The terrible killings of Americans in Libya have provoked an entirely foreesable reaction. Loads of smug conservatives and equally smug liberals have found common cause in singling out Islam as violent and intolerant.
That cartoon in The Onion is a good example. ‘Nobody Murdered Because of This Image’ reads the headline, above a cartoon of several non-Muslim religious figures engaged in an explicit gang bang. Because only Muslims kill people for bigoted reasons, you see.
It’s interesting to witness the implicit hierarchy of human value. The (entirely deplorable) murder of Americans by Libyans elicits howls of outrages. The (equally deplorable and far more common) murder of Arabs and Muslims in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine etc by the American and British militaries – and/or NATO, and/or the Israelis – doesn’t provoke any such widespread and sustained spluttering horror. It’s for ‘them’ to die at our hands. That’s just routine. And ‘they’ mustn’t draw any conclusions from this (i.e. the West despises them and values their culture at nothing) because if they do then that’s the medieval intolerance of Islam talking.
Of course, nobody who died at the Embassy deserved to die, nor would they have deserved to even if they had been involved in creating the disgusting, hateful, maliciously provocative film that everyone is talking about. Most Muslims would agree, I’m sure… even those who were insulted and shocked by hearing about the film.
Meanwhile, our Western response (the response of those who are supposedly living in the civilised, liberal, modern, progressive, democratic world… as opposed to the lands of the backward, whom we take it upon ourselves to slaughter in the name of freedom) will probably be to massacre yet more Arabs and Muslims.
And all those people who chortle over the religious touchiness of Muslims will immediately go blind and deaf.