Saturday, September 22, 2012
Do Muslims Hate America?
Today in the Washington Post I came across an opinion column that I think is worth reading, on why Muslims hate America.
Mr. Rashid makes some good points and the main ideas are things that I too have stated in this blog:
1) Rabid anti-American sentiment is only from a minority of Muslims
2) That the West is seen by many as hypocritical in its views on freedom, telling the Islamic world that it should embrace democracy and freedom yet at the same time supporting dictators or enacting legislation that impinges upon freedom (ex. French anti-veil laws)
In terms of these recent “anti-Islam film” protests I still think the Islamists are going overboard here as many seem to be of the misguided view that the US Government is somehow directly or tacitly behind everything that goes on in America. Why the US Government is getting blamed because some bigot made some amateur film and posted it on YouTube is beyond me and betrays a lack of understanding by many in the Islamic world of how media works in the West. Such violent reactions are counterproductive, and in fact could even encourage other bigots or trolls to make more films simply to promote further outrage and continue the division between the West and the Islamic world.
I'm not sure what the solution is. If there are massive protests and violence every single time someone releases anything deemed anti-Islamic, or some random preacher in small-town USA decides to burn a Qur’an, I could it see a reaching a point where people will have to protest every single day as more and more Westerners turn to amateur theatrics just to provoke outrage. Then what?
Freedom of speech is not all-encompassing, Western nations have various laws that put limits to it and many have “hate crime” legislations that prevent promoting hatred against a particular group. As long as those are applied fairly regardless of the group being targeted there is little more that can be done legislatively.
So what's the solution?