing, but they have no magical powers to make me or anyone else conform to their religion unless we ourselves give it to them.
UPDATE: Jeff Goldstein comments:
What is so disheartening is that here we have a university, with the help of law enforcement, turning an issue of free speech (and, to be fair, maybe vandalism or misdemeanor theft) into a double felony.
Which makes sense in a culture where butt-slapping thirteen-year olds are rapists and sexual predators, I suppose, or where “torture” and “racism” mean so much that they no longer mean anything at all.
Or where discoursing on the holy spunk and sheep-brained Catholics lands you a job with a presidential candidate…
Perhaps had Shmulevich issued his protest in a “free speech zone,” he’d have had better luck with the university. At any rate, a few years in the clink — and maybe some time in a re-education camp (the Pakistan mountain region has some fine facilities, I’m told) — will do this hater some good. Because as we know, there’s simply no excuse for tolerating intolerance.
Which goes to show, I guess, that you just don't know the power of the dark side until you submit to it.
UPDATE: Now, this is civil disobedience.