I will blog today about the extremely grave episode that has happened in one of the cradles of Western civilisation, Florence and has since dominated world news.
As in the meantime everyone who doesn’t live on the Moon knows, an extremist Christian has succeeded in entering a Mosque in Florence and has violated and desecrated a place of worship. The entire action was filmed and has been on youtube & Co. for some days now. This caused widespread outrage among the Muslim community the world over, repeated threats from the Iranian government, calls to Jihad in all major Muslim capitals, great burning of Western flags, the killing of several priests and Christian laymen and in general frightful tensions between the Christian community and the Muslim one.
I am sure that every reader of mine will agree with me that such acts are extremely shameful and and that sincere Christians feel ashamed at what their co-religionist has done.
For this reason, it is also not surprising that the NY Times, CNN, BBC, the “Guardian” and in general the world media have condemned the action as one man, echoing the world wide outrage this senseless act has caused. This has been going on for days now so if you haven’t noticed, you must have been sleeping all the time or more probably, you are dead already.
This was to be expected, I hear you say. You can’t violate a place of worship of a religion with a worldwide following and around a billion faithful without the entire media world making a huge uproar about that, can you?………………………
Oh well apparently (and to use a phrase very much en vogue, at least until the beginning of November) yes, you can!
The only thing you must do is avoid targeting Islam. Best thing to do is to target Christianity. This way, you will be sure that you will be able to dance on the high altar of the Florence cathedral without the world media noticing the episode in the least!
Now if you had proposed to, say, burn a Koran, this would have been different of course. One just doesn’t do such things unless he is a racist Nazi Ku Klux Klan fundamentalist bastard deserving of death by stoning and subsequent frying in camel’s urine.
But if you desecrate an altar to the point that it will possibly have to be reconsecrated, then it is very fine and no world wide outrage will erupt.
Similarly, there will be no calls to a Crusade, no danger for the life of Islamic clerics in European countries, no world wide self-flagellation from soi-disant intellectuals and no global media coverage to the point of nausea.
Which probably explains why nothing has happened in this case.
Father Z has drawn attention on this Ann Coulter article.
Whilst I do not approve all that she says (and she has been rather a disappointment of late), I think this article is very useful in exposing a spread misconception about the world of Muslim fanatics: that if we appease them and/or do as they want, they’ll miraculously stop being fanatical.
The argument is utterly flawed. If one thinks that Obama Bin Laden didn’t need more than the (invited!) presence of American soldiers in Saudi Arabia to start his unholy and utterly failed “war”, you understand that Islamic rage is a molotov waiting to self-ignite, without any need for excuses. The last complaint is just the last fig leaf for what is their fundamental problem (fanaticism) and the fundamental problem of their religion (a false one; established by a child rapist; encouraging violence and fanaticism).
Let us see some of the most relevant assertions of Ann Coulter:
1) “Gen. Petraeus objected to the Quran-burning protest on the grounds that it could be used by radical jihadists to recruit Muslims to attack Americans.
This is what liberals say whenever we do anything displeasing to the enemy – invade Iraq, hold captured terrorists in Guantanamo, interrogate captured jihadists or publish Muhammad cartoons. Is there a website somewhere listing everything that encourages terrorist recruiting?
If the general’s main objective is to hamper jihadist recruiting, may I respectfully suggest unconditional surrender? Because on his theory, you know what would really kill the terrorists’ recruiting ability? If we adopted Sharia law!”
2) “There have been more terrorist attacks on U.S. soil by these allegedly calmed Muslims in Obama’s first 18 months in office than in the six years under Bush after he invaded Iraq.”
3) “Also, as I recall, there was no Guantanamo, no Afghanistan war and no Iraq war on Sept. 10, 2001. And yet, somehow, Osama bin Ladin had no trouble recruiting back then. Can we retire the “it will help them recruit” argument yet?”
These observations are extremely pertinent. It is rather disturbing, in fact, that nowadays even generals suggest in public that one should do not anything he is free to do in order not to anger fanatics living on the other side of the planet. One can be against or in favour of the burning (brilliantly, Ann Coulter says that she is in favour “mainly because burning Korans will contribute to global warming”) but a general should never make this type of suggestions, whatever the proposed behaviour. This is exactly the contrary of the freedom he is fighting for and Coulter’s observations are very pertinent.
Well at least it is becoming all a big laugh. I wonder if Muslim fanatics do have sense of humour, though; they believe that a child rapist is their prophet and don’t even see the ridicule of that after all.
