The alleged butcher of the off-duty British soldier, Drummer Lee Rigby, defended his carving up of a living human being by claiming that he was engaging in "an eye for an eye" because the British army is killing Muslims in Afghanistan.
Normally there is no reason to respond to the justifications offered by terrorists and other murderers of the innocent. But in this case it is important to do so because much of the Muslim world resonates to this argument and because much of the world's left offers this argument.
This is true even though a large majority of Muslims do not support terror and even though leftists do not support it. Nevertheless, throughout the Muslim and leftist worlds it is believed -- and our children are taught this at college -- that America, the UK. and other countries are targeted by Muslims because we kill Muslims.
The argument is morally perverse and a lie.
First, the U.K. and others are in Afghanistan in order to defend Muslims. Brits and other Westerners are risking their lives, and dying, in that country on behalf of Muslims.
Here's a question for Muslims and leftists who buy this argument about the West killing Muslims in Afghanistan: Who are we fighting in Afghanistan?
I thought the Brits and Americans were fighting the Taliban, the people who throw acid in Muslim girls' faces for attending school, the people who murder nurses who inoculate Muslim children against disease. Now, if fighting the Taliban is to be equated with fighting Muslims, this is a real contradiction of everything much of the Islamic world and virtually all of the left have been contending for years -- that the Taliban represent a tiny group of extremists in the Muslim world, and that they have so completely perverted Islam that they cannot even be called Muslims.
Well, you can't have it both ways. If killing the Taliban is the same as "killing Muslims," then you can't argue that the Taliban don't represent Islam or Muslims.
So, on the issue of the West fighting in Afghanistan, the Muslims and the left need to make up their minds: Is killing the Taliban a service or a disservice to Muslims? This is the first and last question both groups need to answer. Everything else is commentary.
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”