Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Listen, the whole thing is stupid. It's scary precisely because it's stupid. People can't hold whole nations hostage because they don't like some editorial cartoon. Well, they can, but they can't expect people to be very sympathetic. But, I'm going to tell you who I do feel a little bad for--the moderate Muslims. Everywhere you look, people are complaining "Why don't moderate Muslims speak out against these crazy psychos who are violent and kill people and who apparently can't be reasoned with?" Hmm. This is a big mystery. Why don't non-crazy people who have families and have to live in communities with these crazy psychos who are violent and kill people and apparently can't be reasoned with speak out against them? Listen, I'm not making an argument for any type of organized religion and lord knows I think we'd all be better off having very disorganized sets of religious beliefs that can't be co-opted and used against us, but it seems to me that we should, in the face of madness, not succumb to madness ourselves. How many Muslim terrorists do you think there are in the world right now? Actual men and women plotting to do violence? They say a cell is roughly 25 people. How many cells? A thousand? Ten thousand? Let's give ourselves over to paranoia a little bit--let's say there are ten thousand cells of approximately 25 people. That's 250,000 terrorists, a quarter of a million people actively planning to carry out attacks against us. And let's say that for every person actively planning on carrying out an attack against us, there are three people providing some kind of support to him. So, that gives us a million radical Muslims hell-bent on destroying us and actively taking steps to insure that happens. One million. That sounds like quite a lot. If I were a moderate Muslim, I'd be cautious, to put it mildly, about bringing down the wrath of a million crazy psychos who are violent and don't mind killing people. But here's the thing we would do go to remember, as we're running around shouting about how violent "they" all are and how no one should have to live near "them"--there are roughly a billion Muslims on the planet. Which means that, using math (and we all know how that goes), even if there are a million crazy murderous Muslims, that's one one-thousandth of all Muslims. Is this the standard now, that we're going to hold every religious group responsible for the actions of one one-thousandths of its membership? If so, then fuck you, United Methodists, for not speaking out against what a dumb idea it was for me to make out in the Sunday School room with that kid who looked like a very large mole, because, as Methodists at the time, and, since the incident happened in a Methodist church, you are responsible for not keeping me from doing something very stupid. Anyway, I've got no great love for Islam, or Christianity, or even Judaism for that matter. But I've grown kind of fond of all our talk about individuals accountable only to themselves, and so I wanted to argue for it in this case.