Once again, Muslim religious fanatics are striking out against our values of freedom of speech and open expression. And again, they claim that somehow they have been so deeply offended by cartoons depicting Muhammad that murder and mayhem are somehow justified. At the root of this insane rage against Western civilization is Muslim dignitude.
“Dignitude” is dignity’s shabby imitation, the unfortunate tendency of some people to have an exaggerated sense of their own dignity and to be ready at any moment to be deeply offended at the slightest perceived affront. And among Muslims it is accompanied by a hypocritical double standard: Jews can be compared to dogs and pigs, Christians are commonly called “kafir” (a term meaning someone who can be killed for unbelief), but nobody should dare insult, mock, or in any way criticize the great religion of Islam.
I have been to 17 Muslim countries around the world, spanning from Morocco to Kyrgyzstan. They are all bleak, depressing, and economically underdeveloped and socially backward. The sad fact is that the world’s Muslims don’t really have any genuine accomplishments worth taking pride in. “Ah,” our liberal friends will unfailingly point out, “the Muslims invented algebra.” Well, that was back in the 9th century. The fact is, since their brief heyday a thousand years ago, it’s been mostly downhill for Muslim culture.
Is there any product made in a Muslim country anyone would want to pay cash for? The Al-Tifaahah (Arabic for apple) cell phone? Is there any Muslim university ranked among the world’s elite institutions? Any Muslim artists producing noteworthy art? Any Muslim filmmakers producing great films?
And Muslims are filled with both rage and deep shame at their failure to destroy the state of Israel. In three major wars, tiny Israel thoroughly routed coalitions of Muslim countries with combined populations twenty times larger and more. To put that into perspective, imagine we had attacked Canada three separate times, and they had decisively defeated us each time. Cowardice, corruption, and incompetence have been the hallmarks of modern Muslim armies. Saddam’s mighty Iraqi Army took all of a few weeks to crumble before American military prowess. In the aftermath of their total military defeat, the Iraqis showed skill only at savagely murdering each other and ambushing American troops while hiding behind civilians.And outright barbarism reigns throughout most of the Muslim world. In Afghanistan a month ago a mob of angry men stomped a young woman to death and set her body on fire simply because she had criticized several fortunetellers plying their trade in a Muslim holy place. In Iran, gay people are hung in public squares for gawkers to watch their grisly executions.
There is a long litany of complaints most Muslims have about the West, especially the United States aka The Great Satan. And anytime the liberals begin to discuss the latest act of radical Islamacist terrorism, after feebly acknowledging the “unfortunate” tragedy, they will inevitably add “but what about their feelings, and was it really necessary to provoke them? blahblahblah.”
One of the biggest whoppers is that we stole their oil, a hoary old myth every Muslim and every good liberal believes. This goes back to the early part of our 20th century, when the Arabs and Iranians were still living in the 14th century. American and British oil companies went by invitation to explore for oil, primarily in Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Generous up-front payments and annual royalties were agreed to by all parties, and for the Saudis, Iraqis, and Iranians these monies were a huge and entirely unexpected windfall.
And it’s worth pondering for a minute, just how many centuries would it have taken for these peoples to develop the technology for oil exploration, drilling and refining on their own?
But of the trillions of dollars in oil revenues collected by the Saudis, Iraqis, and Iranians, most of it has been squandered in wars, supporting terrorism, building useless white elephant projects, huge government bureaucracies, and partying in London discos for the extended families of the sheikhs and the shah.
In short, Muslims have a huge inferiority complex, which they compensate for with hatred of the West, especially America and our ally Israel, and with an outsized sense of constantly enraged dignity at innumerable perceived slights and offenses. Now, I can see the point that portrayals of their prophet are forbidden by their religious and cultural beliefs. Well, fine, so stay in Afghanistan or whatever nasty hole you call home, and if you’re really angry, write an op-ed for the New York Times, they will sympathize with your blighted world view.
But in America, we do believe in freedom of speech and open expression, and that is one of the key reasons why America is not only a remarkably prosperous and free country, but in fact the leading nation in the world. We should resist any temptation to muzzle free speech, including exhibitions of cartoon portrayals of Muhammad, just because some Muslims have a dignitude problem. We should not allow ourselves to be intimidated by anyone nor surrender the basic beliefs and principles that make America great.