Friday, November 30, 2007

Changing My Mind About The War

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov. 30 — Hundreds of demonstrators in Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, poured into the streets on Friday demanding the execution of a British teacher who was convicted of insulting Islam because her class of 7-year-olds named a teddy bear Muhammad.

So, Dear Reader, what are we to make of this?

Bear in mind (sorry, couldn't resist) that the poor teacher has now been convicted, and is in a Sudanese prison. On your list of places you don't want to be, where would "Sudanese prison" fall?

The Sudanese government, trying to have it both ways, says that the judge gave her a "light" sentence. What a hero. But we are not told what "light sentence" means. Apparently, she could be "lashed" as a part of her sentence, but it is not clear if this was a part of the sentence or not. Lashing is generally done with a stick or wooden rod. And it hurts real bad.

Seeing these stories about our friends from the religion of peace, I am not finding peace in my heart. I am feeling that I have been naive. Maybe they are very different from us after all.

Consider in contrast our last batch of global enemies, the Communists. Westerners more or less relied on the Reds as being much the same kind of people that we were, "deep down." In those cold war days, American young people could backpack through Europe without worrying that some Communist terrorist was going to kill them just for being American. But this Muslim (Moslem? Islamic? Moorish?) terrorist bunch, with their fondness for sawing off people's heads, brings a whole new dynamic to the table. And it's not good. The Communists had real power, and were reasonable, from their perspective. Our new enemies, not so much.

I've met a good many Arabs and Muslims, and they all seemed as OK as anybody else. But something has gone very wrong in their world when a crowd gathers to demand that a teacher be executed for naming a toy bear Mohammad. Or is it Muhammad? This is insulting to Islam? If Big Mo were alive today (as he allegedly is, having bodily ascended into heaven), would he really be insulted by this? The whole story is that the kids actually named the stupid bear anyway. So why aren't they in the dock?

This type of bullying is what makes people like me mad. And bullying it is. I'm as certain as I can be (from here) that the fact that the teacher, Gillian Gibbons, is a non-Muslim woman plays a big part in this fiasco.

She's British. The Brits shouldn't put up with this. I'd like to see the Royal Marines bust her out. An old fashioned jail break! I'd like to see us help.

Related old movie recommendation: The Wind and the Lion, starring Sean Connery and Candice Bergin. An Arab sheikh, on horseback no less, kidnaps an American woman and her children, and President Teddy Roosevelt sends the Marines to rescue her. Good stuff.