Monday, January 12, 2015

Bravo à la France

   If you're going to Hell in a handbasket, you might as well stop in Paris along the way, and human decency made a detour to the City of Lights yesterday to collectively condemn last week's terrorism that took 17 innocent French lives.
   It was inspiring and reassuring to see people of all ethnic and political stripes march together in solidarity in what's being described as the largest crowd in France's history.  It says something about French unity and resolve that more people showed up for Sunday's event than took to the streets for the Revolution or Liberation.  What's especially gratifying is that there were no reports of confrontation despite a significant Muslim presence at the rally.  Far from being treated as interlopers, Muslims marchers were applauded and embraced as they carried signs saying "Not in my name" and "Je suis Juif" - exactly the loud and clear message the broader population needs to hear from the moderate Muslim community if it wants to distance and differentiate itself from violent Islamic extremism.
   There was also political hypocrisy at play, as among the 40 world leaders who marched arm-in-arm were representatives of countries that actively suppress freedom of speech.  But yesterday was less about free speech than it was about the right to publish offensive cartoons without being murdered for it, and nitpicking for its own sake is missing the point.  Any day that people from disparate ideological backgrounds come together to denounce a common scourge that threatens us all is a good day and something the civilized world can build on. 

7 comments:

  1. Meanwhile in Nigeria, Boko Haram just completed its most brutal & deadliest attack to date, killing upwards of 2,000 people. And the reason isn't far once again from what it was in Paris. The Sharia law must be enforced. And there's no reason to believe this won't continue. So the common denominator here means a people of a certain faith should show as much interest, at least, as the rest of the world in doing whatever is possible in stopping/preventing these barbaric attacks .

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  2. (Amendment) this just in..Local officials earlier estimated the number of deaths at as many as 2,000 but Nigeria says the assault last week was no more than 150.

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  3. Ted, for a guy who (rightfully) chastised Kanye West fans for not knowing who Paul McCartney is, the irony of you consistently calling out the majority of Muslims for non denouncing the atrocities committed in the name of Islam is undeniable. Why don't you take some of your own advice and Google the denunciations made by Muslims? If you bothered to do so, you'd see that every major Muslim organization throughout the world and in the United States, every prominent individual, be it political or religious leaders, everyone has condemned, not just this attack, but every attack that occurs in the name of Islam.

    I'm quoting Reza Aslan but his words are particularly valid in your case. If you think mainstream Muslims aren't denouncing atrocities made in the name of their faith, then you mustn't have Google.

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    1. ...too many 'tolerate' the situation I think is what Ted might be saying. Whereas everyone should be condemning the acts some don't utter a word. The killings although an act they may not believe in, a common goal is shared. Thus silence is a choice of opinion that doesn't get in the way of the effectiveness of intended intimidation. What is your estimate as to what the percentage might be in the world of those who remain silent.. the tolerants? 1 % ? I think higher. Personally I don't have a problem using the word bully in the same sentence with Islam and your tone resonates with this.

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  4. @mdblog I shouldn't have to Google it. A meaningful campaign to reform Islam from within and purge the violent extremists who've hijacked the faith would be self-evident if it existed. Talk is cheap.

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    1. Are you kidding me Ted? What a laughable rebuttal. Let's get this straight: only when Ted Bird feels like Muslims have done enough have they done enough? And this feeling just has to come to you?

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  5. Don't be an asshole. It detracts from whatever credibility you're trying to build with me.

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