The fundamental weakness of Islam

Captain's Quarters:

The New York Times's editorial board has finally recognized what its readers have known for at least two weeks -- that the violent protests, riots, arsons and murders committed in response to the publication of editorial cartoons criticizing Islam and Mohammed are meant to intimidate dhimmis into silence:

With every new riot over the Danish cartoons, it becomes clearer that the protests are no longer about the caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, but about the demagoguery of Islamic extremists. The demonstrators are undeniably outraged by what they perceive as blasphemy. But radical Islamists are trying to harness that indignation to their political goals and their theocratic ends by fomenting hatred for the West and for moderate regimes in the Muslim world. These are dangerous games, and they require the most resolute response.

It is not the West that is most threatened in this crisis. The voices of moderation in the Muslim world are the ones that are being intimidated and silenced. Those few journalists and leaders who have spoken out against the rioting have been vilified and assailed, and even jailed. According to a report by Michael Slackman and Hassan M. Fattah in The New York Times, 11 journalists in five Islamic countries face prosecution for printing some of the Danish cartoons, even when their purpose was to condemn them.

Note to Pinch and the folks at the Gray Lady: these protests were never about the caricatures themselves. These examples of lunacy have always been about silencing any criticism of Islam and Muslim societies, and have a direct philosophical relationship to other crimes, such as the murder of Theo Van Gogh and the fatwa issued against Salman Rushdie. These men have been martyred (Van Gogh literally so) for expressing opinions and criticisms of Muslims and Islam. From the time of the first arson and the point when the first signs appeared demanding violence -- in other words, since day 1 of the protests -- the point has always been to intimidate non-Muslims into silence.


Islam is a religion that is so weak that any criticism is deemed a threat. It is constructed around a deity so weak that he is incapable of dealing with his critics and must rely on mob violence to protect his sensitivity. Many of it followers are incapable of rational argument and must resort to tantrums to express themselves. They have to silence critics because they are afraid that others may be persuaded by the critics and reject Islam. The result is that Islam is now held in lower esteem than it was before the tantrums.


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