And what about the Christians regularly murdered by Muslims in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere? Why haven't these crimes, infinitely morally worse "affronts" than the burning of a Quran -- or a Bible -- produced anything analogous to the enraged Muslims in Afghanistan?
The frequent and large demonstrations in the Muslim world against affronts -- real and imagined -- to Islam need to be juxtaposed with the utter absence of demonstrations against the now-routine murdering of innocents in the name of Islam.
Even the notion of religious affront needs to be examined. Isn't evil done in the name of one's religion more of an affront than evil done against one's religion? I suspect this is how nearly every Jew and Christian thinks. The vast majority of Christians would be considerably more affronted by murders of innocents in the name of Christ than by insults -- like "Piss Christ" -- to Christ. Why, then, isn't the Muslim world more affronted by all the Muslims who shout "Allah is the greatest" while cutting the throats of innocent men, women and children than by illustrations of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper or the burning of a Quran by a crackpot in Florida?
Unfortunately, the moral confusion wasn't confined to Afghanistan. Though in no way morally equivalent, we Americans exhibited our own form of moral confusion in regard to the Quran burning.
Joe Klein, political commentator for Time magazine, morally equated Terry Jones and the Afghan murderers: "There should be no confusion about this: Jones's act was murderous as any suicide bomber's."
Anyone with common sense knows that there is no moral equivalence between destroying a book, no matter how holy, and destroying a human life. So how does one explain Klein's statement?
Klein is a leftist, and his comment embodies two aspects of the contemporary left.
One is the left's hard time identifying and confronting real evil.
Instead of focusing on Islamism, the left focuses on small evils like alleged pay gaps between men and women working at the same job or on non-evils such as carbon dioxide emissions. Or they engage in moral equivalence: The Muslim murderers are no worse than Terry Jones.
The other characteristic of the left embodied in Klein's statement is what George W. Bush called the "soft bigotry of low expectations." It is clear that Klein has contempt for Muslims. If Christians had slaughtered innocents because of "Piss Christ," it would never have occurred to Klein to write, "There should be no confusion about this: Serrano's act was as murderous as any slaughtering Christians."
With Islamism dominating major parts of the Muslim world, and leftism dominating much of the non-Muslim world, these are not the best of times.
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