If you haven't been following the story, Terry Jones, the pastor of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida, has been on the fence about his plans to burn Korans on September 11th. It's been an on-again/off-again deal for the last several days. Jones has said that he will call off the book burning if the Ground Zero Mosque is moved to a different location, but so far there has been no real assurance that this will happen. Jones has not been terribly definitive here, so the Koran Kebab may or may not be on like Voltron.
I'll be honest. At first I thought Jones was just some kook with an axe to grind. He's probably not the most media-savvy dude. But what he has done is open up a conversation that many members of our Big Media-Big Government complex would rather us not talk about--ever.
From President Obama to Fareed Zakaria to Mayor Michael Bloomberg, most of the swells in America want to brush aside the question of Islam in our society. For a host of reasons, they just need this topic to go away. What Terry Jones has done is force our 'betters' to address something they really would rather avoid.
Here's the funny thing about America in the Age of Jihadi Terrorism: Since 9/11/01, we've gone from righteous anger and forceful military retribution against violent Islamic extremists to bowing before Muslim kings and scraping in deference to elements of the faith in order to keep them from committing violent acts against us or our allies.
How did we get to this utterly incoherent mindset? Ace points out something interesting here:
On that point -- this very good (as usual) essay by Christopher Hitchens. There he notes we have demanded that every other religion be "domesticated," which, dogged metaphor aside, means that we have demanded that other religions fall into compliance with civil law -- even where (as with Christian Science) the illegal aspect of the religion is a truly important part of the religion.
And yet we don't similarly insist on this with Islam. Islam is apparently a special religion in that it trumps civil law.
Again, another badge of Islam's supremacy over other religions -- and all governments -- which is precisely what they're killing for.
Why does Islam always get the kid glove treatment? What makes them so special that they can never-EVER-be offended? How is it that when the immature spoiled brat that is Islam gets a skinned knee, Western governments race to kiss the Muslim boo-boo in order to quell any possible terrorist temper-tantrums?
There are no other religions in American (or Western) society that receive this type of deference. None. Except the one that kills, rapes and tortures in order to meet its goals. No other faith gets this laissez-faire treatment--except the one that is determined to use our Constitution as a wedge against us and put sharia law into it's place. Truly amazing.
When Ace says that other religions in America have been domesticated, he's exactly right. Christianity doesn't demand much from the US government. It certainly doesn't scream for scriptural laws to be put into the federal code. Oh sure, there might be some churches that are down with some theocratic leanings, but these are few and far between. The same can be said for Jews, Hindus and Buddhists. The theocrats in all these faiths are pretty much isolated.
Moreover, we should be quite happy to have the non-Islamic creeds domesticated. The 'live and let live' attitude within American religious life has contributed to a basically quiet civil society. This relatively peaceful domestic order is threatened now, and it isn't because the followers of Jesus are barking for the Old Testament to be the sole source of our laws.
Islam stands alone in the religious fabric of the United States. Islam refuses to bend, even one iota, before the agreed-upon civil system of American life. It will not defer at all to the domestication that all other faiths in the US have gone through.
And...really...why should Islam have to come to heel? They've seen our weakness. At any moment of religious discomfort, there are useful idiot infidels ready to defend Islam from the sort of slights that other faiths go through on a daily basis. More importantly, the useful idiot infidels are always willing to go on offense for Islam, using slurs like 'unpatriotic', 'anti-American' or 'bigot' for those who are merely concerned that Islam is slowly but surely becoming the de facto state religion of America. If a group is against the spread of sharia, the useful idiot infidels will call that person a racist, thereby providing a layer of insulation for Islam against outside criticism.
Muslims intent on using the faith as a political tool can see the exact genus and species of spineless pathetic wimps we have for leaders. That means that until they are confronted and made to join the rest of the religions in America, they will continue to act like the pushy, snarling, overindulged, petulant teenage jerks that they are. It's that simple.
So Terry Jones and the Dove Outreach Center might have picked at a scab other folks would rather stay closed. Jones' flock might not be the nicest most caring people that ever walked the Earth, but they have forced the rest of us--even the hand-wringing worry-wart Left--to at least get a glimpse at reality. Pray that the rest of America chooses to stay focused on the real world.