President Whitmore: What do you want us to do?
Captured Alien: Die. Die.
—Bill Pullman as President Thomas Whitmore and Gary Hecker as the voice of the Captured Alien in Independence Day
Some of you are going to accuse me of being a racist or an Islamophobe. At this point, I don’t care.
Many of you are aware that my daughters and I study martial arts. As is typical of many of the Asian styles, our school has a custom of bowing as one enters/leaves the training area, and we begin and end class with a series of bows to the national and state flags, and to our instructors. As is repeatedly emphasized, this is not a religious exercise, and it is not a form of worship, nor is it a gesture of submission. It is done as a show of respect—note that when we bow to our instructors, they are bowing back to us—for the instructors and for the process. We bow to our training partners before and after we spar and do other drills and exercises. We bow to our weapons and other tools before and after we use them. It is more akin to a military salute, and is considered a matter of basic etiquette. We are taught this from our very first individual evaluation prior to joining the class; everyone knows it’s part of the deal before they sign up.
The other day I was waiting for my adult class to begin, and the children in the class before mine were taking a water break. One young man finished his water and headed back onto the mat without bowing. It is very common for the beginner kids to need a reminder now and then, and as an adult in uniform and of a significantly higher belt rank, I provided that reminder. The child looked at me incredulously and said, “I don’t bow in.” I was a bit taken aback at the audacity of the response, and told him that no, we need to bow in. At that point one of the assistant instructors came over to me shaking me off, and it was then that I noticed the young man’s father—with the never-been-trimmed beard typical of Muslim men (interestingly, however, otherwise in Western business garb, so he’s apparently perfectly comfortable enjoying the economic benefits of being in the U.S.) glaring at me, and it became clear:
He’s been told he doesn’t have to bow in due to some sort of religious objection.
Not coincidentally, I expect, when it came time for the kids to close their class with a game of dodgeball, that same young man failed to honor the boundaries of the game, and failed to leave the floor after the limit of being hit twice (and thus being “out”). It was apparent that he’s been taught he’s special, and that the rules that govern the rest of us simply don’t apply to him. At least in part, the justification for that exceptionalism is the fact that he’s Muslim.
I am aware of the dangers of over-generalizing and stereotyping. But huge numbers of these people simply make no effort to get along with the rest of the world. I’m not asking them to change their faith, or adopt Western vices. But I do think a dose of tolerance for others and maybe a giant chill-pill is in order.
Witness the last two weeks’ worth of violent riots in Afghanistan, including the cold-blooded execution-style murder of two U.S. officers, and two more U.S. soldiers killed Wednesday—all because some Korans were mistakenly burned. I’m not excusing the burning of the Korans; that’s inappropriate and shouldn’t have happened any more than our military forces should be burning Bibles, Torahs, Smritis, or any other religious texts or artifacts. That’s just a matter of basic decency. But does failing in this regard really merit two weeks of riots and killings?
And you thought your two-year-old was bad.
Yet—predictably—there’s Obama falling all over himself to apologize for the burning, and even in the wake of yet more Americans being killed in the rioting over this perceived slight, he persists in claiming that his policy of appeasement has helped calm things down. But what this administration can’t seem to grasp is there’s no appeasing these folks. The rioting in Afghanistan is not an isolated incident, and it can’t be explained as simply re-directed frustration over continuing U.S. military presence. Michelle Malkin has long documented the history of what she calls “the religion of perpetual outrage.” It’s not just burning Korans. It’s cartoon depictions of Mohammed. It’s teachers naming teddy bears. It’s giving impoverished children international-themed soccer balls emblazoned with national flags—including the flag of Saudi Arabia, which bears the name of Allah. It’s sneaker and ice cream logos that, if you spend enough time with your hookah, you can convince yourself they resemble the Arabic script for “Allah.” The fact of the matter is there’s no living with these people, because they launch into a murderous rampage every time anyone sneezes.
Silence! I kill you!
Everything is an earth-stopping insult to the Islamists; but don’t you dare try to apply the same concept the other direction. Recall the story I brought to you several months ago about the Muslim students who voluntarily enrolled in a Catholic college, only then to sue over the displays of crucifixes. Or the virulent cries of racism when states attempt to ban the application of foreign law in their courts, which can only be understood as an insistence that U.S. courts apply Sharia instead of local state and U.S. federal law. It’s always about the world altering to fit them. They make no effort to assimilate, and they allow no accommodation for others. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani—a convert to Christianity—is sentenced to death in Iran for apostasy (abandoning Islam), and apart from a tepid Congressional resolution, the whole world basically yawns; but raise zoning and basic decency objections over the building of a mosque at Ground Zero, and all Hell breaks loose over your intolerance and bigotry.
Blame it on a small fringe segment of radicals if you want. Tell me I’m over-generalizing. Fine. But at some point the Islamic community as a whole has to be held accountable. They want to claim Islam is a religion of tolerance and peace, that the violent radicals are only a tiny minority and not representative of the whole. Well, why, then, hasn’t this small group of non-representative radicals long ago been shouted down and bottled up? Where are all of the voices of peace and tolerance (or at least rational adults) when mobs of thousands go on a weeks-long homicidal rampage because a few books were mistakenly burned (you'd like to think that Allah is a big enough boy to take care of Himself)? They know who these people are and where they are—at some point the silence and inaction of the so-called peaceful majority can only be understood as complicity in the violent radicals’ conduct, if not outright endorsement of it.
The fact is these people can’t be appeased, because at the end of the day they want nothing more than all infidels—that’s you—gone. And an apology to them is nothing but a sure sign of weakness. They understand nothing but force and strength, and paraphrasing a former Middle East resident appearing on Sean Hannity’s radio show earlier this week, anyone who approaches the negotiating table first is only negotiating the terms of their own surrender.
That’s not a discussion I’m interested in having.
Editor's Note: We are deeply saddened at the sudden and untimely passing of Andrew Breitbart. Our condolences and prayers go out to his family and friends. The conservative movement has lost a great one.