Terry Jones is then, we are informed, slowly waking up to his own stupidity. He was told the Imam would get on the lift and fetch him the Moon, but now he realises this might not happen after all. “But he said so”, swears he, his moustache vibrating in righteous fibrillation.
God now seems to have inspired him to simply “hold” the burning. Apparently. Probably until He lets him know what other signs He will have to send him for the burning (which the chap now truly, seriously, desperately wants to avoid) to be definitely cancelled.
One wonders what these signs will be. A call from his wife perhaps? His dog suddenly starting to bark? A cold day on the North Pole?
No doubt he will now go into a prayer retreat with the three members of his church still not denying that they ever knew him, waiting for instructions.
He had a huge opportunity and he has spectacularly blown it and made an ass of himself in the process.
Congratulations, pastor Terry Jones.
Terry Jones doesn’t know me. Not that this is a very rare evenience, or a particularly disgraceful one. But in this case knowing me might perhaps (just perhaps) have had some advantage.
He might have called me, for example, and asked me what he should do. He would have probably told me that he is terrified, that this thing has gone completely out of control, he has everyone against him from Obama to the Pope to Sarah Palin and not even paramilitary groups have wanted to be at his ceremony.
Well, if he had called I would have said to him: “Don’t panic, old boy. You made a very clever move and showed to the entire planet the danger represented by Islamic fanaticism, a religion with a lot people ready to start massacres just because you burn books they consider holy”.
“Yes, Mundabor” he would have said “but I now really, really want to get out of this. What shall I do?”
“Very simple, Terry, old boy” I would have answered. “Put your nicest face and your nicest suit on, go in front of the cameras, say that you have already reached your objective of showing how dangerous Muslim fanaticism is. Say that you do not want the eruption of this senseless violence to be linked with your name and announce the end of the initiative without the burning of the Korans. Then send your best greetings to the boys in Afghanistan and go away with the notoriety, the point well made, your face and an intact reputation”.
This is what I would have told him. But you see, he didn’t call me. Not only because he doesn’t know me but because he is a Protestant. Which makes things a bit weird.
Therefore, he retired in prayer with his community, waiting for a “sign”. Which is strange, isn’t it? If you are waiting for a sign why do you announce the initiative in the first place? Was there no sign then? Has God changed His mind?
Then he and his small community (all terrified, one supposes) decide that the sign can be, in fact, pretty much everything… a phone call and he is out, God must have told him. The President would be best, but really, pretty much everyone big in Washington would seal the deal.. and one wonders what a phone call would then change wouldn’t one…. what kind of difference can a phone call conceivably make…..
But he doesn’t get any call (that I know of, but I think also that I do not know of) and suddenly God gives, in His mercy, another sign: if they renounce to the mosque near Ground zero (can’t remember hearing him complaining about that; it must be me) then he has a deal. And if they don’t renounce, well ok it is fine if they move it. And if they don’t move it, well it’s still fine, these things take time, provided that there is an agreement…
And so he announces that there is going to be no bonfire, because he has an agreement with some strange Imam (not the owner of the real estate, mind) that they are going not to build anymore, ahem, to build elsewhere, ahem, to discuss about building elsewhere…
In the meantime, it appears the owners of the project have given no assent whatsoever to stop or move the project at all and frankly, this would have been surprising…. so one wonders what signal has God sent to the chap, after all……
I wonder whether this man will not appear as a drunken idiot tomorrow, when with a bit of common sense and political antennae he could have been, for a day at least, the darling of the nation.
But then I reflect that he is a Protestant. He talks to God. Receives signs. Several a day. With multiple choices. I imagine (I cannot imagine anything else, besides substance abuse) that this kind of “God has sent us a sign at 4pm and another sign at 5pm, but we have gone for the 8:15pm sign which is not even there”-mentality does have followers. It seems drunken nonsense to us but hey: he is the professional; he earns his livelihood out of that small community; he must know….. perhaps he just couldn’t have done purely what is most reasonable; perhaps he is supposed to be inspired….
Well, the entire matter has ended with a big laugh instead of violence. I still think that the message was brilliant and that it has been understood by most people. But this kind of disordered desperate search for the emergency exit and this idea of the broadband connection to Heaven will, I am afraid, gravely damage his credibility and the impact of the entire story.
Bonfires are best left to the Dominicans.