Comments: CONTEXT

Right on! It's good to see you making these important points.

Speaking of "taking things out of context," what's the right context for all those signs held by Mohammedans protesting the Danish cartoons, saying peaceful things like "Behead those who insult Islam," "Europe you will pay, your 9/11 is on it's [sic] way," "Butcher those who mock Islam," "Slay those who insult Islam," "Exterminate those who slander Islam," and "Massacre those who insult Islam"?
(see these signs and more at

Posted by Squidley at March 5, 2006 11:23 AM

The only "contexts" that matter are:

1. What does the religion teach?
2. How do its followers behave?

Islam and Muslims fail on both counts.

Posted by Francis W. Porretto at March 5, 2006 12:56 PM

I'm sure there are some "intelligent" people out there who could analyze the whole situation, explain it (using their vast knowledge)to the Islamic "insurgents" etc. , and then everybody would understand everybody else and there would be peace in the world...wanna sing Kumbaya now? I'm sure the people carrying those signs and saying things like "wipe Israel off the map" would bow to such superior reasoning.

Posted by Mary*Ann at March 5, 2006 01:48 PM

Not to go all scientific method on you, but two isolated quotes don't show much. Look, there is introspection and self-questioning going on within Islamic culture, with people there asking how they need to change. Not as much of it as we might want, but that is at least in part due to the fact that Islamic culture doesn't have enough of the intlelectuals that Marry Ann scoffs at, a lack that is partly explained by their history but is also kind of mysterious. The thing is, Sarah, that you seem to be nearly as resistant to the thought that there could be any problem whatsoever with us as you accuse Muslims of being to the thought that there could be any problem with them. Did someone at some university dare to question American policym or your version of American values? Well, then, our universities are darned anti-American. Does George Clooney think that we're less than perfect? Well, then, he hates America, too. Islam needs even more people who are willing to ask hard questions about its own religious and political culture. That doesn't mean that we don't need the ones we have.

Posted by Pericles at March 5, 2006 02:09 PM

You're right, Pericles, that George Clooney has the right to think whatever he wants, even though I completely disagree with him. But I have the right on my dinky little website to give my opinion as well. Clooney's audience is much wider, but we both have the right to vehemently disagree with each other. Isn't it wonderful? I don't hate dissent per se, as you seem to imply that I do; I'm just exercising my right to grumble for the other side. I'm glad our country affords us this right and that both Clooney and I can say whatever we want. I just wish there were more people with Clooney's airtime saying the things I agree with...

Posted by Sarah at March 5, 2006 06:07 PM

Okay, that is fair. But I have to press you a little bit more. What I'm not sure that you recognize, at least not consistently, is that people who disagree vehemently with you can still love their country passionately. I question the intelligence and competence of Bush and his ilk, but I have never questioned their patriotism. I completely disagree with their vision about what is best for America, but I don't doubt that they are motivated by a concern for doing what is best. Based on my observations, you don't always give the people with whom you disagree that same kind of credit. Ami I wrong?

Posted by Pericles at March 5, 2006 06:56 PM

Good Job, Sarah. Git 'em ,Gal. You got my vote for Defender of the Faithful. Keep it up, dearie.


Posted by Subsunk at March 6, 2006 04:29 AM