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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/17/15

Clash of Cultures: The Pen vs. The Kalashnikov

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Millions upon millions of Muslims throughout the world are aghast at "Islamists" who pervert Islam. And many, just like some non-Muslim critics, deal with that reality by condemning specific Muslims like ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, or current al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. That tactic garners no objection here. Go ahead and ridicule them in any way you like. Mock them, scorn them, isolate them.

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But for far too many non-Muslims, ridiculing just one or two obvious Islamic charlatans is wholly unfulfilling. For these folks, the only way to stem their disdain is to condemn the entire religion --starting at the top -- in a conscious effort to incite those millions upon millions of ordinary Muslims who insist that al-Baghdadi is not the Prophet Muhammad and ISIL is not Islam.


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And by doing so, they place the lives of those around them in danger from the potential repercussions from al-Baghdadi or al-Zawahiri disciples.


Anyone who's followed the childish antics of French and Danish cartoonist/provocateurs who for years have incited fury among Muslims by creating and printing utterly loathsome renderings of the Prophet Muhammad -- puerile caricatures designed not to stimulate intellectual thought, but to ignite zeal and emotion -- could have seen this coming.


Unfortunately however, far too many were far too busy reveling in the knee-slapping hilarity they find in nauseating, anti-Islam imagery like that of the Prophet Muhammad lying face down being photographed ass-naked while saying: "And my butt? You love my butt?"


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But now, because the reaction -- a massacre -- is so much worse than that particular piece of "provocative satire" and all preceding acts of provocation, the laughter has stopped. Instead, millions are now solemnly marching in the streets.


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Anthony Barnes, of Boston, Massachusetts, is a free-lance writer who leans toward the progressive end of the political spectrum. "When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to (more...)
 
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