« Baby Steps Towards UN Reform | Main | The Third Rail of Punditry »

February 04, 2006

Cartoon Theology

Tim Ruttan, the veteran media columnist at the LAT, has an excellent column in today's paper on the ridiculous Islamic reaction to cartoons linking the prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and global terrorism. He also discusses the intellectual history of Islamic rejection of science and reason as tools for understanding our world. It is thoughtful, well-written and worth a look:

. . . The West's current struggle with a murderous global Sunni Muslim insurgency and the threat of a nuclear-armed theocracy in Iran makes it clear that it's no longer possible to overlook the culture of intolerance, hatred and xenophobia that permeates the Islamic world. The hard work of rooting those things out will have to be done by honest Muslim leaders and intellectuals willing to retrace their tradition's steps and do the intellectual heavy lifting that participation in the modern world requires. They won't be helped, however, if Western governments continue to pander to Islamic sensitivity while looking away from violent Islamic intolerance. They won't be helped by European diplomats and officials who continue to ignore the officially sanctioned hate regularly directed at Jews by the Mideast's government-controlled media, while commiserating with Muslims offended by a few cartoons in the West's free news media.

The decent respect for the opinions of others that life in modern, pluralistic societies requires is not a form of relativism. It will not do, as Isaiah Berlin once put it, to say, "I believe in kindness and you believe in concentration camps" and let's leave it at that.

February 4, 2006 at 10:45 AM | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Cartoon Theology:


The comments to this entry are closed.