Why a Florida pastor has blood on his hands for mass murders committed by Afghan savages on the other side of the world
The ridiculous Fox News squawker Bill O’Reilly has accused Rev. Terry Jones of having “blood on his hands” for the violent Muslim protests against his burning of the Koran. The pathetic Lindsey Graham has made comparable, if less inflammatory, accusations. Their argument is that Jones has endangered American soldiers by inciting Muslim hostility against the U.S. presence, as if there was no meaningful reaction to the American presence in the Muslim world prior to Terry Jones coming on to the scene. Of course, the violent reaction to Jones is only one such outbreak of Muslim rage in the past several years. Would O’Reilly accuse Pope Benedict of having “blood on his hands” because his Regensburg lecture resulted in Muslim riots in which people were killed? Would O’Reilly accuse the Danish cartoonists of having “blood on their hands” because their harmless cartoons resulted in Muslim riots in which people were killed? Many people were the victims of Muslim violence after each of those incidents in which Islam was perceived to have been “insulted.”
Let us take the argument a step further. The American invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq have incited vastly more violence against Americans (including terrorist attacks in this country, such as the Fort Hood massacre) than any Koran burning has. Will O’Reilly accuse George W. Bush of having blood on his hands for ordering those invasions and occupations? O’Reilly and Graham are not friends of Western civilization, but water carriers for its enemies.
I would add that by O’Reilly’s and Graham’s logic, Molly Norris, the Seattle cartoonist who had to go into hiding and conceal her identity after her cartoon proposing “Let’s Draw Muhammad Day” led to death threats against her, is responsible for those death threats.
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And I would further add this. As I have often written, the liberal order articulates the world through a “script” in which there are three characters:
the white liberal, who embodies the non-discriminatory virtue of the liberal regime; the white non-liberal, who discriminates against nonwhites and who must be crushed by the white liberal; and the nonwhite/non-Westerner, who either is discriminated against by the white non-liberal or is non-discriminatorily included by the white liberal. In the script, furthermore, only the white liberal and the white non-liberal are moral actors, with the first representing good and the second representing evil. The nonwhite/non-Westerner is not a moral actor, but is simply the passive recipient of the white liberal’s goodness or of the white non-liberal’s bigotry. The reason that the nonwhite/non-Westerner cannot be a moral actor is that his very function in the script is to be the recipient of either good non-discrimination or evil discrimination. If he were a moral actor, then his own actions would have to be judged; specifically, his bad actions would have to be judged. But to judge his bad actions would be to discriminate against him. And since the central purpose of liberalism is to eliminate all discriminatory treatment of nonwhites/non-Westerners, moral judgement of nonwhites/non-Westerners must also be eliminated. Therefore nonwhites/non-Westerners cannot be seen as responsible moral actors.
The liberal script explains why Jones, who burned a piece of paper with ink on it that he owned, has “blood on his hands,” but the Muslim Afghan mob that invaded a UN compound and murdered 12 UN employees do not have blood on their hands. The Muslims are not moral actors. The Muslims are simply the victims of Terry Jones’s discriminatory act against them. Jones, the white non-liberal, is a moral agent who is responsible for his evil actions. The Muslims are not moral agents and are not responsible for their actions.
Jim C. writes:
Your riposte here is brilliant. Why don’t you flesh it out and publish it in the Wall Street Journal.
This is the way blogger Daniel Greenfield (“Sultan Knish”) explains it:
When a man teases a dog on the other side of a chain link fence—we blame the man for provoking the dog, not the dog for being provoked. Animals have less of everything that makes for accountability. And so don’t hold them accountable. Instead we divide them into categories of dangerous and harmless, and treat them accordingly.
Our response to Muslim violence in Afghanistan, supposedly touched off by a Koran burning in Florida, uses that same canine logic. The Muslims are dangerous and violent, so whoever provokes them is held accountable for what they do. Don’t tease a doberman on the other side of a chain link fence and don’t tease Muslims on the other side of the border or the world. That’s the takeaway from our elected and unelected officials.
But the Muslim rioters are not dogs, they are human beings whose moral responsibility is being denied by treating their violence as a reflexive act. Their violence is not unconscious or instinctual—it emerges out of a decision making process. There is nothing inevitable about what happened in Afghanistan. If Muslims had some sort of hair trigger, then why was the violent rioting confined to a very specific part of the world. For the same reason that the reaction to the Mohammed cartoons took so long. And why was it directed at the UN and not the US. The Koran burning was not the cause of Muslim violence—but a rationalization for existing violence that would have occurred anyway for reasons having nothing to do with Terry Jones. And by treating Muslims like the ‘Morally Handicapped’ who have no choice but to kill when something offends them, we are not doing any favors for them or us.
It is far more insulting to treat Muslims as if they have no ability to control themselves and have no responsibility for their actions—than it is to burn their Koran. That is an assessment that even many Muslims would agree with.
To blame Jones for their actions, we must either treat murder as a reasonable response to the burning of a book, or grant that Jones has a higher level of moral responsibility than the rioters do. There are few non-Muslims who could defend the notion that burning the Koran is a provocation that justifies bloodshed. And virtually no liberal would openly concede that he believes Muslims are morally handicapped—but then why does he treat them that way?
Has anyone ever asked a liberal this question, and kept at them with follow-through questions so they couldn’t evade the topic? Has anyone asked Bill O’Reilly or Sen. Graham or Gen. Betray-us this question? I’d like to see their answer.
Judith H. writes:
The sense of superiority of liberals was evident long ago. While the rhetoric that came out of their mouths was saturated with notions of equality, their subconscious belief in the inferiority of blacks was clear to anyone with rational perceptions and judgment. The same “logic” applies now with Muslims.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 07, 2011 08:44 AM | Send
From the late Sixties on, in the public schools, we were condemned for any remark or action that was critical of individual students, or the student body, for it was known that criticism was a “negative” value and that it would trigger a negative reaction, like a tantrum, a ganging-up of the class against the teacher, or violence, in the form of riots, or lawyers called to the school to defend the injured party. So criticism, judgmental assessments of performance, reprimands, and eventually bad grades and failures were all the fault of the teacher and condemned as “provocative” acts. But this proved to anyone who had eyes that the liberals were terrified of the students because they believed them to be basically barbarians and “morally handicapped” as Sultan Knish says. While there is some truth in this, the way to handle the problem is to do the opposite—to subject them to the same standards as everyone else, to be critical, reproachful when called for, and to give them the grades they deserve. This was the old regime. Which worked well for centuries. The new regime, based on the unspoken reality of the inferiority of the minority and the presumed moral superiority of the white liberal, failed catastrophically with blacks, and will so fail with Muslims.
Secretly, these groups—blacks and Muslims—have utter contempt for whites who pander to them, but at the same time they have not attained the moral development to stop the whites. They perceive which side their bread is buttered on, and they do not care if society collapses, because they were never able to participate fully in it to begin with, due primarily, to their own limitations.
However, as far as the schools are concerned, blacks were a million times better off in the old regime, even if they felt resentful. And they participated more in American society than they do today, since they, along with their liberal hosts, have destroyed so much of American society.