ShareThis Page

If we don't wake up

| Sunday, March 18, 2007

It was the Muslim extremists who started marching in the streets of London, whipping others into a frenzy to march in other streets, that rocked this city a little over a year ago.

Protesters carrying signs with slogans that read, "Massacre those who insult Islam," "Bomb the UK" and "Europe, you will pay, your 9/11 will come" lined the streets near Hyde Park.

All of this fervor was in response to editorial cartoons depicting the Islamic prophet Muhammad, first published in Denmark and subsequently run worldwide.

One year later, American film director James Cameron produced a documentary in which he claims to have found the bones of Jesus -- a challenge to accepted Christian dogma that Jesus ascended into heaven. Christians believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Without that resurrection, Jesus basically becomes like Gandhi -- a really nice guy.

There were no street protests, peaceful or otherwise, from Christian communities around the world. No calls for deaths, beheadings, or 9/11 copycat attacks.

Stack the religious-blasphemous implications side by side, and the reactions to each offense put these clashing cultures in perspective: There is little outcry at the broadcast of a documentary that is a frontal attack on Christian belief, just a plumper wallet for the producer. But publish a satirical political cartoon about the Prophet Muhammad and the world turns upside down.

Conservative talk-radio and CNN Headline News television host Glenn Beck said in an interview that the James Cameron episode shows two things: "Christians don't march in the street, and generally Christians just 'take it' without accepting it as a challenge to themselves."

An outspoken critic of Islamic fascism and the descent of Western culture, Beck said Christians are one of the only groups in America that people are allowed to say horrible things about and make fun of without any politically correct fallout.

Muslim extremists• Not so much.

The lesson we need to learn here, Beck said, is that "Christians, you better wake up and not just sit there on your thumbs and do nothing."

Beck takes silence seriously: "For people to get killed, all it takes is for good men and women to do nothing, and that warning goes to good, decent Muslims as well."

If you need proof, said Beck, take a crash course on how Islam's Sharia law begins. Do a little homework on how things started in the Sudan:

" 'Oh, well, it is just a little Sharia law -- we will just let them have this little power'," Beck said, describing the reaction of 'good' Muslims to the new order. Beck added: "And, before you know it, they are butchering people all over."

The political correctness of not saying or doing anything when slandered, or while watching extremists organize violent reactions, has enveloped London's culture. Even London police allowed two men at last year's cartoon protest, dressed in lifelike suicide-bomber gear, to go unchallenged, for fear of offending the Muslim community.

If this attitude is happening in London, will it head soon to America's shores?

"It is already here," said Beck. "We won't say evil is evil anymore. We condone and tolerate and stomach and in many ways celebrate what, a generation ago, we would have said was evil."

"Things are not good in the cities," said Joe Mulvaney, a Welshman visiting in London with his wife. "Our culture has been hijacked, imams are preaching hate and death in the streets, and what do we do• Nothing."

Yet it is no different now from how it was on the eve of World War II, Mulvaney added. "I should know -- I was right here."

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.